Owner Relinquishment or Stray Surrender

If your pet was adopted through A.R.F.-Animal Rescue Foundation, please contact us first before making other arrangements to surrender or rehome the pet, as stated in your adoption contract. If your pet was adopted through a shelter other than A.R.F., contact that shelter about returning the pet before contacting us. 

If considering surrendering pets who were NOT adopted through A.R.F., we strongly encourage that before relinquishing your pet, you explore the options of re-homing your pet with a personal friend, co-worker, or family member. Adopt-a-Pet offers free pet rehoming listings.

We understand that many are going through some tough economic times and that the needs of your pets may be a strain on the budget. If you are considering surrendering a pet because of financial difficulties, check out our list of resources for low-cost pet care.

List of Low-Cost or Free Pet Care Resources in Chicago

If you’re having behavioral issues and are seeking to relinquish your pet, you may wish to contact an animal behaviorist or professional trainer. Often times, behavioral problems can be resolved with a little patience and creativity. A.R.F. is not equipped to handle the more severe behavioral issues and acceptance of your animal into A.R.F.’s care will be dependent upon the animals overall health and behavioral temperament. A Sound Beginning Program offers behavioral training for both dogs and cats.

If you have found a stray, contact your local animal control agency for more information:

Surrendering an Animal to A.R.F.

It is illegal to abandon animals anywhere in the state of Illinois. Do not bring animals to adoption events to relinquish them, we can not take them without following our owner relinquish or rehomeing instructions below. 

Please consider all options prior to contacting us. We will help if we can. Please read the following guidelines: 

  • Before contacting us to surrender an animal, you must complete the Owner Surrender Request Form.
  • A.R.F. accepts pets by appointment only.  You can email us at surrender@arf-il.org to discuss your situation. 
  • You must be the legal owner of the animal and have had the animal in your custody for a minimum of thirty days.
  • Appointments to surrender an animal will typically take place at our preferred veterinarian’s office where a decision can be made as to the health of the animal. 
  • Euthanasia fees are at the expense of the person surrendering.
  • You will be asked to provide us with any previous medical history, a personality profile, and provide photos or videos for each animal.
  • The following minimum fee will apply to cover costs for the care of your pet subsequent to relinquishment:
    • Litter of kittens ( under 3 months of age): $60
    • Litter of puppies ( under 3 months of age) : $60
    • Cat: $35
    • Dog: $35

Please note that the relinquishment fee covers only a small portion of the cost to care for the animal.

To begin the owner surrender request process, please fill out the request form.