Surrendering Your Pet

Making the decision to give up your pet can be a difficult one. If you have been looking for a new home for your pet, or need help keeping your pet in place, please visit our Keeping Your Pet In Your Home page for helpful tips.

We strongly encourage residents to exhaust all other means of finding a new home for your pets. Talking with friends, family, coworkers, placing cute photos and video on your social media accounts, and posting flyers are good ways to let people know you're looking for a new home for your pet.

If you originally adopted your pet from another shelter or rescue organization, please contact that organization before beginning this surrender process to see if they may take your pet back into their organization.

If you are a Contra Costa County resident and are unable to find an alternative and must surrender your pet to Contra Costa Animal Services (CCAS), we will do all we can to provide your pet with the best possible outcome. Our goal is to find a happy home for every healthy and treatable animal. We can achieve this by knowing more about the animals that come into our care.

Steps To Surrender Your Pet

  1. You must be a resident of Contra Costa County (with the exception of Antioch residents) to surrender your pet to CCAS.
  2. Complete and submit a request form. NOTE: you must be 18yrs old or older, and be the legal owner, to surrender your pet.
  3. Make sure your pet has been vaccinated within the last year for FVRCP (cats), DHPPV (dogs), Bordetella (dogs) and current on a Rabies vaccine (dogs & cats).
  4. Ensure your pet has been spayed or neutered.
  5. Complete the Pet Profile Questionnaire. Download here: (CAT ENGLISH (PDF), CAT SPANISH (PDF), DOG ENGLISH (PDF), DOG SPANISH (PDF))
  6. Attend a pet admissions interview. Staff will schedule an interview appointment, once they have reviewed your request form. Bring the following to the interview: - A valid driver's license or state ID (Contra Costa County residents only).
    • Completed Pet Profile Questionnaire.
    • Medical records, including proof of current vaccines.
    • Dogs must be on a leash or in a carrier, cats must be in a carrier or secured/ventilated container.
  7. Surrender your pet - Approval required. Staff will schedule a surrender appointment upon approval after the interview.
  8. Pay owner surrender fee:
    • Licensed dog/cat = $30
    • Unlicensed dog/cat = $50

Owner Surrender Process

 PLEASE NOTE: owner surrendered animals are accepted on a space-available basis ONLY.
If the shelter has reached capacity or is unable to provide humane housing for your pet, you may be asked to seek alternate arrangements and be added to our wait list. Pet owners coming to the shelter to surrender a pet without an appointment may be asked to complete a Request Form, and to return after staff has contacted you and approved your pet's admission into the shelter.

If you are unable to access the Request Form, please email a detailed request to Pet Help. After your admission is approved and scheduled, you will be required to complete a Pet Profile Questionnaire (CAT ENGLISH (PDF), CAT SPANISH (PDF), DOG ENGLISH (PDF), DOG SPANISH (PDF)) prior to coming to the shelter.

After submitting the request form, you should receive a response from Pet Help via email (be sure to check your spam) within three business days, though may take as long as five business days. We offer a Pet Admission Interview with our dog behavior evaluation team on a very limited basis. This interview with you and your pet will allow us to learn as much as we can about your pet and allow you to make an informed decision as to what is best for your pet. After the interview, owner surrender appointments are based on our open kennel space and ability to provide the best possible care for the animals in our shelter.

Your appointment will take approximately 45-60 minutes and may include a health exam and behavior evaluation of your pet. Our goal is to find a happy home for every healthy and treatable animal. We can achieve this by knowing more about the animals that come into our care.

*Please note that completing our request form or emailing Pet Help does not guarantee placement of your pet. Please be advised that owner surrendered pets become the property of Contra Costa County immediately upon surrender. As such, owner surrendered animals may be considered for adoption, transfer to a rescue organization, or humane euthanasia.