If you must give up your Doberman, we will work with you compassionately, and if we believe surrender is truly in the dog’s best interest, we will accept your dog if our resources permit.

 We don’t want you to put your dog on Craigslist or in a shelter any more than you do.


The Process

Step 1: We know this decision is traumatic. We will discuss your personal situation with you confidentially, starting from the expectation that you will do anything you can to keep your dog. For instance, if you and we believe that training is all that’s needed to solve your problem, we make our trainer/behaviorist available to evaluate your dog and provide a tailored plan.  This service is complementary. If you like the plan, you and she can negotiate a customized training program for a very reasonable cost. (We have no financial relationship with our trainer/behaviorist.)

Step 2: If keeping your dog is not an option, we will accept him or her when our space and financial resources permit. If we have a spare foster home and if we can cover the expense of a veterinary intake exam and spay/neuter, we will ask you to sign an owner surrender form giving us a detailed behavior, personality, temperament, and incident history and permanent legal title to the dog.

Title is required so that we have the authority to have him/her medically evaluated and to place her. Transferring title also emphasizes that the decision to surrender should never be made quickly. It is a very serious decision.

The detailed history is essential because it helps us know your dog’s temperament, needs, behavior, and issues and helps us to place him or her safely in a well-matched forever home.

We also ask that you accept significant financial responsibility. After all, it costs us an average of $350 to ready a dog for placement. First, it is only fair and right for you to help us care for the dog you just surrendered. Second, we can’t help you or others if we don’t have the means. Third, there are people out there who just want to unload their dogs. We don’t want to make it easy for them to have a revolving door.  We do want to help good people whenever we can. Please be candid with us and help us help you.

Step  3: When you bring your dog to us, we ask that she or he be freshly bathed and on a collar and lead. She or he will probably be coming directly into a volunteer’s home. We also ask for all tags and licenses, veterinary records, training records, purchase/pedigree/registration records, and for any usable gear that you can donate to us. Crates, bowls, leads, collars, toys, food, treats, clean bedding, favorite stuffies or blankets — these things can ease the transition for your dog and help us out.

Step 4. Once a dog has been surrendered to us and its legal title has been conveyed to us, we will start the confidential new placement process.  The dog will be medically evaluated, treated as necessary, and placed in a loving foster home for socialization, observation, and basic obedience training as neeeded.

Please be positive that you truly wish to find a new home for your dog. We can’t allow you to visit a dog you’ve surrendered, because that will only confuse and prolong the dog’s adjustment to a new home.

Also, returning a dog to a surrendering former owner is a very, very rare event: The reasons that people surrender a dog just don’t disappear overnight. We will carefully evaluate this request on a case-by-case basis, but if we agreed to accept a dog in the first place, it’s because you and we thought that there are no better alternatives for the dog. That may sound harsh, but think of it this way: Our first commitment is to the animal. We follow the same general guidelines that apply to human adoptions, and for the same reasons.

We understand that you are making a very tough decision and we aren’t here to judge you. We just ask that you think it through and share your concerns and situation as frankly as possible.  If we can help you, or answer any questions, please contact us.