Owner Surrendered Cats


HSDC does not accept owner surrender walk-in’s. To best assess a cat's adoptability and to be able to discuss any potential concerns with the owner we utilize appointments for intake.  Cats can be brought in Tuesdays from 2-4pm and Fridays 8:30-12pm by appointment.  What to bring to your appointment:

  • All medical records

  • Animal profile form filled out

  • Cat in a carrier



WAITING LIST: We operate from a waiting list because HSDC is a “Limited Intake Shelter.” This means a surrendered pet is not at risk of being euthanized (”put down/put to sleep”) for space just because a new animal arrives and needs its cage. While it may take a few weeks to a few months for us to call you, we eventually will have room for your pet. Once here, your pet will be given every chance to be adopted providing it remains healthy and happy. (Some animals cannot adjust to shelter life.) To get your name placed on our surrender waiting list, please call us after reading this information. We also ask you to please continue searching for a new home while you are on our waiting list. We will accept your cat as soon as we are able. Please call  (740) 369-7387 to be added to the waiting list or to remove your name if the cat was able to be re-homed.

NOTE: We have more space on our group housing adoption floor than in our holding area.  To be placed on our open adoption floor, cats must be up to date on their FVRCCP vaccine.  This is to ensure ALL of our cats (including yours) are kept as healthy as possible.  To be moved up the waitlist, you can utilize our clinic services and take the cat back for 2 weeks after being FeLV/FIV tested and vaccinated or utilize your over veterinarian for these services.  If this is not an option, we will call you in order you were placed on the list as space allows in our intake/holding area. 


INTAKE RESTRICTIONS: If the cat is aggressive, seriously ill, or has poor litter box behavior, we may not be able to re-home the animal. Older animals (over the age of 8) historically do not do well in shelters, so if the cat is this age, you may want to consider other alternatives.  If this animal is seriously ill or in extreme pain that cannot be resolved, we do offer humane euthanasia services. Please contact us immediately.



HSDC SURRENDER FEES (tax-deductible): Suggested surrender fee is $25.00



FOOD ASSISTANCE: If you are experiencing financial difficulties and need pet food assistance during your wait, please feel free to contact us at (740) 369-7387. You may also stop by our shelter to see if we have any food available.



PET-RETENTION COUNSELING: If you are surrendering your cat because of a BEHAVIORAL or MEDICAL ISSUE, please send us an email so we might advise you of some solutions that will help you “get rid of the problem, not the pet.”  Please see the suggestions listed below.


Examples might include: 

  • Urinating outside of the litter box - This could be an indication of a Urinary Tract Infection, which is very painful. Take your cat to the vet as this condition can be treated. Since we have no way of monitoring each cat’s urination habits once it is placed on the adoption floor, we cannot accept cats for adoption with chronic UTI infections. We do offer humane euthanasia services. 


  • Marking or spraying - If your cat is not altered, it may start leaving its scent. This can be corrected by having your cat spayed or neutered. We do offer low-cost spay and neuter services.


  • Spraying/urinating/defecating on certain objects or in front of you (outside of the box) - This may be your cat’s way of telling you he or she is displeased with a change in its normal environment. Did you get a new pet? Start new work hours? Is there a newborn in the home? Are you cleaning the litter box too little or too often? Is someone in the home being mean to the pet when you’re not there? Is the cat acting differently? Please contact us to discuss some of the behavioral issues going on with your cat. Most owners we counsel end up resolving the problem and keeping their cat. 


  • Scratching furniture - This habit can be easily redirected to a catnip-scented scratching post or pad. Send us an email and we’ll explain how! 


  • Inappropriate behaviors - If you have only one kitten, it will use YOU as it’s sparring partner while it goes through the  “stalk-pounce-attack” kittenhood phases. Believe it or not, getting another kitten resolves this issue. No kidding! :)  As a reminder, you should never use your hands to directly rough-play with a kitten or cat. This only teaches them that your hand is the toy. Along the same lines - NEVER punish a cat using your hand or foot. Aside from it being cruelty to animals, it will also train your cat to attack you in self-defense when you may only be trying to pet it. A squirt bottle does a great job of humanely teaching your cat what is off-limits (jumping on counters, for example). The trick is to sneakily squirt the kitty when it’s not watching you...but while it’s in the act of bad behavior.


  • For BEHAVIORAL-RELATED QUESTIONS ONLY, please send a detailed email describing anything you can regarding your cat’s behavior to cat.behavior@hsdcohio.org


  • For MEDICAL-RELATED QUESTIONS ONLY, please call the office at (740) 369-7387 or send a detailed email to Darlene.Burks@hsdcohio.org

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