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MHS Call Center

Surrendering an Animal
Pets are given up for a number of reasons: financial concerns, illness, moving to a home that doesn't welcome pets, allergies, pet behavior issues, and unwanted litters, just to name a few

The Michigan Humane Society offers many resources to help keep animals in loving homes. MHS also urges pet owners to consider other options before deciding to surrender their animal. 

Fortunately, there are more alternatives than ever to relinquishing your pet. However, MHS understands that there are times when keeping a pet is just not possible.

Pet owners are required to schedule an appointment to surrender their pets. There will be a $35 fee at time of appointment.

To Schedule an Appointment to Surrender a Pet Call: 

Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Wed., 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Stray Animal Surrenders:
Have you found a stray animal? Please make every effort to take the animal to the local animal control for the area in which the animal was found. This will help ensure the best possible chance of the pet being reunited with its family, who may already be calling or visiting that shelter.

Surrendering a Stray at MHS:
If taking the stray to the appropriate local animal control is not an option, those who are surrendering the stray animal to one of the three Michigan Humane Society centers (in Detroit, Rochester Hills and Westland) are encouraged to schedule a surrender appointment - if possible given safety and other considerations - for their convenience. However, due to the nature of finding a stray, walk-ins for stray surrenders will continue to be accepted. 

Please remember the following items so that we may better serve you:

  • Bring along any vet records
  • Complete the pet profile sheet (dog surrender form, cat surrender form) and bring with you
  • Please have your animal on a leash or in a carrier
  • There will be a $35 fee at the time of the appointment
  • Bring a fecal sample if you are able to
  • Arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your appointment time
  • Have your driver's license or state ID
  • It is recommended that you bring along a small item your pet is familiar with to help reduce stress

Before You Decide to Surrender Your Pet 

Please first consider utilizing the following resources which have helped many people and their pets!:

  • Frustrated with a pet behavior issue? FREE assistance is available by phone or email through MHS' Behavior Help Line to help keep pets in their loving homes.
  • Check out our dog and cat behavior tips. Litter box issues, scratching, chewing, digging and other behavior issues often can be reduced or eliminated.
  • Finding a pet-friendly apartment may take a little more effort, but today there are many more rental options for people with pets. Try visiting one of many websites tailored to the needs of pet owners, such as rent.com, peoplewithpets.com or ApartmentList.com. Such websites save you time and effort by allowing you to search for "pet friendly" apartments in various communities, in your target price range, with the amenities you specify.
  • Check with relatives or friends who may be willing and able to provide your pet with a responsible, loving home.
  • Try contacting a breed rescue group if your dog or cat is a purebred.

Surrender Fees: A minimal fee of $35 will be assessed at the time of the surrender appointment for each animal surrendered to the Michigan Humane Society. The $35 fee covers only a portion of the average $192 it costs MHS to care for each animal. Donations over and above the $35 are  encouraged and greatly appreciated, as MHS does not receive government funding and is not affiliated with any national humane organizations. Your tax dollars help pay for your local animal control, but they do not benefit the Michigan Humane Society, which is a private, nonprofit organization. Therefore, surrender fees are critical to helping us care for the animals coming through our doors each day.

MHS Pet Surrender Locations, by appointment (please see above):

MHS Detroit Center for Animal Care
MHS Rochester Hills Center for Animal Care
MHS Berman Center for Animal Care (Westland)

Open Admission Policy: The Michigan Humane Society will not turn away your pet for any reason including potential adoptability, your city of residence, or for any other reason.

Placement: The Michigan Humane Society makes every effort to place healthy, friendly animals in new, loving homes. However, we cannot guarantee rehoming of your pet. The placement of an individual animal for adoption at our adoption centers is based on an evaluation of his or her health and temperament. Once an animal is placed up for adoption at the Michigan Humane Society, there is no time limit in which he or she can remain up for adoption.

Rehoming Your Pet: Before surrendering a pet to a shelter, MHS recommends first trying to find a suitable home for your pet by spreading the word among friends, relatives and co-workers.  Give yourself a few weeks to place the animal in a good home, and never give away your pet to someone without screening the person/home carefully and asking for references.  Please do not give your pet away "Free to a Good Home" as there are unscrupulous individuals who could harm your pet or sell the animal for research to make money.  Asking a reasonable fee may help deter such people.

Making Your Pet as Adoptable as Possible: Unsterilized (intact) pets are at a much greater risk of being surrendered by their owners. This is due to related health or behavior (aggression, marking, roaming, etc.) reasons, or because they produce "unwanted" litters.  By having your pet neutered or spayed, you may find you do not need to give him or her up. However, if you do still surrender your pet, ensuring he or she is sterilized will assist in the successful rehoming of the pet either yourself or through a shelter.  MHS veterinary centers offer low sterilization fees.  Ensuring your pet is current on vaccinations and has had proper dental care will not only help keep him or her healthier in a shelter environment or new home, but will also make him more appealing to a potential adopter.  Groom or bathe your pet.  Consider pet training which will make him or her more adoptable, and may even allow you to keep your pet. Also, having your pet at a healthy weight will make him or her more appealing to adopters than an overweight or obese cat.

Pet Overpopulation: Within our community, pet overpopulation is a serious problem. There are thousands more unwanted dogs, cats and other pets than there are good homes. Each and every additional litter of puppies, kittens, rabbits or other animals contributes to the euthanasia of homeless pets already waiting for a second chance at a loving home. Today, fewer than 30% of pets are aquired through adoption from an animal shelter or rescue group. Please help save lives: Encourage others to chose the adoption option rather than to buy a pet from any source. 

Low-cost feline spay/neuterHeartworm DiseaseMarch for AnimalsThe New Detroit Animal Care CampusGet 10% off your next purchase at shopmichiganhumane.org


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The Michigan Humane Society is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions to The Michigan Humane Society are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. MHS's tax identification number is 38-1358206. Somebody Here Needs You.

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