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Effects of Pet Surrender

Surrendering a pet is never easy, and there are many reasons why this happens. Dogs are often surrendered, for example, due to non-aggressive behavior issues, time commitment, “too many animals”, available money, and “housing”, per a Pet Owner Surrender data analysis. Further, the study and associated studies noted for dogs, 32% of those acquired without resources and support from a shelter, rescue or breeder make up over half of all dog surrenders.

The process of surrendering is similar at most facilities, including in Texas. First and foremost, every person is strongly encouraged to exhaust all means of rehoming their family dog.

Some ways to rehome pets before resorting to surrender are:

  • Talking with friends, family, and coworkers

  • Placing a notice on social media

  • Posting flyers at local businesses

  • Finding and working with a reputable rescue organization

Surrendering an animal to a facility should be considered the final option. After arranging to surrender and paying the associated fee, the facility must accept the pet based on available space. If accepted, typically, the animal becomes property of the facility and is subject to possible transfer or euthanasia.

There is an ugly truth about shelter life for surrendered pets many do not consider. When shelters run out of space or manpower, sometimes even healthy, adoptable dogs go to top of the euthanasia list. When a dog is surrendered, what happens to that animal is completely out of the hands of the previous owner.

When a surrender is considered, be diligent to ensure your pet does not go to a Texas kill shelter. A good home is waiting for them, along with a family who can provide a happy life they deserve.

Guadalupe County Animal Control (GCAC) in Seguin, Texas allows people to adopt a dog for free Monday - Friday, 8 am to 5 pm & Saturday 8 am to 12 pm, with a vet receipt for rabies and spay/neuter services.

The Friends of Dogs organization also helps GCAC by networking the dogs to help find them forever homes. Help spread the word about alternatives to surrendering to kill shelters and foster a dog today!


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Lindsey Bunch
Lindsey Bunch

A great read!! Another great suggestion that can be added to the list of things to do before considering shelter surrender is working with a professional trainer. So many "behavior" issues can be easily solved or managed with the help of a professional dog trainer. They are out there and can be helpful to avoid a pet ending up in the shelter. I’m so sad for Allie.



Poor Allie. The only thing I would like to add is ALL open intake shelters (they have a contract to intake all stray animals) euthanize so the option to find a shelter that does not euthanize at all is really impossible. Even non open intake shelters make those decisions for medical or deterioration of shelter life. It is a misconception a no kill shelter means they do not euthanize. Technically, GCAC is no kill because we do save 90% of the intakes that come in but they still euthanize every month for a variety of reasons.

Friends of Dogs Rescue
Friends of Dogs Rescue

You are absolutely right, Holly. The concept of "no kill" can cause misconception due to the definition of "no kill shelter." Also, surrendered pets often go to the top of the euth list, since they do not require a 3-day stray hold. A lot of thought should be put into surrendering a pet to a shelter.

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