Tips for Keeping Your Pet

If you are considering surrender, we ask that you exhaust all options before starting the surrender process. Not sure what your options are? Please review our Pet Retention Resources document.

If you are still in need of surrendering your pet after reviewing all of your options, we may be able to help.

Owner Surrender Process

Please be aware that shelter space at HSSV is extremely limited due to a large number of pet owners needing to surrender their animals, and a high volume of requests to help homeless animals in our neighboring shelters. Our primary focus is on our local community, so HSSV does not accept surrendered animals from outside Santa Clara County. Please check our listings of other local organizations.

Additionally, Santa Clara County shelters are experiencing a surge in intake of cats and kittens. In order to focus our resources on saving the lives of cats and kittens at risk for euthanasia in local shelters, we will not accept applications for surrenders, with the exception of animals previously adopted from HSSV or if you are a current resident of the city of Sunnyvale. Please visit our Re-homing Resources page for tips on how to place your animal without having them come to a shelter. Thank you for your understanding.

Our surrender waitlist for rabbits and guinea pigs is currently closed. If you are looking to surrender a rabbit or guinea pig, please contact local rescues or explore privately rehoming.


Depending on your unique situation, we may provide you with additional resources or ask you to complete our Owner Surrender application (required for intake).  Email us at

Once we’ve received your Pet Owner Surrender Application we will contact you to discuss your pet’s behavior and health history in detail and ask any questions we may have about your pet. For animals with a history of illness, injury or special medical needs, we will ask that you contact your primary veterinary provider to request medical records.

HSSV may require in-person evaluations of animals prior to approving them for intake. If you have submitted your Surrender Application, we will contact you to review the information with you and will also schedule a time for an in-person evaluation, if necessary.


After we have reviewed all of the information from your Pet Owner Surrender Application and in-person evaluation, we will be able to let you know whether or not your pet has been approved to enter our adoption program. If we are able to take your animal in through our surrender program, we will contact you to schedule an appointment. Scheduling surrender appointments is based on several factors, including available space at the shelter. Surrender fees are collected at the time of the intake to help provide for your pet while in the care of HSSV.

Surrender Fees

  • Dog or Cat: $160-230
  • Rodent: $15

Your surrender fees provide your pet with:

  • 24-hour shelter care
  • Spay/neuter (if applicable)
  • Two meals per day
  • Fresh bedding and toys
  • Medical assessment and care
  • Flea Treatment
  • De-worming
  • Behavior Assessment
  • Lots of TLC, socialization, training and love
  • Adoption marketing
  • Adoption match-making
  • Post-adoption support

When space is available, we will contact you to make an appointment to bring your pet in for intake into the shelter. Cats, rabbits, and pocket pets must be in carriers and dogs must be on-leash when you bring them in for their intake appointment.

“Moving day” can be stressful for both humans and animals. To help comfort your pet while s/he is adjusting to our shelter environment, you are highly encouraged to bring your pet’s unwashed favorite bed, blanket and/or toy. Donations of kennels, carriers, and other pet supplies are also greatly appreciated and are tax deductible.

To help your pet make a good first impression and attract the attention of a potential adopter, we recommend you have your animal bathed and/or groomed before your appointment. A shiny coat, trimmed nails and a new haircut can not only help pets feel better, it can help them get adopted faster!

Step 3: In the Shelter

Once in the shelter, all animals receive both a health and behavior assessment to determine their needs both in the shelter and in a new home. Admission into HSSV is not a guarantee that your animal will go up for adoption. If they cannot be adopted out through our adoption program, every attempt is made to find the animal a home either through one of HSSV’s rescue group or shelter partners.

If your animal is not a candidate for our adoption programs and cannot be placed with another organization due to either medical or behavioral issues, you may choose to be notified. To find out more about your post-surrender options, please talk with our Community Services team.

HSSV does not place any time limits on an animal’s stay with our organization once it is made available for adoption! Provided the animal stays healthy, animals will be available for adoption until a new home is found, even if that takes days, weeks, or months.


Step 4: Adoption!

HSSV has a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience matching people with pets. When a potential adopter is interested in one of our animals, we take our time getting to know them and letting them get to know the animals before deciding to take home a new companion. Once a match is made, HSSV is here for life to support both the new pet and his/her adopter. We offer post-adoption support, dog training courses, veterinary referrals, adjustment tips and lots more.

Because HSSV is a safety net for animals at risk of euthanasia in local shelters, space may be limited for owner surrendered pets at any given time. While we may not be able to take your pet into our adoption program immediately, we are here to provide support, referrals, and rehoming advice, or additional resources that may help you keep your pet. Please email us at to find out how we can help.

Preventing Unintended Pregnancies (PUP) Program

Did your dog or cat have an unintended litter of little ones? Consider bringing them to Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV), our Adoptions Program will find them loving homes after we vaccinate, microchip, and spay/neuter them. 

You will get peace of mind knowing that the babies have been matched with their new homes by trained HSSV Adoption Counselors and that they will not add to the pet over-population problem in the Silicon Valley and our existing communities. Best of all, we will spay, microchip, vaccinate, and return Mom to you – all at no charge!  

Mom & her litter will be dropped off to our medical center in the morning and we will alter, vaccinate, and microchip everybody at the same time. You will come back later that afternoon to sign surrender paperwork and pick up Mom.  

Puppies must be between 8 weeks and 12 weeks old and kittens must be between 6 weeks and 12 weeks old to qualify for this program.  

Start the process by contacting us at  

If approved for admission, we will schedule an appointment for you to bring in the mom and babies.  

HSSV reserves the right to refuse this service if the animals are not in good health or behaviorally sound. Program availability is based on space – please call our Community Services Department for additional support or information.