The SPCA for Monterey County — © 2022 All rights reserved.

Surrendering Your Pet


We know surrendering a pet is an extremely difficult decision. Many of the issues owners face with their pet can be resolved and we can help. While we understand that sometimes it’s just not possible to keep a pet, please consider all your options before making the final, heartbreaking decision to give up your pet.

Here are possible solutions to some of the most common reasons people surrender their pets:

If you don’t find information here on how to keep your pet, please contact us at or 831-373-2631 and we’ll help you consider your options.

Please note: If you live outside of Monterey County and need to surrender your pet, we strongly encourage you to find a solution in your own community. Our responsibility is to serve Monterey County residents and animals.


  • Carefully re-home your pet to a new home yourself. This transition will be much easier for your pet and will allow you to know first-hand that he or she is going to a good new home.
  • Contact family and friends to see if they can help for short or long term.
  • You can use a services like Adopt-a-Pet's Rehome program, and the rehoming of your pet will help rescued shelter pets. 
  • local rescue or breed rescue group may be able to help. Please note: in light of recent neglect and cruelty allegations about and convictions of some rescue groups, the SPCA strongly advises you research any rescue before giving up your pet to them.


We have many free options available for you to help you keep your pet, including free pet food, pet supplies, and behavior advice. If you cannot keep your pet even with free help, we ask you to make an appointment to surrender your pet. Appointments allow us to better prepare for your pet’s arrival and give us the chance to offer assistance to potentially keep your pet in a home and out of our shelter. Please fill out our surrender form to start the appointment process or contact us at 831-373-2631 if this is an emergency.

We ask for a $50 surrender fee per pet. Please bring all your pet's veterinary records to your surrender appointment. We will also send forms for you to fill out with information about your pet.

We will do our best to find your pet a new home. Our caring staff and volunteers offer love and compassion to all pets in our care. However, some animals do not respond well to shelter living. Each animal that comes into our care is carefully and compassionately evaluated for both health and behavior to determine the best course for your pet, whether that is placing him for adoption, providing longer-term medical care or training, trying to find space with a rescue group, or if necessary, providing humane euthanasia. You can help us by giving us as much information as possible when you surrender your pet.

Despite our best efforts, some animals cannot be placed due to serious behavior and/or medical issues. Because of this, euthanasia may be the most humane outcome for certain animals. Our TLC program saves many animals every year, and we currently rehabilitate and rehome almost 90% of the cats, dogs, puppies, and kittens who come into our care.

Please understand that a pet that has lived his or her entire life with you without meeting other people or pets beyond your family and immediate friends will have a difficult time transitioning to a shelter, a rescue, and a new home. Issues that make a pet less desirable to adopters include separation anxiety, costly long-term medical care for chronic illnesses, food guarding behavior, lack of social skills with pets and people, and fearfulness. Most adopters are looking for a happy, well-adjusted, healthy pet. If your pet has issues like the ones listed above, please email us or call 831-373-2631 so we can help you keep your pet in your home by resolving these problems.

If you have any questions about a pet you feel you can no longer keep, please call us at 831-373-2631. Please note: If you live outside of Monterey County and need to surrender your pet, we strongly encourage you to find a solution in your own community. Our responsibility is to serve Monterey County residents and animals.