Shelter Rules Require Appointment, Evaluation Before Accepting Surrendered Dogs


A shelter in Columbus, Ohio has passed new rules for owners who wish to surrender their dogs.

The Franklin County Department of Animal Care & Control will now require an appointment to learn more about the dog’s background information before accepting surrenders, as well as a $10 fee.

But before the appointment is booked, the shelter’s website explains that anyone considering surrender should know that they’ll only re-home “adoptable” dogs. Should the pup fail to pass a behavioral and medical evaluation, the result may be euthanasia.

The Franklin County Shelter website says:

Before you surrender your dog, please understand that there are several reasons why a dog may not be suitable for adoption. A dog that behaved well in your home may react very differently in a large dog shelter. It is not unusual for dogs to experience high stress levels upon entering a shelter. For some dogs this heightened stress persists or even increases over time.

If during the behavioral evaluation given at intake, the dog displays dog or human aggression, it may be unsuitable for adoption or rescue. Humane euthanasia may be the only other option.

A medical evaluation of your dog may turn up a condition that requires ongoing veterinary care beyond what the shelter can provide.

They go on to suggest that dog owners try to re-home their pets themselves, and provide a list of resources for anyone looking to surrender due to housing, financial, or behavioral issues.

Although the Franklin County Shelter’s new rules may help some people reconsider surrendering while preventing overcrowding, the flip side is that the extra steps may lead to more people “taking the easy way out” and just dumping their animals, instead.

And while it may be tempting to get angry at this shelter’s harsh surrender policy, the sad reality is that there simply aren’t enough resources to go around — a problem faced by countless shelters around the country. That’s why it’s our responsibility as pet parents to commit to caring for our companions for life, from the day we take them home to the day they cross the Rainbow Bridge.

We want to know: what do you think of this shelter’s new surrender policy? 

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