Surrendering a Pet

SPCA Florida – REVISED Intake/Surrender Fee Policy effective April 1, 2018


Many limited admittance shelters are now charging for all surrenders. Making pet owners feel and understand the responsibility for their pet(s) is paramount in attempting to change behavior. Our goal is to make owners and people who pick up strays accountable for their actions while guiding our community to the thinking that animals are not disposable.

We anticipate these actions will:

    • Guide efforts toward creating a county ordinance that regionally addresses and promotes the reunification of pets to owners by designating Polk County Animal Services (PCAS) as the designation promoting the best chance for reuniting pets.
    • Ensure repeat offenders of dumping animals will be fined as well as owners of dangerous animals having a bite history or owners of animals having “at large histories.”

The goal is to seek accountability and compliance among pet owners as it relates to Polk County Animal Services’ standards.  The net benefit of establishing this policy is to ensure SPCA Florida does not tie up valuable cage space with hold periods ranging between 4 and 10 days.  The processing of strays through PCAS will not only adhere to ordinances but will allow SPCA Florida to transfer “said” pets in with the first set of vaccinations applied.

In an effort to raise the level of compliance of pet owners spaying and neutering their pets, to offset costs incurred for surrendered pets and to illustrate shelters are not a dumping ground for animals, the following fee scale will apply to all pet surrenders effective April 1, 2018:

    • $25 Surrender fee with an appointment for each animal up to two animals
    • $50 Surrender fee with an appointment for three to six animals
    • $15 Additional fee for unaltered pets (does not apply to litters)
    • $25 “Return” fee for adopted pets returned after two months
    • $50 Fee for repeat surrenders/offenders – these are people who despite guidance and  assistance programs, continue to bring pets for surrender.

We appreciate your understanding as we continue to strive for Healthy Animals – Humane Communities.

We have many options to help those in need that are designed to prevent an animal entering our shelter. Before surrendering you may wish to consider these rehoming options available to help you find a new home for your pet without surrendering it to the shelter. If you can no longer care for your dog or cat, you may relinquish ownership at SPCA Florida’s Adoption Center.

What to know before you surrender:

  • We can only accept animals from POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA
  • If you need to surrender your animal we take admissions by appointment only. An appointment does NOT guarantee SPCA Florida will intake your dog or cat. We require appointments in order to give the animals the best chance to be re-homed by providing an in-depth discussion about the animal and completion of the personality profiles.
  • SPCA Florida does NOT euthanize based on space or length of stay. We intake based on population and space available to ensure all pets entrusted in our care are given as much time as needed to find their new, forever home.

We rely solely on donations to care for more than 6,000 homeless animals entering our doors every year.

If you’re surrendering your animal, you will need:

  • A pre-scheduled appointment (see above)
  • To fill out our Surrender Form and complete a Cat Personality or Dog Personality Form provided at Intake
  • Bring any of your pet’s medications or special food, if required
  • Photo ID

What happens when you surrender:

  • You surrender all owner rights.
  • Once you’ve surrendered an animal, you cannot obtain information about whether or not he/she was adopted, current owner status, etc.

What about stray animals?

•    Consider taking stray animals to your nearest animal control agency. This ensures there is one location in the county where owners can check for lost pets. SPCA Florida works with Polk County Animal Services to transfer in pets from their shelter weekly depending on our population.

Again, we can only accept animals from POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA. To schedule an appointment or inquire about surrendering your pet:

Contact the Admissions Coordinator at: 863-577-4618 or email: mrichar[email protected]