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Admissions

Surrendering your pet should be a last resort. Please consider all alternatives prior to surrendering. Our free Pet Help Line has many resources and referrals to help you keep your pet. You may also want to consider rehoming your animal instead of placing them in a shelter. Please reach out to our free Pet Help Line for more information on our pet retention resources and programs. If you want to surrender a pet that you adopted from KHS in the past 14 days, please refer to your adoption packet for instructions and contact information to surrender the pet.

Is your recent adoption from KHS not working out?

KHS offers Adopters a 14 day adjustment period to evaluate their adoption decision. If you determine your new pet isn’t a good fit within 14 days, please refer to your adoption packet for instructions on how to return your pet. You will receive an adoption credit to use toward adopting another animal that is a better fit. The adoption credit will be equal to the adoption fee of the original pet and must be used within 6 months. If you choose a new pet with a higher fee than the original adoption, you will be required to pay the difference at the time of adoption. KHS does not issue monetary refunds for any difference in adoption fees.

The Admissions Process

We are a private, non-profit shelter that does not euthanize for time or space. Because of this, we do admissions by appointment for both stray and owned animals. We are often booked out for appointments, so we will not be an immediate option for surrender. If you have a stray animal that you need picked up or that you cannot hold onto for more than a week, we recommend contacting Louisville Metro Animal Services, which is the municipal shelter that is responsible for stray animal pickups and can take strays in sooner.  

If you would like to start the process of surrendering an animal to us, please see the instructions below for our surrender questionnaires. Our Pet Resource Counselors will not be able to reply to inquiries about surrender unless you have submitted a questionnaire.

Please note the following important information before filling out a surrender questionnaire:

  • If you are surrendering a pet that you adopted from KHS in the past 14 days, please refer to your adoption packet for instructions and contact information to surrender the pet.
  • Our surrender process is for individual surrender only. If you and/or the pet(s) are affiliated with a rescue or another shelter you will need to reach out to our organization about animal transfers.
  • To ensure we have accurate information about the pet and because we can only accept the surrender of an owned animal from the legal owner, the surrender questionnaire must be filled out by the owner of the pet. The only situation in which a family member/friend may submit a surrender questionnaire on behalf of the owner is if the owner is not medically capable due to their physical or mental health.
  • -In order to serve our community more efficiently and quickly the majority of our surrender process is online and through email. Communication from KHS regarding the next steps in the process after submitting a surrender questionnaire will come via email. Providing an valid email address that you check often is vital to receiving these communications. If you do not have internet access we recommend reaching out to our Help Line at 502-509-4738 for accommodations.
  • KHS is located Louisville KY and while we are not limited to only taking in animals from Louisville Residents, in order to surrender an animal to KHS, you must be able to bring the pet to our intake facility.

Before we can schedule an admissions appointment, you will need to complete a surrender questionnaire for your pet(s). This questionnaire will be received by [email protected]. A Pet Resource Counselor will get in touch with you to clarify any details, discuss all possible options available to you, as a pet owner, and when applicable, set up the surrender appointment. Please select the appropriate form from the links below. For cats and dogs over 4 months of age you will need to fill out a questionnaire individually for each animal you are surrendering (if you have 3 animals to surrender, you will fill the form out 3 times). If you have a puppy/kitten/litter under the age of 4 months old, you only need to fill out a single questionnaire for the litter. Keep in mind that no pet is perfect and we do not expect them to be. It is best to be detailed and honest about your pet’s personality, habits and needs. Please be advised that you will have to scroll up/down on the owner questionnaire within the website to navigate:

To ensure a speedy adoption process, it is helpful if your pet is clean and well-groomed, with nails trimmed; free of parasites, such as fleas, ticks, and ear mites; and up-to-date on vaccines.

Please remember that we are a shelter that does not euthanize for time or space, so there may be a wait time to schedule your pet for a surrender appointment due to space availability at the shelter. Once the appointment is scheduled and the date arrives, expect your appointment to take approximately 30 minutes. You should bring all medical records for your animal and your photo ID.

Learn about Admissions FAQ

Admissions Fees

Because KHS is a private nonprofit agency, KHS charges a small admissions fee for surrendered pets. This fee helps cover food, boarding and medical costs. It costs KHS approximately $250 to provide care for each animal that comes to us, so we welcome any donation you are able to make in addition to the admissions fee.

Dog / Cat
  • $40
Kittens or Puppies
  • We do not require a surrender fee for kittens or puppies, but a donation is always helpful and welcome!

Unadoptable Pets

There are some circumstances where animals cannot be placed up for adoption. These include:

  • When animals show signs of aggression or severe behavior problems during administration of a nationally recognized temperament test. Please be aware that an animal that is friendly in your home may react differently towards strangers in the stressful shelter environment.
  • When a veterinarian, after examination, determines the animal is too ill to be adopted.

In cases when pets are deemed unadoptable, the owner or finder can choose to be notified and can pick up the pet. Learn about our Euthanasia Policy

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