When Owners Need to Surrender a Pet, a Family Member

When Owners Need to Surrender a Pet, a Family Member

Firefly- waiting for foster pick up after being surrendered. 

(Her mouse stayed with her)


At Pet Haven, we rescue, rehabilitate, and re-home over 1,000 pets a year. These pets come to us in a few different ways. Pets in shelters and municipalities considered “unadoptable” or from shelters that have no adoption program, pets in need from our Minnesota Reservation Partners, all legally surrendered by their caregivers and family, and sometimes vet clinics that ask us to help take on care when a pet is not able to stay in its home.

Our largest growth for intake is our Owner Surrenders Program.

Pet owners come to us for many reasons but what we don’t hear is “I just don’t want my pet anymore.” We just don’t hear that.

Making the decision to surrender a pet is never an easy one. It is often an extremely difficult decision and by the time a person has gotten to filling out our surrender application, they are in crisis.

We are here to help.

The impact we have on the pet is obvious. We provide a new life.

The impact we have on the owners, the pet’s family, is not always seen.


Below exemplifies the compassion and service we provide for those families in crisis. A “thank you” from Firefly’s owner:


I can not express to you how thankful I am for all your help. I am in awe of the time, commitment, promptness, understanding, and patience you have shown me throughout this journey. You have answered my questions, problem solved with me, offered your own home to help, come to my home to help, and shown a gracious amount of empathy when I needed it most.

I felt completely helpless reaching out to other facilities. I felt stuck in a situation with no solution. You problem-solved with me and when things didn’t work out as hoped you helped me through that time as well.   
What an amazing organization with so many amazing people. I never would have thought I could feel so supported. “Thank you” doesn’t even begin to cover the amount of gratitude I feel for the help and love I received. I was persistent (and I am sure at times overwhelming) yet you were all there to calm me and reassure me along the way. Although the outcome wasn’t the one I had hoped for, I don’t feel sad or regretful right now. I feel supported and thankful. 
It takes a village; and what an amazing village you have at Pet Haven. What a blessing you are to all the animals and people that are lucky enough to cross paths with you. I can only imagine how emotionally taxing the work you do must be. It has not gone unnoticed. I am amazed and so thankful for you all. 
If I can give back in any way, please let me know and I will always do my best.
Firefly’s previous family
**We do not require a fee to surrender a pet. We do however appreciate any donation a pet owner or supporter can give to help our program continue. Often times pets that come into our Owner Surrender Program need extra care or medical treatment. Please consider a gift to support our program. It is a gift that truly makes a difference!