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If you are in a situation you believe will require you to give up your pet, you have several options:

Adoption through MHHS
Rescue Groups and

Adoption through MHHS

Call (518) 434-8128. We will listen to your situation and provide you with tips and options. We have staff members who are knowledgeable about animal behavior and may be able to help you find a way to keep your pet in your home. It is always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian if your pet has medical or behavioral issues. If relinquishment seems the best option, we will recommend that you come in for an assessment.

On the day of the assessment, bring the animal along with any recent veterinary records and your state-issued identification. To help us understand your pet, please take some time to thoughtfully complete the Animal Surrender Profile Questionnaire. After talking with you, examining your pet and evaluating your pet's temperament, we may be able to assist you by matching your pet with a responsible and appropriate new home. The requested donation to MHHS for our placement service is $25.

To help your pet attract the attention of an adopter, we suggest you groom your animal before bringing it to us. Here are some other tips toward successful adoption.

The most desirable dogs are:
  • Bathed, free of parasites, and have trimmed nails
  • Spayed or neutered
  • Current on all vaccinations, with veterinary records
  • Socialized with humans and other animals; friendly and easily controlled
The most desirable cats are:
  • Well brushed (especially long-haired cats), free of parasites, and have trimmed nails
  • Spayed or neutered
  • Current on all vaccinations, with veterinary records
  • Tested for feline leukemia and have veterinary record
  • At least eight weeks old
  • Socialized with humans and other animals; friendly and easily controlled
MHHS does not place any time limits on an animal's stay. An animal may stay with MHHS until a new home is found, as long as they remain healthy and friendly - even if it takes days, weeks or months. We can not guarantee that any individual animal will find a home. When animals become ill or aggressive, we may be forced to euthanize.

Pets cannot be considered for adoption if:
  • They have been attack-trained or have a history of biting humans.
  • They show aggressive or unsociable behavior during the administration of our accredited temperament test.
  • Physical examination determines that the animal is physically unsuitable for adoption.
If your pet has one the above issues, our counselors will discuss options, which may include the choices below or euthanasia if that is the most humane alternative. The Society will not warehouse animals indefinitely that are not safe or suitable as companion animals.

Rescue Groups

The Mohawk Hudson Humane Society maintains good relations with many pure-breed and mixed-breed rescue groups. These groups are usually organized by people with in-depth knowledge of a specific breed. Rescue groups keep animals until they can be placed in loving, permanent homes. In some cases, breed rescues only work with animal shelters and may not accept pets directly from owners.

Be sure to find out as much as you can about the rescue group and always carefully screen a breed rescue organization before relinquishing your pet. You should make sure the groupís current animal residents appear to be well cared for, that the group screens potential adopters and that the group offers post-adoption support services. Do not be afraid to ask questions.

Click here for a list of dog rescue groups.
Click here for a list of cat rescue groups.


Advertise through friends, neighbors and local veterinarians first; then try the newspaper, if all else fails. Your chances of finding a good home are increased when you check references with someone you know. A carefully worded classified advertisement in your local or regional paper will work; it may take time, however. Please do not give your pet away "free to a good home." You have invested time, energy and love, as well as provided for basic needs and medical care. Asking for a fee will not deter good families but may stop unscrupulous folks. Remember, shelters have adoption fees; ask for your shelter's fee scale to help determine what you should charge for your pet.

Ask Questions

Your work does not end when an interested caller phones. Do not be shy about asking questions. These are all questions animal shelters ask prospective adopters in order to find the right match:
  • Do you have children?
  • What do you expect of your new pet?
  • Have you had other pets? What happened to them?
  • What do you expect to pay yearly for this pet's care?
  • Where will the pet be during the day and evening?
Screen Potential Homes Carefully

  • Will your pet get along with children?
  • Is the family planning to keep the dog chained outside as a watch dog?
  • Will the cat be kept only as a mouser?
  • Does the family have a veterinary reference?
You might even want to visit the prospective new home in order to get a feel for the environment in which your pet will be living. Explain that the pet is part of your family and you want to make sure she will be cared for properly and you want to see how the animal responds to the new home.

Ask for a valid form of identification (preferably a driver's license). Record the number for your records and require the new owner to sign a contract stating the requirements of adoption on which both parties agree. As part of the contract, require the new owner to contact you if he or she decides at some point that they must give up the pet.

Always Spay or Neuter

Finally, have your pet neutered or spayed before he or she goes to the new home, and be prepared to share all medical and behavioral information with the new adopter.