Surrender Your Pet

surrender your pet

Thinking of surrendering your Animal?

Surrendering or re-homing your dog should be considered your last resort after all other channels have been explored. We understand that sometimes life throws unexpected twists in which result in having to re-home your four-legged family member. If you would like to Rehome your pet and need help please visit Adopt A Pet Rehome.

While our top priority is to animals from SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, we will do our best to accommodate as many requests as we have room for. If your dog is accepted, we promise to provide it with the best care while under our organization, and to place it in the most suitable, loving home.
Please note that we mostly work with small-medium breeds, and no longer work with dominant breed adult dogs. We will consider some larger breeds if their temperament allows for them to be easily integrated into foster care.

Almost all of our adoptive dogs live in pre-approved foster homes while they await adoption. Please allow time for us to find the right foster for your dog if you can no longer house it. If you would like to foster your dog until we find a permanent placement instead of having us find temporary housing, please indicate this on your application.

Fees: We are a private nonprofit organization that relies solely on donations to care for pets under our care. On average, it costs us $25 per day to care for a pet in our program. Admission fees help offset these costs.

The surrender donation, if accepted, is $75.00- $250, depending on the pet's medical conditions, overall health, and age. Payment must be made at the time of surrender. If you have valid reasons why the fee cannot be paid, please discuss it during the evaluation and admittance process, or outline it on your surrender application.

Returning a pet adopted through Spark Rescue:

If you feel that the animal you adopted from Spark Rescue is not a suitable match for your lifestyle or home, we accept the return of all our animals within 30 days with no surrender fee. If more than 30 days have passed since you adopted, please fill out the owner surrender form below, and a member of our intake team will respond within 72 hours. If there are financial circumstances preventing you from affording the surrender fee, please discuss it during the intake process or explain it on your surrender application.

Please review the options below to ensure you have taken into consideration the appropriate steps before ultimately deciding to surrender your dog.



If your desire to re-home your dog is because of severe aggression, please contact a qualified training professional. There are many Positive Reinforcement trainers in the Santa Barbara area. 


We are unable to accept dogs with major medical issues, unless you are willing to cover all associated veterinary costs.


Surrendering an Animal That Does Not Belong To You

We first recommend you get the dog checked for a microchip at a nearby vet’s office (they should scan the dog for free, no appointment necessary) or closest shelter to where the dog was found. Taking a lost dog to a shelter gives its owners a chance to find it. After all, where would you go looking for your missing pet? You can obtain an intake number from the shelter, as well as place yourself on the “interested party” list as the first person to call when it’s available for adoption. The shelter is legally required to hold the dog for at least 5 days to allow owners to claim their pets. After the hold period, the dogs are put up for adoption to the general public. If the found dog is nearing its end of the hold period still unclaimed, feel free to send us a link to the dog’s profile from the shelter’s website ( to along with any information you can provide.

Legally, we cannot place stray dogs into the rescue unless a reasonable effort has been made to find their owner for 10 days. This includes contacting the local shelter and providing them with a description of the dog, posting fliers in the area where the dog was found, submitting ads to Craigslist and taking the dog to a vet to be scanned for a chip. Be prepared to ask for proof of ownership to avoid false claims by someone claiming to be the owner of the missing pet. Ask for photos of the dog and if applicable, proof of license or other paperwork. Any responsible dog owner will absolutely have photos of their dog, or some kind of records. If you found a lost dog take it to the shelter.


Surrendering your pet to Spark Rescue Santa Barbara is a permanent decision

Spark Rescue Santa Barbara knows that surrendering your Animal is a very difficult decision, but sometimes - it is the only one to make. If you choose to surrender your Animal, you will be asked to complete a surrender contract. Your signature on this contract represents a permanent decision on your part. This legally binding contract gives full ownership of the Animal to Spark Rescue Santa Barbara. This allows us to provide veterinary care and down the road, legally adopt out the Animal to a carefully pre-screened 'forever' home. Please note: We consider adoptions through our organization to be closed, meaning that we do not reveal the identities of either the surrendering or adopting parties. This ensures your privacy, as well as the privacy of the adopter, will be protected.

Have You Tried Everything?

Owner passes away or is ill.

Have you contacted all family members and friends to possibly take in the animals?

Moving/Landlord not allowing pet.

Have your physician designate your pet as an ESA (Emotional Support Animal) which your Landlord has a legal obligation to allow. This is easy and most doctors are more than willing. Just ask. Present the ESA and the animal AFTER you sign your lease.

Animals are breeding.

We will take in the family, if we have room.

Cost of pet maintenance/Can't afford vet bills.

If you have inadequate income to feed your pet or provide medical care, please contact They provide pet food and very low cost medical care for your pet.

Going back to work/No Time.

Consider using part of your new income to pay for a sitter/day care. Ask if you can bring your pet to work.

Dog is getting too big/energetic.

Your dog needs exercise to mellow out. Take him to an off-leash area or to Hendry’s Beach and throw a ball. Find a playgroup. If the dog pulls you, get a Gentle Leader.

Behavior issues/Biting

There can be many causes for “misbehavior”. Get a thorough medical exam to eliminate medical causes. Find a low-cost trainer at the Humane Society. Get your animal neutered/spayed at a low cost at the Humane Society!


Hopefully, one of you will be able to provide for your furry family member! If not, ask around in your family and among your friends before surrendering.

Steps to surrender your Animal



Complete the Surrender Application



Our Team will review your application to determine if we have an open foster available and whether or not your Animal is a fit for our rescue


Our Decision

We will contact you to let you know our decision

We will either:

Make arrangements to get the Animal

If it has been determined that your animal is a good fit for our organization, we will contact you to make arrangements to get the animal

Provide you with alternative options

If your animal is not a good fit or if we do not have room at this time.

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