Thinking about surrendering your family pet is a tough choice. The decision is not made easily, and it is very difficult to lose a loving pet. Sometimes families have no other choice but to surrender (whether due to allergies, finances, or hitting a dead end with resources such as training), and it is a decision made with love and the best interest of their pet in mind. However, there are situations where there may be other resources for you to consider before deciding to surrender.

It takes courage and humility to ask for help. Surrendering your pet to a shelter, when you have no other options, is not a sign of giving up or not caring; in a way, it’s a sign of love and caring. These people could very easily just open the door and let the inside-only cat out to fend for itself or tie a dog to a tree and assume someone else will find them and take care of them (these things happen all the time), or drop them off in the woods somewhere, but they don’t. They pack up their things and take them to a place where they will be fed and at least have a chance of being adopted and finding a new, loving home.

~ from “An Open Letter to People Who Surrender Their Pets to the Shelteron Catster [Although the article talks about cats, we feel that the same principles apply for dogs.]

Are you thinking of surrendering? Do not feel guilty or ashamed, as sometimes circumstances change that you cannot predict. We want to be sure we give you some options before you lose your beloved furry family member, so please visit our “Learn” page for information. Some answers you may find there include:

If you’ve tried all the above without success, please complete the form at the bottom of the page so that we can assist you in anyway we can.


The following form asks for some basic information. The more detail you provide, the better we will be able to help you.

Note: Rocky Road Rescue operates in the Ottawa region, but we do have partner organizations in other areas of Ontario. We do not transfer dogs outside of the province.

We understand that surrendering your dog is a difficult decision. You know your dog best, and so we ask for as much detail as possible for these questions so that we can find the right foster home to provide care until we secure a forever home. Thank you for being as complete as you can!