When PAWS Can Help

PAWS accepts owned cats, kittens, dogs and puppies through our Re-homing Service. Please note we are located in Lynnwood, Washington 20 miles north of Seattle. The staff will help you decide if surrendering your pet to our shelter is your pet’s best option.

Surrendering your pet to PAWS

Because of the high demand for PAWS’ Re-homing Service, there may be a waiting period before your animal can be accepted into our shelter. When you contact PAWS, the staff will let you know how long you may have to wait.

  1. Before PAWS can take custody of your pet, you need to submit either a cat surrender form or a dog surrender form. If you have multiple animals, submit a separate form for each animal. Please note we are located in Lynnwood, Washington 20 miles north of Seattle. If you are looking for a shelter called PAWS near you, try our "Not the right PAWS?" page.
  2. PAWS staff will review the information and determine whether or not your cat or dog is a good fit for our re-homing program. You will either receive an email or a phone call from PAWS so we can schedule an appointment; we may request more information about the animal, or we may advise that we are unable to accept your cat or dog into the program. If you have not received a call or email in one week, please send an email to catsanddogs@paws.org.
  3. Once you are contacted about scheduling an appointment, please respond promptly. Due to the volume of requests, your information will be purged after two weeks if we do not receive a response. You would need to re-submit your request if you still want to use the PAWS re-homing program.
  4. Before your appointment, there are steps you can take to help us quickly re-home your pet. If possible, please get your pet’s vaccines updated by your veterinarian at least one week before the appointment. Some vaccines take 24 hours or longer before immunity takes hold, so this helps to protect your animal from illness while in the shelter.
  5. Request your veterinary hospital to fax your pet’s records to PAWS as follows: “Attention re-homing” and fax them to: 425.742.5711.
  6. PAWS requires a fee for the intake of cats and dogs through our Re-homing Service. This fee is used to offset the cost of caring for your animal while we work to find your pet a new home. The charges are:
    • Adult cats and dogs—$75
    • Kittens/puppies/pregnant animals—Fees vary. Please call 425.787.2500 x801 to speak with a staff member
  7. When you arrive for your appointment, PAWS’ staff will observe your animal’s behavior. If staff cannot safely handle your animal, we will decline to accept your pet into our program and will suggest alternate options.

Help for senior cats

PAWS handles more requests to re-home senior cats (over 7 years of age) than we can typically accept, so we carefully screen the cat’s medical and behavioral information before accepting them into the program. This is for the benefit of the cat, as our goal is to help them move quickly and successfully into their new home. 

To help us understand the cat’s needs, please ask your veterinarian about completing these tests and including them in the faxed medical records: BUN, Creatinine, Potassium, Glucose, Phosphorus, ALP, ALT, and a Total T4.

If you think your cat, may not be a good fit in the shelter, please check these resources for next steps.

Can PAWS guarantee my pet a home?

Simply put, we cannot. There are times when behavioral or medical issues are not apparent until an animal has been at PAWS for awhile. For these reasons, PAWS cannot guarantee your pet a new home. PAWS does work very hard to find homes for the animals in our care and, on average, places more than 93 percent of our dogs and cats into new homes.

After you surrender your animal, there is always the possibility they could become a euthanasia candidate due to a medical problem or behavior issue. You may request that PAWS contacts you before the animal is euthanized so you can make other arrangements. If you are contacted for this reason, we expect your pet to be picked up within 48 hours of the time we call you.  You can make your request to be contacted at the time of your re-homing appointment. 

If you are re-homing more than one animal, the staff will attempt to house the animals together if they are bonded and proper housing is available. If you feel that your animals need to be kept together, please indicate this in your email reply. 

PAWS will not regularly contact you about the status of your animal, but you can contact us for an update. Please be aware that we cannot release any information about who adopts your pet.

In the end, a safe, loving home is the best place for your pet, so please check out these resources on getting help with pet behavior problems, finding pet-friendly housing or dealing with allergies.

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