Pet Surrender | Nashville Humane
All information needed to learn how to surrender a pet at Nashville Humane.
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Pet Surrender


Below are NHA’s requirements for Pet Surrender.  Please note that our policies are to ensure the health of the pet(s) being surrendered, in addition to the health of the animals at the shelter.


The Nashville Humane Association (NHA) cares for more than 4,000 homeless animals annually. The majority of these animals are relinquished by owners who find themselves unable to care for their pets for one reason or another.


In accordance with NHA’s mission, the organization is committed to providing each animal we receive with optimum care and housing. To that end we operate a managed admissions shelter. This comprehensive approach ensures our focus on our mission to rescue, shelter, heal, adopt and advocate for animals in need and provide compassionate care for the sick, injured and abused animals who have no one else to care for them and rely on us for a second chance at a good life.


We will do our best to find your pet a new home. Each animal that comes into our care is evaluated for both health and behavior. The results of these evaluations help us to determine the best course for your pet, whether that is placing them for adoption or with one of our rescue partners who can provide them sanctuary and/or rehabilitation.


What is Managed Admission and why do I need to make an appointment to surrender my pet?


The Nashville Humane Association (NHA) believes in helping the greatest number of animals with our available resources, which is why we utilize a managed admission process.  Managed Admissions regulates the flow of incoming animals, allowing NHA staff to give more individualized attention to both the animals and the people surrendering them.


Families considering pet surrender are asked to make an appointment and are given the opportunity to speak with our Pet Admissions knowledgeable staff members about their particular pet issue.  Our goal is to provide families with all their options, and that the extra time and resources will allow them to discover other suitable arrangements, resulting in the pet remaining with the people who love them.


Appointment based surrenders also allows NHA to manage the flow of admissions so that our staff better treat our customers with compassion, transparency and respect, and ensure that we are providing each pet who comes through our doors with a healthy and loving environment that offers them their best chance for success.


We believe managed admission will help keep more pets with their people, provide greater care to the animals entrusted to us and ultimately save lives.  If you have additional questions or comments, please complete our Contact Us form.


Are you looking to surrender your animal?


An appointment is required to surrender an animal. This enables us to provide you better service when you arrive and your animal appropriate care. Please see below for more information on how to schedule an appointment, what to expect and what to bring to your appointment. Prior to an appointment being scheduled, you must complete the Animal Surrender Application below.

Your Application Will be Reviewed


After you complete and submit your admissions application, we will reach out to ask you a couple simple questions about the animal including why you’re looking to surrender the animal (behavioral, medical, change in lifestyle) to see if we can provide you a resource such as behavioral advice.


If Your Application is Accepted


If we can accept your animal, we will then schedule you an appointment to bring in your animal. We will do our best to admit your animal into our care, but we cannot make any guarantee of being able to accept any animal. Additionally, the timing of your appointment will vary depending on the type of animal you are looking to surrender and other upcoming intakes we might have already scheduled. If we cannot admit your animal or admit your animal in a time frame that works for you, we can provide you with contacts of other groups who might be able to assist you.


Our appointments are scheduled between the hours of 1pm-4pm.


Pet Admissions does not accept appointments Wednesdays and Sundays.


Our Admissions Department will also ask that you print and fill out an Animal Surrender Form prior to your appointment:


Surrendering your pet can be stressful, and by completing this animal surrender form before your appointment, you will be able to provide us with the best information about your pet enabling us to match your pet with the right home.


What Will My Appointment Be Like?


On your appointment day, we ask that you bring:


  • Your valid Driver’s License or State ID. Any veterinary paperwork and any medications the animal is on.
  • You are also welcome to bring a familiar toy or something with a familiar scent on it to help the animal adjust once in our facility.


Your appointment will last approximately an hour. During this time we will go over the animal surrender form with you which includes information about your pet and his/her behavior. We will also have you fill out paperwork to release the animal into our care. Additionally, your pet will be receive a medical exam and behavior assessment to ensure we have the appropriate resources to be able to care for your pet.


There will be a $15 surrender fee due at your appointment to help offset the cost of feeding, housing, and veterinary services that we will provide for your surrendered pet.


After this is completed, we will take your animal into our admissions department and set them up with cozy blankets, toys, food and water. However, once the animal is admitted into our care, we will not be able to update you on their status.