Where to Surrender an Aggressive Dog? (Easiest and Safer Way)

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If your dog is mouthing, growling, snapping, showing its teeth, biting, or exhibiting other dog behavior issues, this might put you, your husband or wife, and your family in a state of distress because of all the emergency vet visits.

Whether it’s to protect yourself, your pet, human baby, farm animals, or humane society in general, sometimes surrendering your dog with the behavioral issue is the best option.

However, it can be very puzzling to choose where to surrender aggressive dogs, especially in a way that does the least harm to your dog. How do you protect yourself and others while choosing the best options for your dog?

These are the concerns we address as we provide you with the best places to surrender dogs due to their aggression.

Should I Surrender My Aggressive Dog?

Angry dog with bared teeth

Unsolvable behavior issues, like aggression, whether that’s aggression towards other dogs, animals, random people, babies, or family members, are a reason you may find that you can’t keep your dog,

We’ll get into your options for re-homing dogs that are aggressive towards other dogs or exhibit low aggression levels later on. However, dogs that attack people are a different issue.

A person who surrenders them at shelters would be unloading their problem on shelter workers, volunteers, and undoubtedly new pet owners, which may not be the best decision. Furthermore, you may be held liable for future bite incidents.

There are other options to consider here, though, if you and your family aren’t set in your minds about letting your dog.

Firstly, you need to assess the gravity of the situation at hand. To illustrate, if your dog’s aggression was a one-time situation, its chances are certainly better than a dog with a bite history, for example.

Also, is your dog aggressive out of nowhere? Or is its aggression response to being pulled out from its crate during a thunderstorm? A veterinarian could be of assistance by recommending tests for specific medical conditions that could trigger aggression, including chronic pain, hypothyroidism, and brain tumors.

Moreover, consult with or call a professional dog behaviorist or a veterinary behaviorist who points out any alternatives to surrendering your dog, including helpful behavior modification programs and drugs.

Tip: Check their referrals and credentials because this business is fraught with frauds.

Secondly, you need to consider your options: animal confinement and humane euthanasia. On the one hand, there’s the question of whether confinement should be an option; whether a dog should have to live like that for the rest of life, and whether safety is a good enough reason for a confined life.

If you resort to management, you’re going to need a basket muzzle, head halter, sturdy leash, and fence. You’re also going to have to take your dog on runs frequently.

On the other hand, a dog with aggressive behaviors is in a constant state of fear and alertness, and if it’s hurting others, putting it to sleep can be an act of kindness to take care of them.

Needless to say, it’s best to converse with a professional behavior consultant regarding your options. They might encourage you to hire a dog trainer capable of helping with training methods or otherwise suggest that euthanasia would be best for them.

Animal for Free or Cheap

Dog fight at a park.

If you live in a big metropolitan city, you’ll find several non-profit organizations in the community. But if you live in the countryside, you might need to travel. We’re looking at either no-kill shelters or new homes.

1. No-Kill Shelters

Typically, a surrendered pet dog with aggression to a regular shelter is immediately put down, and a rescue organization/rescue group won’t take it. So, housing or finding someone to care for it is nearly impossible.

This is because shelters test their dogs and turn to euthanasia when dog aggression poses a threat to other dogs’ lives.

Moreover, they don’t usually have the necessary resources for rehabilitation services, health care, or higher-quality testing.

However, there’s a “no-kill-shelter” that exists, and it can potentially accept a dog with aggressive behavior or unwanted behavior as long as it doesn’t have a bite history. Shelter staff is trained to handle these situations with empathy and understand how hard it is to owner surrender your pet.

It’s also worth noting that you might need to extensively search for no-kill shelters nearby because they tend to be locally managed.

Pro Tip: If shelters and rescue groups are unwilling to take your dog, ask them about any volunteers that’d be willing to do so if a behaviorist evaluated your dog’s aggression and found it not to be hazardous.

As for fees, you may find a shelter to take your dog free of charge. Nonetheless, a shelter does mostly require a price for you to surrender your dog, considering they’re non-profit organizations tasked with caring for a massive number of dogs. That fee can range from $20 to $150+.

Tip: If you don’t have the money to cover the pet surrender fee, you can let the shelter staff know; they might either use paid donations to pay it off or take in your dog for free.

2. Re-Homing

Finding new homes for dogs is a sensible option if they suffer from inter-dog aggression. A single-dog home may be the environment they need if they don’t get along with other dogs or a particular dog type.

Similarly, dogs that wreak havoc when surrounded by cats, livestock, family pets, or any other small animal can be left in the care of a pet and livestock-free home.

However, if your dog is aggressive towards people, people may have concerns about the idea. For one, you need to make the new owners or pet owner aware of the dog’s behavior problems.

Furthermore, this is an intrinsically stressful situation to put your dog through, one that’ll amplify its aggression and fear levels for life. Therefore, it may unleash that in its new foster home and, in turn, be re-homed again or put in a animal shelter.

If you settle on re-homing, try Rehome. Affiliated with Adoptapet.com, it aims to match your pet with a new family. You get to choose your pet’s new home, so pick one that you find suitable for your dog. Click “Get Started” on the website to fill in a surrender form or a surrender application on your personal information, your dog’s personal information, and how much longer you can keep it.

You also get to specify if they’re spayed or neutered, if they’re house-trained, their attitude towards kids, cats, and other stray dogs, and more.

Tip: Don’t withhold information about your dog’s aggression because that’ll only reinforce the vicious dogs surrendering cycle, as the pet’s new owners won’t be prepared to deal with your dog’s behaviors, and they’ll be forced to find a new home for it.

Other options include finding your dog a new home in the old-fashioned way. Tell other people through flyers and signs – place them at a local beloved pet shop or shelter dogs, or post ads on social media. A good adoption ad or adoption program or flyer with the animals’ photos and adoption profiles goes a long way!

Tip: Check how to find homes for homeless pets if you’re looking for a resource on how to design a flyer.

German shepherd at dog training


Aggressive Dogs FAQs:

What Do No-Kill Shelters Do With Aggressive Dogs?

There isn’t a single policy they abide by. They might provide service dog organizations with dogs to be trained as helpers for their disabled owners or dog owner, but if a dog is so aggressive to the point where it can’t be safely placed in a new living environment, it may be time to put it to sleep.

Can You Surrender a Dog That Bites?

If a dog has a bite history, many shelters will give you your dog back, or they’ll take it in only to euthanize it as no one would be willing to risk dog bites, and they have limited resources and can’t home all dogs.

Will Vets Euthanize Aggressive Dogs?

There’s a very good chance that they will, especially if these dogs have killed or injured other dogs or other people.

As we’ve mentioned, the vet may recommend some medical tests to understand if the aggression is the product of the older dog suffering from medical problems, in which case it won’t be euthanized.


Conclusion

Surrendering your dog is a decision that’ll affect both your lives forever. First of all, assess the dog’s situation and options. You may find your dog’s aggression suited for a no-kill shelter animal or a new family.

Ultimately, it’s a very delicate balance between wanting the best for your dog but also prioritizing safety for everyone involved.

Let us know your stance on surrendering aggressive dogs in the comments below, and feel free to share this article if you’ve found it helpful in any way.