SurrenderingSurrendering Your Pet

The Humane Society of Charles County wants to work with you to ensure the best possible solution for you and your pet. Before you surrender, please take a moment to read this page.  We may be able to help you keep your pet at home or there may be other alternatives available to you instead of surrendering your pet to our shelter.


Are you dealing with the following?

  • Behavioral issues
  • Moving
  • Cannot afford care



Are you having behavioral issues with your cat?  If the answer is yes, there is support for these issues, some possibly even free of charge.  All that is needed from you is the willingness to work with your cat to help with those behavioral issues.  Spaying and neutering your cat can also help with common behavior issues.  Visit the following links for further information:

CLICK HERE for information from the ASPCA about common cat behavior issues.  
CLICK HERE to inquire about the Humane Society of Charles County Spay/Neuter Clinic.


Are you having behavioral issues with your dog?  If the answer is yes, and your pet is NOT spayed and/or neutered, this could be the cause.  Visit the following links for further information:

CLICK HERE for information from the ASPCA about how spaying and neutering your pets will help with their behavior.  
CLICK HERE to inquire about the Humane Society of Charles County Spay/Neuter Clinic.
CLICK HERE to make an appointment online to have your pet spayed/neutered.

If your pet is spayed and/or neutered, and you are still having behavioral issues, the Humane Society of Charles County can provide information on local area trainers.  Attending a basic obedience class will help you to understand some of the communication errors we make as dog owners.

CLICK HERE for more information about local training for your dog in our Southern Maryland area.


If you are moving, please consider all options of finding a place that will accept your type of pet.  We know it can be stressful, however, your pet depends on you, and surrendering your pet to a shelter is stressful as well to your pet.

  • Look for an alternate place to live that accepts pets.
  • Talk with friends or family to determine if they would be able to commit to taking care of your pet.
  • Re-home your pet yourself. This transition will be much easier for your pet and will allow you to know that your pet is going to a good and not stressed out in an animal shelter environment, as some pets do not show well in this type of setting


The Humane Society of Charles County provides low-cost spay/neuter programs, and Healthy Pet Clinics.  These clinics are available to the general public.  The required vaccinations are available through our Healthy Pet Clinic at a minimal cost.  Please call 301-645-8181 to make an appointment for your pet.

You may also qualify, for free spay/neuter for your pets and/or reduced costs of spay/neuters and vaccinations.

CLICK HERE for information on free spay/neuters and income requirements for the reduced costs of spay/neuters.

Rabies Vaccination Clinics” are hosted throughout the year which is a first come first serve clinic.  These clinics start at 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and are usually held on Saturdays at the Humane Society of Charles County.  You and your pet(s) will stand in line and will be ushered into the building to fill out the necessary paperwork to obtain vaccines.

The following vaccinations are offered:

Rabies (1 or 3* years.  For a 3 years rabies vaccine you must have the certificate for the last rabies shot)
Charles County Dog/Cat Licenses


If to no avail, you still feel you must surrender your pet, please help our shelter learn about your pet by bringing all paperwork, vaccination records, and fill out an application for your pet for our staff to evaluate:

Owner Surrender Application: Dog”  or Owner Surrender Application: Cat  .

We are an open admission shelter however, please keep in mind that we are a small shelter and a limited number of kennels to humanely house and care for.  You will be counseled on the outcome of what could happen when you surrender your pet.

After you application is evaluated you will be contacted by kennel staff to discuss possible outcomes for your pet.

PLEASE CALL 301-645-8181 to make an appointment to speak to an intake counselor.
It will be helpful for you to bring the following:
  •  A valid form of photo ID of the owner
  • Any pertinent records pertaining to the pet (medical records, a bill of sale, etc.). This will help us determine what vaccinations are needed from our clinic before the pet is placed up for adoption.
  • The Humane Society of Charles County requires that the pet’s actual owner relinquish custody of the animal. If you are bringing in an owned pet that is not yours, we require the animal’s actual owner to sign the animal over to the Humane Society of Charles County.
  • If your pet has any special food, supplies, or toys, please bring those in at the time of surrender.
What Happens Next?

At our shelter, all animals receive necessary veterinary care, food, exercise, and plenty of love and attention from our experienced staff and volunteers.  Animals determined to be adoptable are placed in our adoption program.  There is no set time limit for how long an animal can remain in our adoption program.  As long as an animal maintains general good health, sound temperament and we have space, we will keep a pet for weeks, sometimes months. We may put some animals who are sick, underage, or who would benefit from the behavioral intervention in foster care and return them to the adoption program at a later time. We work hard to give second chances to every potentially adoptable animal.  Unfortunately, there are times when there is no space and animals will be transferred to a local rescue partner (Tri-County Animal Shelter in Hughesville, MD).  Once the animal is in their care, they determine the outcome for that animal.

Still have questions, please EMAIL US HERE