What To Do If You Need To Surrender Your Pet

If you adopted your pet from the SPCA-NN: You may call or bring your pet back to us during our normal hours of operation. We make a lifetime commitment to our animals and will always take them back regardless of circumstances.

If you did NOT adopt your pet from SPCA-NN: Surrendering is not a walk-in process. We only take surrendered cats or dogs that you did not adopt from us by appointment only. (For other domestic animals please contact the Nevada Humane Society.)

Do NOT abandon your pet(s): Abandoning them is ILLEGAL and punishable of up to $1,000 fine by Nevada law NRS 574.100.

Alternatives to surrendering your pet:

Surrendering a pet can be an incredibly difficult decision. SPCA-NN may be able to help you keep your pet at home or there may be alternative re-homing options to consider. Please review the following resources before surrendering your pet.

Why are you considering surrendering your pet?

  • Behavior issues (Pet Help Desk: 775.324.7773, 200)
  • Can’t afford care (Pet Help Desk: 775.324.7773, 200)
  • Domestic or disaster situation (Pet Help Desk: 775.324.7773, 200)
  • Moving/don’t have adequate housing (Pet Help Desk: 775.324.7773, 200)
  • Other re-homing options (Please read Finding a New Home for Your Pet below)

We know that sometimes it’s just not possible to keep a pet, and we are here to support you as best we can with compassionate advice and resources. Before making the decision to surrender, you may want to consider other re-homing options such as trusted friends or family.

If these resources don’t address the circumstances you’re experiencing, please see below for more about the process for surrendering your pet to SPCA-NN.

In order to surrender your cat or dog, the first step is to fill out a surrender profile. You can obtain one of these by coming to the Adoption Center in person, or by calling our Help Desk and having it emailed to you: 775.324.7773, 200.

The surrender profile will be reviewed by our staff, which may take up to a week. You will then be contacted to either schedule a handling assessment, or informed that we are unable to take your pet.

We may not be able to take your pet based on a number of reasons, including without limitation: available space, capacity for care, behavior, a lack of resources, etc. We will do our best to help you, and our staff may refer you to other organizations that may be able to take your pet.

After the appointment, we will decide whether we are able to accept your cat or dog. We do not charge a surrender fee, but donations are welcome to help cover the cost of care for your pet.

You Can NOT Surrender A Pet That Is Not Yours

In order to surrender an animal to the SPCA of Northern Nevada, you must be the animal’s legal owner, and we reserve the right to require proof of ownership if we deem necessary.

How To Rehome Your Pet

Sometimes, people find themselves in situations where caring for their pet is no longer a possibility. Choosing to re-home a pet can be an incredibly difficult decision. We are here to support you the best we can with compassionate advice and resources.

The following are some tips to try to re-home your pet before contacting our Adoption Center:

• Give yourself and your pet time. It can often take weeks to months to find it the best home.
• Increase your pet’s adoptability. Spay or neuter, get current on all vaccinations, and get it groomed (as appropriate).
• Spread the word. Ask friends, family, and co-workers to help. Social media can be a great place to share this information.
• You can also use the Home to Home re-homing tool, which gives pet owners the ability to be more involved, and it’s free and simple to use! Set up a pet profile, and interested people apply. (Please do NOT use Craigslist). Click here to go to Home to Home. 
• Use caution when considering unknown individuals or families as your pet’s new owners. Hold the initial meeting in a public place and ask questions to screen potential adopters. (Examples: Are there other pets in the house? Have you had a similar pet before? Do you have experience training a dog? Have you established a relationship with a veterinarian? Do you have an appropriate living space for this type of pet? How many hours a day will the animal be left alone?)
• Share your expectations for your pet’s new home. If you wish to stay in touch with your pet’s new family, make that clear upfront.
• Contact breed-specific rescue groups.
• Never abandon your animal–it’s cruel and against the law!
• For additional tips, please call our Pet Help Desk: 775.324.7773, 200.