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Home Pet Q&A Dog Questions How Do I Give Up My Pit Bull?

How Do I Give Up My Pit Bull?

If you're asking how do I give up my pit bull, you've likely made the difficult decision to surrender your pet. There are a few options, including surrendering him to a local shelter, working with a private rescue group, or rehoming him yourself. Below we look at the pros and cons each.

Local Shelters

Municipal shelters run by the city or county may not take owner surrenders. Each location is different, so it's worth checking. Organizations like the SPCA usually do accept owner surrenders.


  • It usually only takes a day or two, and some might take the dog right away.


  • Some shelters must euthanize pets due to overcrowding and limited resources. Your dog may be at risk for being put down if he ends up at one of these shelters.


  • Research the live release rate before surrendering your pit bull (or American pit bull terrier) to a shelter.

Private Rescues

Privately run rescues are another option. Here are the pros and cons of surrendering your pit bull to a reputable rescue.


  • Rescues usually have stricter adoption policies to ensure pets are placed in homes that fit their needs.
  • Even if your pet does not find a new home, rescues will usually care for your pet indefinitely.


  • Many rescues are volunteer run and house pets in foster homes which can be full, so you may have to wait for a spot.


  • Look on social media to find reviews of the rescue.
  • Visit the facility, talk to fosters and former fosters, and do as much rehome_research as you can.

Rehome Your Pit Bull Yourself

This method allows you to choose the new home and to vet any potential adopters. If you have to give up your pit bull, this route will give you the most control and peace of mind.


  • You get to choose his new family.
  • You give your pit bull the best chance at a safe and happy home.
  • Your pet can stay with you in a stress-free environment while he waits to find his new forever home.


  • It can take some time to find the right family.


  • Never list your pet as free to a good home. People who want dogs for fighting, or otherwise want to harm your dog, often look for ads like this.
  • Always charge a rehoming fee.
  • Rehome by Adopt-a-Pet.com is a free peer-to-peer adoption service that provides information on properly screening adopters, allows you to create a profile for your pit bull, and get him seen by millions of adopters on Adopt-a-Pet.com.

If you have to give up your pit bull, make sure you're putting him in safe hands!   

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