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Alternatives to Surrendering

Surrendering a pet is a very difficult decision to make and is stressful for both owners and pets. Although surrendering should be a last resort, we understand that unexpected and challenging situations can happen where owners are put in a position where they are no longer able to provide their pet with the care they need. At VHS, we do our best to approach every surrender case with care, understanding and compassion.

All surrender requests require approval and are not guaranteed. Approval varies depending on the foster homes we have available (as we are a foster based rescue and currently do not have a facility to house dogs), as well as resources available to us to address medical and/or behavioral needs.

Before an animal can be surrendered to VHS, owners must fill out a surrender form (which is also found on our website). We have both a separate cat and dog surrender form as we are only able to intake cats and dogs. We do not intake critters (rabbits, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, hamsters, etc) – please contact the BCSPCA or Amy’s Bunny Barn (https://www.amysbunnybarn.org/) for surrender inquiries related to small animals.

Before deciding to surrender, there are often other alternatives that may help first. Below are some alternatives to consider before surrendering your pet:

Rehoming: Try to find a new home for your pet yourself by asking friends, family, or posting on social media or pet adoption websites.

Temporary Foster Care: Temporarily place your pet with a foster family or organization for a short-term period of time. We unfortunately do not offer temporary or emergency foster care. The BCSPCA may be able to provide short-term care for pets in emergency situations- please refer to https://spca.bc.ca/faqs/can-temporarily-give-animal-bc-spca/.

Pet Assistance Programs and Financial Aid: Seek out organizations that provide financial assistance or resources for pet owners in need. Some organizations you can try to reach out to include:

Behavioral Issues & Training: Invest in training or behavior modification to address any issues causing the need for surrender. Also take your pet in to have your veterinarian perform a health exam as several behavioral issues (such as urinating outside of the litter box) can be related to undiagnosed medical issues. Some trainers we recommend include:

Pet Sitters or Boarding: Utilize pet sitters or boarding facilities if temporary care is needed due to travel or other circumstances. We recommend searching for and contacting boarding facilities in your area.

Pet-Friendly Housing: Explore options for moving to a pet-friendly residence or negotiating with landlords.

These alternatives can often provide a solution that keeps your pet in a safe and loving environment while addressing a variety of challenges.

You are the lifeblood of our work on behalf of animals.

You are the lifeblood of our work on behalf of animals.

As a non-profit organization, the Victoria Humane Society depends entirely on donations from kind-hearted people like you. Every month, we rescue literally dozens of dogs and cats, and sometimes other small animals, many from horrific circumstances such as neglect, starvation and abuse. The associated costs of rescue are significant, from arranging transportation for the animals out of remote communities and into our care, to emergency medical bills to save animals lives, to spay and neuter costs, vaccinations, hospitalizations, medications and on-going food costs and incidentals. Monthly and one-time donors are literally our most critical form of support. We thank you for donating what you can today.

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