Surrender a Pet

Surrendering a pet is never an easy decision and we hope that the following information will be helpful to you. Please know that if you find you are no longer able to keep your pet, you have options.  

Appointment Required

If you find yourself needing to surrender your pet, please note that you must make an appointment before arriving at the shelter. Information on making an appointment can be found below under When Surrendering Your Pet.

Alternatives to Surrendering
If you are thinking about surrendering your pet, please first consider using the following resources:

  • Notify friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers that you need to find a new home for your pet. More often than not, this type of networking can have very positive results. Plus, you may even get to visit on occasion if you find your pet a new home within your social network.
  • Contact a rescue group about taking your pet. 
  • If your pet is having behavioral challenges, speak with your veterinarian to ensure the problem is not due to an unknown medical condition. Alternatively, pet behaviorists (different than a trainer) can also assist you. Our team of staff include a pet behaviorist and we are also happy to help you with behavior and training resources.
  • If you rent and need assistance with pet friendly housing, there are many options! Use websites tailored to the needs of pet owners, such as People with Pets. There you will be able to search for "pet friendly" apartments in various communities, in your target price range, and with the amenities you specify.
  • If you have allergies, have a conversation with your doctor. Pet allergies are a common problem. The good news is that  your allergist or veterinarian may be able to recommend many helpful products and tips to "lose" the allergies, rather than your pet.

When Surrendering Your Pet
To surrender your pet to LCAS, please note the following guidelines:

  • Are you a Loudoun resident? Only Loudoun residents may surrender a pet to LCAS.
  • Are you over the age of 18? Pet owners must be 18 years or older to surrender a pet. 
  • Please call 703-777-0406 to schedule a time to surrender your pet. Surrenders are typically scheduled during business hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Limited appointments are available on Saturdays.  
  • Bring proof of ownership to your scheduled surrender appointment. 
    • Bill of sale or a written transfer of ownership
    • County license
    • Microchip registration
    • Photograph
    • Veterinary records or a rabies vaccination certificate
    • Breed registry
  • Help us help your pet find a new home by filling out a personality profile:
  • Ensure your pet is current on its vaccinations and bring your most recent veterinary records to your surrender appointment. Pets with current vaccines are able to move more quickly through the medical and behavioral assessment process which shortens their stay at the shelter. If you need need assistance finding low-cost vaccination options, check out this Low-Cost Resource Flyer (PDF).
  • Please consider bringing a small bag of your pet’s current food and their favorite blanket or toy. This food will help your pet transition to the shelter’s food and minimize the occurrence of stomach upset. A favorite toy or blanket will help comfort them.

After Surrendering a Pet

LCAS is an open admission shelter, which means we accept every pet regardless of health, age, breed or temperament. We are also committed to reducing euthanasia through innovative approaches to animal sheltering and community-supported initiatives such as fostering and transfer partnership programs. 

All pets undergo behavior and health evaluations before they can be adopted. Although we strive to help every pet find a new home, LCAS is committed to balancing the welfare of pets with our responsibility to the public. We recognize that not all pets are suitable for placement and will make every effort to find alternative outcomes. Humane euthanasia is always a last resort once all other options have been exhausted. Once a pet is placed for adoption, there is no time limit on their stay.