Often a pet is surrendered because an owner feels they have no other choice. We may be able to help you find alternatives to surrendering your pet through resources and information.

Resources and Alternatives to Surrendering your Pet

Many pet-related problems can be solved! Call our staff at 719.395.2727, we’d love to help you.

Relinquishing Your Pet

Ark-Valley Humane Society is here to help you make the right decision for you and your pet. If you are thinking about bringing your pet to our shelter for rehoming there are several options to consider:

If you wish you could keep your pet, however… Your dog or cat is having a behavioral problem
Information about addressing Common Dog Behavior Issues and Common Cat Behavior Issues.
Consult with a veterinary behavior specialist.
For dogs, consult with a local dog trainer.  AVHS offers free BIT training vouchers to qualifying dog owners living in Chaffee County.
AVHS provides general behavior support to help connect you with resources.

…Your pet is having a medical problem
Consult with a veterinarian.
In partnership with Chaffee County Community Foundation, a Pet Emergency Medical Fund has been established to help pet owners get the life-saving care their pets need.

…You are moving and can’t bring your pet with you
Ark-Valley Humane Society offers up to 2-weeks free emergency boarding to keep local pets with their families in times of housing instability. Please call 719-395-2737 for more information.

Search for “pet friendly rentals” on the web, for a list of rental options currently available in your area.

…You are pregnant or have new baby
Information about addressing concerns related to Dogs and Babies and Cats and Babies.

…You or a family member is allergic
Information about Allergies and Pets.

Options for rehoming your pet
Rehoming your pet on your own or through the Adopt-A-Pet website may be a good option if your animal’s behavior issue is manageable and rehoming would not create an unsafe situation for the new owners, visitors to the home, other pets, or the community at large. 

Post your pet on social media pages or the local newspaper – To help spread the word about your pet needing a new home, try posting them on outlets such as Facebook, Nextdoor, Twitter or even on the classifieds section of the local newspaper. With social media, try searching for group pages that allow posts regarding rehoming an animal. Just remember that the selling or trading of pets is prohibited on most websites, and will make your search for a home much more difficult if you are wishing to receive money or a rehoming fee. If you are a resident of Chaffee County, please contact AVHS to inquire about a potential courtesy post where we post your pet’s rehoming ad on our Facebook page! However, it is Ark-Valley Humane Society’s policy to not offer courtesy posting for dogs with a bite history or history of aggression toward people or other animals due to concerns for public safety. 
Try making a rehoming poster for your pet – Creating a poster about your pet and their story can sometimes help them find a loving, new home. You can try going to different vet clinics, pet supply stores, community centers or businesses in the area to see if you can share your pet’s poster. Make sure to keep your pet’s bio sweet and brief, remembering to include information about their positive qualities, why they need to be rehomed, and what type of home they will do well in. Don’t forget to include your contact information! If you create a poster for your pet, please bring a copy to AVHS so that we can post it on our bulletin board. However, it is Ark-Valley Humane Society’s policy to not post flyers for dogs with a bite history or history of aggression toward people or other animals due to concerns for public safety. 
General tips for rehoming a pet – Make sure to take multiple photos of your pet enjoying your home that showcase its personality, size, and temperament. Glamour shots can make a difference! When writing a pet bio, try to keep the description short, positive, and most importantly, honest. Let potential homes know why your pet is needing a new situation, talk about what type of home your pet will do best in, and make sure to include information about some of your pet’s favorite things.

Relinquishing your pet to a foster-based rescue group
Colorado is home to many rescue groups that range from breed-specific groups to multi-breed networks. Typically these groups are organized by volunteers, and place animals into foster homes as space allows. This can be a wonderful alternative for pets that may struggle in a shelter or kennel environment.

Relinquishing your pet to Ark-Valley Humane Society 
Relinquishing your pet to our shelter should be considered a last resort. However, we understand that it may be the best option for your pet and we will do everything we can to provide your animal with good care and find your pet a new loving home as quickly as possible.

Ark-Valley Humane Society does not euthanize animals for reasons of time limits or space. However, AVHS may euthanize animals for untreatable or unmanageable medical and behavioral reasons. Upon relinquishment, each animal is evaluated based on its temperament, reported history, and observed behaviors. Animals with a good prognosis for behavior or medical rehabilitation and/or management in a home, may be adopted at AVHS’s discretion. The decision to euthanize is always made with the utmost consideration for all known factors; concerns for public safety and the animal’s quality of life is paramount. Euthanasia for behavioral reasons is  aimed at protecting our staff, volunteers, potential owners, animals at the shelter, this animal, and the community at large. On rare occasions, Ark-Valley Humane Society may determine euthanasia of a treatable animal is in the best interest of that animal and/or the overall health of the shelter’s population.

Please discuss any medical or behavioral concerns you may have with AVHS staff before deciding to relinquish the animal to our shelter, so that you can make the most informed decision possible. Once an animal is relinquished to the AVHS, the pet is our sole responsibility, and we are liable for the animals’ actions. The individual is informed and contractually agrees to transferring ownership to AVHS where we perform safety assessments. It is only in rare instances that a pet is returned to the caregiver that relinquishes the animal, and doing so is solely at AVHS’s discretion.

AVHS serves Chaffee County as an open-admission shelter. This means that no animal in need, originating from Chaffee County, Colorado, will be denied admission. A relinquishment fee of $75 per dog (or litter of puppies) or $50 per cat (or litter of kittens) is requested at the time of relinquishment. If you cannot afford the relinquishment fee, please discuss this with an AVHS staff member.

If you live outside of Chaffee County, you may be asked to wait until there is kennel space available for your pet. All Out-of-county relinquishments need manager approval first, so please call to discuss. Fees are $100 per cat (or litter) and $125 per dog.

Please avoid showing up at the shelter unannounced to relinquish your pet. Please call 719-395-2737 to discuss your situation and set up a time to relinquish your pet, so that AVHS staff can provide you and your pet with the best care and attention possible.If you need to relinquish your pet please speak with an AVHS Staff member first. After speaking with them, if they direct you to do so then fill out either the:

Feline relinquishment form

Canine relinquishment form