Pet Owner Resources and Surrendering Your Pet

Learn more about our Pet Owner Support Services here!


Resources and Surrendering Your Pet

At the Anti-Cruelty Society we are committed to keeping pets with people when possible. Our Animal Resource & Admissions staff can help explore these options to see if we can help. We are an open-admission shelter and accept all animals who 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.
Please note:
The Animal Admissions Department is located at 157 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.

The Anti-Cruelty Society is an open door shelter. Admission Hours by Appointment:

  • Monday–Wednesday: 12 p.m.–4 p.m.
  • Thursday–Friday: closed
  • Saturday–Sunday: 12 p.m.–4 p.m.

Important information: Please email us at to inquire about resources needed to keep your pet, or to make a surrender appointment.

Due to a high volume of requests we suggest you email us and allow 24-72 hours to respond.

At the appointment you will need:

  • A current driver’s license or state identification is required to surrender a pet.
  • Have completed an animal profile (the link is sent by email from our Admissions & Animal Resource Team)
  • Please allow at least 30 minutes to meet with a member of our Admissions & Animal Resource team
  • Items such as favorite toys and bedding are welcome but may not remain with your pet throughout their entire stay.
  • A voluntary $35 donation at the time of admission helps the Anti- Cruelty Society with the cost of care.

If you have questions, please email us at or call 312-645-8081 during open admission hours.

  • Behavior Helpline: If your pet has a behavioral issue, we may be able to help with our free Behavior Helpline at 312-645-8253 or email Our expert staff can answer questions and provide solutions to many common behavior problems.
  • Training: Training your dog supports the human/animal bond with reward-based training. 
  • 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.

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. Talk to your friends, share the information on social media, or even get adoption cards made to share with people you meet at the dog park or walking down the street. Helping your pet find a new forever home can be rewarding for both you and your pet. 

  • 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.

Things to Consider When Giving up Your Pet

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

The Home to Home: Shelter Bypass Service assists 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 behalf to include on our website.

Home to Home Information 

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 does not impose any time limits on an animal’s stay with us and we do not discriminate based on an animal’s breed.

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

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.

There are some considerations that may make it impossible to re-home your pet, including, but 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 admission to give you the opportunity to make the best choice for you and your pet before you relinquish to us.