Giving Up Your Pet for Adoption

The Anti-Cruelty Society is an open-admission shelter, we accept all animals that come through our doors. We understand that sometimes it may be necessary to give up a pet and we will do our very best to place yours into a new home. However, shelters are places with many animals and strangers, new routines, are noisy and are stressful to animals that are accustomed to being in a home environment. Shelters should be used as a last resort.

Resources to Help Keep Your Pet

  • Behavior Helpline: If your pet has a behavioral issue, we may be able to help with our free Behavior Helpline at (312) 644-8338 ext. 8253 or email Our expert staff can answer questions and provide solutions to many common behavior problems.
  • School of Dog TrainingOur training curriculum supports the human/animal bond with reward based training. Classes are held at our facility and led by professional instructors.
  • The SAFE Program: This free service offers short term housing to qualifying participants.
  • Pet-friendly Rentals:  A list of local pet-friendly housing.
  • Low-cost Spay/Neuter Clinic: Low-cost sterilization services to help prevent unwanted litters.

Tips for Finding a New Home for Your Pet

No one knows your pet better than you.  You know his or her likes, dislikes, interests and temperament, therefore you have a far greater chance of finding a successful new home than anyone else. By making a determined effort to re-home your pet, not only will you be giving him or her a better future – you’ll also be creating a future for another animal by leaving a spot open at our shelter.

Here are a few ideas to try before bringing a pet to the shelter:

  • Give yourself time to re-home your pet. It can often take weeks to months to find the right home. The more people that know your pet needs a new home will increase the chances of finding a home. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, church members, neighbors and ask them to help.
  • Ensure good health and increase your pet’s adoptability by having it spayed or neutered and current on vaccinations.
  • Spread the word: Use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to get the word out about your pet. Make sure you include attractive pictures and a video of your pet.
  • Use caution when considering unknown individuals if you advertise in public places. Hold initial meetings in a public place and ask questions to screen potential owners. Share your expectations for your pet’s new home. When you find a family that meets your needs, ask for identification and contact information.
  • Talk with breed specific rescue groups. Rescue groups that focus on caring for a specific breed are available for almost any type of dog.

Never abandon your animal. In the event these alternative resources don’t address the circumstance you are experiencing with your pet, please review Giving Up Your Pet (below). The Anti-Cruelty Society is an open admission organization and will accept any animal in need.

Giving Up Your Pet

If you must consider surrendering an animal to the shelter, please review the following important information.

Home to Home: Shelter Bypass Service

The Anti-Cruelty Society has developed the Home to Home: Shelter Bypass Service to assist people who are looking to keep their pet out of the shelter system by re-homing them privately. Through this free service, The Anti-Cruelty Society creates a courtesy adoption listing on pet owner’s behalves to include on our website. For more details please click here.



Animal Intake Department

The Anti-Cruelty Society is an open door shelter. We accept animals every day of the year from the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.. The Animal Intake Department is located at 169 West Grand Avenue and is accessible by taking the elevator to “1R”. Free parking is available in our garage on Wells Street just south of Grand Avenue.

Important animal relinquishment information:

  • We ask anyone looking to surrender a pet to call us in advance to schedule an appointment to help us service you in the best way possible. Note that we will not turn walk-ins away, but that it’s to your, and the animal’s, benefit to schedule drop-off with us in advance.
  • People who are looking to surrender their pet must have a current driver’s license or state identification.
  • We ask people we are looking to surrender their pet to pay a $35.00 surrender fee at the time of intake to help us cover the costs of this valuable service.
  • Owners are asked to complete a personality profile for each pet to bring with to your intake appointment. These forms give us crucial information about the animal you are surrendering.

Cat Personality Profile

Dog Surrender Form

  • Allow at least 30 minutes to meet with a member of our Intake staff team.
  • Bring any previous veterinary and vaccination records, if available.
  • Items such as favorite toys, food, and bedding are welcome but may not remain with your pet throughout their entire stay.

Will my pet be adopted?

If your pet is in good health, and behaviorally sound, they should be approved for our adoption program. The Anti-Cruelty Society is an unlimited stay shelter. We do not impose any time limits on an animal’s stay with us and do not discriminate based on an animal’s breed.

Some animals may be disqualified from the adoption program by obvious signs of disease, physical disabilities that seriously impact quality of life, or those that demonstrate a high degree of aggression at intake.

Keep in mind that the shelter environment is stressful and your pet may react quite differently than they have in a home environment. Additionally, information provided by the owner on the condition, temperament, or behavior of his or her pet may result in a recommendation of euthanasia if the pet is to be left in our care. These considerations may make it impossible to re-home your pet and may include, but are not limited to: chronic house-soiling, serious destructive behavior, aggression to other animals, self-mutilation, or severe depression. We will try to provide you with as much information as possible at the time of intake to give you the opportunity to make the best choice for you and your pet before you relinquish to us.

Thank you to our partners whose support makes our work possible