Surrendering an Animal

Life has a way of bringing about unexpected changes. Sometimes these changes create circumstances that make it impossible to keep a pet. Before making the decision to give up your pet, please consider all of your options. Though the Sampson County Animal Shelter provides a safe and loving environment for pets, the transition can still be quite difficult. Shelters can become stressful environments for even the most well-adjusted animal. 

Before you make the final decision to surrender your animal:

  • Seek a professional trainer or behaviorist to help rid your pet of potential behavioral problems. Doing so will not only make your pet's stay at the shelter more peaceful, but it will also increase the likelihood of their being adopted.
  • Take the necessary steps to make sure your pet has no medical issues. If your pet does, please provide a list of those issues prior to surrendering your pet. Talk with your veterinarian get a professional examination which may identify any medical issues your pet may be experiencing.
  • Look for an alternate place or re-homing service for your pet.
  • Family members and friends often become relational with your pet. Talk with them to determine if they would be able to commit to taking care of your pet.
  • Re-home your pet to a new home yourself. This transition will be much easier for your pet and will allow you to know that it is going to a good new home.
  • DON'T drop your pet off in the woods or countryside assuming that it can take care of itself. Pets lack the skills to survive on their own and may die of starvation or injury.
  • DON'T abandon your pet in a house or apartment you are moving out of. Sometime it can take hours, days, or even weeks to discover the abandoned pet.
  • DON'T give your pet away to a stranger. A responsible owner should guarantee that their precious pet is in good hands. Pets that end up in the wrong hands may be abused or used for other illegal purposes.

If you have exhausted all other avenues, you can surrender your pet to the Sampson County Animal Shelter. We are an open-admission animal shelter and will accept any pet from a Sampson County resident. 

Necessary Documentation

If you choose to relinquish ownership of your pet, we will ask for the following: 

  • A valid form of photo ID of the owner
  • Any pertinent records pertaining to the pet (medical records, a bill of sale, etc.)
  • A completed owner surrender animal agreement and brief profile of the pet’s habits and behaviors (available at the shelter).
  • Sampson County Animal Shelter requires that the pet’s actual owner relinquish custody of the animal. If you are bringing in an owned pet that is not yours, we require the animal’s actual owner to sign the animal over to Sampson County Animal Shelter.

If your pet has any special food, supplies or toys, please bring those in at the time of surrender.

Sampson County only accepts surrendered animals Monday through Thursday from 1 pm to 5 pm. Although we are an open admission shelter, we may refuse the surrender based on limited space and ask you to bring the animal back at a later date. We ask that you call the shelter first before bringing any animal to surrender so that a trip is not wasted.

What Happens Next?
At our shelter, all animals receive necessary veterinary care, nutritious food, exercise and plenty of love and attention from our experienced staff and volunteers. Animals determined to be suitable for adoption are placed in our adoption program. There is no set time limit for how long an animal can remain in our adoption program. As long as an animal maintains general good health, a sound temperament, and we have space, we will keep a pet for weeks, sometimes months. We may put some animals who are sick, underage, or who would benefit from behavioral intervention in foster care and return them to the adoption program at a later time. We work hard to give second chances to every potentially adoptable animal, and try to avoid euthanasia when appropriate and when possible.

We humanely euthanize those animals that are not candidates for adoption due to medical or behavioral problems. We also euthanize aggressive animals that are determined to be a potential threat to the community and those sick or injured animals we cannot rehabilitate given our resource limitations.