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There are many reasons why people consider giving up their pets, including unexpected financial difficulties, moving to a new home, conflict between pets in the household, busy work schedules and frustrating pet behavior problems. Although some of these problems may be challenging to overcome, the Maryland SPCA has many free programs and services in place to help pets stay in the homes of the people who love them. Below you will find options and resources for pet owners faced with the difficult decision of giving up their pet.

Questions to Consider:

The Maryland SPCA shelter does not euthanize due to lack of space. We ask that those seeking to find new homes for their pets try other options before bringing the pet to a shelter. Before considering taking your pet to any shelter, ask yourself the following questions:

Is there something that might help me keep my pet?

The Maryland SPCA offers behavior advice and training classes; we can also help you find pet-friendly housing and veterinary medical assistance. Our goal is to see all animals in loving homes, and we are here to help you navigate the tricky situations that pet owners face everyday. The various programs and services we provide are designed to do just that, keep pets with the families who love them. Click here for a listing of our resources, or please call or email [email protected] for advice and/or for more information on our services.

Is there someone in my life who might be interested in adopting my pet from me?

Friends, neighbors, coworkers, family members… you never know who might want to give your pet a new home unless you ask them! The Maryland SPCA offers re-homing assistance, including the ability to place an ad directly on our Rehoming website. Please see our list of ways to rehome a pet before requesting a surrender appointment.

Is my pet healthy and safe enough to rehome?

Pets of an advanced age, who have chronic health issues, or who have serious behavior issues are very difficult to find homes for. If your pet is seriously physically or behaviorally unhealthy, the shelter setting may not be appropriate. The Maryland SPCA offers owner-requested euthanasia for pets who are suffering from serious illness and injury. Please contact your vet to discuss your pet’s health before requesting an appointment for surrender or owner-requested euthanasia (for information about requirements for this process, please contact our Admissions Department at 410-235-8826 x100 or by email to [email protected]).

Surrendering Your Pet to the Maryland SPCA:

In the event that the alternative resources listed above do not address the circumstances you are experiencing with your pet, please review how to surrender your pet to the Maryland SPCA by visiting our Surrender Steps and Requirements page.

Our adoption center accepts dogs, cats, puppies and kittens from the public for adoption by appointment only. Please use the link above to begin this process. We are not able to accommodate requests for immediate surrender. There is never a time limit for pets in our care. We commit to keeping each pet in the shelter for as long as it takes to find a new home.

For questions or help with the surrendering process, please call 410-235-8826 or email [email protected].