Surrendering a Pet

Pet Rehoming Services
Owned Cat Profile FormOwned Dog Profile Form

Rehoming Your Pet

No one wants to think about having to rehome their pet. Life can change quickly and sometimes this is a tough decision an owner has to make. Here is some information and options available for those facing this situation.

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.

Resources – If a lack of resources is the reason you need to surrender your animal – talk to us! There are options for help, including food assistance and other community resources to  help keep pets in their homes.

Rehoming with Adopt-a Pet – Adopt a Pet and the Petco Foundation have 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 that pet.

After having exhausted all other efforts, please contact the Humane Society at 574-475-HSEC (4732) for assistance. We accept animals only from Elkhart County.

Contacting HSEC to Release your Pet – Last year over 5,500 animals entered our shelter, our goal is to find homes and rescues for all animal entering our shelter. Sometimes we do not have space to accept animals immediately and an appointment to surrender your pet will be made.

  • We will discuss resources available to you to help you keep your pet
  • We will make sure your pet is posted on Adopt-a-pet
  • We will explain the fees associated surrendering your pet
  • You must fill out an incoming dog/cat form so our pet assistance and rehoming specialists can review prior to your visit, this information is very important and needed to help determine the future of your pet. Please fill out the form as completely as possible.

Owned Cat Profile Form     |     Owned Dog Profile Form

Upon submitting your pet’s profile, someone on our staff will be in contact with you soon as soon as possible.

On the day you 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-HSEC (4732).