Pet Surrenders & Returns

If you are considering trying to find a new home for your pet, here are some things you need to know.

The Leon County Humane Society is a private, non-profit, limited intake organization. We are generally not able to take in pets from the public. The cats and dogs that enter our foster homes primarily come from our City Animal Shelter and other local animal shelters and rescues.

Returning Your LCHS Adoptee Pet

The Leon County Humane Society always accepts previous foster pets back into our program. If you must return your adopted pet to us, please contact the LCHS office at (850) 224-9193 ASAP. In order to accept a pet back into our program, we must make arrangements toward their housing, so please give us as much notice as possible.

Surrendering Your Pet

The only open intake facility in our area is the City Animal Shelter, which receives over 25 animals per day. The Animal Shelter has limited room for the animals coming in, and does euthanize when full. Please know that the only way to make sure that your pet ends up in a situation with which you are comfortable is to find him a new home yourself.

Finding a new home for a pet requires a lot of patience and persistence, but it can be done, especially when you keep in mind that surrendering your pet to a shelter often means she has a significant chance of being euthanized.

Behavior Problems with Your Pet

If you are having a behavior problem with your pet that is prompting you to think about giving it up, please consider using our Pet Behavior Help Library, which offers helpful tips and insight regarding common cat and dog behavior issues as well as additional assistance from pet behavior counselors.

If Your Pet is Too Expensive

If you need to give up your pet due to the cost of their care, please consider the following financial resources available to you before you make a decision.

Many Tallahassee veterinarians will work with you regarding your pet’s medical costs, and the amount that a vet charges for a procedure may vary quite a bit between different vets. It is a good idea to check with several vet clinics before deciding if you can or can’t afford what your pet needs.

The low cost veterinary clinic in Tallahassee is called Animal Aid. They have lower costs for routine veterinary procedures, and may be able to offer you a payment plan. You can reach Animal Aid at 850-386-4148.

IMPORTANT: If your pet has not been altered, PLEASE spay or neuter before adopting him or her into a new home. There is assistance available that makes it very inexpensive for you to make sure that your pet does not contribute to the pet overpopulation epidemic and altered pets are more attractive to new owners. Spay and neuter assistance is available from several organizations in Tallahassee.

Family and Friends

Family and friends can be a great resource when trying to find a new home for your pet. Check with them first to see if anyone is interested in helping you. This can be especially useful if you just need a temporary place for your pet to stay.

If you are a member of a church, athletic league, networking group, country club, book club, gym, or frequent local restaurants and coffee houses, be sure and share your pet’s story at these locations.

Create an email with good pictures of your pet and the story of why you must find her a new home, then send it to everyone on your contact list. Ask them to forward it on to everyone they know.

Facebook is also a wonderful tool for spreading the word about the need to rehome your pet. If you have a Facebook account, you’ll want to create a photo album with lots of cute photos of your pet and a moving account of why you must find a new home for your pet. Ask friends to share and spread the word. The more eyes that see your pet, the more chances that you can find someone interested in adopting.


Craigslist is another venue for finding an adopter. You can create a post with photos and a description of your pet.

IMPORTANT: If you make your pet available for adoption on a public forum such as Craigslist, it is usually best not to advertise the pet as free, as it tends to attract people who want your pet for the wrong reasons. Once a potential adopter contacts you and you feel comfortable that they might be a good owner for your pet, you can let them know that there is no adoption fee as an incentive to adopt.

Bottom line, you should be careful when offering your pet for adoption to people you don’t know. Many rescues put their adoption applications online; you can use these to help you screen potential adopters. A good way to judge if a person is a good adopter is to ask if you may do a home visit. Most people who are adopting for the right reasons will be open to this, while those trying to find an animal for the wrong reason will not.

Ask your vet

Most vets will let you put up a poster advertising your pet for adoption. It is also worth asking your vet if they are willing to put the animal up for adoption in their facility.

Other local rescues and shelters

Although most “no-kill” rescues are usually full, it is always worth asking if they have space or might make an exception. Sometimes they might have someone who is looking to adopt an animal specifically like yours or they have a foster parent with a fondness for a specific breed.

The City Animal Shelter

The City Animal Shelter is the open intake facility for our community and will take your pet if you are unable to find a new home on your own. The Animal Shelter should be a last resort and only used when you have exhausted all other avenues. They can be reached at 850-891-2950.