If you are looking to surrender a pet you have found, or surrender your own pet, the first thing to know is that nearly every shelter and rescue group in our area is overburdened and usually full. We have a serious pet overpopulation problem in the Memphis area, and there are many, many dogs and cats in need.
The second thing to know is that, if you can foster the animal temporarily, you’ll have a much better chance of finding an organization able to help you with adoption. Better still is if you are in the position to offer to pay for the animal’s medical care. The biggest obstacles for any rescue group to taking an animal are space (where will the animal go?) and money (how will they pay for the animal’s care?). If you can take away those two obstacles, it makes it much easier for a rescue group to help you.
Rescue groups are typically all-volunteer and do not usually have a facility. Their animals usually live with foster parents, and when they don’t have any open foster homes, they may be unable to accept any more animals. So if you have found an animal and can’t find any owners, if you can keep the animal for a few days, weeks, or months while you figure out how to place him safely, that is extremely helpful. Or if you have a pet in your home who you need to surrender, if you can continue to keep him in your home for a time while you work on getting a rescue group, he will have a much better chance of finding a safe place to go.
There are many dog breeds that have local rescue groups dedicated to that breed alone, such as pugs (Mid-South Pug Rescue) and Golden Retrievers (Memphis Area Golden Retriever Rescue). Do a search of rescue groups to see if there is a breed-specific group for the breed you are trying to place. You can see a full list of Memphis-area rescue groups on Petfinder.com.
The third thing to know is that, if you absolutely must surrender the animal immediately, your best option may be a municipal shelter.
We encourage you to consider local rescue groups as well as local shelters, including HSMSC, when adopting a pet!