Considering Surrendering Your Pet?

The decision to surrender your pet to ACCT Philly is a difficult one to make and it’s important that you have all the facts and exhaust any alternatives before you move forward. Please check out these pages for possible solutions to common problems pet owners have.

Below are some solutions to some of the common reasons people surrender their pets:

Rehoming Your Pet Yourself

If you have determined that it is not best for you to keep your pet, then we encourage you to try and responsibly rehome him or her yourself. You know your pet best and will be better at finding a home that matches his or her personality. Here are a couple of links that can guide you on how to rehome your pet:

Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia has a webpage that helps dog and cat owners connect with a rescue. Simply click on the link and complete an owner surrender request for each pet you need help with below. Your request will be automatically forwarded to a network of Philadelphia-area animal rescues. If a rescue is able to help, they will contact you directly. You can also contact them by calling 484-704-CNKP.

  • Rehome and are rehoming websites that connect pet owners with potential adopters. (more info below)

Pet Owners can list their pet on Adopt-a-Pet’s site and their partner sites through their new program Rehome. Their program helps guide pet owners through the rehoming process with applications, tips and even personal support. The adoption fee that is charged goes to the shelter you nominate. For more information, check out their FAQS page. is a free online service that connects owners needing to rehome a pet with potential adopters!

Still Intend to Surrender to ACCT Philly?

We understand that sometimes pet owners may be unable to continue caring for their pet. Re-homing your pet is the best thing you can do so your pet won’t have to enter the stressful environment of a shelter. Surrendering your pet should be a last resort, not the first option.

ACCT Philly manages the city’s animal shelter facility and last year took in 23,000 animals in 2016. We are an open admission shelter which means we take in ALL stray and surrendered animals regardless of the animal’s health, age, behavior, or owner circumstances.

Being an open admission shelter has its challenges and the number or pets looking for homes may outnumber the homes available. We will do everything to find your pet a new home but we cannot guarantee every pet will be adopted. Our intake is highest during summer months. Please see our Statistics and Report page.

What do I need to bring?

  1. A valid photo ID that shows you are at least 18 years of age.
  2. Proof of residency in Philadelphia. ACCT Philly provides services to the residents of the City of Philadelphia.
  3. Veterinary records or other paperwork related to your pet’s health, if your pet has every been to a veterinarian. If you don’t have copies of your pet’s records you can ask your veterinarian to fax them to us (215) 261-6092.
  4. $10 Surrender Fee (Cash, check and credit cards are accepted.)

ACCT Philly provides services to the City of Philadelphia. For that reason, any individual surrendering an animal must show valid identification, proof of residency in Philadelphia, be at least 18 years of age, and sign paperwork to relinquish an animal (stray or owned).

What are your pet surrender hours?

  • Healthy owner surrenders are by appointment only during these times: 12pm to 5pm Sunday through Saturday
    • Please call 267-385-3800 x400 to make an appointment.  Same day and walk-in appointments will be accommodated whenever possible.  Click here for more information about why we have switched to appointment only owner surrenders.
  • Stray: 11am to 7pm Monday through Friday; 11am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday
  • Severely sick or injured animals are accepted at any time. The lobby is open weekdays 8am to 8pm and weekends 8am to 6pm. After these hours, please call (267) 385-3800.

Pennsylvania SPCA

  • The Pennsylvania SPCA will be at ACCT on Fridays (11am to 2pm), Sundays (11:30am to 2:30pm) and Mondays (3pm to 6pm) to take in owner surrenders.

What do I need to do once I get there?

  1. Sign paperwork to relinquish your pet.
  2. Fill out an ownership surrender form in order to provide us with information needed to help find a suitable home for your pet.
  3. If you are surrendering your pet for health or behavioral reasons, additional information may be required.

How long will this take?

The process should take no more than 30 minutes. You can save time by printing and filling out the surrender form (link for the form) Depending on how many people are in the lobby there may be a wait time.

How much does it cost to surrender my pet?

The owner-surrender fee is $10. This is much less than what it costs us, and we welcome any donations you are able to provide to help cover these costs.


DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY: Any advice provided by the Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia (ACCT Philly) is for informational purposes only. Some acctphilly email address may be managed by volunteers of ACCT Philly and do not necessarily represent the views of ACCT Philly or ACCT Philly staff.  Behavior and training advice and suggestions provided are not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a professional dog trainer or qualified animal behaviorist. ACCT Philly expressly disclaims any and all liability, expressed or implied, with respect to the service and advice received. Your reliance on the advice provided and/or content of ACCT Philly’s website or email communications is solely at your own risk. 

In addition, none of the content on ACCT Philly’s website or in communications from ACCT Philly representatives is intended to constitute veterinary advice or any other advice of a professional nature.  You should always consult your own veterinarian, dog behaviorist or other applicable professional for advice before making important decisions about your pet. Never disregard medical or professional advice, or delay seeking it, because of advice provided by ACCT Philly representatives. You should also ask your veterinarian to assist you in interpreting any behavioral advice provided and in applying the information to your individual case.