Surrendering Your Pet

There are times when surrendering a pet to the humane society is the best option for the animal or the animal's owners. The Champaign County Humane Society's shelter is an open admission facility that accepts all companion animals brought by their owners for surrender within Champaign County.

Unfortunately, we are unable to guarantee that your pet will be placed up for adoption and re-homed. It is your responsibility to weigh the risks and benefits to your pet when relinquishing him or her to CCHS.

Please Note: CCHS and animal Shelters throughout Illinois are currently experiencing an increase in dog intakes and a slow-down in dog adoptions. You may have to wait  6-to-8 weeks for a dog-intake appointment.  

What Happens to an Animal After Relinquishment?

After an animal has adjusted to being at the shelter (usually a period of two or three days), we perform a temperament assessment and health examination to determine if the animal is suitable for adoption. In order to be made available for adoption, animals must pass both evaluations, demonstrating manageable health and behavior in the shelter environment. Animals that do not pass the evaluations may be either transferred to another reputable rescue organization or humanely euthanized. Through our medical, volunteer, and foster care programs, we are able to treat many medical conditions and minor behavior problems. Determinations of an animal's outcome are made by compassionate experienced staff members with full awareness of our capabilities and limitations.

Currently, the Society has a live release rate of over 85 percent. That means that of the animals coming into the shelter, more than 8 out of 10 are adopted into new homes, reunited with their owners, or placed with another animal welfare adoption agency. Fewer than 15 percent of animals relinquished to CCHS are humanely euthanized because of medical or behavior problems that we do not have the resources to treat or that deem the animal unsuitable/unsafe as a family pet.

Please Note:  While the above information is still accurate, our ability to transfer special-needs dogs to other agencies is severely limited. Many agencies are already operating at full capacity and cannot accept more dogs. Dogs that are unable to adapt to the shelter environment and present as safe and adoptable pets will be humanely euthanized.   

Is There a Time Limit on Animals at the Shelter?

Once an animal has been surrendered to CCHS, there is no time limit pursuant to which he/she must be adopted or euthanized. Some animals may never be offered for adoption while others may remain available for adoption for weeks or months. Factors that determine if, and how long an animal will be available, include: the animal's health, the animal's behavioral history, the animal's behavior observed at the shelter, and our capacity to provide necessary treatment for medical or behavioral issues. Every surrendered animal is re-evaluated daily with respect to these factors.

Is There a Fee?

We ask for a $25 Continuing Care Fee to help with the costs of care. The maximum we will request for multiple pet relinquishment is $50. These fees are not mandatory and will be waived when they are beyond the means of the pet owner to pay.

When Can I Bring My Pet In?

Animal admissions are by appointment.  Please email: or call 217-344-7297 and ask for extension 17, and leave a message with your contact information.  Your call will be returned by an Admissions Coordinator who can answer all your questions about animal relinquishment and schedule an appointment.  Please Note:  Due to a high dog population at the shelter, you may be asked to wait 6-to-8 weeks for a dog-intake appointment.

May I Send Someone Else to the Shelter to Surrender My Pet?

No. Surrendering a pet involves transferring legal ownership to CCHS. The pet owner is required to sign a relinquishment form that transfers ownership to CCHS and verifies that the owner agrees to the terms and conditions of relinquishment. This form requires you to initial certain understandings, including that CCHS does not guarantee that your animal will be adopted, and that your animal may be humanely euthanized.

Home to Home Adoptions

Home To Home is a service the Champaign County Humane Society offers to pet owners in the community who are seeking to place their pet(s) in new homes without ever entering a shelter. This program helps reduce stress on both owners and their pet, while simultaneously reducing the number of animals being relinquished to shelters. Home To Home is a resource not just for those who need to rehome their pet, but also for those interested in adopting.

If you are interested in rehoming your pet through Home To Home or would like more information on this program, please visit our website here.

Relinquishment Tips

We ask that you provide us with as much information about your pet's medical history and behavior as you possibly can. This information will help us to evaluate your animal and may be useful in determining his/her suitability for a future adopter.

During the relinquishment process, a staff member will ask you questions about your animal's habits and you will be required to fill out a questionnaire providing detailed information about your pet. If you would like to fill out this questionnaire before coming to our facility, click to download the appropriate animal profile below (PDF Format):

PLEASE NOTE: You must contact the Champaign County Humane Society by calling the shelter at 217-344-7297 ext. 17 or by emailing the Admissions Department at to schedule a relinquish appointment. Our staff will not contact you to schedule an appointment, even if an online relinquishment questionnaire is submitted.

What Else Should I Bring With Me?

It is very helpful if you bring in your pet's medical records. We will also gladly accept food, toys, bowls, crates or carriers, medication, and anything else that might help to make your pet feel comfortable.

I've Found a Stray Animal. Can I Bring it to CCHS?

All stray animals found in Champaign County must be turned in at the County's Animal Services Facility, located on the North-East corner of Art Bartell Road. Anyone looking for a lost pet should contact ASF at 217-384-3798 and check their Facebook page.

CCHS will accept stray animals only when ASF is closed to the public. Those animals will be transferred to ASF as soon as the facility reopens for business.

Champaign County Animal Services Facilities Hours:

Monday-Saturday (except holidays) 8:00am – 5:00pm. Closed Sundays
Phone: (217) 384-3798
24 hour number: (217) 333-8911