Pet Admissions Process (Surrendering Your Pet)

When space permits, pets from Contra Costa County (with the exception of the City of Antioch) are admitted by appointment on a case-by-case basis. After approval, you will be assigned a day and time to bring your pet to either the Martinez or Pinole shelters. Please be sure to also bring your ID and surrender fees.

If you bring your pet into the shelter with the hopes of placing it up for adoption, you will be asked to create a Pet Profile Questionnaire. please also bring all of the pet’s paperwork and veterinary records.

Making the decision to give up your pet can be a difficult one. If you have been looking for a new home for your pet, or need help keeping your pet in place, please visit our Keeping Your Pet In Your Home page for helpful tips.

Because Contra Costa Animal Services (CCAS) takes in so many surrendered, stray, and in need animals, we strongly encourage residents to exhaust all other means of finding a new home for your unwanted pets. Talking with friends, family, coworkers, placing cute photos and video on your social media accounts, and posting flyers are good ways to let people know you're looking for a new home for your pet.

PLEASE NOTE: owner surrendered animals are accepted on a space-available basis ONLY. If the shelter has reached capacity or is unable to provide humane housing for your pet, you may be asked to seek alternate arrangements and be added to our wait list. Pet owners coming to the shelter to surrender a pet may be asked to complete a Request Form, and to return after the Pet Retention Team has contacted you and approved your pet's admission into the shelter.

Pets Adopted From Another Shelter Or Rescue Organization


Provided sufficient notice, many non-profit shelters or rescue organizations may be able to take their pets back into their organization. Please consider contacting the organization that you adopted your pet from directly to make any necessary arrangements.

Requesting Help to Keep or Rehome Your Pet, or to Schedule an Appointment for Admission



Please start by submitting this Request Form which will allow you to receive resources about keeping or rehoming your pet. Please try our suggestions before considering surrendering your pet, as shelter environments can be very stressful for animals. We do our best to reserve space in the shelter to provide a safety net for people who have exhausted all options and still need to surrender their pet.

Surrender fees: $50 unlicensed animal, $30 licensed animal.

You will receive a response from pethelp.ccas@gmail.com (be sure to check your spam) within three business days. Owner Surrender admissions are based on our open kennel space and ability to provide the best possible care for the animals in our shelter. We offer a Pet Admission Interview with our dog behavior evaluation team on a very limited basis. This interview with you and your pet will allow us to learn as much as we can about your pet and allow you to make an informed decision as to what is best for your pet.  

Scheduling An Appointment


If you are unable to find an alternative and must surrender your pet to the CCAS, we will do all we can to provide your pet with the best possible outcome. Our goal is to find a happy home for every healthy and treatable animal. We can achieve this by knowing more about the animals that come into our care.

If you are unable to access the Request Form, please email a detailed request to pethelp.ccas@gmail.com. After your admission is approved and scheduled, you will be emailed a link to our Pet Profile survey to be completed prior to coming to the shelter, when possible.

Please note that emailing pethelp.ccas@gmail.com does not guarantee placement of your pet. Please be advised that owner surrendered pets become the property of Contra Costa County immediately upon surrender. As such, owner surrendered animals may be considered for adoption, transfer to a rescue organization, or humane euthanasia.

Response to your email request may take up to five days. Appointments and kennel space are limited at this time, so please continue to explore other placement options for your pet.

Owner Surrender Fees


Licensed Dog or Cat: $30     Unlicensed Dog or Cat: $50

Please observe the following prior to coming to the shelter to surrender your pet:

  • Bring a completed Pet Profile Survey and any pet or vet records with you
  • Bring a valid license or ID (Contra Costa County Residents Only)
  • Dogs must be on a leash
  • Cats must be in a carrier or secured, ventilated container

Your appointment will take approximately 45-60 minutes and may include a health exam and behavior evaluation of your pet. Our goal is to find a happy home for every healthy and treatable animal. We can achieve this by knowing more about the animals that come into our care.