Owner Surrender

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Admission decisions are made based on the shelters ability to provide appropriate housing and care for each animal's unique needs.  Our goal is to help animals on their way to a loving home.  The shelter makes a huge commitment to the animals who come here and potential admissions are considered in view of space & resources we have available.

We always urge animal owners to consider other options before wanting to surrender their pets.  Animals who are healthy and adoptable outside of our shelter often deteriorate once they are housed in a kennel environment. 

Prior to you surrendering your pet to the Animal Shelter we will ask you to pursue the option of rehoming your pet. 

Please go to the below link for assistance.   

Rehoming Your Pet


Surrendering Your Pet At the Animal Shelter

There can be many reasons why a pet animal has to be surrendered and Mendocino County Animal Shelter can provide assistance.  We just need a little help from the animal owners. 

In an effort to make the situation easier for the animal, the owner and the Shelter, we’re requiring pet owners to schedule an appointment to surrender their animal.  Having set times and an appointment helps us improve the management of animals at the shelter.

Please fill out the owner surrender form prior to the appointment date & time.  The owner surrender form assists the staff in finding potential home placement for the surrendered animal.  


There is a mandatory $40.00 relinquishment fee for each animal.   

Please contact the Mendocino County Animal Shelter at 463-4427 to speak with staff to arrange a date & time that works for you.  

Thank you.

Mendocino County Animal Care Services


Possible Wait Time for Owner Surrender Pet Animals

The average wait time for a passport to be processed is approximately 56 days.

The average wait time for a renovation home repair is 32 days. 

The average wait time for a doctor’s appointment is approximately 24 days. 

The average wait time for a tax refund is approximately 21 days.

The average wait time for a car repair appointment is approximately 12 days.

The average wait time for a dentist appointment is approximately 7 days.

The average wait time to surrender an owned pet animal to the Animal Shelter is no different than the above wait times.    

You as the owner of the pet animal took full responsibility for caring for this pet animal and in this process of surrendering the pet animal to the Animal Shelter there are sometimes no quick fixes to your current dilemma.     

There are times at the Animal Shelter that we reach our capacity resulting in all kennels being full.  If the Animal Shelters kennels are full we will inform you that you may have to wait to surrender the pet animal until available kennel space opens up. 

While waiting Animal Care Services will offer any resources we can to assist you while we are waiting for available kennel space or possibly keeping the pet animal.  Resources available might be food, vaccinations, crates and possible obedience training plus any other miscellaneous items or services that might assist you in keeping the pet animal.    

Animal owners must have patience in the process of surrendering their pet animal.  Just because you want to surrender the pet animal doesn’t mean that the Animal Shelter is in a current position to automatically accept the pet animal. 

If the pet animal you are wanting to surrender did an act of aggression towards another animal or person or is assessed by staff to be a threat to other animals or people, Animal Care Services will immediately accommodate the impound and request that you sign the pet animal over for euthanasia due to liability reasons.   

Animal Care Services hopes by reading the above information that you have a better understanding regarding the process of the Animal Shelter accepting or not accepting owner surrendered pet animals and the resources that we can provide for you to temporarily or permanently keeping your pet animal. 

Thank you.

Mendocino County Animal Care Services