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Surrendering Your Pet to the Shelter


Pet surrender to any animal shelter should be your last resort after you have exhausted all other options to find your pet a safe and healthy home.

Below, you’ll find tips on how to find your pet a new home.

  • Lightning
    EXAMPLE: Email, call or text me at [insert your e-mail] or [insert your phone number]. Adoption fee is $25. Lightning is an 8-year-old black and white spayed female Dachshund weighing about 20 pounds. She is mainly black, but has a cute white tip on the end of her tail and a white cross on her chest. She is housebroken and uses a doggy door. Lightning is used to being an inside dog and being part of the family. She will chase cats, but won’t harm them. She gets along with most dogs. Lightning is shy with strangers and will do best in a family with children 10 or older. She is current on all of her vaccinations and is on heartworm prevention.
    Check with all of your family, neighbors, co-workers, friends, etc. Networking is critical for finding your pet a new home.
  • All pets should be spayed and neutered, current on vaccinations and in good health prior to being adopted into a new family. If your family pet is not current on vaccinations, has not been spayed or neutered or has health issues, we may be able to provide assistance to you and your pet.
  • Take glamour shots (see example) of your pet and create a descriptive narrative. Photos shouldn’t be blurry but should be well-lit and accurately capture your pet’s personality. Your pet’s narrative should include the pet’s name, age, breed type, weight, if spayed or neutered, description of personality and health status, including vaccinations. Share what you believe would be the ideal home for your pet (e.g., good with kids or not good with kids, good with other male or female dogs, cats, etc.).  Post this information on your social networks, including neighborhood or community sites. Post your pet’s details on social media sites, including Rehoming Pets Responsibly in North Alabama, Home to Home and Nextdoor.
  • We recommend that you call all of the local animal rescue organizations to see if they have room to accept your pet. Rescue organizations and shelters often run out of space. There is a $35 owner surrender fee charged to the owner or person in charge of the animal being surrendered once approved to bring to the shelter and available foster homes. It may take a week or more for a rescue to return your email or call.



For purebred breeds, check online for rescues of your dog’s breed. Rescues in Florida, for example, may have connections to people in your area to help transport your purebred dog to their foster in Florida.

DO NOT DUMP your pet. It is cruel and punishable by Alabama State Law with fines and jail time.


Large dogs over 40 pounds that are aggressive to cats, other dogs and people are considered a public safety issue by Huntsville Animal Services. If they are accepted into the shelter, they will be humanely euthanized. At this time our community does not have the needed resources to humanely and safely modify the behaviors of large dogs.

Pets that are suffering from end-of-life, terminal illness are also eligible for an owner-requested euthanasia for a $35 fee. If your pet is suffering and has a terminal illness, please complete the online owner surrender form below and explain your pet’s disease and condition.


All pets grieve for their families and their companions.  It is always best for you – the pet owner – to find your pet’s next safe and healthy home.

Shelters are stressful places for any dog or cat and should, therefore, be the last resort for individuals looking to safely rehome their pet. Huntsville Animal Services manages over 5,000 dogs and cats each year and at any given moment has between 100-150 pets inside the shelter making pets scared, uncomfortable and overwhelmed.

Due to limited staffing, individualized attention to shelter pets is often not possible. It is not uncommon for a pet to growl, bite, stop eating and/or develop a serious respiratory infection within the first two weeks of entering a shelter.

Huntsville Animal Services can help with vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery and behavior issues if the owner(s) is willing to continue to provide a happy and healthy environment for their pet.

There is a $35 fee charged to the owner or person surrendering the animal once the shelter has approved the surrender. You may complete our Dog Surrender Request Form or Cat Surrender Request Form to be placed on a waiting list.  Huntsville Animal Services’ waiting list is triaged based on the pet’s need and space availability at our limited-capacity shelter.

This service is for Madison County residents only. If you live in the City of Madison, please contact Madison City Animal Control at 256-722-7190.  If you live in neighboring cities and counties, please contact your local animal control shelter for assistance.


When surrendering a pet, owners must bring proof of ownership, photo ID and proof of address such as a utility bill.

  • Phone:


  • Address:

    Huntsville Animal Shelter

    4950 Triana Blvd SW

    Huntsville, AL 35805

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  • Email:


  • Hours:

    Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

    Tuesday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

    Saturday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.