Consider All Of Your Possibilities First

Surrendering Your Dog

All Breed Rescue is a non-profit organization that assists displaced dogs in finding new homes. ABR considers educating the public about the dogs to be just as important. Our goal is to keep as many dogs as possible out of rescue and shelters, and in the loving arms of their families.

Most people who contact us mistakenly think they would be doing their dog a huge favor by finding him a home that “has more time for him or can give him the home he deserves.” In actuality, most dogs are better off remaining in the home they know and love, even if it means they will get less attention from you. Of course this applies to dogs that are being properly cared for and whose basic needs are consistently met.

All Breed Rescue has a shelter in Williston, Vermont. We cannot consider any surrenders that cannot be brought to the shelter for evaluation. If you are unwilling to travel to the shelter with your dog for the evaluation, please consider more local options. For dogs that do not originate from our shelter, we will require a surrender fee.

It is our goal to try to help an owner overcome whatever obstacles they face to keeping their dog in the home.  We are happy to recommend solutions to common problems, trainers, and programs to assist with the costs of dog ownership. Check out our list of resources for help overcoming some basic training challenges and feel free to contact us with any questions. 

We understand that there are certain circumstances where is it necessary to rehome a dog.

Prerequisites for accepting owner surrendered dogs into our rescue program:

1. There must be shelter space.
2. The surrendered dog must pass a behavioral evaluation conducted by the Owner Surrender Coordinator.
3. The surrendered dog must be spayed/neutered, up to date on core vaccinations (Rabies, Distemper, and Bordetella), had a recent Heartworm test with proof of treatment if positive with proof of Heartworm preventative given monthly and ALL current vet records.

If you can answer “YES” to any of the questions below, please take the time to explore those options before surrendering your dog.

If so, have you contacted that person? If he or she is at all reputable, you would have signed a contract at the time you purchased your puppy, stipulating that the dog should be returned if you decide to no longer keep him. If you do not want to keep your dog, contact your breeder first.

If so, have you contacted that rescue organization? If they are reputable, you would have signed a contract at the time you adopted your dog, and it may stipulate that the dog must be returned to them if you decide to no longer keep him or her for any reason.

How lucky for you that most dogs are fantastic family pets! If you can take care of your new little human baby, you can take care of a dog. Some of our educational materials are listed below to help you ease the transition:

Introduce New Baby to a Resident Dog

Preparing your Pet for Baby’s Arrival

Safety Tips for Kids & Dogs

The Humane Society lists moving as the number one reason people surrender their pets to shelters. There are plenty of apartments, townhouses, condos and hotels that accept medium and large dogs. Many places will even allow you to spread payment of your pet deposit over multiple months as part of your rent. Please check with your real estate agent, or company relocation services when possible.

Experts in the animal field agree that a dog requires a mere 15 minutes of one-on-one time with his human per day to be happy, healthy, and well-adjusted! That could be simply spent laying in bed at night watching t.v. together, playing ball in the backyard for 15 minutes while dinner is cooking, or going for a walk or jog! Surely you can spare 15 minutes per day. Pets reduce personal stress and can add years to your life – make the time for you AND your dog.

Is your dog having trouble getting along with other animals in the household or are there other behavioral issues that have led to the decision to give up your dog? If so, let us help you. Send us an email – we can most likely recommend a trainer in your area. If you didn’t socialize your dog as a puppy, it’s never too late to enroll him in obedience school. It’s fun and can count as your 15 minutes of bonding time!

The following groups exist to assist people who truly want to keep their pets, but are experiencing financial difficulties. They may be able to help you.

Humane Society

A credit card company for health care: Care Credit

Help owners that need urgent veterinary care, emergency vet visits or expensive surgery:
The pet fund

Assistance for caretakers of disabled pets:


If you haven’t found any solutions after carefully considering the information above, then you are welcome to read the surrender process and fill out the form below. ABR is a volunteer-based organization. We may not be able to take your dog but we review all applications. It may take up to a week to hear from us.

If you are outside of VT and not within a 2 hour drive of the shelter we strongly recommend that you follow this link.


YES! ABR is very willing to help you find a way to keep your dog. We have a large knowledge base of many breeds and may be able to help you with your unique situation. Please read the helpful resources on our Surrender Page, and then contact us

Our owner surrender policies are listed on our website.  First you will need to read all of the information on our Owner Surrender page, to see if there are alternatives to giving up your dog.  Secondly, you will need to fill out an online Surrender Form. It is very important to be honest when filling out this form or talking to the Owner Surrender Coordinator. The more honest you are about your dog the easier it will be to find a new home for him/her.

No. ABR is without the means to provide transportation. It will be your responsibility to bring your dog to the ABR facility on the scheduled evaluation date. Should your dog be invited for an evaluation, this does not guarantee our accepting the dog into our program. 

We try to evaluate every situation and meet the needs of the dog and owner. The timing is very much affected by how many openings we have at the facility and in foster care and the availability of our volunteers.  Please understand that our first priority must be the dogs that are currently in our shelter and foster homes.

Once adopted, we WILL NOT get your dog back for you. Once you have signed the dog over to us and you change your mind, you will have to go through the same process as all other adopters and will be expected to pay the full adoption fee.

ABR cannot take in a dog who has a history of biting. You should consult your veterinarian to rule out any medical problems causing the behavior change. But, just as importantly, you need to get in touch with a professional behaviorist to try and work through the problem with your dog.

If you have a dog that has serious health problem or untreatable health problem please do not try to surrender him/her to a rescue. You need to consult your veterinarian and choose a plan of action that will best fit your dog’s quality of life. There is no need to prolong a sick/suffering dog’s life and transition him/her into rescue. It’s not fair to the dog and it’s not fair to the rescue to be burdened with large medical expenses that will not cure your dog. When you adopt/purchase a dog, it’s for life. YOU have to be responsible for that dog and “do right” by him/her even if it’s at the end of their life.

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