Surrendering an Animal - Michigan Humane Society

Surrendering an Animal

Surrendering an Animal

Pets are given up for a number of reasons: financial concerns, illness, moving to a home that doesn't welcome pets, allergies, pet behavior issues, and unwanted litters, just to name a few.

The Michigan Humane Society offers many resources to help keep animals in loving homes. MHS also urges pet owners to consider other options before deciding to surrender their animal. 

Fortunately, there are more alternatives than ever to relinquishing your pet. However, MHS understands that there are times when keeping a pet is just not possible.

Pet owners are required to schedule an appointment to surrender their pets. There will be a $35 fee at time of appointment.

Due to Federal Regulations. we are unabale to accept any medications for any reason.

Have you found a stray animal?

Note: Due to the high volume of animals coming into our facility this summer, appointments are currently scheduling out 3-4 weeks in advance.

To Schedule an Appointment to Surrender a Pet, Click Here or Call: 

Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Wed., 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Please remember the following items so that we may better serve you:

  • Bring along any vet records
  • Complete the pet profile sheet (dog surrender formcat surrender form) and bring with you
  • Please have your animal on a leash or in a carrier
  • There will be a $35 surrender fee (appointment required)
  • Arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your appointment time
  • Have your driver's license or state ID
  • It is recommended that you bring along a small item your pet is familiar with to help reduce stress


Before You Decide to Surrender Your Pet


Please first consider utilizing the following resources which have helped many people and their pets!:

  • Frustrated with a pet behavior issue?  Check out our dog and cat behavior tips. Litter box issues, scratching, chewing, digging and other behavior issues often can be reduced or eliminated.
  • Check with relatives or friends who may be willing and able to provide your pet with a responsible, loving home.
  • If your pet is a purebred, an online search can help find local breed specific rescue groups.
  • Finding a pet-friendly apartment may take a little more effort, but today there are many more rental options for people with pets. Try visiting one of many websites tailored to the needs of pet owners, such as, or Such websites save you time and effort by allowing you to search for "pet friendly" apartments in various communities, in your target price range, with the amenities you specify.

Surrender Fees: A $35 fee will be assessed for each animal surrendered to the Michigan Humane Society. An appointment is required to surrender the animal. The $35 fee covers only a portion of the average $192 it costs MHS to care for each animal. Donations in excess of the $35 are encouraged and greatly appreciated, as MHS does not receive government funding, and is not affiliated with any national humane organizations. Your tax dollars help pay for your local animal control, but they do not benefit the Michigan Humane Society, which is a private, nonprofit organization. Therefore, surrender fees are critical to helping us care for the animals coming through our doors each day.

MHS Pet Surrender Locations, by appointment (please see above):

MHS Detroit Center for Animal Care
MHS Rochester Hills Center for Animal Care
MHS Berman Center for Animal Care (Westland)

Placement: The Michigan Humane Society makes every effort to place healthy, friendly animals in new, loving homes. However, we cannot guarantee rehoming of your pet. The placement of an individual animal for adoption at our adoption centers is based on an evaluation of his or her health and temperament. Once an animal is placed up for adoption at the Michigan Humane Society, there is no time limit in which he or she can remain up for adoption.

Rehoming Your Pet: Before surrendering a pet to a shelter, MHS recommends first trying to find a suitable home for your pet by spreading the word among friends, relatives and co-workers.  Give yourself a few weeks to place the animal in a good home, and never give away your pet to someone without screening the person/home carefully and asking for references.  Please do not give your pet away "Free to a Good Home" as there are unscrupulous individuals who could harm your pet or sell the animal for research to make money.  Asking a reasonable fee may help deter such people.

Making Your Pet as Adoptable as Possible: Unsterilized (intact) pets are at a much greater risk of being surrendered by their owners. This is due to related health or behavior (aggression, marking, roaming, etc.) reasons, or because they produce "unwanted" litters.  By having your pet neutered or spayed, you may find you do not need to give him or her up. However, if you do still surrender your pet, ensuring he or she is sterilized will ;assist ;in the successful rehoming of the pet either yourself or through a shelter.  MHS veterinary centers offer low sterilization fees.  Ensuring your pet is current on vaccinations and has had proper dental care will not only help keep him or her healthier in a shelter environment or new home, but will also make him more appealing to a potential adopter.  Groom or bathe your pet.  Consider pet training which will make him or her more adoptable, and may even allow you to keep your pet. Also, having your pet at a healthy weight will make him or her more appealing to adopters than an overweight or obese cat.

Pet Overpopulation: Within our community, pet overpopulation is a serious problem. There are thousands more unwanted dogs, cats and other pets than there are good homes. Each and every additional litter of puppies, kittens, rabbits or other animals contributes to the euthanasia of homeless pets already waiting for a second chance at a loving home. Today, fewer than 30% of pets are acquired through adoption from an animal shelter or rescue group. Please help save lives: Encourage others to chose the adoption option rather than to buy a pet from any source.


Stray Animal Surrenders:


Have you found a stray animal? Stray animals need to be taken to the designated municipal animal control facility for the area in which the animal was found. This is necessary to help ensure the best possible chance of the pet being reunited with its family, who may already be calling or visiting that shelter.

The Michigan Humane Society is the contracted municipal animal control facility for the following cities/townships and is therefore legally able to accept strays from these areas. Cities/townships not included on this list do not have a contract with MHS. Therefore, MHS is no longer able to accept animals from residents who live outside these cities/townships.

  • The City of Westland
  • The City of Livonia
  • The City of Dearborn Heights
  • The Township of Redford 
  • The City of Canton
  • The City of Hamtramck

If you are not a resident in one of the MHS contract cities/townships listed above, but an animal is found in one of these cities/townships, authorization must be obtained from the city/township to leave the animal with MHS. Please ask an MHS staff member for the contact information at the city/township.

The Michigan Humane Society is not permitted to take animals from residents of the cities/townships with whom MHS does not currently contract with MHS per the Michigan Department of Agriculture's memo dated December 22, 2014 as follows: "Animal control shelters have a responsibility for the care of animals that are found in the streets or at large. Animal protection shelters do not have authority to take in stray animals unless they have an agreement with an animal control shelter, county, or municipality."

If you've found a cat, please also see our Community Cats page.

Powered by BlackBaud
nonprofit software