Tildie, adopted from the Animal Adoption Center of Blount County, Alabama. Photo by Kristin Yarbrough
Milli was adopted from Blount County's shelter in May 2024.

You don't want your dog or cat in the shelter where he or she may be at risk. Contact the shelter to talk about how to keep your dogs contained or about how to make sure they can be identified if displaced from you.

help with pet food or care

If you need help caring for your pet, the shelter and animal rescue organizations may be able to provide pet food, temporary fostering, spay/neuter, etc. The goal is to keep you and your pet together.

if you think you must re-home your pet

If you think you must re-home your pet, please consider all possible resources that can help keep your pet with you. As stated by Marshall County Animal Watch, "Your companion animals have the cognitive function of a toddler and putting them in a new home can be incredibly confusing and stressful for them. We realize that life presents challenges but we always encourage people to look for ways to keep the pets to whom they owe a responsibility for their care and well-being. The best place for pet is simple: with you. We know life happens, but your pet is your responsibility for the life-time of your pet."

  • Short-term issues: Seek a temporary foster home with a family member, friend, church member, coworker, or neighbor. You can then visit your pet and bring him back home when you are ready.
  • Behavioral issues: Your vet may be able to identify an medical reason that can be treated. Otherwise, ask a trainer or behavioralist for help. Free extensive guidance for dog, cat, and general behavioral issues is also available from Nevada Humane Society.
  • Financial issues: The shelter and animal rescue organizations may be able to provide pet food, temporary fostering, spay/neuter, etc, to keep you and your pet together.

If the resources above cannot resolve your situation, here are some ideas to facilitate the process of permanently re-homing your pet. We also recommend No Kill Pima County's excellent tips.

  • Re-home with someone you know. A family member, friend, church member, coworker, or neighbor is your first option for re-homing your pet. Your vet may be able to help find a suitable home also.
  • Ask local rescue groups for help. Although rescue groups are overwhelmed, you may still be able to help you. Your complete honesty about your situation and your pet (e.g., history, preferences, behavior, health, age, spay/neuter status, microchip, activity level) will ensure the best possible outcome for your pet.
  • Utilize social media. Post photos, videos, and a description of your pet for potential adopters. Facebook community groups can be an effective way to reach your neighbors. Home to Home offers a fee-free online listing. When you meet someone interested in your pet, use your intuition and ask careful questions to make sure the person has good intentions. See No Kill Pima County's suggested questions (at the bottom of the page).

surrendering your pet to the shelter

As a last resort only, ask animal control or the shelter for help. Tax-funded shelters, like the Blount County shelter, are not obliged to accept your pet and may do so only when space is available.

  • An appointment is required to discuss surrendering your pet.
  • Only a dog, cat, puppies, kittens over 8 weeks old, rabbit, guinea pig, hamster, or ferret will be considered.
  • Aggressive dogs are not accepted.
  • The shelter does not euthanize animals at owner request.

The confusion of losing you and their home, along with the stress of the shelter, causes animals to behave differently than they do with you, which adds to the challenge of finding a new home for your animal. Please facilitate the best possible outcome by sharing everything you know about the animal, their preferences, behavior, and history. You can also contribute toward your pet's adoption fee. By lowering the cost for potential adopters, you increase your pet's chance of being welcomed into a new home.

abandonment is a crime

Do not dump or abandon your pet, puppies, or kittens. Abandonment in any form is criminal cruelty under Alabama Codes §13A-11-14 and §13A-11-240, punishable by fines and imprisonment. If you move and cannot take your animals, make arrangements. Leaving animals behind is cruel and criminal.

assistance in other situations

For additional resources and advise, see Marshall County Animal Watch's Keep Your Pets Out of Shelters. Topics include:

  • Keeping dogs contained with effective fencing
  • What to do when your pet is lost
  • Pet-friendly housing options
  • Moving with your pet
  • Steps to take when you find a pet
  • Breed-blind insurance companies
  • Pet parent plan


We thank Marshall County Animal Watch for their excellent guidance, and Animal Adoption Center of Blount County Director Karen Startley Dodson for the shelter's efforts to provide pet food for Blount County residents in need of assistance.