Surrendering Your Dog
Surrendering your dog can be a difficult decision. Often, people
believe they must give up their dog because they do not know how to handle
a particular issue. However, most issues such as housing options,
allergies, and behavioral issues all can often be addressed.
Wonder Puppy's Can we
help your pet? web site has many solutions for common problems.
If you've determined that you must surrender your dog, you have several
options. Please examine each carefully to decide what is the best
NEARR's Foster Program
NEARR has an excellent track record with its foster program. Evaluated
dogs are placed in volunteer foster care, loved and treated for issues,
while an appropriate forever home is located. NEARR is a matchmaker --
finding dog savvy homes who have the right lifestyle for your particular
NEARR has many surrender applications every week. Shelter and stray
dogs are our highest priority. Our availability to help an individual dog
is based on foster home availability, location of the dog, and temperament
evaluation results. Accepted dogs may require a delay of a month or two
until foster care is available.
Currently, NEARR can accept dogs only from the following areas:
Note: If you live in New England but are outside our service area, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for assistance. We might be able to help.
- Massachusetts: East of Interstate 91 excluding Martha's Vineyards and Nantucket
- New Hampshire: Merrimack, Rockingham, Sullivan, Cheshire, Strafford and Hillsborough counties only
- Vermont: Chittenden, Orange, Washington, Addison, Rutland, Windsor, Bennington, and Windham counties
- Rhode Island: All counties excluding Block Island
- Connecticut New Haven, Middlesex and parts of New London counties
Requirements for Surrendering a Dog to NEARRSurrendered dogs must:
- Have no history of bites or aggression.
- Be up-to-date on all shots.
- Be neutered/spayed.
- Pass a temperament evaluation.
- Be surrendered with the recommended $100 surrender donation ($50
non-refundable evaluation donation due at temperament
evaluation time and $50 due at time of surrender).
- Be surrendered with a valid health certificate, signed by a
- Be surrendered with a signed surrender contract, giving NEARR
ownership of the dog.
NEARR Surrender Process
- Owner completes our Dog placement
Intakes Coordinator receives and reviews the application and calls
the owner to get further details on the dog and the situation. During the conversation, the Intakes Coordinator may suggest solutions to short term problems or alternatives to surrender.
- If the Intakes Coordinator believes the dog is a candidate for
surrender to NEARR, they will contact a local evaluator with the dog's
information and request an evaluation.
- The evaluator schedules and performs a temperament evaluation,
recording the dog's reaction to a series of tests and passes the information to the
Intakes Coordinator, who
reviews the results and determines if the dog might be a candidate for
NEARR foster care.
- The Intakes Coordinator works with the Foster Coordinator to determine if
foster care is available for the dog.
- If immediate foster care is available, the Intakes Coordinator informs
the owner and asks them to prepare for the surrender.
- If foster care will be available in the next couple of months,
the Intakes Coordinator works with the owner to determine if they might wait.
- If suitable foster care is not available, the Intakes Coordinator will
work with the owner to find alternative solutions.
- A few days before the dog is transferred to NEARR's care, the
surrendering owner takes the dog to a veterinarian to acquire a health
certificate (and, if necessary, updating any vaccinations that are out
of date). This certificate must be faxed to NEARR before the surrender
- At surrender time, the dog is surrendered to a NEARR volunteer with
a signed surrender contract, the surrender donation, and the health
(Based on German Shepherd Rescue of New England, Inc's
In order to maximize your chances at finding a good forever home for
your dog, certain steps should be followed:
- First and foremost, determine if you really need a new home for your
dog. Contact local trainers or breed rescue groups and you'll find
- Plan. Most people who must find a home for their dog don't plan on
it. Unfortunately, finding the proper home takes time. A time crunch can
mean the difference between life and death to your dog. Sometimes there
are no other options than the shelter.
- Get your dog spayed or neutered. Spayed/neutered dogs are more
adoptable. Also update, if necessary, your dog's vaccinations and keep
- If your retriever is a purebred purchased from a breeder, contact
them. Ethical breeders feel responsible for every puppy, each life they
have had a hand in creating. They will often take the dog back and
assume responsibility for finding him/her a good home. Good breeders
often have waiting lists of people wanting a puppy who might consider
adopting an adult dog.
- Assess your dog. Take some time to write out a list of good and bad
points about your dog. This will help you develop an honest evaluation
of your own dog. Be honest. Tell any interested party everything about
your dog. Do not leave out anything. If you hide a problem, it will only
come out later.
- Network with friends/relatives/co-workers. There could be someone
you know who just might consider adopting your dog.
- Take the time to wait for the right owner. Interview, meet your
dog's prospective owner.
NEARR has a referrals
page for retrievers and retriever mixes looking for good homes. Many
potential adopters watch this web page for adoptable dogs. We can place
your dog if you have a digital photo (photos can be digitized via scanners
at many places including Kinko's and Walmart), contact information, and a
description of the dog. Contact the Intakes Coordinator via email at email@example.com, or our
24-hour voicemail hotline: (617) 824-4278, Line 2.
Other Rescue Groups
Other reputable rescue groups which accept retrievers in New England
(from North East Rottweiler Rescue and Referral)
Shelters and humane societies were created to care for stray and abused
animals. They weren't meant to be a drop-off for people who don't want
their pets anymore. Shelters, on average, take in 100 new animals or more
each day. Let's face it -- there won't be enough good homes for all of
them. Even the best shelters can't boast much more than a 50% adoption
rates. Only the youngest, friendliest, cutest and best-behaved dogs are
going to be adopted.
By law, stray pets must be kept several days for their owners to
reclaim them. They may not be destroyed until that period is up. These
laws don't protect dogs that have been given up by their owners. They may
be destroyed at any time. Shelters don't want to kill all these animals,
but they don't have a choice. There just isn't enough room for all of
them. Shelters today are so overcrowded that your dog could be killed the
same day it arrives.
A shelter is your last resort only after all your best efforts have
If you have additional questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also
leave a message at (617) 824-4278, Line 2, which is our 24-hour voicemail
NOTE: This is a voice mail box
that is regularly checked. You will not reach a live person.
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