Owner Surrender

We are a small shelter in Vermont. Please do not apply unless you are able to bring your dog to our shelter for evaluation if your application is considered.

If you live outside 2 hours drive from our shelter in Williston, VT please use the Rehome Program offered by Adopt-a-pet.

Surrendering your dog

All Breed Rescue is a not-for-profit organization that assists displaced dogs in finding new homes. ABR considers educating the public about the dogs, to be just as important. Our goal is to keep as many dogs as possible out of rescue and shelters, and in the loving arms of their families.

Most people who contact us mistakenly think they would be doing their dog a huge favor by finding him a home that “has more time for him or can give him the home he deserves.” In actuality, most dogs are better off remaining in the home they know and love, even if it means they will get less attention from you. Of course this applies to dogs that are being properly cared for and whose basic needs are consistently met.

All Breed Rescue has a shelter in Williston Vermont. We cannot consider any surrenders that cannot be brought to the shelter for evaluation. If you are unwilling to travel to Vermont with your dog for the evaluation, please consider more local options.

ABR Owner Surrender Policy

If you can answer “YES” to any of the questions below, please take the time to explore those options before surrendering your dog.

Did you acquire him as a puppy from a breeder?
If so, have you contacted that person? If he or she is at all reputable, you would have signed a contract at the time you purchased your puppy, stipulating that the dog should be returned if you decide to no longer keep him. If you do not want to keep your dog, contact your breeder first.

Did you acquire your Dog from a Rescue Organization?
If so, have you contacted that rescue organization? If they are reputable, you would have signed a contract at the time you adopted your dog, stipulating that the dog must be returned to them if you decide to no longer keep him or her for any reason.

Does your dog need spaying/neutering? http://www.vt-can.org/home.php

New baby in the family?
How lucky for you that most dogs are fantastic family pets! If you can take care of your new little human baby, you can take care of a dog. Some of our educational materials are listed below to help you ease the transition - http://www.allbreedrescuevt.com/info/display?PageID=14095

The Humane Society lists Moving as the number one reason people surrender their pets to shelters. There are plenty of apartments, townhouses, condos and hotels that accept medium and large breeds of dog. Many places will even allow you to spread payment of your pet deposit over multiple months as part of your rent. Please check with your real estate agent, or company relocation services when possible.

Think you don’t have enough time for your dog?

Experts in the animal field agree that a dog requires a mere 15 minutes of one-on-one time with his master per day, to be happy, healthy, and well-adjusted! That could be simply spent laying in bed at night watching t.v. together, playing ball in the backyard for 15 minutes while dinner is cooking, or going for a walk or jog! Surely you can spare 15 minutes per day. Pets reduce personal stress and can add years to your life – make the time for you AND your dog.

Are there behavioral issues?
Is your dog having trouble getting along with other animals in the household or are there other behavioral issues that have led to the decision to give up your dog? If so, let us help you. Send us an email – we can most likely recommend a trainer in your area. If you didn’t socialize your dog as a puppy, it’s never too late to enroll him in obedience school. It’s fun and can count as your 15 minutes of bonding time!

Experiencing financial issues?
The following groups exist to assist people who truly want to keep their pets, but are experiencing financial difficulties. They may be able to help you.

Humane Society

A credit card company for health care:Care Credit


Help owners that need urgent veterinary care, emergency vet visits or expensive surgery:
The pet fund

Assistance for caretakers of disabled pets:

If you haven’t found any solutions after carefully considering the information above, then you are welcome to read the Surrender process and fill out the form below. ABR is an all-volunteer based organization. We may not be able to take your dog but we review all applications.It may take up to a week to hear from us.

Surrender FAQs

1. I'm considering giving my dog up for adoption, but I'm not sure.... Can you help me?
A. YES! ABR is very willing to help you find a way to keep your dog. We have a large knowledge base of many breeds and may be able to help you with your unique situation. Please read the helpful resources on our Surrender Page http://www.allbreedrescuevt.com/info/display?PageID=14095, and then contact us.

2. What do I have to do to give up my dog?
A. Our owner surrender policies are listed on our website.  First you will need to read all of the information on our Owner Surrender page, to see if there are alternatives to giving up your dog.  Secondly, you will need to fill out an online Surrender Form. It is very important to be honest when filling out this form or talking to the Intake Coordinator. The more honest you are about your dog the easier it will be to find a new home for him/her.

3. Will you pick up the dog from me?
A. ABR is an all-volunteer organization without the means to provide transportation. It will be your responsibility to bring your dog to the ABR facility in Williston, VT on the scheduled drop-off date.

4. How long will it be until you can take my dog?
A. We try to evaluate every situation and meet the needs of the dog and owner. The timing is very much affected by how many openings we have at the facility and in foster care and the availability of our volunteers.  Please understand that our first priority must be the dogs that are currently in our shelter and foster homes. Fostering your own dog may be an option.

5. What if I changed my mind? Can I contact the new owners?
A. Once adopted, we WILL NOT get your dog back for you. Once you have signed the dog over to us and you change your mind, you will have to go through the same process as all other adopters and will be expected to pay the full adoption fee.

6. My dog is aggressive and I can't trust it anymore. Can you find it a new home?
A. ABR cannot take-in a dog who has a history of biting. You should consult your veterinarian to rule out any medical problems causing the behavior change. But, just as importantly, you need to get in touch with a professional behaviorist to try and work through the problem with your dog.

7. My dog is sick and I can't afford to help it...
A. If you have a dog that has serious health problem or untreatable health problem please do not try to surrender him/her to a rescue. You need to consult your veterinarian and choose a plan of action that will best fit your dog's quality of life. There is no need to prolong a sick/suffering dog’s life and transition him/her into rescue. It's not fair to the dog and it's not fair to the rescue to be burdened with large medical expenses that will not cure your dog. When you adopt/purchase a dog, it's for life. YOU have to be responsible for that dog and "do right" by him/her even if it's at the end of their life.