The primary service of the Lowell Humane Society animal shelter is the acceptance of homeless, distressed and unwanted animals. The Society has an open admission policy and accepts all animals brought to the shelter provided they have not bitten or scratched during the last 10 days and are not stray dogs which are required to be held by Animal Control in the city/town where they are found (for 7 days).

The Society typically receives more than 2,000 animals each year. The majority of the animals brought to the Society are dogs and cats. Other domestic pets such as rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, birds, hamsters, gerbils and the occasional exotic pets and reptiles find shelter here. The Society works with local animal agencies and rescue organizations to assist these animals in finding a home.

Before you decide to surrender a pet, we ask that you contact us to discuss placement options and the surrender procedure. To contact us at 978-452-7781 or email at Along with your pet, you will need to bring a valid photo ID. Please also bring current veterinary records. This information will be useful to us in evaluating and caring for your pet while at the Society.

The staff interviews each person surrendering a pet to gather history, medical and behavior information about the pet. Please take the time to give us as much information as possible and answer all interview questions accurately and honestly. Surrender hours are Noon-3:30pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and 12-5:30 on Thursday. Closed Mondays. No appointment is necessary. We are closed on major holidays.

The Society does not charge a fee for surrendering an animal but does suggest a $25 donation for an individual animal and a $50 donation for litters. The actual expenses to prepare and place a single animal into a new home often add up to hundreds of dollars. Please give generously to help the animals! Most animals are evaluated for possible placement within the first 48 hours of surrender. Qualified staff carefully evaluate each animal. This evaluation is based on a variety of factors, foremost of which are the animal’s health and temperament. Those animals deemed adoptable are placed in the adoption center to await a new home. The Society does not impose a time limit on pets in the adoption center.

Please be aware that by surrendering an animal, you forfeit all rights, title and interest in the animal to the Lowell Humane Society. You decision to give up a pet is final and irrevocable. The Society cannot guarantee a home for every animal nor can the Society guarantee to keep any animal at the shelter for any specific period of time.

It is YOUR responsibility to weigh the risks and benefits to your pet when surrendering it. The LHS makes every effort to ensure the animals we adopt are placed, not just anywhere, but with people who will provide good care for the animal for the rest of its life. Animals that cannot be offered for adoption or do not get adopted will be humanely euthanized. In most cases, LHS can notify you before your pet is euthanized or return it to you if it is not adopted.

How long are animals kept at the shelter? Once an animal has been surrendered to the LHS, there is no specific amount of time that it may be kept before it is adopted or humanely euthanized. Some animals may never be available for adoption. Others may remain available for adoption for longer. Factors that determine if and how long an animal will be available for adoption include: health, behavioral and training history and behavior at the shelter. Every surrendered animal is re-evaluated daily with respect to these factors and the most healthy, socially adjusted animals are allowed to live in the available space at the shelter.

Unsafe conditions may make it necessary for an animal to be euthanized within hours of its surrender. If the animal's immediate health or behavioral conditions are questionable, the Shelter Director shall have the final decision regarding the disposition of the animal.

We receive nearly 2,000 animals each year at our animal shelter. Although we provide much love and the highest standards of care for animals in our shelter, it is still an extremely stressful environment for a pet accustomed to living in a home. Matching the pets in our care to appropriate adoptive homes is our number one priority, but we are not able to place every animal into a new home. Please, consider this, and commit to working through any difficulties you may be having with your pet or find an appropriate placement for your pet. Our staff is here to assist you in this process.

Before Surrendering a Pet
Please consider these alternatives to surrendering your pet to the shelter.

Veterinary Examination and Behavioral Counseling
Owning a pet can be frustrating when they are displaying unwanted behaviors such as digging, scratching, destructiveness or house soiling.  First, take your pet to his/her veterinarian for a physical exam, the behavior may be a result of a health problem.  If a health problem has been ruled out, there is help available through certified animal behaviorists.

Spaying and neutering your pet is not only the responsible thing to do to help in ensuring your pets long term health,  but stops unwanted sexual behaviors in both male and female pets as they mature.

Any dog and their owner benefits from obedience training.  Often times the lines of communication between owner and dog become confused and result in problems.  A professional trainer will help you communicate clearly with your dog and set boundaries.

Just like us, pets need exercise!  A bored pet is far more likely to develop behavior problems than a happily tired pet.  Consider a having a friend/pet sitter, or doggie daycare if you are unable to adequately exercise your pet during the day.

Breed Rescues
Breed rescues can provide a wealth of information about your particular breed and may be able to assist in placing your pet if need be.

A responsible breeder is available to you throughout the life of your pet.  If you are having a problem with your pet, contact your breeder.

Please contact the shelter regarding resources for any of the above options, our staff is here to help you have a loving and successful relationship with your pet for his/her life!