Pet Relinquishment

If you are considering relinquishing your companion, our Admissions team members are here to help you navigate that difficult decision. They can counsel you about using the many programs and services we offer that will assist you in overcoming many of the challenges you may be facing with your pet. Our goal is to help you to resolve the problems you are experiencing so that you can retain your pet.

Examples of low income programs the SPCA of Hancock County offers includes a Pet Food Pantry, which can help supply pet food, litter, and basic supplies during times of need, Prevent a Litter Certificate programs, which reduce the cost of spaying or neutering your existing pets, and the Mickey Duffy Emergency Veterinary Care Assistance fund, which offers small amounts of financial assistance to help low income individuals cover unexpected emergency veterinary care expenses.

Behavioral Issues and Your Pet

If you are considering surrendering your companion animal as a result of relatively new behavioral issues, it may first be useful to visit your local veterinarian to ensure that there is no medical cause for these issues. Behavioral issues that can have medical causes include:

In Dogs:

  • New aggression when being touched, when encountering other animals and/ or when receiving attention from
    humans, including nipping and biting
  • Inappropriate elimination outside of normal marking places, including inside the house
  • Excessive vocalization
  • Excessive panting and/or pacing
  • Excessive self-bathing of a specific body part

In dogs, many of these behavioral issues can be caused by medical conditions including Lyme Disease, urinary tract infections, arthritis, dental issues, joint pain, general pain, infections, and/or cancer.

In Cats:

  • New aggression when being touched, when encountering other animals and/or when receiving attention from humans, including nipping and biting
  • Excessive clawing
  • Inappropriate elimination outside of the litter box
  • Excessive vocalization
  • Excessive panting and/or pacing
  • Excessive withdrawing/hiding (cats)
  • Excessive self-bathing

In cats, many of these behaviors can be caused by medical conditions including, recent declawing, urinary tract infections, arthritis, dental issues, joint pain, general pain, infections, and/or cancer.
If you observe these conditions in your companion animal, it is likely that a veterinary diagnosis and resulting treatment may resolve the issue.

Surrendering Your Pet

The vast majority of the pets at our shelter are ones we have transferred into our care from animal control officers, and were in situations where the animals’ lives and/or housing were at risk. We urge you to consider every alternative to relinquishment and to utilize fully the resources we make available before surrendering your pet. If surrendering your pet is a difficult decision you must make, please know the SPCA of Hancock County is here for both you and your animal companion.

We schedule surrender assessments by appointment Monday through Friday between 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. To request an appointment, please call 207-667-8088 any day between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Once you have made your admission appointment, please be prepared to spend 30 minutes with our animal care staff at your appointment and to bring the following items and information with you, to help us place your companion animal in the next best home possible:

  • Any current or past veterinary records for your pet
  • A copy of your pet’s current rabies certificate
  • Any special food or medication your pet is currently taking
  • A few toys and/or some bedding your pet is familiar with, to help its transition into the shelter
  • A few quick notes on activities, toys, and/or food your pet enjoys, and things you think your pet would enjoy having in his or her future home.