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Surrender Your Pet

Surrendering Your Pet


Giving up a pet is a heart-wrenching decision, but sometimes there seems to be no other option for a pet owner. We understand that financial concerns, illness, moving to a home that won’t accept pets, and unwanted litters can put owners in a no-win situation. The Animal Shelter of Northeast Nebraska accepts dogs, cats and small exotic animals by appointment, given we have room. We promise safe harbor and humane treatment while the pet is a resident of our adoption program. However, ASNN also offers resources to help keep animals in loving homes, and we urge pet owners to consider other options before deciding to surrender their animal. 



There are many resources available online to locate pet-friendly housing.  The websites below have the option to browse pet-friendly rentals:


If you are unable to afford food or supplies for your pet, the Animal Shelter of Northeast Nebraska distributes food to pet owners who have fallen on hard times. We may also be able to help with other items you need to keep your pet in your home, such as cat litter, leashes/collars or a crate.  Please call us at 402-750-4665 if you are in need of any of these items.


If you are having a behavioral issue with your pet, please check out our Pet Education Tab here.  For additional questions, or help finding a trainer, we can be reached by email at or by phone at 402-750-4665. 


We partner with Bright Horizons to provide temporary, safe housing of the companion animals of domestic abuse victims while those individuals work with an advocate to leave an abusive situation. Through our Paws for Hope program, we work to arrange short-term housing for these pets until they can be reunited with their loving owners.  For more information about our program, please click here. If you or someone you know is in need of a domestic violence advocate, please visit


Check with family or friends first to see if your pet might be placed with a familiar person who already loves them. 


If you have the time and resources, please consider trying to rehome your pet yourself before surrendering to a shelter.  You know your pet better than anyone else and are the best suited for finding your pet a home that fits all of his or her needs. You already have a bond with your pet and can focus your efforts on this one pet, whereas shelters may have hundreds of pets that need homes.  And shelters, despite all their efforts, are still stressful places for animals, which can lead to anxiety, aggression and illness.  YOU are your pet's best option for finding them a new home!


  • Get your pet prepped.  You can increase the chances of dinging a new home by making sure your pet is spayed or neutered, in good health, up to date on vaccinations, flea-free and tick-free, and clean and groomed.  
  • Take photos and videos that show your pet's personality.
  • Write a short biography about your pet. What makes him or her special? What does he or she like to do? Is your pet house/litter box trained?  How does your pet react to other pets, kids and strangers?  Are there any medical conditions that the potential adopter needs to know about?  What would be the perfect home for your pet?
  • BE HONEST.  While you still need to market your pet, don't be misleading about things that will impact his or her success in a new home or risk anyone's safety.  If you know your pet doesn't do well with kids, make sure to find him or her an adult-only home. 


  • Create flyers and social media posts with photos and videos of your pet along with their biography.
  • Share with friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors.  You can also ask them to share with their friends and family. 
  • Hang flyers at local veterinary clinics, pet daycares, boarding facilities and groomers. 


Post on Pet Rehoming Websites like "Rehome" and "Get Your Pet" make it easy to rehome your pet at no cost to you.  The websites help you set up your pet's profile, review applications, meet adopters and finalize the adoption yourself without your pet ever having to enter a shelter. 

Facebook has become a very popular and helpful place to find pets and supplies and even re-home pets and supplies.  There are several in the Nebraska area. ****Please use extreme caution when using "unofficial" pet sites like Facebook and Craigslist.****  


  • Charging a rehoming fee is an option that can provide you with reassurance that the adopter can affords a pet and is willing to put forth money to care for one.  The fee does not need to be high and is not intended to recoup costs for raising and caring for your pet up to this point. 
  • Require references. A reference could be from a potential adopter's veterinarian or, for the first-time pet owners, a neighbor or other community member. 
  • Conduct a home visit. A home visit will allow you to make sure the home suits the needs of your pet.  It's also another opportunity to meet the adopter(s) to make sure it's a good fit for your pet.  REMEMBER, if you have a bad feeling, go with your instincts and STAY SAFE


  • If surrendering your pet is the only option, you must make an appointment by calling 402-750-4665.  As a NO-KILL shelter, we have limited space and may not be able to take your pet the same day.
  • Before your appointment, collect all medical records or pertinent paperwork for your pet.
  • At your appointment time, we will ask you to fill out an information sheet so we have a better idea of your pet’s personality and what type of family he or she would most fit. 
  • We ask for a $30 donation at the time of surrender. This helps us mitigate some of the costs of taking care of hundreds of pets and getting them ready for adoption. If you are not able to afford that we will still accept your pet.
  • Once the paperwork is complete, and we accept your pet, we will begin a medical evaluation for entry into our adoption program.
  • The Animal Shelter of Northeast Nebraska makes every effort to place healthy, friendly animals in new, loving homes. However, we cannot guarantee rehoming of your pet. The placement of an individual animal for adoption is based on an evaluation of his or her health and temperament. Once an animal is placed up for adoption at the Animal Shelter of Northeast Nebraska, he or she will remain in our care until a suitable home can be found.  At times, animals may be transferred to other no-kill shelters in order to find a suitable home. 

Information provided by other organizations, including links to external websites, does not constitute endorsement by the Animal Shelter of Northeast Nebraska or any members of the organization. 

You may also contact Nebraska No Kill Dog Rescue at  We cannot guarantee they will be able to help.