Surrendering a pet is never an easy decision. But if you find you must part ways with your pet, you have options. First, notify trusted friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers that you need to find a new home for your pet. More often than not, this type of networking can have very positive results. Plus, it may provide you a way to stay in touch with your pet and know how they are doing in their new home. We do not recommend running “Free to Good Home” ads in the paper or on the Internet, as giving your pet away to a stranger can be dangerous. But if you’ve tried to rehome your pet through trusted means, your last resort is bringing your pet to the Shelter.
While we cannot guarantee that your pet will be adopted, we do make animals available for adoption as soon as possible and for as long as they are healthy, well adjusted, and not exhibiting significant behavioral or temperament problems. And as long as we have space for them. We take pride in the care we give our animals and do everything possible to ensure that they are well cared for, loved and treated with respect while in our care. We try our best to place animals in homes where they will be considered a part of the family and a companion for life. We also try to do what we feel is in the best interest of the animal, using our experience and available resources.
If you are unable to re-home your pet on your own, here is important information for surrendering your pet or one you've found:
Open Door Policy
We have an open door policy or an open admission policy for animals from Wood County. This means we accept animals regardless of their temperament, health, age or breed. We do accept animals from outside the county but please read below for additional information for those situations
Regardless of where they come from, you need to bring them to the Shelter during our normal business hours. Please do not drop them off after hours. Too often we find animals left in cages outside the Shelter after hours and in many cases they have been left there all night. This is dangerous for the animals! It also doesn’t give us an opportunity to obtain information from you that can be exceedingly helpful in finding their owner OR in putting them up for adoption as soon as possible. It is also considered abandonment by law!
Owner/Stray Surrender Form
When you surrender an animal to us, we will ask you tell us everything you know about the animal and why you are surrendering them to us even if you just found the animal minutes earlier. Even if you just found the dog or cat, it can be helpful in locating the owner and/or evaluating it for adoptability. We’ll also need to know if the animal has bitten anyone recently. See below to explain why.
If you are surrendering your own pet, it is critical that we receive specific, accurate information about why you are giving up your pet or any issues you may be having. Even animals with behavioral or medical issues can find homes but it is important that we are aware of them as soon as possible. Any and all information not only helps us care for the animal in our Shelter but also in helping identify the best new home for them.
We realize that some people are embarrassed to admit that they are surrendering their own animal, so they tell us it is a stray. This practice only prolongs your pet's stay in our shelter as it delays our ability to put the animal up for adoption. We are required by law to hold stray animals for 5 days. If the animal is your’s, we can put them up for adoption as soon as possible. Please be truthful as this helps in the process and can accelerate your pet finding their new home.
Unfortunately we are often full to capacity and while we will not turn away animals from Wood County, our Staff may inform you that we have limited space. This is not meant to be threatening but we want to be honest about the reality of our situation. We will also be honest about your pet’s adoptability either as a result of their history, breed, observed behavior, etc. Often people will ask us to notify them if their pet is going to be euthanized. We are not able to do this.
Owner released animals from outside of Wood County
Owned animals from outside the county are accepted but we must charge a fee for this service, since Wood County does contribute to the operation of the Shelter through our contracts. This "out-of-county" fee helps defray the cost of the care of the animal that is not covered by our contracts. The fee is $25 per animal, unless it is a litter of puppies or kittens. In that case it is $25 for the first animal and $5 for each puppy or kitten in the litter.
Strays from outside Wood County
Strays from outside the county are not accepted and you will be referred to your local humane society or animal shelter, unless you do not have one in your county. Currently Wirt County is the only neighboring county without a shelter.
Animals coming from across state lines, most frequently from Ohio, must have proof of a current rabies vaccination. WV State Law (19-20A-2) requires that animals entering the State to have a valid rabies vaccination. If you're coming from Ohio, please bring proof of rabies vaccination with you when you surrender your animal.
One important question that you will be asked is "Has this animal bitten anyone and broken the skin in the last ten days?" If the answer is yes, West Virginia law (19-20-9a.)requires that you follow certain procedures for animals that have bitten. We’ll explain those to you fully at the Shelter.
In order to be placed up for adoption, every animal will receive a basic behavioral evaluation. We’ll assess the animal’s response in the kennel, their reactions when being handled by a staff member (handling involves actions that would typically be performed by an owner or groomer), and response to other animals. Additionally, we look for resource guarding issues – animals becoming aggressive or violent when their food or toy is moved. Typically, we will wait at least two days to perform these evaluations to give the animal a chance to adapt to its new surroundings.