Surrendering an Animal for Adoption

The Windham County Humane Society accepts stray domesticated dogs, cats, rabbits, and other small companion animals from residents of Windham County, Vermont.

If you need to surrender a pet belonging to you or to a family member, you must first fill out a surrender form and submit it to us. We will then contact you regarding the status of your surrender. Please note, surrenders are accepted on a space available basis, and there may be a waiting list.

WCHS has no facilities for livestock or wild animals.

If you find a lost or stray animal, please follow the instructions listed on our Lost Animals page.


Please fill out the appropriate form for the kind of pet you’re surrendering before your appointment:

Feral Cats

Feral cats over 10-12 weeks old are very difficult to domesticate and are extremely unhappy in a humane society environment. For these reasons, WCHS does not take feral cats into our facility. We do offer free trap-neuter-return for feral cats. Click here for more information.
What to do if the WCHS cannot take your pet

If WCHS is full, another shelter or rescue group may be able to take your pet. If all local shelters and rescue groups are full, you will need to find a suitable home for the animal on your own. Here are some tips on re-homing your family pet.


Many people look for pets on the internet. Try these sites: in your town’s pet section.

You can also place a classified ad in your local newspaper.

Great photos and descriptions will make your animal stand out from the crowd.

Email your friends and family!

After you’ve created your ad, forward it to friends and family and encourage them to forward it to their friends. Print your ad and post it at vet offices and pet store bulletin boards.


Let your Facebook friends know you are looking for a new home for your pet(s). Ask them to share with their friends as well.

Always charge an adoption fee

Asking for a small fee will help ensure you get people who take pet ownership seriously. If you do not want any fee, tell the adopter that you will donate the money to the charity of their choice. A good minimum adoption fee is $35 to $60.

Pre-screen candidates and be selective

Have a simple set of questions ready so you can find the right new home for your animal. Examples are “Do you plan to declaw?” “What would you do if the animal gets sick?” “Do you currently have a veterinarian?” “Do you have permission from your landlord to own an animal?” etc.

Follow up on the adoption

Call the new adopter periodically after the adoption to see how it’s going. Ask them if there are any behaviors that they are concerned about and offer help and suggestions. Invite them to call WCHS at 254-2232 for help with health or behavior issues, and low-cost spay neuter services.