Surrender an Animal

We realize how difficult it may have been for you to come to us to surrender your animal. Because of the significance of your decision, we want to ensure that you thoroughly understand our policies on surrendered animals.

It is important to know that the Whatcom Humane Society is an “open admission” humane society. This means that we promise to accept into our care ANY animal that comes to us. Because of this, last year we received well over 4,000 animals. Sadly, there are not enough homes for all of these animals. Whatcom County, and our country as a whole, are suffering a tragic pet overpopulation problem, with 10 million animal being euthanized annually nationwide because new homes are not available. At WHS our goal is to find a loving family for every animal, but unfortunately there are simply more animals than there are people who want to adopt them.

It is essential that you understand all of this and that you understand that you are transferring ownership of this animal to WHS when you surrender him/her to the shelter. After you surrender your animal, our staff will examine and evaluate him/her to decide whether he/she can be placed into our adoption program. At the time you surrender your animal, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to make him/her available for adoption. Much will depend on his/her general condition, temperament, and the availability of space in our adoption kennels. Even if he/she is made available for adoption we cannot guarantee someone will choose to adopt him/her.

Animals Who Are Not Placed Into Our Adoption Program

The following is a list of conditions under which an animal may not be placed for adoption:

  • If they are under 8 weeks of age.
  • If their advanced age is causing extreme medical or physical problems.
  • If they are in poor general health or physical condition.
  • If their temperament or behavior is such that they would not adapt well to a new home.
  • If they are showing signs of extreme stress due to being placed in a kennel environment.
  • If they show signs of communicable disease that could infect other animals.
  • If there is no space available in the adoption kennels.

Depending on the specifics of the animal’s condition and availability of space, some animals with these conditions may be placed in foster care, held for treatment, or observation until they are old enough to be made available for adoption.

Animals Who Are Placed Into Our Adoption Program

At WHS every effort is made to find loving homes for animals in our adoption program. Once an animal is placed into our adoption program there is no set holding period.  Animals may remain available for adoption for a day, week, month, or longer.  Animals available for adoptions may be euthanized if there is a decline in their health, temperament, or physical condition.  They may also be euthanized if our adoption areas become overcrowded and room needs to be made for new incoming animals. Any animal who is euthanized (humanely put to death) will be administered a painless injection of sodium pentobarbital.

If you wish to inquire about this animal, you may do so by calling the shelter at (360) 733-2080.  Please save your surrender paperwork to assist us in providing you with information.

What’s next?

If you decide to surrender your pet to the Whatcom Humane Society, please complete the personality profile below and bring it with you to the shelter.  Please leave your animal(s) in the car when you arrive.  Once paperwork is complete, staff will ask you to bring them in.  Our surrender fee is $50. If this fee is a hardship for you, please call customer service at (360) 733-2080 ext 3001.

Dog Personality Profile

Cat Personality Profile

Small Animal Personality Profile