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Before You Surrender Your Pet

Before surrendering a pet to Animal Welfare, please consider all available options.

Pet Surrender

Two dogs, three cats, a rabbit, a ferret, and a rat sitting together.


The Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department considers itself to be a place of last resort for the surrender of pets. Before surrendering, please explore every possible alternative including friends, relatives and rescue groups.

If you need to surrender your pet due to an emergency, you can do so without an appointment 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Emergencies are:

  • Domestic animals that are injured or suffering, having trouble breathing, bleeding, in pain or in danger of death
  • Kittens or puppies without a mom who are unable to eat on their own
  • Behavior that puts humans or other animals at risk
  • A situation that puts an animal at risk of not being provided proper care.


Call Animal Welfare First

Although we do our best, we simply receive too many pets to place them all and cannot guarantee that any pet will be adopted. We are asking people who want to surrender a pet to speak with an Animal Welfare representative before bringing your pet.

Animal Welfare has surrender counselors who will work with pet owners to see if we can help the owner prevent the surrender. Services include advice on behavior issues, free low and moderate income spay or neuter services, and advice on other placement options that would be in the best interest of the animal.

To voluntarily be placed on a waiting list, call 311 or 505-768-2000 and give your name and telephone number to the operator. You will be contacted within one to three days. 

Shelters at Capacity

In order to better manage our shelters and care for the thousands of strays and surrendered pets that come through our doors each year, we are asking people who want to surrender a pet to speak with an Animal Welfare representative before bringing your pet.

Currently our shelters are full leaving no space for incoming pets. Because of this, the Animal Welfare Department has made changes to its daily admissions operations. If you're unable to personally find a new home for your pet, you may bring your dog, cat, or critter to AWD. Appointments are limited to no more than two pets or one litter. If you need to surrender more than two pets or one litter, please call 311 to request to speak to a surrender counselor. Review our surrender process

Spay & Neuter

Albuquerque Animal Welfare reminds you to always spay or neuter your pets. 

Animal Welfare Department offers Free low- and moderate-income residents of Albuquerque seeking spay/neuter services should apply for the AWD Spay/Neuter Lottery. Review information about the free to low cost spay and neuter program.