Frequently Asked Questions - Animal Rehoming and Surrender

What should I do if I'm thinking of rehoming my pet?

You are your pet’s best hope for a new home. While we do everything we can at Dakin to ensure the animals in our care are comfortable during their stay, we care for over 5,000 every year. That’s between 200-400 animals in our care at any given time.

We strongly encourage you to find your pet’s new home and not bring them to a shelter.

Do I need an appointment to surrender my pet?

Yes. Appointments and surrender forms are required for admission to Dakin. Having an appointment allows us to prepare for your pet’s arrival and provide them with the best care.

If you need to surrender your pet immediately under emergency circumstances, we will do everything we can to help. Please call us at 413-781-4000.

I have an appointment to surrender my pet. What should I bring?

At least three days before your appointment, call your veterinarian and ask them to send Dakin your pet’s “full medical record, including doctor’s notes.” (Invoices and proof of payment paperwork that you have at home are not medical records.)

Your vet’s office can email the full records to us at or fax them to 413-781-4017.

If we haven’t received your pet’s records by the time of your appointment, we will contact your veterinarian at the time of your appointment. Please note that this will add at least 20 minutes to your wait time at the shelter.

  • Bring a blanket or bed that has your pet’s scent on it to make their transition easier.
  • You may donate any other pet supplies you have.
  • When entering the shelter, all dogs must be on a leash, and cats/small animals must be in secure carriers.

How much does it cost to surrender my pet?

To offset the cost of caring for your pet, we ask for a fee at the time of surrender. On average, it costs over $700 to provide care for each adoptable animal that comes to Dakin.

The suggested surrender fee is $200 per dog/puppy, $100 per cat/kitten, and $50 per small animal.

If you cannot afford the fee, please let the staff member you’re working with know. We will work with you to reduce or waive the fee. No animal will ever be turned away due to the inability to pay a surrender fee.

What happens to my pet after I surrender them to Dakin?

All safe, healthy animals are placed into our adoption program. There is no time limit for a healthy, friendly animal to find an adoptive home.

All animals at Dakin receive daily care from our staff and volunteers including meals, cleaning and fresh bedding, outdoor walks for dogs, enrichment sessions (training, play, and quality time), and medical care from our veterinary staff.

As a socially-conscious animal shelter, our focus is on the health and well-being of every animal in our care and the safety of the community. Whether or not we can place an animal into our adoption program is based on several factors. These include the severity of any medical and/or behavior condition, quality of life, risk to other animals in our care, public safety, and the ability to manage significant medical or behavioral issues both in our care and in a home.

If Dakin cannot place an animal into the adoption program or find an alternative placement solution because of a significant medical or behavior condition, we consider humane euthanasia the most humane option. This decision is always made with the utmost consideration of the animal’s quality of life.

In some cases, we may be able to tell you at the time of your pet’s surrender that humane euthanasia is the most humane option, but we are not always able to predict this outcome. Please exhaust all rehoming options before bringing your pet to the shelter. At Dakin, your animal companion will be treated with kindness, dignity, and compassion no matter what their path is.

Contact Us

To reach the staff in the Animal Resource Center at Dakin, email or call us at 413-781-4000 and leave a detailed voicemail including your name and return phone number.