Surrendering an Animal

If you are unable to care for your pet and cannot find a new home for it, you can surrender it.

  • You can surrender living or dead animals.
  • You are not entitled to know what happens to an animal you surrender.
  • There is no guarantee that your animal will be adopted. Try to find a home for the animal on your own. Surrendering a pet should be your last option.

Call Animal Services at 905-574-3433 to make sure there is room in the shelter for the animal you are surrendering.

What happens to surrendered animals?

Before you surrender your pet, we will determine if it should:

  • go to an adoption program
  • go to an animal rescue organization
  • be euthanized

If you want your pet to go to an adoption program or animal rescue, you must sign a medical waiver so we can contact your veterinarian for the animal’s medical history. The medical history tells us what vaccines the animal needs.

You have to pay for quarantine of your pet if the pet bit or scratched a person within the past 10 days. When the quarantine period is over, we decide if the animal is sent to an adoption program or euthanized.

Pet euthanasia

You can have your pet euthanized by the City of Hamilton.

  • Call to find out when a veterinarian can euthanize your pet.
  • Drop your pet off the day before or by 10:30 am the morning of the euthanization. You can bring your pet’s favourite toy or blanket.
  • You cannot be with your pet when it is euthanized. You must use your own veterinarian if you wish to be present.
  • Surrender and euthanasia services may be suspended during our busy season (late spring, summer and early fall) and before a Statutory Holiday to make sure there is space in the shelter for stray animals. Call ahead if you want to surrender your pet during these times.

Fees for surrendering live animals

  Standard rate Reduced rate*
Cat or dog $198 $148
Litter of 1 to 5 kittens or puppies less than 12 weeks old or up to 6 other small domestic pets $68 $53
Small livestock $122 $109

Fees for surrendering deceased animals

  Standard rate Reduced rate*
Cat or dog $125 $98
Litter of 1 to 5 kittens or puppies less than 12 weeks old or up to 6 other small domestic pets $57 $40
Small livestock $98 $64

* Reduced rates are for people who are more than 65 years of age or get a government disability pension. Proof is required to get the reduced rate.