Pet Surrender Services

There are several options that can be explored for rehoming your pet, the last of which should be surrendering your pet to a shelter. All resources provided are not affiliated with Chatham County Sheriff's Office or its Animal Resource Center, and are listed as a courtesy. A list of recommended resources is provided below:

If you have exhausted alternatives to relinquishment, including trying to work through challenges by training or veterinary care, trying to find a new home for your pet with friends, neighbors, family, or co-workers, or rehoming your pet through social media, websites, or rescue groups, below is an explanation of the admission process through Chatham Sheriff’s Animal Resource Center (ARC).

How the process works

Each day, Chatham Sheriff’s ARC staff determine the amount of space available in the facility as animals find placement. The goal of this process is to have kennel spaces filled as efficiently as possible, keeping cages from standing empty and maximizing lifesaving capacity. Chatham Sheriff’s ARC staff works diligently to keep the relinquish process moving quickly and efficiently.

How to Prepare

    • Please call the Chatham Sheriff’s ARC at 919-542-7203 to speak with a staff member regarding a relinquish or surrender appointment.

    • You must provide any veterinary records to your appointment. If you are unable to locate the appropriate paperwork, please let the staff member you are on the phone with know. Chatham Sheriff’s ARC staff can attempt to retrieve records if the veterinary office is known.

    • If you do not have veterinary documents, staff members will request a photo of the animal that you are surrendering to the facility. This photo will serve as proof of ownership and the photo must be at least one week or older.

    • You must provide valid identification in the form of a driver’s license, passport, identification card, or social security card. If the address listed on the valid identification is not a Chatham County address or is not present, you must bring proof of residency in the form of a mortgage or rent bill, utility or loan bill, or other proof of current residency.

    • Appointments are scheduled Monday through Friday from 11am – 3:30pm. Please be prepared to spend at least 30 minutes within the facility as the staff assist you with relinquishing your pet.

All dogs relinquished to Chatham Sheriff’s ARC must arrive on leash or in a crate. All cats relinquished to Chatham Sheriff’s ARC must be in a carrier, crate, or humane trap. All other animals relinquished must be in a secure enclosure upon arrival. If you do not have a safe means of transportation such as a crate, carrier, or leash, please inform the staff upon arrival so they may assist you.

Bring to the appointment

  • Your pet’s medications.

  • Your pet’s bed, toys, leash, and other belongings from home.

  • Your pet’s crate or carrier.

  • Any additional items that may help your pet feel relaxed or calm in a shelter-setting.

What to do when you arrive

  • Arrive and enter the facility with your supporting documents in hand, including your valid identification, proof of residency, proof of ownership, and any other requested documents.

  • A staff member will request to make a copy of any form of identification. Failure to comply will result in the inability to relinquish or surrender your pet.

  • A staff member will complete an ‘Impound Form’ filled with information from the identification provided as well as the information provided about your pet. This form must be signed by the owner of the pet.

  • You will be requested to complete a ‘Pet Assessment’ form to provide key information regarding your pet’s behavior and daily activities. This form assists staff with evaluations and gives potential adopters or rescues important information on your pet’s demeanor.

  • Once all forms have been completed, you will be asked to bring your pet inside. A staff member will lead them through the building where they will receive necessary vaccines and medications, then placed in the appropriate housing. If relinquished in a crate, carrier, trap, or other safe enclosure, the staff member will return this to you once the pet has been secured.

  • Once the pet is safely in Chatham Sheriff’s ARC custody and necessary documents have been completed, your appointment has been completed.

Members of Chatham Sheriff’s ARC staff will thoroughly evaluate the behavior of your pet to determine the best possible outcome. Staff of Chatham Sheriff’s ARC can make no guarantees on an outcome for your pet, as unforeseen circumstances may arise. If you would like to check on your pet after you have relinquished them, you may call Chatham Sheriff’s ARC to speak with a staff member. Pets relinquished to Chatham Sheriff’s ARC may not be allowed to leave with previous owner, as property rights of the pet have been signed over to the facility and its staff.