Every year, approximately 6.5 million companion animals arrive at a community animal shelter nationwide.

 headshot of a dog

The decision to give up a pet is a difficult one. Please take the time to consider all other options before surrendering your pet. 

Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control is an OPEN ADMISSION SHELTER.  That means that we take in many more animals than we can adopt out.  Animals that are left here run the risk of contracting illnesses that cannot be treated, changes in behavior which make the pet less likely to be adopted, depression, or humane euthanasia.

 Please try re-homing your pet yourself or ask us how we can help you keep your pet.


There ARE alternatives to surrendering your pet

cat sleeping in blanket 


We at Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control may be able to help you keep your pet at home or there may be alternative re-homing options available to you. Please consider the following before surrendering your pet.


Why are you considering surrendering your pet?

  • Behavior Issues?  We may have some suggestions for you
  • Allergies? Many allergies are manageable with the right medications – see your doctor
  • Can't afford vet care? There may be resources available to you – ask us
  • A domestic or disaster situation? You may have resources who can help you in your own circle of friends, neighbors or family.
  • Pregnant?  Talk to your doctor about what to expect.  Most pets have no health impact on pregnancy.
  • Moving or don't have adequate housing? Try our "Pets Are Welcome" Housing information list or a community. Ask one of our Reps. Or you can try a locator service, such as APARTMENTLIST.COM


YOU are your pet's best option and advocate for finding a new home. 

You might think shelters or rescue groups would be more adept at placing the pet because we have experience, facilities, screening guidelines, etc. However, an owner or person who particularly knows the pet can focus all his or her efforts on that pet, provide the most information to prospective adopters, and best determine the appropriateness of a new home. Also it should be noted that any shelter or sanctuary will be very stressful for your pet.   The shelter setting itself can bring on stress-related problems. Just being in an unfamiliar setting with strange people, sounds, smell and sights can trigger anxiety, aggression, and illnesses.  These reactions and illnesses  are common in a shelter and will make adoption difficult or impossible for your pet.

cat and dog faces 


 Finding a New Home For Your Pet

If you would like to find a new home for your pet rather than turn him/her into a shelter there are proactive strategies you can use to increase your pet's chances of success.

STEP 1: Prepare your pet for adoption. 

To increase the chances of success of placement  and finding a new home for your pet, it is important that your pet is:

  • Spayed or neutered
  • In good health and up-to-date on vaccinations
  • Clean and groomed
  • House-trained and reasonably well-behaved
    If your pet isn't spayed or neutered, have it done! We don't recommend placing any animal who has not been spayed/neutered into a new home. Doing so can result in unwanted litters, and neutered animals are less likely to show undesirable mating behaviors, such as mounting or howling. Puppies and kittens as young as eight weeks old can be spayed/neutered. For more information on spay and neuter services, call 561-233-SPAY.  We may be able to offer assistance with getting your pet sterilized.

 STEP 2: Advertise Wisely!

 You can post your pet on rehome.adoptapet.com and they will help you create a profile for your pet. Adding photos, videos and personal stories about your pet will generate more interest in your pet's profile.

Not sure you can find the right adopter? Adopt-a-Pet has question-by-question screening guidance right on the application page, so you can see which answers are great, which are not-so-great, and which ones might require follow-up questions. 

Rehome Badge 


Adopt-a-Pet gives you a personalized adoption agreement you and your adopter can sign online. You'll even be able to specify what you want to happen if the adoption doesn't work out (rest assured, most adoptions are successful): if you want the pet returned to you or you want the adopter to find a new home for the pet.


STEP 3: Get your pet out there! 

(This works especially well with dogs.) The more your pet is out and about, interacting with people, the more likely he'll charm the right person. Take him on walks, to pet supply stores, to the local park. You can even put a colorful bandana or sign on him that says "Adopt me" or "Looking for a home." 

White Dog with Kisses 

 STEP 4: Be creative, positive and persistent. 

There are many animals needing homes at any one time, so finding a home can take some work. However, there are good homes out there, so try to maintain a positive attitude. Explore all options you can think of for finding a home - creativity and persistence are usually rewarded.





We understand that it is sometimes necessary to relinquish your pet. Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control accepts owner surrendered  cats, kittens, dogs and puppies by appointment only and we make no guarantees about the pet's final outcome. We do  not accept exotic pets, livestock, reptiles or wild animals. Pets that exhibit suitable temperament are tested and vaccinated for  communicable diseases  prior to adoption. 

Our goal is to find a happy home for every healthy and treatable animal. We are more likely to achieve this if we know  more about the animals that come into our care.  As the owner, we will ask you to complete a questionnaire about your pet when you make your appointment.

Appointment Process

1. Call 561-233-2450 and leave a message with your name and daytime contact telephone number.

2. Within 72 hours (not including holidays), a Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control representative will call  you to schedule an appointment. At that time, the representative will explain any requirements for animal surrenders, which will include, but may not be limited to: 


A.        Your pet must be current on all booster shots and worming medications. 

B.        You must show proof of your pet's wellness check  or medical records dated within 12 months

            of your appointment date

C.        You must show proof of residency in Palm Beach County.

D.        You must show proof of ownership of the pet. 

E.         You must show proof of Identity (Driver's License or other Government Issued Photo ID)

If your animal has bitten or broken skin in the last 10 days or if your pet behaves aggressively towards people or other animals, please advise the Animal Services Representative when you are called for your appointment so that you may receive special instructions.

3. Print out and Complete the questionnaire at the bottom of this page.  Please bring it and the required documentation listed above to your appointment.  You may expect that your  appointment will take approximately 1 hour.

4. When you arrive at the shelter, please sign in at the reception stand located just inside the Lobby Entry Doors and have a seat.  An Animal Services Representative will call you shortly. (Please arrive on time - If you are more than 10 minutes late, your appointment may have to be re-scheduled)

5. After all information about your pet has been gathered,  we will discuss your options with you so that you can make the best decision for your pet.

Important Information!

Fees: The cost to care for and to re-home pets can be in the hundreds of dollars for each animal that comes into our care. Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control asks for a suggested minimum $50 donation at the time of your appointment to cover care and administrative costs. It is not dependent on the outcome you choose for your pet after its evaluation.

If your pet is sick, injured, behaviorally unsound, or poses a threat to itself, staff or the public, you may be required to sign and pay for an Owner Requested Euthanasia.  This option will be discussed with you at the time of your appointment.

(Methods of payment accepted: Cash, Check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover)

Download and Print Pet Surrender Questionnaire

Contact Us

     ​Main Facility:

7100 Belvedere Road
West Palm Beach, 33411
(west of Florida Turnpike)​

Main Phone:

(561) 233-1200

E-Mail Us

Envienos un correo Electronico

Animal Viewing Areas are open from

 12:00 pm to Closing

Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Closed on government holidays

Belle Glade / Pahokee Facility:

3615 State Rd 715

Pahokee, FL 33476

(561) 924-5657

*Limited Hours*