Relinquish My Pet

Relinquishing Your Pet

Owners may relinquish their dog or cat with an owner turn-in fee of $40. Owners must provide proof that they live in Hesperia. Animals may or may not be adopted. Many factors are considered when choosing an animal available for adoption, such as:
  • Temperament
  • Age
  • Health
  • Breed

Unfortunately, Hesperia Animal Control takes in more animals daily than are adopted or rescued. Many times the Shelter is full to capacity with limited space in our Adoption Center. After the holding period, some animals are euthanized; therefore relinquishing animals to a Shelter should be your last resort. Here are some options to be considered:
  • Place an ad under Free in the local newspaper or weekly Pennysaver.
  • If the animal is a purebred then check a search engine on the internet for the breed rescue for that specific breed.
  • Place picture posters for give away in stores like Petsmart and Petco.
  • If you are relinquishing the animal because it has a behavioral problem, then try behavioral specialists or dog trainers in the Yellow Pages or attend a dog training class through your local Park and Recreation Department, Petsmart or Petco.
  • The Animal Shelter should be your last resort.

If you are considering relinquishing your companion, our shelter staff is here to help you navigate that difficult decision. Our goal is to help you resolve the problems you are experiencing so that you can keep your pet. Please take the time to review our rehoming packet that contains information so that you may make the most appropriate decision for your companion.


If you are in need of food, we occasionally have available supplies of donated cat and dog food that we are able to provide to members of the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. Pet food assistance is intended to help keep a pet in his or her home while the guardian overcomes short-term financial difficulty.


Training classes can be very beneficial and just may be the key to changing your decision to rehome your pet.  There are many resources available throughout the community which could be found by doing a web search.  Please understand that we are unable to endorse the individuals you find through a web search, but we do encourage you to contact them to save your pet and keep your family together. 


If you are experiencing difficulties with keeping your pet contained in the yard, there are plenty of options for you to try prior to surrendering your pet to the shelter.  We encourage you to conduct a web search and then follow through with several of the options.


Moving is stressful even in the best of circumstances, so give yourself extra time to find a residence where pets are permitted.  When talking to landlords, be honest and offer to introduce your pets to the landlord.  Many property owners will allow well-behaved pets particularly if the owner behaves responsibly.  Providing your pets’ veterinary records, graduation certificates from obedience classes and references from past landlords can help to show a perspective landlord you are a responsible pet owner.  Moving tips are included in this packet.


As we have shown you, you have several choices, the last of which should be surrendering your pet to a shelter. If you have exhausted alternatives to surrendering (including trying to work through challenges or trying to find a new home for your pet yourself with friends, neighbors, family or co-workers), here is how our admissions process works.


We cannot always accept every animal brought to our shelter immediately, but we can immediately start offering support and assistance.  If your pet is aggressive towards humans, other animals, old, very sick, etc., you will be directed to obtain a medical examination from a local veterinarian for medical treatment or euthanasia.  We will not accept aggressive animals.  We do charge a surrender fee for dogs and cats, which will be applied to the costs we will incur providing care to the pet.


Each day Hesperia Animal Shelter staff assesses the amount of space available.  The goal of this process is to have spaces filled as efficiently as possible, keeping cages from standing empty and maximizing our lifesaving capacity.


  1. Call the Hesperia Animal Shelter and request an appointment.  An appointment is required.
  2. Ensure that you are the legal owner on any form of identification of the animal.  We require signature of the owner of the pet in order to relinquish title of the pet to us.  Therefore, please do not send someone else in your place.
  3. Bring the following with you to your appointment:
    1. All veterinary records.
    2. Your pet’s medication, if any.
    3. Your pet’s bed, toys, leash and other belongings from home.
    4. Proof that you have tried the resource options we have suggested; i.e., containment, training classes (bring receipts), etc.
  4. All dogs must be leashed and cats must be in carriers.