We understand that there may be times when it is necessary to give up a pet. Relinquishing a pet is not only difficult for humans, but stressful for the pet, who do not understand why they are being taken from the family that they have loved. For the pet, this can lead to depression, a feeling of abandonment, and increased behavioral issues. Consider all your options before removing your pet from its family and home. For almost every problem, we can offer a solution.
Common reasons pets are surrendered and solutions
Moving: Some apartments and mobile home parks do not allow dogs and cats. Apartments.com has a pet-friendly filter when searching the area you are moving to, to see which rental agencies allow pets before signing a new rental agreement. We also recommend calling pet-friendly properties to see if there are any restrictions for bringing your pet with you (size, “breed”, number of pets, etc.).
Behavioral: Almost every behavioral or aggression issue can be corrected. We have several trainers that we have worked with and we can provide you with their information. We also recommend that you work with your veterinarian for behavioral issues as well, as sometimes the reason they are acting different is due to a medical issue. Our team is also knowledgeable on cat and dog behavior issues, so please call us any time!
Economic: WCHS offers pet food assistance to provide pet food when you need financial help. Humane Ohio also has a pet food bank which provides pet food to pet parents in need and to people caring for free-roaming cats, if our bank is running low.
Domestic violence: The "Safe Pets" program provides temporary shelter for the pets of people who have been displaced by domestic violence.
Is surrendering your last option?
Where did you get your pet? Most animal shelters, rescues, and breeders that you may have signed a contract or agreement may accept the pet back. Please check with the previous "owner" before considering surrendering your pet to our shelter.
The shelter environment is extremely stressful for pets that have come from loving homes. It is loud and very unfamiliar (think smells from other pets in our care and strangers visiting 7 days a week). We ask that all pet owners consider private rehoming first and surrendering to any shelter as a last resort. Try marketing your pet on your social media and Rehome and give us a call for additional ideas.
What kind of pets do we accept?
Our primary focus is accepting owned dogs and owned and stray cats, as well as occasionally accepting other small domestic pets/pocket pets for relinquishment such as rabbits, rats, and guinea pigs. Acceptance of pocket pets into our shelter is greatly dependent upon available foster homes and resources at the time, as we have no space in our shelter to humanely care for them. If you are calling for help with livestock, our available resources determine the extent to which we can help on a case by case basis. We will provide helpful information and assistance as we can.
For native wildlife questions or concerns, please contact Nature's Nursery at 419-877-0060.
Stray Cats and Kittens
We accept pets and stray cats/kittens by appointment only. They must be brought in by their owners or caregivers; in the case of stray cats, as we do not provide any pick-up services in our county. For us to accept stray cats, they must be friendly so they can be placed up for adoption to indoor homes. If the cat you have is not friendly, they most likely will prefer to continue living their outdoor life. We may suggest our barn cat program or Trap-Neuter-Return.
If you have a stray cat or any other stray animal and live within Perrysburg city limits, you will need to contact your Animal Control Officer for further instruction. Perrysburg Animal Control: 419-874-4321.
For injured and ill cats, please contact us to set up an appointment to assess the extent of the cat's injury and/or illness. Leave a message if prompted. If you are contacting us after hours about an injured or ill stray cat, please do your best to keep the cat comfortable and in a quiet place until we return your call the next business day. Another option would be to contact your veterinarian, at your own expense.
If you have a kitten or litter of kittens that are still dependent upon their mother, do not panic! Put them back where you found them and keep an eye on them for the next few hours. Mother cats often leave their litters to go in search of food. Depending upon the age of the kittens, mothers can be gone for an hour or more on and off throughout the day, and even longer as the kittens become more mobile. Kittens stand their best chance in life being raised by their mothers. If the mother does not come back in that time frame, or the litter appears extremely ill, please contact us by phone to set up an appointment for us to assess the kittens needs.
Accepting kittens into our care requires one of our experienced foster homes to be available. If we have no foster homes available, we will ask you for your help to care for the kittens until a foster home becomes available, or the kittens become old enough to be accepted at the shelter.
If you are contacting us after hours about kittens, please visit Kitten Lady for care recommendations.
We cannot take stray dogs; it is against the law. Please contact the Wood County Dog Warden at 419-354-9242. If you live within Perrysburg city limits and have concerns about a stray dog, you will need to contact your Animal Control Officer for further instruction. Perrysburg Animal Control: 419-874-4321.
We are a managed admission facility, meaning we do not euthanize for space and schedule appointments for pets coming into our shelter to best serve our community; we have to adopt pets into homes before we can bring more in. Wait periods may be experienced before an appointment is scheduled, due to a higher than normal call volume we receive for pets coming into our shelter. Shelter staff will call to schedule an appointment in the order calls are received when it is time to bring the pet in for assessment and potential acceptance into our shelter. We perform brief behavior assessments to make sure we can handle the pet and place it safely up for adoption. Pets that do not pass the assessment will be sent back with their owners or caregivers. Non-owners surrendering on another’s behalf need required legal documentation to surrender. If you absolutely cannot wait to surrender your pet or stray cat, please check out these shelters for area shelters and rescues that may be able to assist you sooner?
Behavior and Medical Evaluation
We evaluate each pet on health and behavior before accepting them into the shelter and making them available for adoption. An animal shelter is foreign and stressful to many pets. They are surrounded by strange people, scents, sounds, and other pets. Some pets adapt quickly, others have a harder time handling shelter life and may display new behaviors. For this reason, we do not take in any animals or pets with a feral or aggressive history. Taking in animals or pets with a feral or aggressive nature places our current pets and staff at risk, and they will not be able to be placed up for adoption.
Once a surrender appointment is set up, bring your pet's recent vaccination and medical records to assist our staff in evaluating your pet's medical needs. To aide in the pets’ transition to shelter life, please bring in a three-day supply of food so we can minimize gastrointestinal upset as we switch your pet to our food. You will also be asked to provide detailed information about the pets' daily habits and behaviors. Honest, accurate details including information about negative behaviors and medical issues enable WCHS to place your pet in a suitable environment.
We will ask for a surrender fee when you bring a pet to the shelter. In the case of stray cats, we do ask for a donation. Caring for the pet costs the shelter more money than earned in adoption and relinquishment fees combined. A dog may spend 1-2 weeks at the shelter and a cat – 2-4 weeks. The Wood County Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and does not receive government funding or funds from the ASPCA or the Humane Society of the United States for daily operations. Our operation is made possible by private donations and bequests, grants, and fund-raising events.