Should You Surrender or Rehome Your Pet

Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter understands that making the decision to surrender a pet is very difficult and we are committed to working with you to find the best possible solution for you and your pet.

Alternatives to Surrendering

There are many reasons that might cause you to consider surrendering your pet. If you would like to keep your pet but need help solving a problem, we may be able to provide resources to help you keep your pet in your home. For more information about alternatives to surrendering your pet, please call us at 608.380.1559.

In addition to sharing your pet's information via Rivers and Bluffs web page, a second option is to go through Adopt a Pet. Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter is not affiliated with Adopt a Pet. We offer the information as an option. Here is the link .

Rehoming Resources

Rivers and Bluffs hosts a rehoming page on our website where you can post your pet for adoption. Nobody knows your pet better than you! You can provide the best description of their personality and pictures of them in a home setting. Additionally, you would be most knowledgeable when talking to a potential new owner about whether the animal would be a good fit for them. Rehoming your pet this way allows them to stay at home in comfortable surroundings while you select the home that you think will be the best for them. This also leaves one more opening at Rivers and Bluffs for those animals without someone to advocate for them.

Surrendering your Companion Animal

Admissions Process

If you decide that surrendering your pet to Rivers and Bluffs is the right option, please be aware that we follow a managed admission philosophy for all incoming animals. This means that we request all customers schedule an appointment before bringing an animal to our facility. Utilizing a managed admission process ensures we have the resources to give each animal the best care and accommodations we can provide and allows us to properly isolate, treat and prevent illness from spreading to at-risk populations. It also assures you that you will get one on one attention. Managing the admission of animals helps us plan and prepare, instead of reacting, and allows us to save more lives.
We strongly urge that a donation is made (see list below). The donations help Rivers and Bluffs ensure we are financially able to care for each pet that is surrendered to us.

Appointment Process

  • Call 608.380.1559 to schedule an appointment. Rivers and Bluffs take in all surrendered animals by appointment to ensure that we have space and resources to best provide for every animal entering the shelter. It is also our goal to schedule appointments for all incoming animals.
  • Bring all veterinary records to your appointment. This will ensure that your animal will not receive unnecessary vaccinations or procedures and will expedite their medical assessment.
  • Allocate 30 – 45 minutes at Rivers and Bluffs for your appointment. This will provide time to complete a personality profile so we can learn more about your pet’s temperament in the home. If you would like to save time at your appointment, please print and fill out a Personality Profile for your pet and the Surrender Authorization Statement. Bring the forms along to your appointment
  • Bring the animal yourself. We will receive the most accurate information if you bring your pet in yourself. If you are unable too, we need a written and a signed consent form naming you or another person to act as your agent and that you authorize this agent to bring the animal in on your behalf.  Agent Authorization Statement.
    • All cats should be in a carrier and all dogs should be wearing a collar and leash.
  • Surrender Donation. There is a considerable cost to care for and rehome pets that are in our care. Rivers and Bluffs ask for a surrender donation to offset those costs and to provide the best care possible for your pet. Any donations beyond that cost are greatly appreciated. Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter accepts cash or credit card, or checks. 

Surrender Donations

  • Minimum $50 for an adult dog or cat (4 months old or older)
  • The minimum surrender donation for a litter of kittens or puppies is $50/animal.