Pet Surrender


Surrendering your pet should be a last resort. Before you consider starting KHS’ Admissions Process…

We may be able to help you keep your pet!

Our Pet Resource Services team has many resources to help you keep your pet, such as behavior advice, assistance with vet care and referrals. If you are interested in pursuing assistance to help keep your pet in your home, please reach out to the Pet Resource Services team!

Have You Considered Re-Homing Your Pet as an Alternative to Shelter Surrender?

Re-homing is when an owner finds a new home for their pet on their own and that pet goes directly from their current home to their new home. (Surrender is different: that is when a pet is relinquished to a shelter to be placed up for adoption.)

Re-Homing is great for you:

  • You have complete control over the entire process when you choose re-homing.
  •  You decide the right fit for your pet and have more flexibility in what you can require of a potential adopter.
  • You can request or require that the new owner stay in touch with you, unlike when you surrender to a shelter.

Re-Homing is great for your pet:

  • Just as a hospital or hotel is, generally speaking, more stressful and less comfortable than our own home, a shelter is a more taxing environment for pets.
  • Pets with health or behavioral challenges, often experience more stress and trauma in a shelter setting. We always recommend that owners of pets who have chronic health issues or who are shy/timid/fearful of new people/situations, utilize re-homing instead of surrendering to a shelter.

Re-Homing is great for our community and local shelters:

  • The unfortunate reality of animal rescue is that there is a finite availability of resources (financial, staff and space) compared to the large volume of pets in need.
  • There are more dogs and cats in our community that need homes than there are homes to house them.
  • Every pet who is able to be placed in a new home without having to come into the shelter, is an opportunity to reserve limited resources for families whose situations do not allow them to re-home their pets.

CLICK HERE for more information on how to safely re-home your pet.

The Admissions Process

Returning a Recently Adopted Pet

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.

Pet Surrender

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 may take strays in sooner. 

If you would like to start the process of surrendering an animal to us, please read the instructions below for our surrender questionnaires. We 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 will come via email. Providing a 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 Intake Coordinator at 502-366-3355 and enter extension 4009 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 you can schedule an admissions appointment, you will need to complete a surrender questionnaire for your pet(s). Upon submitting a questionnaire, it will be reviewed and you will receive an email with information and instructions on your next steps in the process. 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.

Have more questions about the surrender process? Click the button below for our frequently asked questions page.

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 or 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. 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.

 Learn about our Euthanasia Policy

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