Need Help?

Pet Adoption

Your Pet's Health & Safety

Reduced-Cost Veterinary Care

Emergency Veterinary Hospitals

Pet Poisoning

Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Microchip Your Pet

License Your Dog

Free Pet Food & Supplies

Prepare Your Pet for Emergencies

Pet Lost & Found Resources

Temporary Housing for Pets

Domestic Violence & Pets

Legal Resources

Giving Up a Pet

Animal Cruelty, Abuse & Neglect

Pets Trapped in Buildings

Injured, Ill, or Orphaned Animals

Feral & Stray Community Cats

Animal Education & Visit Requests

Animal Welfare Legislation

Careers in Animal Welfare

Starting a Rescue or Sanctuary


Save a Life. Donate Now.

Adopt a Pet!

Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube

Out of the Cage! The Blog of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals

Guidestar Platinum Participant

(Photo by Rosanna Piazza)

Photo by Rosanna Piazza

Giving Up a Pet

Sometimes pet owners need some extra help to overcome challenges that threaten their ability to keep their pets in their homes. In New York City, there are organizations that can help you explore potential solutions before you permanently surrender your pet, or take him/her into their care should surrender be the best option.

Pet Retention Programs

Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC)

If you think you need to surrender your pet, contact the Owner Surrender Service at Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC). While ACC never turns away a pet in need, they first try to work with pet owners to find solutions to help them keep their pets in their homes.


PAWS NY services are designed to help clients overcome the physical and financial limitations they face caring for their animal companions.  If you are a senior or someone with an illness or disability, and you are struggling with the day-to-day care of your pet, PAWS NY might be able to assist.  PAWS NY's focus is on physical assistance; they are unable to provide financial assistance. They evaluate each client on a case-by-case basis and offer services accordingly.

If You Must Give Up Your Pet…

If your circumstances are such that you absolutely cannot keep your pet or find him/her a new home, ACC will accept the pet. ACC charges a relinquishment fee of $10 per animal with an appointment, or $35 without an appointment. If you cannot afford to pay the fee, be sure to tell the ACC representative up front.

If you do not need to relinquish your pet immediately, reach out to other local animal shelters or rescue groups. Remember that many organizations have waiting lists to accept new animals into their adoption programs.

To request an appointment with a shelter or rescue group for an assessment of your pet, send a concise email with a good photo of your pet, and a video, if available, which shows your pet. Provide a brief description of your pet that includes his/her name, age, weight, and whether your pet has been spayed or neutered and is up to date on vaccinations. Be sure to include your email address and phone number. Do not go into a long explanation of why you need to relinquish your pet.

Suggested organizations you might try first:

Dogs & Cats

Animal Haven (dogs & cats)

Phone: (212) 274-8511

ASPCA (dogs & cats)

Phone: (212) 876-7700, x5

Bideawee (dogs & cats)


Phone: 1-866-262-8133

The Humane Society of New York (dogs & cats)

Phone: (212) 752-4842

Posh Pets Rescue (dogs & cats)

Sean Casey Animal Rescue (dogs & cats)

Muddy Paws (dogs only)

Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition (cats only)

KittyKind (cats only)


City Critters, Inc. (cats only)




Rabbit Rescue & Rehab/NYC Metro Rabbit

Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC)

Bunnies and Beyond

All About Rabbits

Long Island Rabbit Rescue

House Rabbit Society


Long Island Parrot Society

Northeast Avian Rescue

Exotics & "Pocket Pets"

Sean Casey Animal Rescue