Bringing Up from the Comments

Regarding the issue of animal shelters requiring proof of ownership in order to surrender/redeem pets, a reader commented:

If they ‘found’ a dog yesterday, got it vac for rabies today, and ‘surrendered’ to a shelter Tomorrow – presenting valid Rabies Vac as proof of ownership — will that make the dog theirs? should there be a 6 month limit on Rabies Vac before being accepted as ‘proof’ of ownership?
I would appreciate any reasonable suggestions or what your county/state is using as ‘Proof of Ownership’ Thanks!

Do you know if your state, county and/or city has any language on the books defining what constitutes proof of ownership with regard to surrendering and/or redeeming pets at shelters? I checked SC state law and could not find any references to the issue at all. I failed to find any relevant county ordinance either. In checking my county pound’s website, they have no information whatsoever on the surrender or redemption process. So I am operating on the assumption that my local pound falls under the Anything Goes protocol, probably based upon the whim of the person in charge of the pet killing facility at the time a person attempts to surrender or reclaim a pet.

Does your state, county or city have any laws addressing the issue of proof of ownership for shelter surrender/redemption? Does your local shelter set its own policies on that matter and if so, are they published online? Please share your location and whatever relevant info you have on this subject.

4 thoughts on “Bringing Up from the Comments

  1. Where I’m at (Sonoma Co., California) there’s no standard by state or county law, and the website for the county shelter doesn’t even offer suggestions. I did some searching for California shelters in general, and there doesn’t appear to be any consistent recommendations. The closest to it I can find is on pages for pet licensing, which often mention that pet licenses can serve as proof of ownership.

    Good question.

  2. North Carolina: “(g) An animal that is surrendered to an animal shelter by the animal’s owner may be disposed of before the expiration of the minimum holding period in a manner authorized under subsection (f) of this section if the owner provides to the shelter (i) some proof of ownership of the animal and (ii) a signed written consent to the disposition of the animal before the expiration of the minimum holding period.” So probably whatever the shelter decides to take. I know they want vet records in my county shelter.

  3. Rochester New York Animal Control says: At your scheduled appointment, bring your pet to the center with the pet profile, any veterinary/vaccination records and license (dogs only).
    So, basically nothing for cats and a license for a dog?

  4. Wanderer’s Rest in Canastota NY says that the owner must be present, but doesn’t state how they determine that. They do ask for a copy of vet records for all surrendered animals, but it doesn’t read like its a requirement.

Leave a Reply