Relinquish an Animal

Before you decide to give up your pet, please review your alternatives to surrendering your pet.

If despite your best efforts and you have exhausted all other alternatives, you find it necessary to surrender your pet(s), Helping Paws is here to help. Helping Paws will accept dogs and cats into the shelter that might otherwise be abandoned. However, because we are a no-kill shelter we are limited in the number of animals we can take in at any given time.

Please be aware that we are not here to take pets with serious behavior problems off your hands. We can recommend trainers and behaviorists that can help you to work with your pet in your home. A shelter, no matter how nice, can be stressful and not all animals will do well in a shelter environment.

I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through.” ― Jules Verne

Our goal is to find a happy home for every healthy and treatable pet in our care, no matter where they originally came from. We achieve this by getting as much information about the pets that come into our shelter. For this reason, please follow the process outlined below and we will schedule a time with you to bring the pet in so that we may learn as much as possible about it.

Relinquishing Your Pet to Helping Paws

  1. Complete the required Dog Relinquishment Form or Cat Relinquishment Form and drop off or fax to Helping Paws.
  2. Contact your veterinarian and request that your pet’s health records be faxed to (815) 338-4406.
  3. Once this information is received, if space is available, Helping Paws will contact you to arrange an appointment to discuss the surrender of your pet. Be prepared to discuss your pet’s daily habits and behaviors.
  4. When you arrive for your appointment at the shelter, enter through the front door and sign in. Be sure that dogs are on leashes and cats are in carriers.
  5. Your appointment will take approximately 30-45 minutes and will include a health exam, heartworm (dogs) or FeLV/FIV (cats) and a behavior evaluation (temperament test) of your pet.
  6. After we have reviewed all the information about your pet and the exam and evaluation are complete, we will discuss your options with you to make the best decision for your pet.
  7. If your animal has bitten or broken skin in the last 10 days, you must contact McHenry County Animal Control or your local animal control agency.

If you have a crisis situation and need immediate assistance, you can bring your animal to McHenry County Animal Control which is an open relinquishment facility located in Crystal Lake.

Relinquishing Kittens to Helping Paws

We realize that there are an estimated 50,000 stray cats in McHenry County.  If you find a litter of kittens please contact us by phone at (815) 338-4400 for relinquishment information and/or assistance.

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