Below is the process if you are considering surrendering your pet

If you are considering surrendering your animal we will need full disclosure as to the good and bad traits of your pet. This will help us to not only make an informed decision as to whether we can help or not, but also to be able to find the best foster home and most compatible for your animal.

Our overall goal is to have all animals be placed in wonderful homes. First a foster home, then an adoptive/forever home.

There may be mention of a suggested donation amount for surrendering animals to us, this isn't mandatory.  

We do request that you help us help your animal by getting them current on vaccines.

  • For dogs: Rabies and Distemper vaccines and Heartworm test
  • For cats: Rabies and Distemper vaccines and Felk (Feline Leukemia test)
  • It is also important to provide us with any past vet records you may have. 

Although we try to help as many people with their animals as possible, we are not able to help with some certain situations including certain behavioral issues. Since we are 100% foster based we only have so many experienced foster homes equipped to work with dogs that have issues that need to be worked on. Unfortunately we are also unable to take on any animals with extensive vetting needs at this time as we have an over abundance in our rescue currently. This may change down the road.

If you do have an animal with special needs (allergies, seizures, arthritis, etc) and you are able to help donate money towards their care this also helps us in the decision process. This helps to ensure that the rescue will not take on a large financial obligation that we didn't budget for and make's it less stressful on our fundraising team trying to raise the extra funds needed for the extra care of the animal. When you fill out your owner surrender application below, please let us know if this is a possibility.

We understand unfortunate life situations come up where you run into a hard situation and need to find resources for your pet. Our goal is to keep animals in their homes and with their owners if at all possible. If you need veterinary information, resources, rental housing information, etc please feel free to ask us and email us at before making the final decision to surrender your pet.

Please fill out the owner surrender application below and then email your vet records AND photos of your pet to and let us know you just filled out the application and any additional information you maybe missed on the application if there wasn't a spot for it.

An intake coordinator will be in touch with you within 48 hours to discuss the possibility of our rescue being able to help. Again, the more information you can provide us, the easier it will be for us to get you an answer as well as find the ideal foster home for your pet. Please also be aware we may ask to do a behavioral assessment on your dog or cat before being able to commit to taking them.

Last but not least, one thing to consider when surrendering your pet (regardless if it's to Ruff Start Rescue or another organization) is to write a letter about your pet to the new foster home as well as the future adopters. This can greatly reduce stress on your pet during their transition. Please read this story for an example:

Resources to read before surrendering that may help you


Renting with Pets 

Statement on Pets and Rental Housing

Fair Housing Act 

My Cat Scratches, Jumps or Chews Things

My Cat Isn't Using the Litter Box

My Cat is Scared or Upset

My Cat Fights With Other Pets

My Cat Bites or is Upset by People

Is Your Dog Barking Too Much?

Having Trouble with Crate Training?

Dogs with Challenging Behavior Issues

Dogs with Common Behavior Issues

Cat and Dog Behavior Helplines