Surrender A Pet

First let’s talk about finding a new home for your pet.

We know that surrendering your pet is a very difficult decision and few things are more traumatic for a dog or cat than losing his/her family. Sometimes resources or support are all you need to keep your pet with your family and there are many options available to families that are looking to find a new home for their pet.

Please note that if you have fallen on hard times and are finding it difficult to afford food for your pet please call us and we can talk to you about our community pet food program. Also know if you adopted a pet from Prairie Paws Animal Shelter and you are no longer able to care for the Prairie Animal Shelter alumni per your adoption contract we ask that you surrender the pet back to Prairie Paws Animal Shelter.

If you are considering surrendering your dog because of problem behavior:

  1. Is the dog spayed or neutered? This simple procedure can have a dramatic impact on some behaviors.
  2. Consult with an animal behaviorist, dog trainer or obedience school. Many of these classes and consultations are very inexpensive and yet have amazing results.
  3. Discuss the problem with your vet. Your vet may be able to suggest a training method or even a medication to eliminate the problem.

Increase its adoptability and spread the word.

The following are a few simple tips to try and re-home your pet before bringing it to Prairie Paws:

  • Give yourself time to re-home your pet. It can often take weeks to months to find it the best home.

  • Increase its adoptability by having it spayed or neutered, groomed, and up-to-date on its vaccinations.

  • The more people that know your pet needs a new home will increase its chances of finding the right one. Tell your friends, family and co-workers and ask them to do the same.

  • Advertise in the local newspaper or online, but use caution when considering unknown individuals or families as your pet’s new owners. Hold the initial meeting in a public place and ask questions to screen potential adopters. Share your expectations for your pet’s new home and require an adoption fee to deter unscrupulous individuals. When you find a family that meets your and your pet’s needs, ask for identification and contact information to follow up on how your pet is doing in its new home.

  • Never abandon your animal.

Talk with a breed specific rescue group.

Rescue groups that focus on caring for and helping families re-home a specific breed are available for almost any type of dog. Organized by people who have extensive knowledge of a specific breed, these groups provide a variety of opportunities for your pet, including the possibility of your pet staying in foster care until a new home is found.

In the event these alternative resources don’t address the circumstances you are experiencing with your pet, please review the surrender your pet to the Prairie Paws Animal Shelter appointment process. We do not euthanize for space therefore we can only take in animals when we have open kennels and we continually run at capacity. It is very likely your name will need to be added to a wait list. Wait times varies for species.


Surrender Appointment Process:

What to do if you need to surrender your pet.

You have a number of choices, and just one of them is surrendering your pet to Prairie Paws Animal Shelter. If you have exhausted alternatives to relinquishment, here is how our admissions process works.

Prairie Paws Intake:

Animals are only accepted only by appointment. Call (785) 242-2967 and ask for intake to schedule an appointment to surrender your pet. If we have space available in our shelter, we will schedule an appointment for you. This could take between 1 week to 2 months depending upon the type of animal and the time of year. Please know we do not not euthanize for space and often are operating at capacity so depending on kennel space you most likely will be put on a waiting list.

Our goal is to find a happy forever home for our shelter animals. We can achieve this by knowing more about the animals that come into our care. If possible please write a short bio of your pet to turn in at surrender time and bring their medical records.

Appointment Process:

  1. Call (785) 242-2967 and ask for intake to schedule an appointment to surrender your pet to the Prairie Paws Animal Shelter. You must bring your pet to the shelter, we can not pick up your pet.
  2. Email the completed Intake Assessment Form to prior to your appointment. You will need to bring a picture ID at the time of your appointment. Bring all of your pet’s veterinary records with you to your appointment. You can not bring in a friend or family member’s pet for them. Bring any medications that the animal is currently taking and any special food or treats that they will need.

  3. Your appointment will take approximately 30 minutes. Your pet’s placement at our shelter is based on a variety of factors such as behavior and health.

  4. A member of our Behavioral Management Team will assess the temperament of your pet.

  5. Once your pet has been assessed, a member of our Behavioral Management Team will discuss the results with you and other options if your pet does not pass.
  6. Please bring payment in the form of cash, credit card or check.

If your animal has bitten or broken skin in the last 10 days, please contact your local animal control agency. In Ottawa, KS animal control’s phone number is: 785-242-2561 Ext 445


If You Have Found A Pet:

If you have a found a pet please fill out the Stray Intake Form and email it to If you have exhausted all avenues of trying to find the owner, call to schedule an appointment for behavioral assessment.

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