Relinquishing an Animal


Has your home situation changed? Are you moving? Are you facing a behavioural or medical issue with your pet that you have been unable to resolve? Are you unable to continue the commitment to your pet’s needs? Do you have an unwanted litter? Are you having financial issues? Did you have a new baby?

All of these problems or challenges can be addressed - and many of them solved - with the right interventions. There is hope!

*If the animal was found as a stray, and you have been caring for it for less than 10 days, the animal must be brought to pound services (APARC) at 1002 South Railway Street SE (the old Valley Pet Hospital)*

Dealing with Behavioral Issues

If you are experiencing behavioral issues with your dog, please consult our Dog Resources section for extensive information on how to correct a number of common problems, or consider contacting one of the following trainers:

If you are experiencing behavioral issues with your cat, such as urinating outside of the litter box, please check out our Cat Resources section first as there are many options available to you there.

Financial Difficulties

Are you experiencing financial difficulties, and are unable to afford your pet's medical expenses?

  • Consult with your veterinarian to see if they can access the ABVMA 'Tails of Help' program for you
  • Apply for financing through PetCard
  • Start a crowdfunding page (such as GoFund Me) to ask for assistance for a medical bill from family & friends. Tell your story and share pictures!
  • See more ideas here

You can also contact Furry Friends Food Foundation for assistance with pet food.

Do you need to re-home your pet?

Preliminary Steps:

  • Check with co-workers, family and friends to see if they would like to have your pet
  • Contact a breed specific rescue group.
  • Contact your pet's breeder. Good breeders will attempt to help you with any problems or will take their animals back.
  • If you are seeking safe refuge for your pets due to a temporary emergency or you are escaping a situation of domestic violence, call and ask us about our Pet Safekeeping and Emergency Boarding options 403-526-7722.

Secondary Steps:

  • Advertise in local newspapers
  • Advertise at vet clinics in your area
  • Advertise at pet supply stores
  • Advertise online

Relinquishing a Pet to the MHSPCA

We understand how difficult it is to give up the family pet. Contact us at 403-526-7722 first, to discuss bringing your pet in to the Medicine Hat SPCA. We may be experiencing a large number of intakes, and for the health & safety of the animals, there is an ideal maximum occupancy at the shelter. Please call first to ensure we have room.

The Medicine Hat SPCA will provide your pet the care and security it needs. Your pet will undergo a medical and behaviour exam. This generally takes 10-15 days depending on how well your animal adjusts. Every effort and resource is used to ensure a good match into a new loving home.

We do not euthanize healthy or treatable animals even when the shelter is full, reserving humane euthanasia for terminally ill animals or those considered dangerous to public safety.


The cost associated with supporting your pet while at the Medicine Hat SPCA varies. This cost is dependent on the length of stay ($15/day), daily care ($50/day), medical treatment (could be thousands of dollars), dental treatments ($400 on average), vaccines ($40), and/or spaying/neutering ($100-$250) that are required. We ask that you consider these costs, and make a donation to assist us with the care of your pet. We generally request a minimum donation of:

  • $25 per cat or kitten (if spayed or neutered)
  • $50 per cat or kitten (if not spayed or neutered)
  • $25 per dog or puppy (if spayed or neutered)
  • $50 per dog or puppy (if not spayed or neutered)
  • Other animals (rabbits, guinea pigs etc) - varies

Donations of food, crates, pet carriers and other supplies are also greatly appreciated.

What to Bring With You

  • Vaccination & Medical Records from your veterinarian
  • Unopened bags of pet food
  • Your pet's favorite bedding & toys
  • Information on likes & dislikes (anything that will be helpful to re-homing your pet)
  • Information on your family (lives with children, other pets etc.)