Surrendering a Pet

Pet Rehoming Services

If this is an emergency situation or you need to return an animal adopted from HSEC please call us at 574-475-4732 for assistance.

We accept animals only from Elkhart County.

Before you release your animal to the shelter, ensure that this is truly the decision you want to make and no other options are available.

Reach out to family and friends – You may have other friends or relatives who would want to continue to provide a loving home for your animal or may know of a way to help keep the pet in your home.

Try to rehome the animal yourself – Visit the Elkhart County “New Beginning” Pet Rehoming Facebook Group for a place to rehome your pet yourself, without ever having to visit the Shelter!

Resources – If a lack of resources is the reason you need to surrender your animal – talk to us at 574-475-4732 or [email protected]! There are options for help, including food assistance and other community resources to help keep your pets at home with you.

The first step is to list your pet on the Home to Home™ Website. Click on the Rehome Tab to create an account to list your pet.

The website will give pet owners who can no longer keep their pets the opportunity to find new, loving homes without having to surrender them to the shelter. Pets can go from one home right into another, which means less stress for animals and humans alike. In addition, this offers potential new owners the opportunity to communicate directly with the current owners, providing firsthand information about the animals.

How to Use Home To Home:

1. Register and create a pet profile

2. Add pictures, facts, and descriptions about your pet

3. Respond to questions from people who are looking to adopt a pet

4. Please note that your listing will expire in 30 days with HSEC and you will need to enter the pet you are rehoming again.

5. Find the perfect match for your pet and transfer ownership

Home To Home does not charge adoption or rehoming fees.

Expert tip: The best way to ensure you find a perfect match for your pet is by creating a detailed pet profile and providing great communication to people who have questions.

HSEC staff will monitor the Home To Home™ site and offer advice for rehoming your pet. HSEC staff will alert you when space is available for your pet at HSEC and schedule a time for you to bring in your animal.  Not only will this tool make transitions into new homes easier for pets, but it will also leave more shelter resources available to animals with no other options, such as strays and those suffering from neglect or abuse. While re-homing pets through Home To Home™ will alleviate the need for some pets to be surrendered to the shelter, it won’t be suitable for all re-homing needs. For any questions about surrendering animals to HSEC, please contact our staff at 574-475-4732 or [email protected] Please note that your listing will expire in 30 days with HSEC and you will need to enter the pet you are rehoming again.

 Rehoming Options

Rehoming with Adopt-a Pet – Adopt-a-Pet has created a Rehome program. You can visit the website at to learn more. Through their website, they will assist you in creating a profile for your pet and also assist in the process of finding the best home available for your pet.

Elkhart Rehoming Facebook GroupElkhart County “New Beginning” Pet Rehoming group (not affiliated with HSEC – under administration of animal loving community members)

Surrendering your Animal to HSEC

After a date has been scheduled for you to release your animal, you will need to bring your driver’s license or valid ID to confirm you are a resident of Elkhart County.  Also bring any vet records you have which provides valuable information about your animal’s vaccinations or medical history.

You will complete an owner release form.  A fee will be assessed for release of the animal and will vary depending on whether or not the animal has aggression issues, has bitten or is extremely ill.

Once you release your pet to us, it is final.  No further information will be provided to you or anyone else regarding the status of the animal.  Upon release, the Humane Society has the right to determine the appropriate disposition of the animal. 

Not all animals admitted to the shelter are considered adoptable.  During the spring and summer months, the shelter admits over 500 to 600+ animals per month.  Some animals may be deemed adoptable and selected for adoption; some may go to other collaborating animal welfare and rescue agencies; some may be sent to foster locations until they can be adopted; and some may not be deemed suitable for adoption and may have to be euthanized.

Every situation is different, for more information, we encourage you to contact our staff directly at 574-475-4732.