Rehoming A Senior Pet

This page is designed to be a resource center for people needing/wanting to surrender a pet.  We have provided these resources with the hope that people will utilize the resources before you apply to surrender.  We understand sometimes people have no other option than to surrender and we want to let people know SFAR provides a judgement free zoneSFAR is here to provide support, not only to animals, but also to their owners.

Owner Surrender Resources

We rescue animals 7+ years and older and we take some younger animals on a case by case basis. If your animal is younger than 4 years old, please contact one of the shelters or rescues listed below.

   If you need to re-home an animal it's imperative to look into multiple shelters and rescues.

More Resources for people wanting to surrender a pet

We strongly encourage people to utilize the resources we have compiled for those that feel they need to re-home a pet.  We are a small foster based rescue and encourage people to reach out to some of the larger organizations listed below.

Things to think about before giving up a pet/crisis management

Home to Home adoptions

Rehoming A Pet On Your Own

Rehoming a pet on your own

Everything you need to know about rehoming a pet

Adopting a  pet out on your own

Responsibly and humanely adopt out a pet on your own

Online pet community for people wanting to re-home and people wanting to adopt

How to re-home a pet on your own

How to re-home a pet

Surrender prevention tips

Talking to your child about surrendering a pet

Closeup of a Black Dog

Senior pets make great companions, but you have to get the word out there. Below are some helpful hints to safely re-home your dog or cat on your own

  • Network your older dog or cat through friends, family, coworkers and within your community through social networking and good old-fashioned word of mouth.

  • Make a nice color flyer of your pet, letting prospective adopters know all about him or her. List likes, dislikes, health issues, etc. The more you share, the more a prospective adopter can figure out if your pet is a good match for them. Make sure the photo of your pet is clear. Hang this flyer in places older adopters may hang out - retirement or community recreation centers, libraries, coffee shops, churches etc.

  • When screening potential adopters of your pet, ask to talk to their former or current veterinarian, or ask for personal references to make sure any prospective adopters will care for your pet.


SFAR focuses its priorities on helping senior pets in open admission shelters first and foremost, and then owner surrenders.

  • ​In an effort to divert senior pets from entering the traditional shelter system, other senior pets are accepted as space allows and on a case-by-case basis with the following criteria: We prioritize admitting senior pets from senior people who can no longer care for their dogs or cats due to assisted living admission, health or physical limitations, or guardian death. We will consider other criteria as well. We suggest that a tax-deductible donation be made to SFAR at the time of admission.

  • We make a lifetime commitment to all of the senior pets in our care, and provide a safety net should your pet ever need to find another new home after being admitted into the SFAR program. If you have a senior pet that you need to re-home and would like your pet to be considered for admission into SFAR, please fill out the inquiry form below. Please note that filling out the inquiry form does not guarantee that your pet will be admitted into SFAR.

Rehoming A  Pet

Please read the steps below before filling out a surrender application

Image by Camylla Battani

1.) We are a limited-intake,   foster only,   rescue whose mission is to rescue senior dogs (7+years and above).  We have no kennel space.

Image by Markus Winkler

5.) If you are considering giving up a pet that was not adopted from SFAR- NOTE: SFAR receives numerous inquiries from people wanting to surrender or give up a pet. It is unfortunate that it is impossible to accommodate all requests.  

Image by Damian Zaleski

9.) If you decide you must surrender: PLEASE fill out the surrender form in detail.

Dog Walker

2.) We visit other shelters in the area looking for pets suitable for re-homing that have run out of time or need medical care that they would not otherwise receive.

Yorkshire Terrier at the Vet

6.) Giving up an animal should not be taken lightly; animals bond very strongly to humans, and the longer a pet has lived with a human, the stronger the bond and the greater the pain of abandonment. Adopting a pet in the first place means taking responsibility for a life – not just for as long as it is convenient or cute. 

Image by Karen Mork

10.) All animals are kept with foster families and you may be asked to keep your pet and bring him/her to adoption events while we wait for a suitable home. 

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3.) Animal surrenders are accepted on a case-by-case basis

Kid and Dog

7.) Please make sure you have explored all of your options for keeping your pet with you or a family member, before you make this difficult decision. It is a decision that is likely not only to disrupt the pet’s emotional stability and routine, but also members of your family unit, especially children who may not be able to comprehend why a loved family member must leave.

Image by Reagan Freeman

11.) We must also receive your pet’s complete medical records and your written statement of the animal’s behavior as requested in the surrender form. 

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4.) If you need to surrender a pet previously adopted  from SFAR, please email  

Vet Examining Dog

8.)  We would be happy to help if there is anything about your pet behaviorally or medically that could be worked on in order for you to keep him / her.

Image by Katt Yukawa

12.) SFAR would appreciate a donation to help offset some of the expenses that we take on with your pet, such as food, grooming etc.