Pet Rehoming

Pet Rehoming

The Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin knows that the decision to rehome your pet is never an easy one and is not something anyone takes lightly. Depending on your situation, HSSW may be able to offer assistance so you can keep your pet or alternatives to surrendering your pet, like rehoming your pet on your own. We are committed to working together to find the best possible solution for you and your pet.

If you are looking to rehome your pet by surrendering your pet to HSSW, you must first do a surrender consultation with one of our Animal Services team leaders. During this consultation, you will be asked to sign up for our Home to Home program, if you have not already done so. If during the consultation, it is decided that surrendering your pet to HSSW is the best path, a surrender appointment will be scheduled with one of our Animal Services team leaders.

Here at HSSW, we follow a managed admission philosophy for all surrendered animals. This philosophy allows us to make sure that we have the space and resources to meet your pet’s needs during their time with us. It also allows us to be proactive instead of reactive and save more lives. Please review the information below and if you would like to continue forward with our surrender process, please reach out to either our Cat Care Supervisor, Reghan, or our Dog Care Supervisor, Shania.

Alternatives to Rehoming

  • Reach out to HSSW Shelter Services Director, Kaitie, at or 608-752-5622 ext. 101 for monetary support in staying united with your pet (emergency vet bill, pet deposit support, etc.)
  • Reach out to HSSW Community Outreach Coordinator, Faith, at or 608-752-5622 ext. 117 for pet supplies such as pet food, a tie-out, or bedding.
  • Sign up for Good Pup to receive dog behavior support and resources.
  • Rehome your pet independently. 
    • Ask local veterinarians if you can post signs in their clinic.
    • Ask local pet-related businesses if you can post signs in their store.
    • Talk to friends, relatives, neighbors and co-workers to see if they are looking for a pet.
    • Use social media to share your pet’s story.
    • Use our Home to Home program.

GoodPup Online Dog Training

GoodPup is a dog training app that allows owners to directly connect with certified trainers for weekly, 30-minute training sessions in the comfort of their own home. Participants also receive personalized homework assignments, unlimited chat support, and access to the online training library containing instructions and information on all the topics discussed during sessions. GoodPup also offers medical support from licensed veterinary technicians available via chat for general medical questions and over-the-counter advice.

There are 2 major training courses available that are great for dogs of all ages. All courses utilize positive reinforcement methods and trainers can develop custom behavior modification plans that cater to specific issues like leash reactivity, separation distress, or resource guarding. Participants can sign up for their first training session any time of day, 7 days a week. This means you have an immediate resource for working with behavior issues.

The GoodPup Shelter Program offers the first week free to HSSW referrals and a 20% lifetime membership discount. Anyone who adopts/reaches out is eligible for the discount, regardless of whether or not their dog was adopted from HSSW. Plus, HSSW receives a donation from GoodPup for every referral! Reach out to HSSW Shelter Services Director, Kaitie, at to receive your discounted, referral link and to start working with your dog’s difficult behaviors today.

Home to Home Program

Rehoming your pet independently using our Home to Home program, is very beneficial to both you and your pet. It reduces stress on animals by keeping them out of the shelter. It leaves more shelter resources available to animals with no other options like those that are lost or abandoned. It also gives potential new owners a chance to learn more about the animals directly from the current owner and allows the current owner to be directly involved in the entire process.

To sign up for our Home to Home program, visit

To Set up a Surrender Consultation

In order to surrender a pet to HSSW, you must first do a surrender consultation. To do a surrender consultation with HSSW for a cat or small critter, please contact our Cat Care Supervisor, Reghan.

To do a surrender consultation with HSSW for a dog, please contact our Dog Care Supervisor, Shania.

Email is the preferred and fastest method of communication.

What to Expect at your Surrender Consultation

  • Alternatives to Surrender. During your communications with our team, you will discuss your situation together and may be presented alternatives to surrendering your pet with resources provided by HSSW.
  • Home to Home Program. You will be asked to sign up for our Home to Home program.
  • Gathering Information. During your communications with our team, you will be asked for a lot of information about your pet to determine the best path for them such as scheduling a surrender appointment or supporting you in rehoming your pet independently. Depending on the situation, you may be asked these questions over the phone or via an emailed form.
  • Prep for your Appointment. If it is decided that surrendering your pet to HSSW is the best course of action, one of our team members will schedule that appointment with you and go through what you will need to bring with you to that appointment.

What to Expect at your Surrender Appointment

  • Bring in your pet yourself. Please be prepared to spend some time with a staff member when surrendering your pet so that we may get as much background information as possible.
  • Bring any veterinary records you have. This will help us to know what care your pet needs during their stay with us and in their next home.
  • Bring a form of payment. There is a considerable cost to care for and rehome pets that are in our care. Because of this, we do require pet owners that are surrendering their pets to pay a surrender fee. We accept cash, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. Please note that a $3.00 processing fee will be applied to all transactions paid for via credit or debit card.
  • Plan to spend at least 30 minutes with us. At your appointment, we will spend some time with the pet in order to get to know them a bit better and also may have a few more questions for you.

If you are able to rehome your pet independently prior to your appointment, please call 608-752-5622 to cancel.

Surrender Fees

There is a surrender fee associated with surrendering a pet to help off-set the cost of caring for a pet here in shelter until they are adopted. The exact fee charged depends on the type of pet you are surrendering.

  • Dog/Puppy Surrender Fee – $53
  • Cat/Kitten Surrender Fee – $53
  • Small Critter Surrender Fee – $27

This fee is also charged per animal surrendered to HSSW. For example, if you surrender two dogs to HSSW, you will be asked to pay two surrender fees totaling $106 before tax. If the surrender fees are outside of your budget, please let us know and we may be able to work with you to off-set the surrender fees for your appointment. Similarly, if you are looking to surrender an entire litter or puppies or kittens, we may be able to coordinate a reduced surrender fee for the whole litter, as opposed to charging per pet in the litter.