Pet services

​Owner Surrenders​

PLEASE READ THIS PAGE CAREFULLY. Owner surrender procedures have changed! There is a questionnaire at the bottom of this page that you are required to fill out in order to make an appointment to surrender your animal but please read through the rest of this page before filling it out.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care & Control (AC&C) offers compassion and understanding to owners who relinquish their pets and a warm welcome to the animals that are being entrusted to our care. Before beginning the process of surrendering your pet, you need to check out our surrender prevention options.

Rehoming Options

AC&C's goal is to work with pet owners, empowering you to take an active role in determining the best outcome for your pets. We encourage all pet owners to consider other options for help or private rehoming prior to surrendering your pet to one of our centers. No one is in a better position to find your pet a new home than you are. Before exploring AC&C as a potential option for your pet, we recommend you attempt to find him or her a new home yourself. While we never turn away a pet in need, we are also here to help you keep your pet. 

How to Find a New Home

The most important part of finding your pet a new home is spreading the word. You may have people already in your network of friends and family or within your community that are considering adding a pet to their family; if they know that you are looking for a new home for your pet, they may jump at the chance to adopt a pet they know has come from a loving home.

Post flyers: Flyers are inexpensive and highly effective. Including a few great photos and important details on your pet's behavior can grab the attention of potentially thousands of people in a city like Charlotte. Post your flyer near places where pet lovers tend to be – pet stores, groomers, dog parks, etc. is a great tool to help you put an eye-catching flyer together.

Connect online: The internet is a huge network of individuals sharing stories, experiences, and sometimes needs and solutions. There are many free options for people to share things like "home wanted" listings for pets including community websites and message boards, and even sites like Craigslist.

  • You can also contact a rescue group as an alternative to surrendering your pet.
  • Use places like Facebook, Facebook Group Pages, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
  • There are a bunch of other websites where you can post your pets for rehoming.

It's important to know though, that sometimes opening your network in this way, can attract less than ideal homes, so it's essential that you take the time to really talk to anyone who shows interest in your pet to make sure they have only the best intentions; spend time with them to see how they interact with your pet and listen to your instincts.

Engage your community: You have a whole group of people available to you that can help, some of whom may even know your pet. Let them know you are looking for a new home for him or her. Tell your friends, your family, your neighbors, your co-workers, and your acquaintances through your house of worship or other community center. In many cases, you'll already have a good understanding of what their homes and families are like, which can help you feel good about your decision to trust your beloved pet with them.


Owner Support

Through the AC&C Intake Team and agreements with partnering organizations, ACC may be able to offer a variety of resources to assist pet owners in keeping their pets. Resources may include:

  • Reduced fee routine veterinary care including spay/neuter
  • Behavior advice and trainer referrals
  • Assistance for individuals entering DV temporary housing
  • Assistance for military deployment

To find out if ACC can help support you in keeping your pet, please contact us and let us know about your situation.

Final Surrendering Option

If you are having difficulty keeping your animal, please fill out the questionnaire. An AC&C staff member will contact you within 2 to 3 business days to discuss the best options for you and your pet.

If alternative options do not address the circumstances you are experiencing, and you still need to surrender your pet, it is important to follow the steps below:

Step 1

You will need to schedule an appointment to bring in your animal so that AC&C can provide you the best and fastest service. Your online appointment form will ask for general information about your pet. Pet background profile forms and veterinary records are critical to doing the best we can for your pet. The more we know about your pet, the better we're able to place him or her into a new home.

Step 2

Wait for our call. This is important. Though we know you may feel you have to surrender your pet right away, AC&C works very hard to ensure that we have the time and space for new animals before they come in. Bringing your pet in without an appointment can result in stress for your pet, a longer stay in the shelter, and may even negatively affect his or her chances of being placed.

Your Appointment

  • Your appointment will take approximately 30-45 minutes and will include a health and behavior discussion of your pet. Your pet's placement in our adoption center is based on a variety of factors, including the results of the evaluation.
  • After all information about your pet has been gathered and the animal evaluation is completed, we will discuss your options with you, so you can make the best decision for you and your pet.
  • Bring a copy of your pet's veterinary records and photo identification. Only the legal owner of an animal may surrender.  We CANNOT accept pets from family members or friends.  The owner MUST be a current resident of Mecklenburg County (if your license does not list a Mecklenburg County address, please bring proof of residency).  At time of surrender, the owner must also present a driver's license or government issued picture ID.
  • Be sure that dogs are on leashes and cats or other small animals are in carriers.

*If your animal has bitten or broken skin in the last 10 days, please let us know so we can follow the proper steps to protect your pet and others.

Starting July 1, 2020, know that ALL owner surrenders will be required to pay a $10 owner surrender fee, PER ANIMAL, being surrendered to AC&C.

You will need to book an appointment to schedule your surrender. But you can contact us at 704.336.3799 and leave a message if you need further assistance or information.