Pet Surrender

Due to the exceptionally high volume of animals currently in our care and a comprehensive waiting list, we have had to place a temporary hold on accepting any more surrender applications.

We know your top priority is finding a safe and loving home for your pet. That’s ours, too. 

No one likes to think about giving up a beloved pet. But there are times when due to extenuating circumstances someone can no longer care for their pet, and AWLQ wants to make sure finding them a new home is an easy, compassionate process for the pets and people. 

While we love forming new families at AWLQ – right now, the better course is for a family to try to find their pet a new home themselves instead of bringing them to a shelter. We call this “Self-rehoming”. 

Self-rehoming is more beneficial to the pet as it allows pets to remain in their homes and prevents them from ever having to enter a shelter environment.  

AWLQ is currently at critical capacity, and we are encouraging pet owners to first look at self-rehoming before considering surrendering their pets to AWLQ. This will enable us to continue providing a safe haven for unowned pets in council pounds who have nowhere else to go.  

If you need to find your pet a new home, reach out to your network – in person and online. This can include speaking with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Post an adoption post on your local community’s Facebook page and reach out to your local rescue groups. 

No one is better situated to pick your pet’s new family than you are. You can talk to people interested in caring for your pet, ask questions, and give information that will help ensure a good match. In addition, you can request or search for any background information that will make you feel more comfortable. Check out our Self-rehoming tips for more advice.


Solutions check-list 

  • Have you tried finding your pet a new home on your own?
  • Have you checked with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours to see if they can take your pet?
  • Have you tried temporarily boarding as a temporary solution?
  • Have you talked with your doctor about obtaining a prescription for an “Emotional Support Animal” that may allow you to keep a pet even if a landlord/property manager directs you otherwise?
  • Are you having trouble with your pet’s behaviour? Please see AWLQ’s pet owner help section for handy tips. AWLQ offers training tips and advice for people who are considering surrendering their animal due to behavioural issues. We encourage owners to seek help and advice before considering surrender. or cats click here or for dogs click here .


Self-rehoming tips 

If you are trying to self-rehome your pet, making your pet more “adoptable” will help them find a better home faster! Here are a few time-tested suggestions for you: 

  • Have your pet desexed – they will live longer, healthier and happier lives. Plus, you won’t be contributing to accidental litters or adding to the overpopulation of animals in our county.
  • Vaccinations – make sure they are up-to-date with all vaccinations.
  • Have your pet desexed – they will live longer, healthier and happier lives. Plus, you won’t be contributing to accidental litters or adding to the overpopulation of animals in our county. If you need support with having your pet desexed, please contact the National Desexing Network on 1300 368 992 for assistance.
  • Appearance – groomed and bathed pets will get rehomed quicker!
  • Photos – take photos of your pet in your home, outside and interacting with a person. Use these photos when advertising your pet.
  • Advertise your pet – use social media to spread the message that your pet is looking for a loving new home. In the description, list their name, age, breed, spay/neuter status, vaccination status, likes and dislikes, food preferences, preferred toys, training/commands, and define any limitations (not good with cats, small children, other dogs, etc.). Include your contact information. Use the above photos to post on social media.
  • Have an interested party? When someone responds, you have an opportunity to chat with them. Have an initial conversation over the phone before meeting in person. This way, you can eliminate unsuitable potential adopters.
  • Introducing your pet to their new family – use caution when meeting unknown individuals, take someone with you and meet in a public place like a coffee shop. Observe how your pet interacts with them. Use your gut instincts and ask questions to ensure they will be a good match for your pet. 
  • Adoption day – once you have found a suitable family to adopt your pet, schedule a time and place to do the hand-over. Bring their bed, blanket, toys, food, bowls, litter box/litter (if it’s a cat), medication and all paperwork, including veterinary records. Also, please give them the contact information for the veterinarian you were using so you can continue care.
  • Changing ownership details – you will need to prepare to change the ownership details associated with your pet’s microchip. In addition, you will need to advise the council that you are no longer the animal owner.
  • If you’re not sure whom your pet’s microchip is registered with, have your pet scanned at your local vet clinic, and they will be able to tell you. Check your pet’s microchip details and download the change of owner form in preparation for the new owner. Once you have found your pet’s new home, complete your section of the form and add the new owner’s information. Submit your change of owner form online to ensure the microchip is updated quickly. All cats and dogs must update their microchips with the new owner’s information within two weeks.
  • Follow up with them – after a week, contact the new family and ask how things are going. Provide any assistance over the phone but do not go to their home or meet the pet. Meeting the pet will confuse the animal, and it’s not safe for you to go to someone’s home. 


Download a copy of AWLQ’s self-rehoming guide here.



To surrender your pet please fill out the form below with as much detail as possible: