Relinquish or Rehome a Pet

Facing the decision to give up your pet can be devastating and we know it’s not easy. We understand that there are sometimes circumstances that may prevent you from being able to keep your pet and San Diego Humane Society is here to help.

Pets are often surrendered to a shelter because an owner is unaware of other options or resources that can help the pet remain in their home. We offer resources and other opportunities to help families maintain the bond they have with their pets. If you’ve exhausted these resources, please first consider directly re-homing your pet.


Get Your Pet Logo

You don’t have to surrender your pet! Visit to find your pet a new home. Get Your Pet is an online community that directly connects people who need to give up a pet with people who want to adopt. Pet adoption made easy!

Alternatives & Resources

Many pet-related problems are solvable and our trained staff is here to help with each unique situation! Whether it’s a behavior problem, a housing issue or another kind of crisis, we’re here to help and offer guidance. Call 619-299-7012 so we can find a solution together.

ReHome Your Pet Without Taking Them to a Shelter

  • Download the re-homing tool kit, full of resources to help you find a new home for your pet.
  • Don’t rush! Take time to find your furry friend the best new home.
  • Increase your pet’s adoptability by having them spayed/neutered, groomed and up-to-date on vaccinations.
  • Tell your friends, family and coworkers. The more people that know you need help, the better chance you’ll have.
  • Advertise in the local newspaper or online, but use caution when considering unknown individuals or families as your pet’s new owners. Share your expectations for your pet’s new home and be sure to ask questions to identify a home that will be a good fit for your pet. No one knows your pet better than you do!
  • Never abandon your pet! San Diego Humane Society is here if you need to relinquish your pet.
  • List your pet with reputable partners who specialize in connecting pets who need a good home with families looking to adopt!

Surrender Your Pet

If you have questions or need to surrender your pet, please call:

  • San Diego: 619-299-7012, ext. 2241
  • Escondido: 619-299-7012, ext. 2737
  • Oceanside: 619-299-7012, ext. 2858 (dogs) 
  • Oceanside: 619-299-7012, ext. 2000 (cats and small animals) 

Please allow at least 25 minutes to relinquishment your pet. There is a $40 relinquishment fee to help cover the cost of care.

When you surrender your pet, you are giving up all legal ownership rights to the animal. Legal ownership and responsibility are transferred to San Diego Humane Society. We take your animal’s well-being very seriously and have a team of compassionate and dedicated animal care professionals who will provide loving care.

Relinquishing a Litter

If your pet has had a litter of babies, you can bring the offspring to San Diego Humane Society. We will take in the litter ($40 relinquishment fee) and spay and neuter the parent animal(s) free of charge, to help curb pet overpopulation and ensure every adoptable animal finds a loving home.

To bring in your litter and schedule your spay and/or neuter surgery, please call 619-299-7012, ext. 2241.

More info on San Diego Humane Society’s spay/neuter services can be found here.

Additional Spay / Neuter Resources

The Spay / Neuter Action Project (SNAP) of San Diego and its Neuter Scooter are dedicated to providing responsible pet owner education and accessible spay and neuter procedures to low-income pet owners and caretakers of strays.

Pet-Friendly Housing in San Diego County

If you plan appropriately and begin your search early, you will have a better chance of finding the right place for you and your companion animal.

Full list of Pet-Friendly Housing in San Diego County


Get Your Pet Logo