Surrendering a Pet

Animal Services is this community’s only open admission shelter. As a result, the shelter receives approximately 50 pets each day. While Animal Services makes every effort to find new homes for the shelter pets, there are often more animals in need than there are available homes. This is known as the pet overpopulation problem.

The shelter should be the last resort for Orange County residents looking to rehome their owned pet, not the first. Animal Services can never guarantee that a pet will be adopted from the shelter, although every effort is made. In fiscal year 2021, more than 3,000 pets were surrendered to the shelter. Orange County pet owners are encouraged to explore the below alternatives before bringing their pet to Animal Services.

Phone a Friend

Before bringing the pet to the shelter, Animal Services recommends first contacting the owner’s network of friends and family members. Many times, those within the pet owner’s network may be able to take in the pet prior to relinquishment to a shelter. A plea on social media for assistance is also recommended.

Attempt Rehoming

Thanks to websites like, you can become your pet’s adoption agent, listing them and reviewing applications from suitors. Check out their rehoming site here:

Rehoming can also be attempted via Next Door and other social media groups for your area. It’s ideal to rehome the pet without them having to enter the shelter, which is undoubtedly stressful. Plus, when you rehome your pet you have the confidence of knowing who is taking the animal into their home.

Consult Rescue Groups

There are many local pet rescue groups in the community which are able to take in owner surrendered pets. Most operate through a network of foster homes, rather than a physical shelter. This enables them to hold the animals for extended periods and best match them with the right adopter. Rescue groups are operated by volunteers so please allow some time for a response when contacting them. Here is a full list of the rescue groups that actively work with the shelter.

The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando is a local animal shelter that exclusively takes in surrendered pets. They operate on an appointment system so please contact them to schedule a get together to discuss the pet’s future.

Resolving Issues

Animals are sometimes surrendered due to health or temperament issues. Some of these issues may be fixable with some assistance provided to the owner. If interested in working through these issues with the pet, please e-mail us at Animal Services may be able to offer assistance or provide a referral elsewhere, depending on the issue.

Surrendering to Animal Services

If all alternatives have been explored and the pet owner is forced to surrender the pet, Animal Services is here to help. Orange County residents can surrender their owned pet at the facility with an appointment. Appointment-based pet intake is beneficial for the pet and for the community. It is a practice endorsed by the National Animal Care and Control Association.

Orange County residents must show proof that they live in Orange County and must be the owner of the animal. There is a fee of $15 per pet to help offset the cost of care. Please share any knowledge of the pet’s health, temperament, personality and background when surrendering. This will best enable Animal Services to match that animal with a forever home.

Surrendering for Humane Euthanasia

Animal Services provides humane euthanasia service to Orange County pet owners who are facing a pet that is suffering from advanced age, debilitating medical conditions and/or severe temperament issues. This service is provided at any point that Animal Services is open on a walk-in basis for $15 per pet. Owners are not able to be present with the pet when the procedure is performed. For those that wish to be present the shelter recommends contacting veterinarians for assistance.

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