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There are many reasons that ownership of an animal is relinquished to a shelter. At FCAR we do not pass judgment on anyone who surrenders their beloved pet (or a stray animal) to our care, This difficult choice shows that the best interest of the animal is being considered.

It is important to note that FCAR is a limited-admission shelter, and we can only accept a surrendered animal IF and WHEN we have the space. Please schedule your surrender in advance by emailing

Please review these surrender guidelines, then contact the shelter with additional questions or to schedule an appointment.

  • Surrenders are by appointment only.

  • We ask the legal owners of the animal to surrender the animals to us at time of the appointment. This is to ensure we are allowed to provide all medical care the animal needs at the time that they need it while following state laws.

  • Only dogs and cats may be surrendered. We do not have the capacity to accept livestock, reptiles, birds, or other small animals.

  • Dogs must be on leash at the time of surrender. Please do not bring dog into the lobby. A staff member will perform a behavior assessment and escort dogs through our side door. Cats must be in a carrier at the time of surrender.

  • We ask that you bring all medical records with you or authorize FCAR to contact your veterinarian to obtain these records.

  • Ownership of the pet will legally transfer to FCAR at the time of surrender.

  • The waitlist is prioritized by need, urgency and special cases. Please be patient while we try to accommodate everyone.

  • We do not charge a surrender fee but we do ask that you consider making a donation to FCAR in lieu of a fee. Any donation will assist us in the care and feeding of the surrendered pet.

  • Priority is always given to residents of Franklin County (VT). We do accept surrenders from Grand Isle (VT) and Chittenden (VT) counties, but if our waiting list is too long we ask families of these areas to contact other shelters that serve these counties.


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