Surrender Process

There are a number of options to explore before making the difficult decision to surrender your pet. Giving up part of your family should be your last resort. Before you decide to surrender your cat or dog, please see the resources below.

Why are you considering surrendering your pet?

My dog has behavior issues

My cat has behavior issues

I can’t afford to care for my pet anymore 

I’ve lost my home or need to move

I’ve been hospitalized

I have too many animals

I have an unexpected litter 

I need to re-home my pet

I’m having medical challenges with my pet

If you have attempted the above, but still need to re-home your pet, please review our admission process below.

Admission Process

Due to limited space, the East Bay SPCA can not accept every animal brought to us. Therefore, we will only accept the surrender of owned cats and dogs by appointment only.

If you find a stray cat or dog, please contact the local government animal services facility that serves the area where the animal was found; if able, please take stray animals directly to the appropriate animal services facility.

Before an appointment can be scheduled, please complete and submit an Owner Surrender Form by following the appropriate links below. Please note if you are looking to surrender multiple animals, a separate form needs to be filled out for each animal.

If an assessment appointment is issued, please be prepared for the following:

  • You will bring your pet as scheduled to either our Oakland or Dublin shelter.
  • Your pet will be handled and evaluated by a staff member to determine if safe and suitable for our re-homing program.
  • You will need to bring proof of ownership. This can be in the form of veterinary records, adoption papers, or bill of sale. Records need to be at least 30 days old and in the name of the person surrendering the animal.

If your pet passes the assessment and is accepted for re-homing:

  • We will administer vaccinations, if your pet is not current.
  • If your pet is not spayed/neutered, we will schedule a surgical appointment. You will be responsible to drop off and pick up your animal from surgery.
  • Be prepared to take your pet back home; we will admit your pet when space is available on our adoption floor. It could take up to three weeks for space to become available.

Be prepared to pay the applicable surrender fee:


Unaltered dog: $300
Altered dog: $150
Litter of puppies: $150


Unaltered cat: $150
Altered cat: $100
Litter of kittens: $150

The nominal surrender fee will help us to care for your pet. If you cannot afford the surrender fee, please let us know and we can work with you to find a solution.

Transaction becomes final the day of physical admission into our shelter. At this time,  you will be asked to sign the owner surrender form, with which you transfer all ownership rights to East Bay SPCA.


The East Bay SPCA is proud to be a trusted resource for our community. We are available to talk you through various options to re-home your pet. Below are frequently asked questions about surrendering your pet:

We receive many owner surrender inquiries. In order to provide appropriate assistance, we need to be familiar with  your pet’s history as well as your reasons for surrender  We appreciate that your time is valuable and we strive to give you the best possible advice during the initial consultation.

As a private, nonprofit organization dependent on community contributions, we require a continuing care fee for an animal surrendered to us. This fee helps offset the cost of daily feeding and cleaning, veterinary treatment, and behavioral care. Any amount over this fee is greatly appreciated and will help provide care for the thousands of animals we assist each year.

There are many environmental factors why your animal behaves in a certain way, and a lot of behavior can be modified through consistent positive reinforcement training. However, a general rule is that if your pet is challenging enough for you to surrender, it might also be a challenging placement candidate for prospective adopters. In order to help as many as we can, the East Bay SPCA commits only to animals that will cope reasonably in our kennel environment and have a good chance of finding a loving forever home.

Due to the overwhelming number of homeless pets, our shelter routinely operates at or above capacity. While we offer re-homing services for pets and their people in dire need (by appointment only), space may not be available at short notice.

A trained staff member will perform a series of handling exercises and observe your pet’s responses. While your pet may behave perfectly with you and your family, it may not with strangers or in a new environment. We strive to provide compassionate care to the dogs and cats in our shelter, but living in a shelter can be stressful and re-homing through surrender to a shelter should always be the very last resort.

Sometimes is takes a trained eye and experience to see signs of an on-setting or chronic condition that may be beyond the scope of shelter medicine and/or it would represent a serious deterrent to re-homing. Senior animals face a lot of competition for adopters, as there are many younger, healthy animals also waiting for a home. The “senior screen” gives our veterinarians as well as potential adopter base-line information about your senior pet’s overall health.

We will discuss all potential options with you. Perhaps there are alternatives to surrender, allowing you to either keep or successfully re-home your pet on your own; maybe there is another rescue group that would be more suitable for your pet. We network with many animal care agencies and are familiar with a variety of resources to assist you.

You Might Also Like

Spay Neuter East Bay SPCA

Veterinary Clinic East Bay SPCA

Free Wellness Clinic East Bay SPCA


Less strays more spays! Solving pet homelessness doesn't just mean more adoptive homes, but also requires access to spay and neuter surgery.

Veterinary Clinic

Let us help your pet’s health! Our full-service Veterinary Clinic offers high-quality, affordable care and services for the public and shelter animals.

Free Vaccine Clinics

These clinics are offered in Oakland and Berkeley to provide free core vaccinations for cats and dogs as well as free deworming, flea medication, free and discounted microchipping, and spay neuter resources.