Owner Surrender by Appointment

The DRHS is focused on increasing adoptions and decreasing euthanasia. Many changes have been implemented to achieve these goals. Owner Surrender by Appointment is the next step.

Owner Surrender by Appointment gives us an opportunity to gather medical and behavioral information, provide informational resources, or offer alternatives to surrender. Staff will be able to devote the care and compassion owners and their pets deserve. Scheduled appointments also allow us to prepare for the pet’s arrival.

Call the DRHS at 563-582-6766 to schedule an appointment.

F.A.Q. for Owner Surrender for Appointment

Why did the DRHS move to an appointment-based process?
The DRHS is focused on saving more lives by increasing our adoptions and decreasing euthanasia. Surrender by appointment helps manage the inflow of animals, allowing us to decrease overcrowding and increase adoption.

How do I make an appointment?
Call 563-582-6766 to schedule an appointment. A Managed Admissions Specialist will then contact you within 48 hours.

Why can’t I just drop off my animal?
We ask that you call and schedule an appointment. This will allow us the opportunity to gather all the information that we need in order to offer your pet the best possible outcome.

Will my surrendered pet get adopted?
We cannot guarantee any outcome. We will evaluate your pet. If we determine them to be a candidate for adoption, we will provide them the time and space they need until they find their forever home.

So you don’t euthanize anymore?
We do humanely euthanize animals if we determine that an animal cannot be successfully rehomed, usually due to illness or temperament issues.

Are you closed admissions?
No. We are an Open Admissions Shelter. We take in all owner-surrendered animals and all strays where their municipality contracts are with us. We simply ask that if you are surrendering your pet that you call and make an appointment.

How long will the wait time be?
It will all depend on the time of year. If it is in the middle of July, then the wait could be a few days. If you call in February than it might be a couple hours.

What about stray animals?
You do not need an appointment for strays. We are still accepting strays from municipalities that we are contracted with.

What if it’s an emergency?
In the event of an emergency situation, our staff will be able to make choices based on what is best for the animal. Most of the time if an animal already has a home - that is the best place for them.

How will this lower euthanasia?
Owner Surrender by Appointment will allow us to make better decisions for each animal. We will be able to plan and prepare for each animal instead of react by taking in the number of pets that we can properly and humanely serve.

The DRHS’ Top 10 Reasons for Owner Surrender by Appointment

1. Increase the number of animals adopted or transferred
2. Decrease euthanasia
3. Reduce overcrowding
4. Promotes the *FIVE FREEDOMS (*see below)
5. Decrease animal stress
6. Provide better service to customers
7. Ability to manage staff more effectively and focus on animals that need it
8. ASV (Animal Shelter Veterinarian) guidelines obtainable
9. Closer to achieving our capacity of care
10. Reduce stress on staff


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