Resource  |  Rehoming

Surrendering Your Pet to the MD SPCA

What Happens When You Surrender Your Pet?

Surrendering to an animal shelter should be the last resort for rehoming. Pets in general can be very stressed in even the best animal shelter and may become ill or display aggressive behaviors that can make it challenging to care for them at the shelter.

All pets surrendered to the MD SPCA must pass health and behavior testing in order to go up for adoption. Cats receive a medical test following intake, and a behavior evaluation after being in the shelter for at least one day. During intake, an Admissions Coordinator collects information on the pet to help us place the pet in an appropriate home, and has the owner sign paperwork transferring ownership of the pet to the Maryland SPCA. If your pet does not enter our adoption program due to illness or behavior that can not be managed in this environment we will try to find placement in a local rescue group. After all attempts to treat and find placement options, there is a chance of euthanasia as a final decision.

To discuss surrendering your pet and to schedule an appointment, please contact our Admissions Department at 410-235-8826 x2502 or by email at


Saving the lives of Maryland animals since 1869.

Explore all the ways to give to the Maryland SPCA.

Your support saves the lives of local cats and dogs.

Help pay for health care essentials and adoption services.

Help pets stay in loving homes where they belong.

Give food, toys, another items to support our mission.

Give cats and dogs the gift of your time.

Provide a temporary home for pets who need extra time.

Join us for training classes and community events.

Life-saving knowledge and resources for all your pets' needs.