Animals may be surrendered to our shelter only by residents of Palo Alto, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.
(proof of residency required)
If you are giving up your pet because of a behavior problem, such as roaming, barking, scratching or fighting, please talk with us. We can either offer some tried and true suggestions, or refer you to knowledgeable trainers in the area. Low-cost dog obedience classes are offered in Palo Alto.
Please don't leave a pet outside the shelter when we are not open. Not only is this very dangerous for the pet, it is illegal. The chances of your animal being adopted are significantly better if you provide us with the information we'll ask of you when you surrender the pet. Please also see the related topics How Long Do We Keep Animals and Euthanasia.
Tips for Finding a Home for Your Pet
If you are trying to find a new home for your pet, start by writing a "personality profile" for it. This helps tell prospective adopters about your pet's unique personality and its needs, as well as its fears, training, and unusual habits. Include information about where the pet sleeps, what it likes to eat and the types of animals or people to which it is accustomed. Be honest; include information about the pet's bad habits.
If you found the animal, please first be sure it is truly homeless, and not simply lost. Make every effort to locate the animal's owner before you place it in a new home. By law, you must call or visit local shelters and complete a "found pet" report.
Before you surrender your pet, make sure its vaccinations are current. A pet that is current on shots, and has been neutered, is more readily adoptable. See our vaccination fees and neutering fees.
Advertise in the Pet section of local newspapers/websites. Charge a reasonable fee, rather than offering the animal "free to a good home". If your pet has not already been neutered, we suggest you ask the adopter to prepay for altering the animal at a neuter clinic or with a local veterinarian. Talk with your pet's veterinarian, groomer or boarding kennel about clients who might be looking for a pet to adopt.
Visit humane societies or shelters in your county, and see what animals are available for adoption. Tell them about your pet, and ask how likely it is that your pet might be placed for adoption.
Finding a good and permanent home for your pet can take weeks or even months. Don't be tempted to give your pet away at a shopping center or abandon it in another neighborhood. If you need additional assistance, please call us or one of the other area shelters.