There are instances when a pet must be surrendered to a shelter, but surrendering a pet should be your last option; not your first.
Surrendering because of behavior: Our experienced staff can offer many solutions, including behavior training with dog and cat experts. First recommendation is to take the pet to your vet to rule out a medical cause. If there isn’t a medical reason, it’s highly likely that a trainer can help. There won’t be an instant fix, but working with a suggested trainer is the best solution.
Surrendering because of age: WARL discourages surrendering pets over 7 years of age because of the trauma and stress it causes the animal. If the pet is old but healthy and you positively cannot keep it, try to find it a home with friends or family. The easiest transition for your beloved pet that still has some good quality years left is to be sleeping on your bed one night and on the bed of someone it knows the next night.
To surrender an owned dog: Download and complete our Dog Surrender Form; Mail it to the shelter, fax it to 508-852-1868 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit a photo of the dog you wish to surrender. You’ll be contacted when we have space. Surrenders are made by appointment only. The surrender fee for an altered dog is $100; unaltered is $150.
To surrender a cat (owned or stray): Call the shelter and ask if there is room available for a surrendered cat(s). If room is available, we can accept your cat that day and ask that you fill out the Cat Surrender Application and Contract. Mail it to the shelter, fax it to 508-852-1868 or email it to catsWARL@gmail.com. If there are no open cages, we can not accept the cat at this time and request you call every day until we have the room. Surrenders are made by appointment only. The surrender fee for an altered cat is $50; unaltered is $100.
Above all, do not abandon your pet. It cannot care for itself on its own nor is it likely that it will be found and taken in by a loving stranger. Instead it will face a miserable death, either becoming ill from lack of food and exposure to the weather; being hit by a car, abused by cruel people, attacked by a predator. Assuming your pet is rescued and brought to a shelter, you have robbed your own pet of its identity. No one will know its name, age, that it’s afraid of toddlers, sirens, has a grain allergy, or an old hip injury.
FYI: It is against the law in Massachusetts to abandon a pet.
The punishment is a $2500 fine.