Surrendering a Pet
Are you considering giving up your pet? You are not alone, and almost half of the pets that come to Southern Pines each year are given up by their owners. The decision to give up your pet can be a difficult one, but Southern Pines is here to help.
Southern Pines may be able to offer you alternatives to giving up your pet. If the reason you are thinking of surrendering your pet is behavioral, financial, or because you are moving, we may be able to help. If you get to the point where you believe rehoming your animal is the only option, below are some resources that will offer alternatives to surrendering them to our shelter. We also welcome anyone to talk over their decision to surrender with our Surrender Counselor by calling 601-544-6632 (menu option #2) or by sending an email. Please carefully read through the surrender guide below because of policy changes that will take effect January 1, 2019 regarding fee changes and cat intakes.
Alternatives to Surrender:
Surrendering to Southern Pines:
Southern Pines takes special care to make the surrender process as easy and judgement free as possible. We employ a Surrender Counselor who will be responsible for setting up your appointment, counseling you through the process, and being your point-of-contact for any follow up after your drop off. If you've decided to surrender your animal to Southern Pines Animal Shelter please follow these steps to make this process go smoothly:
1. Talk your decision over with our Surrender Counselor
Please call the Surrender Department at (601)544-6632 (menu option #2) in order to discuss your decision. If you're unable to speak directly with our counselor please leave a detailed message and they will return your call as soon as possible. Our Surrender Counselors are out of the office on Wednesday and Sunday.
2. Make An Appointment
Southern Pines Animal Shelter takes in surrenders by appointment only. This appointment system allows us to manage our intakes which has been instrumental in us becoming a no-kill shelter. We always strive to provide the animals at our shelter with the best care possible and often our capacity for care is directly affected by our intake. Our surrender counselor is happy to discuss your availability to surrender and find a time that works for both you and our organization. Please keep in mind our surrender wait times vary from a couple of days to up to six weeks during our busy season. We accept animals from the entire state of Mississippi and we intake around 7,000 animals annually, consisting almost entirely of just cats and dogs. Beginning January 1, 2019 we will no longer be taking in community cats from outside of our contract area. Please visit our community cats page to determine if this may apply to you.
At the time you make an appointment the Surrender Counselor will give you the next steps in the process but I will outline them briefly here so you know what to expect.
3. Arrive at Your Scheduled Appointment Time and Date
You will receive a phone call 1-2 days before your appointment to confirm. At this time please let us know about any cancellations or if you need to reschedule. If there is no need for alterations, please arrive at the shelter as close to your scheduled time as possible. Often we have appointments coming in at various times throughout the day and a late arrival can shift all of our appointments and cause frustration for our other customers.
When you arrive on the property please make sure your animals are comfortable and secure in your vehicle and make your way up the ramp to the front office to notify office staff of your arrival.
4. Meet With a Surrender Counselor
Our Surrender Counselor will sit down with you to go over the process of leaving an animal. There is a short Relinquishment Contract to complete at the time of surrender or you can bring a printed, completed copy with you to your appointment. In addition, if the animal is an owner surrender you will be required to fill out a personality profile on the animal during your counseling session. Please bring any vet records or adoption paperwork with your pet so we can have as much history as possible. You are also welcome to bring any personal items that you think may help the animal transition to the shelter environment like a bed, blanket, or special toy.
Also, there is a fee associated with surrendering which helps with a very small portion of the animal's intake considering that the average cost of care for healthy animals at Southern Pines Animal Shelter is close to $350 from intake to adoption. The surrender fee depends on your county of residence and the number of animals being surrendered. Our Surrender Counselor will quote you a price at the time of setting up an appointment and payment will take place after the paperwork is completed.
5. Request Additional Donation
The average cost of care for one animal from initial intake to adoption is around $350. This cost can fluctuate depending on the animal's age, behavior, and medical needs while in our care. For example, an adult dog that tests positive for heartworms that receives treatment during their stay carries an additional cost of $200-$400. Southern Pines is dedicated to providing the best quality of care to all of the animals during their stay at the shelter, but that is only possible with help from our community. Please consider bringing an additional donation with you at the time of your appointment in order to help us save more lives than ever before.
6. Your Pet Goes Up for Adoption
After the counseling session we will take the animal to go through the intake process. Your obligations end here and we will take the animal to get up to date on all treatments, go through a brief behavior assessment, and place the animal in appropriate housing. Often, many animals surrendered will go up for adoption immediately but in some cases senior pets, animals with medical issues, or animals with behavior concerns may take some time to become available for adoption. In some circumstances an animal may not be a candidate for adoption. Many of our animals will be posted to our website very soon after you drop off and you can follow their progress online or you can follow up with the Surrender Counselor after you drop off.