Animal Protective League

Back to the Tri-County APL home page Surrendering an animal

While we would love to be able to take in all the animals we get calls about, the reality is that we simply don't have enough room.  For every animal we are able to take in, sadly, we have to turn away about 20 or 30 others.  When we do have room, we try to give priority to animals in extreme need: abandoned; injured; belonged to an owner who has passed away; or other similar circumstances.

If you would like to get your animal on our waiting list, please fill out our on-line waiting list form.  Please note that our waiting list is currently very lengthy.  We will keep your information on file for two months.  You will probably only hear from us if we have room.  If you have not heard from us within two months, you may re-submit your information to get your animal on our waiting list again.  Filling out the waiting list form more frequently will not get your animal in any sooner - it mainly depends on how much room we have.

Because we are fostering in our homes, room is very limited - so to give your animal the best chance to find a new home, please read the rest of this section, and follow as many suggestions as you can.

Even if we don't have room for your pet (or an animal that you've found), we may still be able to help:

  • Are you trying to find a new home for your own pet (or that of a friend or family member)?  Are you trying to find a home for the stray dog or cat that's been hanging around the neighborhood (having made sure it's not owned by someone)?  Check out our sections on Finding a New Home for a Dog or Finding a New Home for a Cat for lots of suggestions.  You may also list your animal in our Petmatch section.

  • If you're thinking about giving up your pet because of training or behavior issues, there is a lot of help available.  Check out our Links page for some great training sites.  Or you can search the internet - use phrases such as 'dog training', 'cat training', or whatever specific problem you're having with your pet, such as 'cat scratches furniture'.

  • If you've found a stray, contact your local animal control.  In Ohio, stray dogs are under the jurisdiction of animal control (usually a county or city 'animal warden' or 'dog warden'), and animal rescue groups can't simply take in stray dogs unless there is a humane reason, such as injury or definite abandonment.  If you don't want to turn a stray dog over to animal control, you can keep it yourself, and make a good-faith effort to locate the owner.  Be aware that under Ohio law, you are considered that dog's owner once you have had it for three days.  Laws on cats vary, check with your local animal control or law enforcement office to find out the laws on cats in your area.

  • If you've found an injured (or truly abandoned) animal, contact your local humane society.  They have the right (and sometimes the obligation) to take in injured or abandoned animals.  They may require proof that the animal was abandoned (for example, eyewitness account of the circumstances of the abandonment), so they can pursue legal action if they choose.


Whatever the circumstances, trying to place an animal, or help a stray, injured or abandoned dog or cat, can be frustrating.  Animal rescue work can be very stressful, but most people are in it simply for the love of animals, and they will help all they can, even if the only thing they can do is offer suggestions.


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