Drop off an Animal - Panhandle Animal Shelter

Surrender your pet

People drop off animals at the shelter for many reasons. Many of the animals we receive are brought in by “good Samaritans” who find stray animals running at large. Others are bringing in their own animals that they can no longer care for. Before you surrender your pet to this shelter or one of the others in the Inland Northwest, consider these alternatives: PAS Helpline, developed to assist pet owners who are facing difficult circumstances, and/or Home to Home, an interactive website that allows your pet to stay with you while you locate a new home for him or her.

Many people are not sure what is involved in bringing an animal to the shelter. Here are a few things to keep in mind:


1. When you bring in an animal, it legally becomes the property of the shelter. We make no guarantees that the animal will be adopted. If you later decide you want the animal back, you have to adopt it from the shelter just as anyone else would. Giving up an animal to the shelter should only be used as a LAST RESORT, after you have attempted every other way to try to find your pet a new home. Generally, the shelter facilities are full of stray animals that have priority. However, we can take your listing and watch for people requesting an animal like yours, or call you in as space opens up.

2. The Panhandle Animal Shelter is NOT a “pound.” We don’t pick up or deliver animals. The shelter is not supported by tax dollars in any way and isn’t affiliated with the city or county. It has no animal control officer, extra staff, financial resources, or equipment to pick up animals. To deal with problem animals, people must call the police or the sheriff’s office. It’s up to those law enforcement offices to decide whether or not to help you.

3. The shelter does impound animals for the cities of Sandpoint and Ponderay, and Bonner County. If your dog is picked up by Animal Control, you must pay the fines to the city first and then pay a boarding fee to the shelter.

4. A majority of the expense associated with the operation of the animal shelter is direct cost of staff, medication, food and care for the animals. The shelter requires a relatively small fee for owner surrendered animals. Many people also donate money when they drop off an animal, and it’s greatly appreciated because it helps pay for the care and feeding of the stray animals in our care.

5. If you drop off an animal, you will be asked many questions about the animal’s history and temperament. You also will be required to sign a form that legally transfers ownership of the animal to the shelter. Even if you are bringing in a stray, you will be asked to sign the form. In that case you are a “representative of the owner” until the owner can be found.

6. The shelter may refuse admission of the following animals:

  • Animals that have been bred, raised, acquired or used for commercial exploitation. The shelter does not perform euthanasia as a service to the public, EVER. However, if refusing the animal may result in neglect, abuse, abandonment or the inhumane disposal of the animal, the animal may be admitted at the discretion of the staff.
  • Animals that have bitten someone, except in certain cases of quarantine.
  • Injured, diseased or vicious animals. If the owner is unwilling or unable to provide care for the animal, it may still be admitted at staff discretion.
  • Wolf hybrids
  • Deceased animals for disposal