Owner Relinquishment

If it is your pet’s behavior that is making things difficult, consult our Resources page for articles to help your dog, cat, rabbit, or small animal be successful in your home.

If you are looking to potentially rehome a pet, consider using free websites such as Rehome by Adopt-a-Pet (dogs and cats) or Home To Home (all species). In many cases, this is a better option for your pet, and avoids a potentially stressful stay at a shelter.

For Irvine residents no longer able to care for their pet(s), the center offers an owner relinquishment service. We require documentation to ensure residency, ownership, and other information regarding the pet to understand your situation.

We require all owner relinquishments to be scheduled in advance. We do our best to assist all pet owners as quickly as possible. If your situation has special circumstances, please contact the center directly.

For more information about relinquishment of your pet, please see below for a step by step guide, a list of fees, and the Owner Relinquishment Frequently Asked Questions. You may also contact us by phone at 949-724-7740 or by email at animalcare@cityofirvine.org.

Request Owner Relinquishment

  1. To begin the Owner Relinquishment process, complete the appropriate form below including required documentation listed on the form.

  2. Forms are reviewed by staff within one to two business days. You will be notified if additional information is needed prior to moving on to the next step.

  3. Once information has been reviewed, staff will contact you to review your pet’s information and schedule a time for you to bring your pet to the center.

  4. During your appointment you will be required to complete any additional documentation and pay applicable fees (see below).

Owner Relinquishment Form – Dog

Owner Relinquishment Form – Cat

Owner Relinquishment Form – Rabbit

Owner Relinquishment Fees



Licensed with proof of alteration


Licensed without proof of alteration


Unlicensed with proof of alteration


Unlicensed without proof of alteration

Cat / Rabbit


With proof of alteration


Without proof of alteration

Other types of animals


If intake is approved by staff

Owner Relinquishment Frequently Asked Questions

Why is an appointment required? This allows our team to process all documentation and prepare a comfortable kennel space before taking your pet into our care. We strive to ensure a smooth, fear-free transition for your pet while aiming to assist you as quickly as possible.

I don’t live in Irvine, can I still relinquish my pet? The Irvine Animal Care Center only accepts owner relinquished pets from City of Irvine residents. Contact your local animal control agency for information about their owner relinquishment process. You can find a list of local shelters here

Why do I have to pay a fee to surrender my pet? Owner relinquishment fees assist in covering the cost of providing care for your relinquished pet.

After I relinquish my pet, can I get updates on them? After a pet is relinquished, we do not reach out to previous owners unless we require further information. If you would like a status update on your former pet, you may contact the center during regular business hours.

What if I change my mind after surrendering my pet? We understand that your circumstances may change. Contact the center for more information. Please keep in mind that Owner Relinquishment fees are non-refundable.

Can I rehome my pet on my own? Absolutely! You know your pet best and can ensure their new home be a successful one. In addition to reaching out to family and friends, consider utilizing social media and free websites such as Rehome by Adopt-a-Pet (dogs and cats) or Home To Home(all species) to help connect with potential adopters.