Learn about how to rehome your pet or surrender it to the shelter.

We understand that making the decision to rehome your pet is difficult.

Our goal is to work with pet owners, empowering you to take an active role in determining the best outcome for your pets. We encourage all pet owners to consider other options for help or private rehoming prior to surrendering your pet to our shelter.

We understand that life circumstances can change and that may lead to the difficult decision of surrendering your pet.

Before bringing your pet to the shelter

Shelters can be stressful environments for pets, so before you bring your pet to a shelter, please consider the following options:

  • Contact who helped you get your pet (previous owner, rescue, or shelter) to see if they might be able to help you rehome them.
  • Reach out to friends and family to see if anyone is able to take ownership of the pet.
  • Contact a trainer and behaviorist for advice to help with common behavior problems.
  • Contact your veterinarian to rule out any medical issues that your pet may have. If cost is a challenge, call around to different vet clinics for quotes.
  • Visit our resources page for behavior support tips, low-cost service options, and more.

How to rehome your pet

The best outcome for your pet is to be placed into a new home directly from your home. No one is better equipped to find your pet a new home than you! 

Helpful tools to get started

Post your pet on adoption sites. They will help you from start to finish.

Prepare your pet for their new home:

  • Make sure they are current on their vaccinations.
  • Make sure they are spayed or neutered.
  • Microchip your pet if they don’t already have one.
  • Groom your pet so they look their best.
  • Organize a packet of all your pet's medical, microchip, behavior, grooming, and diet information.
  • Provide their adopter with any care items you might have, such as a crate, leash, collar, food dishes, and special toys or bedding.

Tips on how to screen a potential adopter:

  • Prepare a list of screening questions.
  • Ask for pictures of their yard and doors to ensure they are safe and secure.
  • Learn about their pet history and what type of experience they have.
  • Meet them at a neutral location.
  • Inform the new adopter about everything you know about your pet. This will set them up for success and help them settle into their new home better.

Resources

Surrendering to the shelter

We offer compassion and understanding to owners who relinquish their pets and a warm welcome to the animals that are being entrusted to our care.

  • Animals are admitted by appointment only, unless in special circumstances.
  • Our ability to help you may be affected by the number of animals in our care and the resources available at the shelter.
  • You may be placed on a waitlist and given alternate resources to contact.

1. Contact the shelter to join the surrender list

Call us at 604-574-6622.

  • Being added to the owner surrender waitlist does not guarantee that the shelter will be able to accept the animal into our adoption program.
  • All animals are assessed for medically and behaviorally before being accepted into the shelter.
  • After your surrender application is received, a staff member will be in touch to go over the submission.

Bite history

If your animal has bitten a person and you want to re-home them, please contact the shelter at 604-574-6622 to discuss your options.

2. Attend an appointment at the shelter

What to bring to an appointment

Knowing more about your animal helps us provide ongoing care during their transition into the shelter. Bringing some of their favourite things makes them more comfortable during this big change.

  • Current photo ID (required)
  • Proof of ownership for the animal if possible (e.g. adoption papers, veterinary records)
  • Bring all records (medical history, rabies and/or sterilization certificate, etc.)
  • Current food and treats
  • Favourite toys, blankets or beds
  • Any medication they’re taking

For the safety of your pet and the pets at the shelter, keep dogs on leash and cats and critters in secure carriers at all times.

Pet admission fee

We do not charge a flat fee to bring in your animal. However, you will be asked for a donation to help pay for the costs associated with caring for your animal. These costs include feeding, cleaning, sterilizing, vaccinating, parasite control and medical treatment as required for your pet. Adoption fees alone do not cover these costs.

Documents

Owners will be required to sign documentation transferring ownership of the animal to the City. Once ownership is signed over, the final outcome decision (adoption, transfer to rescue group or euthanasia) will be made by the City.

We are not able to notify you of your surrendered pet's status, but you are welcome to email animalinfo@surrey.ca to inquire about their status. We cannot give out information about the pet's new adopters.

Frequently asked questions

Will my pet be placed up for adoption?

We cannot guarantee that your pet will be placed for adoption. Our staff will perform behavioral and medical evaluations to determine whether your pet is an adoption candidate with us.

If an animal requires additional resources that the Surrey Animal Resource Centre is unable to provide, we have a transfer network with different shelters and rescues that can assist.

If an animal has shown aggressive behavior that could be a risk to public safety, or has a medical condition that significantly affects their quality of life, there is a possibility the animal could be humanely euthanized. You can always call and check on the status of your surrendered pet by calling 604-574-6622.

What does it cost to surrender?

We do not charge a flat fee to bring in your animal. However, you will be asked for a donation to help pay for the costs associated with caring for your animal. These costs include feeding, cleaning, sterilizing, vaccinating, parasite control and medical treatment as required for your pet. Adoption fees alone do not cover these costs.

How long is the waitlist?

Our ability to bring in owner surrenders into the shelter is affected by the number of animals in our care and the resources available at the shelter. We are unable to provide a timeline of when we will be able to bring in your pet for an assessment. Once added to the waitlist we encourage pet owners to continue to try to rehome the animal on their own.