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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].

Our Programs

Adoption at Maryland SPCA


The Maryland SPCA connects wonderful animals to loving owners. In 2015, we adopted out, reunited with owners and sent to rescue more than 3,000 animals.

Learn More about Adoption
Education & Community Outreach at Maryland SPCA

Education & Community Outreach

Reaching out to the greater Baltimore community through educational partnerships on animal welfare and kindness to pets.

Learn More about Education & Community Outreach
Foster at Maryland SPCA


By offering your time, energy and home to an animal in need, you prepare the animal for adoption into a permanent home as well as prevent overcrowding in our adoption center.

Learn More about Foster
Giving Up Your Pet at Maryland SPCA

Giving Up Your Pet

The Maryland SPCA understands that life takes many unexpected and difficult turns and that plans change. There may be times when it is necessary to give up a pet. We’re here to help.

Learn More about Giving Up Your Pet
Kibble Connection at Maryland SPCA

Kibble Connection

The Maryland SPCA collects pet food and kitty litter donations for Kibble Connection which provides pet food and kitty litter to local Meals on Wheels clients who have pets.

Learn More about Kibble Connection
Lost and Found at Maryland SPCA

Lost and Found

More than 20 percent of the pets that come to the Maryland SPCA are lost.  The MD SPCA encourages pet owners to make sure their pets are microchipped and always wear up-to-date ID tags.

Learn More about Lost and Found
Medical Care at Maryland SPCA

Medical Care

Our clinic provides everything you need to keep your pet on a healthy, happy track from routine vaccinations and exams to pet identification and spaying/neutering.
Learn More about Medical Care
Prevention and Wellness Program at Maryland SPCA

Prevention and Wellness Program

Our Prevention and Wellness Program (PAW) is an income-based veterinary assistance program that allows for affordable services to be provided to qualifying individuals.

Learn More about Prevention and Wellness Program
Saving 90 Fund at Maryland SPCA

Saving 90 Fund

The goal of the Saving 90 Fund is to save all adoptable pets.

Learn More about Saving 90 Fund
Spay and Neuter at Maryland SPCA

Spay and Neuter

The Maryland SPCA promotes spay/neuter programs to reduce pet overpopulation, and continues to be the state leader in spay/neuter services. Our low-cost clinic is available for those who qualify.

Learn More about Spay and Neuter
Training/Behavior at Maryland SPCA


Training can help create and maintain a positive, lasting relationship between pet owners and pets. We offer classes and consultations to pet owners, and we encourage our adopters to participate.

Learn More about Training/Behavior
Transport at Maryland SPCA


Through our Transport program, we take in animals from other shelters, giving the animals the opportunity to be adopted at the Maryland SPCA!

Learn More about Transport