Rehoming Your Pet

Deciding to rehome your pet is never an easy decision. Through our Loved for Life >> program, we offer a variety of services designed to help you keep your beloved companion with you through difficult times. Before you decide to rehome your pet, please look through the services we offer, or reach out to us by email at >>.


If you have decided that you cannot keep your pet, even with the services we offer through our Loved for Life >> program in mind, the next best option is to try and rehome the pet yourself. You can even courtesy post your pet through the self-rehoming link below. 

Before you make your pet available for adoption, here are some tips for successful placement: 

  • Take your time choosing the best possible home for your pet. 

  • Get all of your vet records together and make sure your pet is sterilized (spayed/neutered) and up-to-date for all of its vaccines. 

  • Work on your pet's manners. 

  • Choose some great photos and write up a blurb that captures your pets personality. 

  • Be honest about why you need to rehome your pet and about any of the pet's behavioral or medical issues. 

  • Spread the word through friends, family, coworkers, and on the internet on pages like Steve Caporizzo's Pet Connection >> on Facebook, or your local NextDoor >> app. 

  • Post your pet on the Adopt-a-Pet Self Rehoming Site >>

Evaluating Potential Adopters

  • Interview potential adopters carefully to ensure they are a good fit for your pet.
    • Ask open-ended questions when talking to potential adopters, such as, "What have your previous pets been like?" or "What are you looking for in a companion?" and "What questions do you have for us?"
  • Be thorough and honest about your pet, and whether or not the applicant's home is compatible with the unique needs of your pet. 
  • Take your time deciding and do not make a quick decision, or a decision with which you are not completely comfortable.

The Adoption Process

Once you have found the perfect new home for your pet, the adoption process can begin. 

  • Arrange a time and public place to meet the adopter and transfer the pet into their care.
  • Provide copies of all of the pet's veterinary records.
  • Create a record of transfer of ownership, like this example: Transfer of Ownership Agreement >>
  • Provide some of their favorite toys and bedding or other familiar items to help the pet transition.
  • Provide some of the food your pet has been eating so that the adopter can transition them slowly to a new diet if they choose.
  • Update the pet's microchip with the new owner's contact information. 

Click the image to visit the self-rehoming website.

Surrendering for Adoption

We do a fantastic job of keeping the pets in our care safe, healthy, and mentally stimulated while they are with us, and we do our best to always place them in the best homes. The shelter is stressful though, and should be a last resort when it comes to rehoming your pet. Before applying to surrender your pet to the shelter, please consider whether our Loved for Life >> services could help you keep the pet in your home, or if self-rehoming (above) is an option for you and your pet. 

Please note: our admitting desk is open from 12-6 pm, Monday through Friday.

Pets We Can Accept for Adoption 

As space allows, and by appointment only, we can accept pets that are both medically and behaviorally sound into our adoptions program. We cannot accept pets that have significant medical issues, behavioral issues, bite history, history of aggression against humans or animals, or that have been trained as attack/guard pets, into our adoptions program. 


Surrender Fees

The surrender fee we charge helps offset the substantial cost of caring for and placing your pet. We offer income-based assistance with this fee on a case-by-case basis, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us if the fee presents a significant financial burden. 

$50 per transaction (all animals, same day, same owner)


Please note that additional fees apply for Emergency Surrenders.

Surrender Timeline

Once your application is submitted, it will be reviewed by a staff member within 48 hours. Eligible pets will be scheduled for a behavioral assessment to determine if they will be safe and successful in the shelter environment. If your pet is not eligible for our adoptions program, or does not pass the behavioral assessment, a staff member will discuss other options with you. 

If your pet passes the behavioral assessment, its vaccination status will determine how quickly it can be admitted into the adoptions program: 

  • Dogs and cats with proof of up-to-date rabies, distemper, and bordetella (dogs only) vaccinations are eligible for expedited admitting (same day), as space allows. 

  • Pets that are not up-to-date on these vaccinations must be fully vaccinated before we can bring them into the adoption program. This typically takes 2-3 weeks. We offer low-cost options >> for updating your pet's vaccinations prior to intake. If the cost of vaccinating your pet for intake presents a significant financial burden, we will work with you toward a solution. 


Surrender Outcomes 

Ideally, the pet will be placed in a secure and loving adoptive home. There are rare times, however, when an animal's medical or behavioral health declines during their stay. If we determine that the pet is suffering physically or mentally, and that the suffering is significant and untreatable, we will humanely euthanize the pet. Rest assured that greater than 95% of the pets that come into our shelter make their way into homes. 

MHHS does not share updates on the progress or outcome of pets once they are surrendered, and former owners may not visit or readopt their pets. If this is something you cannot agree to, then you will want to choose self-rehoming over surrendering to the shelter, as you have the opportunity to define your own boundaries in self-rehoming. 

Surrender Applications 

If you are ready to apply to our adoptions program, please use the appropriate link below. If you are hoping to rehome an animal other than a dog or cat, email us directly at >> 

Dog Surrender Application >> 

Cat Surrender Application >> 

Emergency Surrenders

If you need to rehome your pet due to an emergency, please email >> directly. 

Emergency situations include, but are not limited to:

  • Pets with severe injury or disease 
  • Pets with a recent episodes of significant aggression 
  • Pets whose owners have suffered a sudden and severe decline in health 
  • Pets who have suddenly lost their home due to flood, fire or other disaster 
  • Pets in multi-pet households in which the caretaker has become overwhelmed

Pets surrendered on an emergency basis will be evaluated by shelter staff to determine whether they are suitable for adoption or need to be humanely euthanized. MHHS will not provide updates on pets that have been surrendered.