Surrendering Your Pet in Bozeman

Surrendering your pet is a difficult decision to make, but keeping a pet isn’t always easy. The rising cost of living, behaviors that are difficult to manage, adding children to the family, or moving away are the most common reasons cited for giving up a pet. 

If you have decided that you can no longer care for a pet, it is important to surrender them properly. To do this you must give them to someone who will care for them properly. Most often your local humane society is the right place. Abandoning an animal is unfair to them, and could even have legal consequences for you.

Always Surrender or Rehome Your Pet 

No matter why you need to give up your pet, it is important that you take the time to rehome them properly. 

If you are able to care for your pet for a little longer, home-to-home adoption is a good way to go. This is when you go through a website, or networking with others to find a new home for your pet. This way your pet is never in a shelter, and you have more control over who gets your pet. It may take a while, and can sometimes feel like a game telephone, but it is often worth it to know your pet is in good hands.

Surrendering your pet is the best option if you need someone to take your pet right away. For instance, if you have a pet that is a danger to your family, you can surrender them to an animal shelter.

Most cities have their own humane society. Checking your county’s animal control page can direct you to yours. Bozeman has the Heart of the Valley Shelter. , which does an excellent job of matching pets to new homes. In the Gallatin Valley, we are fortunate to have many people looking for pets. The average shelter stay for both dogs and cats is around a week, which is far below the national average. Most of the week-long stay before adoption is for health checks and evaluation of the pet’s temperament. 

Pet Dumping Is Never a Good Choice

Unfortunately, pet dumping is a sad reality in Montana. Some people have tied up their pets far from home and left them there, or dumped them out of the car and driven away.  In situations like these, the punishments are much more strict than violating a leash law

If you abandon your pet on any highway, road, railroad, or any place where the animal could suffer an injury, hunger, or exposure, you are committing a crime. The state of Montana defines abandonment as a form of cruelty to animals

Punishment for Animal Cruelty in Montana

  • Maximum fine of $1,000 ($2,500 for a second offense)
  • Imprisonment for a maximum of 1 year (2 years for a second offense)
  • Surrender of any other animals in your care
  • Pay the cost of the animal’s veterinary and housing care 

Veterinary Care Can Help Curb Unwanted Behaviors

If you are considering giving up your pet because they are suddenly acting aggressive, a trip to a veterinarian might be in order. Dogs and cats will often go to lengths to hide discomfort or pain. This can result in a very stressed pet that might lash out by biting or scratching.

One of the top reasons for sudden discomfort or pain can be poor oral health. Tooth decay and gum disease can lead to nerve pain and even full-body infections. Scheduling a dental cleaning from a trained veterinarian can help you determine if your pet’s change in behavior is related to their dental health. In many pets, the only sign of a painful problem in their mouth is a change in personality. A detailed oral exam, including cleaning with dental x-rays, can reveal many problems.

The team at Montana Pet Dentistry and Oral Surgery provides veterinary dental cleanings as well as dental treatments for dogs and cats. With a convenient office in Bozeman, we are ready to care for your pet’s teeth at any time. Contact us today to make an appointment. 




Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (9/28/23). Photo by Anoir Chafik on Unsplash.