Surrendering a Dog

Giving up an animal is never easy — for the owner or for the pet. If you need to surrender your pet to HART, this is the process:

Call or email us so we can touch base and learn more about the dog. You can also complete the Surrender Questionnaire, which can be found at the bottom of this page. We'll ask you things such as your dog's age, weight, breed, general personality, what it's like with other animals and people, health history, etc. This will allow us to find a suitable foster home. Emailing us a picture will help tremendously.

Finding a Foster Home

Once we've learned a bit about your dog and received a picture, we will put a request out to our volunteers to see who would be able to foster the dog. Fostering the dog means the dog will live as a member of the volunteer's family in their house, with their family. This is why it's crucial to be honest with us about your dog's behaviours. We need to find the right match to ensure the health and happiness of the dog (and the foster volunteer!).

Once we have secured a foster home (this can take up to a week or more), we will let you know and then arrange for a volunteer to meet you to pick up the dog. Sometimes we will have you bring the dog to the vet for vaccines or spay/neuter before we pick up the dog. HART will pay for this if you are unable to.

What to Send with your Dog

When you meet with the volunteer you will need to bring your dog's leash, collar, any of the dog's belongings that you no longer need and the dog's vet records. If you do not have vet records, we can obtain them directly from the vet. You'd just need to tell us who the vet is and give permission for them to be released to HART.

The decision to surrender your pet is a permanent one. 

The volunteer will have you sign a HART surrender form relinquishing ownership of your dog to HART. Once this form is signed your dog becomes our property and responsibility. We realize that surrendering your pet is an emotional decision which you have made for a good reason. It would not be responsible of us to return an animal to someone who has told us that they are unable or unwilling, for whatever reason, to provide care for their animal.

While we do not charge a surrender fee, donations, no matter how small, are greatly appreciated. Even $25 helps us feed a dog for a month or buy flea medication. A tax receipt will be issued for your donation.

Finding a New Home

Once our foster volunteer has gotten to know your dog and taken some nice pictures and video, a bio will be written for Petfinder. The bio will describe your dog and what type of home would be best. Interested families will apply and we will rigorously screen them to ensure they are a suitable match. Dogs remain in foster care until the perfect home is found, no matter how long it takes. Your dog will not be euthanized unless there is an incurable health issue or uncontrollable aggression. Most dogs are adopted within a month or so and we have very few returns.