Senior or Sick Pets

When to Consider Euthanasia

Knowing when it’s time to say good-bye to your beloved pet is a difficult decision. For most people, pets are beloved members of the family and the thought of making the decision to end a pet’s life rather than waiting for he or she to pass away on their own is tough. They worry that they may make the decision too soon and don’t know when it’s time to consider making the compassionate decision of putting their pet to sleep (euthanasia).

Ultimately, as the pet’s owner, you know when your pet better than anyone else and are the best person to decide what is in his or her best interests. Looking at the overall quality of life your pet has can help you decide if putting your pet to sleep should be considered. Psychology Today recommends writing down your pet’s five favorite things. When they can no longer do all or most of those things, then you should consider if it’s time.

Here are a few other quality of life scales that can help you make your decision.

You Know It’s Time, Now What?

Although you can surrender your pet to ACCT Philly for euthanasia, we can not guarantee your pet will be euthanized because you’ve requested it. We ask owners to fill out a Health Assessment upon arrival. Our vet staff will evaluate the animal and review the information owners give us to make the decision as to what is most humane for the animal. Unfortunately, we are not able to allow owners to stay with their pet during the euthanasia. If that your wish, you should consider calling a low-cost veterinarian. If cost is an issue, we may be able to refer you to a charity that will help you afford this service.

Being surrendered to a shelter is extremely stressful, especially for older animals that have never known any other home except yours. Whenever possible, surrendering your pet to ACCT Philly should be your last resort.

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.

What are your pet surrender hours?

  • Monday thru Friday: 11 am to 7 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 11am to 5 pm
  • (267) 385-3800

  • Severely sick or injured pets 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.
  • 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.