Owner Surrenders

For many people, surrendering a pet can be emotionally upsetting. Often a pet is surrendered because an owner simply has no choice, or is unaware of resources that can help keep them together with their pet. The Frances R. Willis SPCA staff and volunteers recognize and appreciate this may be a very difficult time for you and your family. Please know we are here to assist you and to care for your pet if you must surrender.  After working with the shelter you may find there are other alternatives than surrendering your beloved pet.


Before Surrendering Your Pet

Frances R. Willis SPCA is the only open-admission shelter in Dorchester County. We take in any small domesticated animal (dogs and cats). We cannot guarantee placement in a new home for any animal so before surrendering your pet we ask that you consider the following:

  • Have you tried to find your pet a new home yourself?
  • Have you asked friends, family, posted online, called other rescues?

What resources would you need in order to keep your pet?

  • Pet Behavior and Training
  • Behavior Issues
  • Medical Issues
  • Medical Assistance
  • Moving
  • Pet Friendly Housing

In some cases surrender is the only option. If that is your situation, here are the steps you will need to take to surrender your pet:

To ensure there is space available for your pet and to give you an opportunity to speak with our staff about your situation, you will be given an appointment time to relinquish your animal. You can make that appointment over the phone or in person at the shelter. To speak with an intake staff member for more information or to make an appointment, please call Frances R. Willis SPCA at (843) 871.3820

You will need to bring:

  • Vet records for your pet
  • Driver’s license
  • Proof of Dorchester County residency
  • Surrender fee (cash or card)

Owner Surrender Fees are: 

$100 per dog
$70 per cat
$75 if animal is spayed/neutered (must provide proof)
$50 if animal is spayed/neutered and up-to-date on vaccines (must provide proof) 

What will happen to my pet when I surrender them?

Your surrendered pet will be compassionately cared for during his/her stay at Frances R. Willis SPCA during which time the animal will be evaluated medically and behaviorally to identify the animal's adoptability to find a new home. When you surrender your pet you are giving up all legal ownership rights to the animal and legal ownership and responsibility are transferred to Frances R. Willis SPCA.  Frances R. Willis SPCA takes the responsibility of your animal’s well-being very seriously and we have a team of compassionate and dedicated animal care specialists who will provide loving care. 

If you have any questions regarding owner surrenders, please contact ytaylor@frwspca.org for more information.