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Surrendering a Pet


Alternatives to Surrendering Your Pet

Please consider alternatives and solutions before choosing to surrender your pet. If you have found a stray pet, please visit our Found Pets page. Skip to the bottom of the page for information about the HES surrender process. 


Behavior Problems

Consider enrolling your pet in a training course to resolve problematic behavior issues. Most pets can be rehabilitated to correct behaviors such as aggression, destructive chewing, poor housetraining, excessive barking and more. 

Try training your own pet at home:

Or go pro and enroll in a class or hire a behaviorist:


Financial Issues


Moving/Landlord Issues

Pet-friendly housing can be difficult to find. Some of the following tips may help you and your new landlord or apartment complex compromise.

  • Make sure that before you move, you are prepared to have the time to find a place that will let you keep your pets. This isn't always possible but is the #1 safest bet for getting housing for you and your pets.
  • Many apartment/rental listing searches can be filtered by what type of pets are allowed. Click here for a Zillow search of pet-friendly housing in the Chattanooga area, or search apartmentlist.com for pet friendly rentals in Chattanooga. 
  • Demonstrate responsibility & cleanliness. Show your landlord that responsible pet owners are good people. Pets are rejected because of worry about ruined facilities, housetraining, or barking. Sell yourself as a responsible owner and housetrain your pet and show that you will keep the pet under your control at all times.
  • See if a friend or family member can provide temporary petsitting help while you find a pet-friendly place.
  • If you are in the market to buy, realtor Erin Shirley donates 10% of her commission to HES!  Buy a house, be your own landlord, adopt all the animals you want, and help HES in the process! 
  • Do not, under any circumstance, abandon a pet at your former residence.

Allergies and Pregnancy

Consult an allergist to be certain that it is the pet that is causing an allergic reaction. The presence of and exposure to allergens in the home can be mitigated by:

  • Clean floors and furniture frequently.
  • Make sure that the allergic person has a "pet free" area of the house, such as their bedroom
  • Frequently wash clothes and bedding that come into contact with the pet
  • Use a high-quality air purifier and be sure to replace air filters frequently
  • Reduce surface area that harbors dander by avoiding wall-to-wall carpeting and fabric upholstered furniture.
  • Treat allergies according to a physician's reccommendation with shots or medications.

Expectant mothers should consult a physician before they make a final decision about risks involved with pet ownership. Medical studies by the Center for Disease Control suggest that expectant mothers are at a very low risk of contracting toxoplasmosis from cats. 


Rehoming a pet yourself

As an alternative to surrender, you can try to re-home the pet on your own. This way, your pet does not have to enter an animal shelter

  • Network with friends, family and co-workers to help you find the right home for your pet.
  • Make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and is spayed/neutered before re-homing. See spay/neuter resources.
  • Be careful when advertising online or in classifieds! A re-homing fee can help deter people who do not have your pet's best interest in mind. Be sure to thoroughly communicate your expectations for a standard of care and make sure the new home measures up. Follow up to see how they are doing.
  • Breed rescue groups may be able to help you rehome your dog. Search rescues near you on Petfinder. 

If you still need to rehome your pet

If none of these resources can help you, please call the Humane Educational Society at (423) 624-5302 to inquire about surrendering your pet. 

HES serves Unincorporated Hamilton County, Red Bank, Soddy Daisy, Collegedale, Lakesite, and Walden. If you live in one of these areas you may bring your pet to HES during our business hours. If you live outside of Hamilton County, in the City of Chattanooga or East Ridge, see a list of other area shelters. 

Please make sure all animals are either on a leash or in a carrier. HES does request a $25 surrender fee per animal or $50 for a litter. Any additional donations are greatly appreciated as care often costs in the hundreds per animal. 

HES does not guarantee the placement of animals or the length of time an animal will be held for adoption although we make every effort possible to place treatable, trainable animals in loving homes. 


The links provided on this page are not endorsements and HES is not responsible for their content.