Baltimore County Animal Services (BCAS) understands that making the decision to surrender or rehome your pet is not an easy one. Making the best decision for your pet and your family takes time and should consider all options and resources. Browse the resources below that may allow you to keep your pet in your loving home with the family your pet knows.
Find Help Near Me
Use your ZIP code to search for free or low cost pet support services—like veterinary care, pet food pantries, temporary pet care and more—in your area.
Resources and Assistance to Help Keep Your Pet
BCAS has resources in place that may help to resolve the most common reasons people surrender their pets. Before rehoming your pet, review the below information to see if assistance is available to help you keep your animal.
- Talk to your vet—Many behavioral problems, such as litterbox issues, may actually be the result of a medical problem.
- Spay or neuter—This simple procedure can have a dramatic impact on some behaviors, and there are low cost options available, including our own Spay/Neuter Center.
- Consult an animal behaviorist or trainer—Many classes and consultations are inexpensive and have amazing results. Often times, behavioral problems can be resolved with a little patience and creativity.
- Low-cost assistance—For spay/neuter services, vaccine and wellness clinics or veterinary care
- Community Resource Guide—Learn more about pet food banks, prescription and payment plan assistance and financial assistance
- Local pet food banks:
If someone in your home has been diagnosed with allergies by an allergist, carefully consider if you can live with or manage the symptoms. Children may outgrow pet allergies, while others are able to manage their symptoms and keep their pet in their home. The following have proven effective in managing pet allergies:
- Minimize contact with the animal and create an area free of pets, such as the bedroom.
- Vacuum and clean floors, walls, ceilings and furniture on a weekly basis.
- Place a high-efficiency particulate air purifier (HEPA) in the home, in addition to filters on vents.
- Enlist the help of non-allergy suffering family members to clean the litter box or pick up after the pet.
- Frequently wash clothing and bedding materials, including the pet’s bed.
- Frequently bathe and groom the family pet.
- Consider removing dander-attracting materials such as upholstered furniture and draperies; replace wall-to-wall carpeting with wood, tile, linoleum, or vinyl flooring that will not harbor hair and allergen-causing molecules.
- Additional treatments for pet allergies include immunotherapy (allergy shots) and steroidal and antihistamine nose sprays or medication.
Many expectant mothers question if they should give up the family cat due to concerns about toxoplasmosis. Because it is difficult for cats to transmit toxoplasmosis to humans, a pregnant woman is generally unlikely to contract the disease from her pet cat. For more information, visit:
Learn how to prepare your dog for a new baby.
There are several free websites where you can search for pet-friendly apartments or home rentals. Adjust the filters to match the types of pets you have and always discuss with the rental office, or property owner any pet restrictions or fees.
Rehoming Your Pet
If you are not willing or able to keep the pet with assistance, we recommend that you try to rehome the pet on your own rather than surrendering it to a shelter. Animal shelters can be stressful for pets and rehoming your animal directly to a new family may be the least stressful option for them.
Reach out to family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers to see if they would be willing to take the pet. Try posting the animal on social media or post your pet on the following rehoming websites:
Surrendering Your Pet
After first trying the above resources, if you still wish to surrender your pet to Baltimore County Animal Services, follow the process below to schedule an appointment:
- Step 1: Complete the Pet Surrender Profile
You must be at least 18 years of age and the legal owner of the pet in order to sign the surrender contract. Select the document that applies to your pet:
- Step 2: BCAS Will Review the Document
The review takes about two business days.
- Step 3: Schedule an Appointment
BCAS staff will call you within two business days to schedule an appointment for your pet.
- Step 4: About Your Appointment
On the day of the appointment, you must bring a valid ID for proof of Baltimore County residency.