Owner Surrender

Girl saying good bye to her cat

Do you need to surrender an animal?

We understand the decision to surrender your pet can be a very trying and emotional time, both for you and your pet.  The Great Falls Animal Shelter is here to help you. 

We want to be sure you are doing what is best for you and your pet.  It is very important to consider your other options.  We recommend that you surrender your pet to our shelter only as your last resort.

Alternate Options

Relocating

If the reason you are considering the surrender is due to a relocation or move, we recommend you consider:

  • Contacting a local realtor.  By contacting a realtor you are not bound by any contracts and they are usually very knowledgeable about the different neighborhoods.  They may be able to assist you in finding a home that allows pets.  
  • On-line ads, newspaper ads, housing magazines, realtors, and word-of-mouth are all great resources to aid in finding a home that will allow pets. 
  • Consider trying to find another home for your pet with a family member, a friend, or another adoptive family through a newspaper ad.
  • Visit your local pet stores. They may have more resources available for you. 
  • Please see some of the documents and links listed in the Pet Owner Resources for other resources.

Behavioral Issues

If the reason you are considering the surrender is due to a behavior issue we recommend you consider the following:

  • Contact your veterinarian to see if altering your pet is an option.  Altering your animal can have a impact on a pet's behavior.   Your vet may also have other helpful tips.
  • The internet can be a very useful tool for information on training your animal.  Look at several sites before deciding which method of training will fit your situation.  Please remember there is no magic wand.  Training will take time and effort. 
  • Consider consulting with an animal behaviorist, dog trainer, or obedience school.  Many of these classes are affordable.
  • Consider trying to find another home for your pet with a family member, a friend, or another adoptive family through a newspaper ad. 
  • Visit your local pet stores.  They may have more resources available for you.
  • Please see some of the documents and links listed in the Pet Owner Resources for other resources.

Surrendering Your Animal

When you have exhausted all of your resources and you believe that to surrender your animal is your best option, we will discuss the possible acceptance of your animal.

The average cost for care and housing per animal is $265.  We encourage you to make a donation in whatever amount you can afford at the time to help cover the cost of caring for your pet until a new home can be found.   

Every reasonable effort will be made to find a new home for each animal.  Animals with illnesses or behavioral problems that are treatable with GFAS resources will receive the necessary care to place them up for adoption and find their new family.  Animals deemed un-adoptable are humanely euthanized.  GFAS deems the following animals to be un-adoptable: aggressive animals, animals involved in a bite case, feral cats, wolf hybrids, and other various circumstances beyond our resources. 

When you surrender your pet, you will need to complete an owner surrender profile to provide us with as much information as possible about your pet and its current living situation.  This information will aid us in finding the most suitable home as possible.  We also ask you bring us any veterinary records you may have.  If you do not have any records please inform us of your veterinarian.  We may be able to get the records there.

When you surrender your animal to GFAS, that animal becomes the property of GFAS, and you relinquish the right to obtain further information on that animal.