Surrendering Your Pet

For many people, surrendering a pet can be emotionally upsetting. Often a pet is surrendered because an owner simply has no choice, or is unaware of resources that can help keep them together with their pet. The Buncombe County Animal Shelter staff and volunteers recognize and appreciate this may be a very difficult time for you and your family. Please know we are here to assist you and to care for your pet if you must surrender.  After working with the Shelter you may find there are other alternatives than surrendering your beloved pet.

What will happen to my pet when I surrender it?

Your surrendered pet will be compassionately cared for during his/her stay at the Buncombe County Animal Shelter during which time the animal will be evaluated medically and behaviorally to identify the animal's adoptability and concerns that could restrict, or preclude the animal from finding a new home. Adoptable animals are then placed into an adoptive setting with Asheville Humane Society, or with one of the Shelter Placement Partner Agencies. Once an animal is transferred to a Placement Partner Agency legal ownership, responsibility and liability are transferred to that agency.  

What else do I need to know?

When you surrender your pet you are giving up all legal ownership rights to the animal and legal ownership and responsibility are transferred to Asheville Humane Society.  Asheville Humane Society takes the responsibility of your animalís well-being very seriously and we have a team of compassionate and dedicated animal care specialists who will provide loving care both in the Buncombe County Animal Shelter and in the Asheville Humane Society Adoption Center. 

Will my surrendered pet be adopted?

If the pet you surrendered is in good health and has a sound temperament while at the Buncombe County Animal Shelter, Asheville Humane Society, or one of the other placement partners, should have no problem placing the animal up for adoption.  However, if the animal is not considered adoptable for minor reversible/treatable problems and has a high degree of adoptability if recovered, Asheville Humane Society and other placement partners may still be able to find the animal a new home. What can be done for those animals that are not adoptable in their current state depends on available resources.


Why canít you guarantee that my pet will not be euthanized?

With the Buncombe County Animal Shelter positioned as the only shelter open to all Buncombe County animals, the Shelter can never say never, even to euthanasia.

As the only public open-admission animal shelter in Buncombe County, the Buncombe County Animal Shelter often receives and cares for animals that are aggressive, dangerous, suffering an illness or injury, have a poor prognosis of recovery and/or are unsafe for re-homing. These animals are humanely and compassionately euthanized in accordance with the American Veterinary Medical Association recommendations by North Carolina state certified personnel. 

Asheville Humane Society is currently able to re-home all healthy, emotionally sound animals received at the Buncombe County Animal Shelter. 

If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask any staff member. To speak with an admitting counselor to discuss your concerns or to make an appointment, please call the Buncombe County Animal Shelter at (828) 250-6430. Thank you for putting your trust in the Buncombe County Animal Shelter and Asheville Humane Society.