Surrender Resources

So you think you may need to surrender you dog?

Doghouse Rescue Academy can only take animals that are surrendered by their owner (and if we have an available foster). There is a surrender fee associated to help offset the cost of caring for your animal while it is in our care. Due to requirements by Lee County Domestic Animal Services, we are unable to take strays or abandoned animals. These animals should be taken and processed through Lee County Domestic Animal Services. You will find directions from LCDAS on what to do if you found a lost pet here. You can visit them at 5600 Banner Dr Fort Myers FL 33912 or call 239-533-7387 (LEE-PETS). 


Sometimes the situation may arise where you feel like you have no choice but to give up and surrender your pet. Before you do that, here is some advice to help you keep your pet:


  • If you adopted your pet, usually your adoption contract requires you to surrender back to the organization so they can safely re-home and keep track of the whereabouts of the animal. Contact that organization first to see if they have any options to help you.


  • If a behavior is a reason you cannot keep, have you thought about getting a trainer? Many people assume their dog is aggressive or too set in their ways to change; although, with the right trainer that understands your dog's needs, it's possible to fix bad behavior. At Doghouse Rescue Academy we sometimes get reactive and aggressive dogs from shelters that most think are impossible to train; we get these dogs in our program and make them adaptable and found loving homes with our Drool School trainers. Drool School offers affordable training options for owners looking to teach their dogs the basics and work on negative behavior. Contact us today for a behavior evaluation if you would like to give training a try by emailing training@doghouserescueacademy.org.


  • If your dog supports your emotions, comforts, and well-being; you should ask your doctor if making your pet an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) could be beneficial to you. If your dog is an ESA, all you need is a prescription letter from your doctor or similar medical professional; then you cannot be discriminated against in apartments, mobile home parks, and other residential properties that must comply with ADA. Just remember: ESAs are not service animals and do not have the same rights as one - so just because your dog is an ESA, does not mean he can go to restaurants or stores with you. Service dogs have a job and are a medical device to the handler that needs it for daily tasks in their life. Impersonating a service dog in Florida is a misdemeanor - those who are caught breaking the law face a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail. Also keep in mind that there is no such thing as a registry for Emotional Support Animals or Service Dogs, any website or company that says you need to register you pet is a scam. Go to a medical professional in person to see if you qualify for a prescription letter to make your dog an ESA.


  • If you are local and having trouble getting food for your pet, Lee County Domestic Animal Services established the Community Pet Pantry Program to temporarily assist pet owners in financial crisis to keep beloved pets in loving, responsible homes rather than surrendered to overcrowded shelters. If you are outside Lee County, research food assistance programs in your area.


  • If you have a medical emergency or costly procedure that you can not afford to pay all at once, ask your vet office if they accept Care Credit or go to an office that does. Care Credit helps make large medical bills become manageable payments to pay easily over time.


Email surrender@doghouserescueacademy.org if you need more information.

Surrender Request Form

Please keep in mind this is a request form that will be evaluated by a rescue representative. If we have an available foster and funds to take in your pet, we will contact you to complete the surrender process - THIS SURRENDER REQUEST FORM IS NOT A GUARANTEE WE CAN TAKE IN YOUR PET.


If you found a lost or stray animal, by law we are not allowed to take it in and it must be processed through Lee County Domestic Animal Services if found in Lee County. If outside Lee County, research and contact animal services for the area the animal was found.