Policies & Procedures

Surrendering you cat


Before considering surrendering your cat to someone else, ask yourself if there are other options.

  • Do you have allergies to animals? – Talk with your doctor about possible treatments.

  • Need help with your animal’s behaviour? Heidi's Kitty Haven can refer you to a specialist (a veterinarian, a trainer or a behaviouralist). Find out ways to improve the cat's behaviour. With patience and consistency cats tend to learn quickly.

  • Does your cat suffer from chronic health problem or more serious behavioural issues? This is a tough call but is it realistic to expect that another person will be more willing-or able-to deal with these? Ask your veterinarian for advice on options available to you. In this situation, the shelter is generally not a responsible option.

  • Making the decision to give up ownership of your animal is definitely a difficult decision that only you can make. At Heidi's Kitty Haven, we do our best to find each animal a new home and are generally very successful, however, there are no guarantees. Before making the final decision of surrendering your cat to our rescue here are some other options you should explore.

  • Advertise your cat in local newspapers, veterinary clinics, pet food stores, friends, neighbours, etc. This way you can conduct personal interviews with the potential adopters to ensure the future care of your animal. Set a fee to adopt your cat, do not give it away for free. This will deter anyone who is not serious about the adoption.

  • There are internet forums that allows people to post ads of cats seeking new homes (some examples: PetFinder.com and PetLynx.net) Please ensure that whatever site you’re using is reputable and consider getting references from any potential adopters.

  • If you are unsuccessful at finding a home on your own then and only then should you consider surrendering your cat to the rescue

  • Please contact the rescue in advance to make arrangements to surrender your cat. If you show up without previous arrangements, it is possible that you will be turned away due to a lack of available space. We are a small rescue and we often have a waiting list of cats to be surrendered.

  • Please bring copies of all relevant medical history from your veterinary clinic and you will be asked to provide proof of current vaccinations. If unable to provide documentation, you will not be eligible for a reduced surrender fee.

  • You will be asked to fill out a basic history form about your cat. You are more than welcome to do your own write-up from home indicating the type of home that would best suit your cat. (Please include information on any previous interactions with children, and other animals.)

  • There is a mandatory surrender fee which is necessary to provide future care for your animal. You will be informed of this fee when you make arrangements to surrender.

  • All cats brought into the rescue must be in a cat carrier


**Once your cat has been surrendered to the rescue you may not, under any circumstances, reclaim your cat. It would not be responsible of us to return a cat to someone who has told us they are no longer willing or able to provide care for their cat. The decision to surrender is a permanent one.


Why is There a surrender Fee?


Anyone who surrenders an cat is required to pay a fee. This fee varies on the status of the cat – neutered vs. intact, vaccinated or not, microchipped or not. The fee is necessary in order for Heidi's Kitty Haven to recover some of the costs associated with vetting, neutering, vaccinations, de-worming treatment(s), flea treatment(s), microchipping, food/water, litter and rescue (overhead costs).

The following table illustrates the requested surrender fee associated with the status of an cat:

When family cats are being surrendered by their owners, the owner will be asked to provide proof of sterilization/vaccination/microchip to be eligible for the reduced surrender fee listed above.

Heidi's Kitty Haven fully understands that surrender fees can be a big out of pocket expense and we appreciate any donation that will go towards the daily expenses of caring for the animals. Heidi's Kitty Haven is thankful for the continued support of the community.


“How long is an animal awaiting adoption held at Heidi's Kitty Haven?”


Indefinitely. Heidi's Kitty Haven does not euthanize any animal simply because it has been in our shelter too long. The rescue cats stay in our rescue or at a foster home until a forever home is found.


“Why does Heidi's Kitty Haven charge an adoption fee?”


Our adoption fees are among the lowest in North America. They help us to cover our costs of caring for the animals such as vaccinating, medicating, vet visits and spaying/neutering our cats.

Heidi's Kitty Haven is an independent rescue, obtains no government funding, and relies on adoption fees, surrender fees,  as well as fundraising and donations from the community. Without this income, Heidi's Kitty Haven would not exist as the rescue would not be financially sustainable.


“What happens if the animal I adopted isn’t working out? What is Heidi's Kitty Haven's return policy?”


Heidi's Kitty Haven has a LIFETIME return policy. If the cat that you have chosen is not working out you must return it to the rescue. The cat is not to be surrendered to the OSPCA, Humane Society, a shelter or another rescue or given away to somebody who has not been approved by Heidi's Kitty Haven. If the animal was returned for medical or behavioural reasons, the rescue staff may offer you the opportunity to select another suitable pet in exchange. After 60 days, a fee for the surrender of your animal will apply.

**Please note: Heidi's Kitty Haven does not refund adoption fees after the 14th day.


“Are there any additional mandatory costs not covered by the adoption fee?”

YES! You are required to take your new cat to a vet within the first 14 days for a full health examination.

You are also responsible to get a booster and rabies vaccine for your new cat at your own cost.
This may be done at a veterinary clinic of your choice. In most cases the health examination, the booster shot and the rabies shot can all be done in one trip to the vet. It is much more cost-effective this way.

All vet clinics offer different services at different rates. Please call your vet in advance to find out details on their rates. 

Please remember: rabies vaccines are required by law. This is an optional fee available for kittens under 6 months old.


“Am I allowed to take home an cat on a trial basis to see if it works out?”

Heidi's Kitty Haven has a "No Harm, no Foul" policy where you may bring an adult cat home for a 2 week trial period. At the time of pick up, the potential adopter leaves their credit card number (Visa or MC only). At the end of the 2 weeks, we simply bill their credit card and process it as an adoption. At any time during the 2 weeks, the potential adopter can return the cat without any financial costs incurred by them. At this time, there is no such program for kittens under 6 months old.


“Can I have an cat put ‘on hold’ until it is more convenient for me to pick it up?”

No. We are very firm on our “no holding” policy. In the past we have experienced major problems when cats were placed on hold and in the end it is the animal that suffers for it. Our cats are our main priority, and provided there is a good “fit” with the prospective family, are adopted on a first-come/first-served basis. We expect that when you come out to the rescue to see our cats, that you are serious about your decision and are ready and prepared to take that cat home. The only exception that applies, is when you have gone through the application/approval process and paid the adoption fee, we will hold on to the cat until you are able to take it home. (A small fee per day will apply)

© 2018 by Heidi's Kitty Haven.

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