Orange paw design element

Surrender a pet

Together, we can give your pet a new beginning

The decision to give up your pet is never an easy one. It’s important to know that we offer support, advice and assistance to families in situations where they feel that surrendering their pet is their only option. 

Surrenders are accepted pending shelter space and by appointment only.

What are your options?

Depending on the reason for wanting to surrender your pet, sometimes obedience classes or an animal behaviour specialist can help the situation so that you are able to keep your companion. Your veterinarian can offer valuable advice as well. Whatever the case may be, our staff are happy to discuss the options that are available to you, surrendering being the very last resort.

Here are some steps you can take to avoid having to surrender your pet to a shelter:

  • Try to place your pet with family or friends that will love and care for them.
  • Place an ad in the newspaper, at the local veterinarian office, or through social media. Our staff can give you tips on screening potential adopters.
  • Check if there is a breed rescue group for your breed of animal and contact them. They generally do a good job of screening potential adopters.
  • Speak with whoever gave or sold you the animal. Responsible breeders will attempt to help you with any problems you’re having or will often take their animals back.
  • Seek guidance from your veterinarian who knows your pet well.
  • Consider obedience classes and/or seek help from an animal behaviour specialist. The CAHS offers training and education classes and behaviour consultations, as well as the resources at the bottom of the page.

How to surrender your animal

Complete the animal surrender form for a dog, cat, or small animal. The Intake Coordinator will contact you within 3-5 business days to discuss your situation. If we can admit your animal, you can schedule an appointment during our open hours. Wait times may be longer than usual as we are currently operating at capacity. We will support you however we can in the meantime, including the above options.

When you arrive for your appointment, please leave your pet in the vehicle while we complete the necessary paperwork and sign pet ownership over to the CAHS. The surrendering process takes approximately 30 minutes, and we will require your driver’s license with proof of address and your pet’s veterinary records. Please bring your pet’s food and any toys or blankets that may help them feel more secure during the transition.

We will make every possible effort to find your pet a suitable home, but cannot guarantee that a placement will always be made.

Surrender service area

Cochrane and Area Human Society animal admissions area map.

The CAHS service area includes; Cochrane, Rocky View County, West of Highway 2, MD of Big Horn, Mountain View County, Redwood Meadows, Stoney Nation, Airdrie, Tsuu T’ina Nation.

The City of Calgary and the Town of Canmore are not within our service area, as they have humane societies or SPCAs providing services in their areas.

Surrender fees

There are no fees for surrenders within our service area. However, donations are strongly encouraged to assist us in caring for your pet and providing for their medical and behaviour needs. We strive to provide an excellent level of care, and based on the average length of time an animal spends with us, the cost of care to our organization is upwards of $500 per pet.

Outside of our service area, surrender fees are $500 per pet for cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies, or $100 per pet for rabbits, birds, and small companion animals.

A Cochrane Humane staff member gently cuddling head-to-head with a cat.