Giving up your pet is a difficult decision and PAWS Atlanta is here to help. First and foremost, remember that your pet depends entirely on you to do what's best for his/her future. There are also thousands of other cute, smart and well-trained pets waiting in shelters, so placement will take time, effort and patience. A few things to consider:

1) Can you return your dog or cat to the breeder, rescue, or person you originally got your pet from? Responsible breeders will either assist you in finding a new home, or take the pet back to rehome themselves. Many rescues also state in their contracts that the pet must be returned to them, no matter how much time has passed.

2) Unwanted behavior? Most chewing, pottying, digging, and other common frustrations can be corrected with proper tools & techniques. We'd be happy to provide information about training and other solutions for your dog or cat to be successful with family! If you can we are sure the trainers at Canine PhD can help you with these problems.

3) Moving? There are rental houses & apartments out there that do allow pets. To give yourself a better chance of securing a pet-friendly rental, include references from neighbors, previous landlords and veterinarians & encourage the landlord to meet your well-behaved, flea-free pet! Most of all, allow as much time as possible.

4) No Time? Dog walking services & doggie daycare are great options for busy humans that love their pets. But getting exercise is good for your health and decreases stress too! Before rehoming your pet, try spending just 15-30 before or after work playing fetch or taking a stroll together. We bet you'll both be happier!

5) Tight on cash? We all go through hard times. To assist, PAWS Atlanta offers low-cost veterinary services and free pet food to help families who are struggling to care for their pets financially.

Admission Policy

Animals are admitted when space is available, on a case by case basis. Both health and temperament assessments are required, along with a surrender fee to off-set the cost of care. Animal admission is at the sole discretion of PAWS Atlanta management.

Intake Appointments

PAWS Atlanta requires intake appointments to allow our staff to collect medical history and behavioral data about each incoming pet. An appointment is required to surrender your animal; however, it is not a guarantee that your animal will be accepted. To request an appointment, please complete the short Animal Admission Questionnaire and email it to You also call 770-593-1155. Please be prepared to answer ALL questions on the questionnaire before calling. Please also bring a completed copy of the Dog or Cat History Form to your appointment.

Due to COVID-19, we have developed new procedures to keep our animals, people who are surrendering animals, and our staff as safe as possible. When you arrive for your scheduled appointment, please leave your pet in the crate provided, secure crate, ring the doorbell, and return to your vehicle. Our staff members will bring your pet back to our vet clinic, conduct an exam and if admitted, take your surrender fee over the phone.

Surrender Fee

There is a $75 surrender fee for bringing an animal to PAWS Atlanta. This fee helps offset the cost of feeding, housing and veterinary services needed in order to make your surrendered pet ready for adoption. You will be asked to present your valid Driver’s License or State ID to release an animal. We make no guarantee of being able to accept any animal.

Animal Return Policy

Animals adopted from PAWS Atlanta can always be returned to us. We do ask for notice and time to secure space when possible.

Stray Policy

DeKalb County law states that all stray animals found in DeKalb County MUST be taken to DeKalb County Animal Services, 3280 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Chamblee, GA 30341 for the opportunity to be reunited with their owner. It is not possible for an owner to check every animal rescue across the state of Georgia, therefore Animal Control is the central location for lost pets to be found. The DeKalb County Animal Control phone number is 404-294-2996.

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