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If you want to surrender/rehome for any of the following reasons, there are often solutions that will allow you to keep your pet.


Looking for a Short-Term Foster?

If you're experiencing a crisis, preparing for a military deployment, moving to a new home, or having a medical procedure, you may need temporary help caring for your dog or cat. Reach out to your community and ask for support. Someone you know may be willing to provide your pet with a safe and loving short-term home. For more information, click HERE.


Unable To Afford Pet Food?

These are the free weekly pet food banks in the Sacramento area:

  • Front Street Animal Shelter (2127 Front St)  -  Wednesdays  10 am - 12 pm

  • Bradshaw Animal Shelter (3839 Bradshaw Rd)  -  Tuesday - Sunday  12 pm - 5 pm


Unable To Afford Vet Care?

There are several resources that can pay part or all of a pet's medical expenses, or break the bill down into small payments over time:

  • You can ask your veterinarian to agree on a payment plan or negotiate treatment costs.

  • Apply for payment-plan financing with Care Credit or ScratchPay.

  • Create a GoFundMe to share with friends, family and neighbors using social media.

  • There are many organizations that provide financial assistance. See a list at Keep Your Pet.

  • Ask the shelter you would surrender your pet to in case they know of other resources.

Download a comprehensive guide of veterinary care assistance programs (PDF)


Unable To Afford Spay/Neuter?

Pets that aren't fixed may have unwanted litters, run away more often, and have other issues. Here are some free or low-cost resources:


Behavior Problems?

Issues, such as chewing, escaping, barking, conflicts with other animals, separation anxiety and other problems, can make it difficult to own a pet. Fortunately, these issues can often be corrected or significantly improved:


Trouble Finding Pet-Friendly Housing?

If you rent, it can be difficult to find housing that allows pets, especially large dogs. Here are some tips:

  • Search for "Pet friendly rentals Sacramento." Also ask your friends, family, and neighborhood social media pages if they can recommend pet-friendly housing. Contact local property management companies for recommendations.

  • Apartment buildings might not change their pet policies, but you may be able to convince an individual landlord. Having a reference letter from a previous landlord stating that your pet didn't cause issues can help.

  • Houses are more likely to allow pets than apartments

  • Post to Nextdoor and neighborhood Facebook sites in the area where you want to live. Describe yourself as a great tenant looking for a pet-friendly place to rent.

  • Look on a variety of listing sites such as Craigslist, Zillow,, etc.

  • Don't wait till the last minute. Try to extend your move-out date until you find a pet-friendly place.


Need Temporary Boarding?

A pet can often put a strain on one's ability to find housing or get medical care. It is often possible to find a temporary home:

  • Talk to friends and family and post to your own social media page as well as Nextdoor and neighborhood Facebook pages describing your situation and asking if anyone can assist. Provide details about your pet's behavior and any supplies, food, and medical care you can cover while your pet is in their care.

  • If you need a foster home while you undergo medical treatment or are on military deployment, visit PACT For Animals.


If these solutions don't work, try rehoming before surrendering.

As the pet's owner, you can do a far better job finding your pet the right home than a shelter. Use the following sources to rehome:

  • Ask friends and family if they're interested.

  • Post to your social media pages.

  • Use a free rehoming site such as Home To Home and Rehome by Adopt-A-Pet.

  • Post to Nextdoor and Facebook pages for your city or neighborhood.

  • Craigslist can be a great resource for people looking to add a new pet to their family. Do a post in the Community section.

  • Do a Google search for dog and cat rescues, especially for your particular breed of dog.


Pet Surrender As The Last Option

If you are still unable to keep or rehome your pet after following the tips above, contact the animal shelter in your jurisdiction that accepts owner surrenders. For Sacramento residents, that is the Sacramento SPCA. More info at Due to high demand, there may be a 3-4 week wait for an appointment to surrender.