Relinquishment Policy

PawsCo’s mission is to serve as a resource for Colorado shelters by helping the pets within the state’s shelters. PawsCo does not accept animals found as strays directly from individuals who have found them (animals must already be in a shelter), nor does PawsCo provide temporary fosters for animals. Please refer to the following resources regarding strays: https://pawsco.org/resource-center/lost-animal/  

PawsCo’s priority is to keep animals in their homes, and surrendering your pet is a serious decision that can be traumatic for a family and its animal. As such, PawsCo does its best to be a resource to families struggling with their pets and encourages you to research and consider all possible options before surrendering your pet. You can find a helpful directory of resources here: https://pawsco.org/resource-center/

PawsCo only considers relinquishment requests for animals that were previously adopted from PawsCo, and, due to limited resources, are located in the Denver metro area. The PawsCo relinquishment process is a way for owners to work with PawsCo to find a new home for the animal they adopted from PawsCo.

The relinquishment process starts with owners submitting a request for relinquishment via the online form on the PawsCo website . Once the request is received and reviewed, PawsCo’s training director confirms receipt and initiates next steps. The animal must be evaluated by a professional animal trainer to ensure the animal meets PawsCo’s behavioral standards. There is a $50 fee for each professional evaluation, which is conducted in the animal’s current home.

Following the evaluation, PawsCo will notify the owner as to whether the animal is accepted as a relinquishment candidate. If the animal is accepted as a relinquishment candidate, PawsCo requires the current owners to keep the animal until a new home is found. In order to finish the relinquishment process, the owner pays a one-time $100 relinquishment fee, signs the Intent-to-Relinquish agreement and Relinquishment Agreement, sends the animal’s vet records to be reviewed by the PawsCo Vet Care Team and commits to bringing the animal up to date on any necessary vetting  required by the Vet Care Team. After the animal’s vetting is up to date, the owner must bring the animal to Intake so professional photos can be taken by a photographer. PawsCo will then enroll the animal as a PawsCo adoptable pet.

We take pet relinquishments seriously; please make sure you review our policy and understand expectations prior to submitting a Relinquishment Request.

PawsCo Relinquishment Process

  1. The pet owner submits a Relinquishment Request via online form (this will help gather information about the animal that may be useful to find a suitable new home, vet records, and photos).  
  2. The PawsCo training director follows up with the applicant to confirm receipt and discuss options and alternatives to relinquishment.
  3. If the applicant decides to pursue relinquishment, an in-home evaluation by a PawsCo-assigned professional trainer is required to determine that the animal is a safe and viable candidate for adoption. There is a $50 fee to cover the trainer cost, paid directly to the trainer at time of visit. **An in-home evaluation does not imply nor guarantee animal acceptance into PawsCo. The evaluation helps PawsCo learn about the animal and its unique needs.  PawsCo reserves the right to refuse any animal relinquishment for any reason. **
  4. The Training Team makes a recommendation for approval or denial to the PawsCo president/COO, and the training director & president/COO make the final decision as to whether the animal can participate in the PawsCo relinquishment process. The training director emails the decision to the applicant.
  5. If the animal is accepted into PawsCo, there is a $100 relinquishment fee (this covers the organization’s resources used to review vet records and professionally photograph and market the animal).
  6. The relinquisher must sign a n Intent-to-Relinquish Agreement (which details the relinquisher’s obligations), and Relinquishment Agreement (transferring all rights in the animal to PawsCo once PawsCo finds a forever home).
  7. The relinquisher must send the animal’s vet records, to be reviewed by the PawsCo Vet Care Team, and commit to getting the animal up to date on any routine vetting as deemed necessary by the Vet Care Team.
  8. Once the animal is appropriately vetted, the relinquisher must bring the animal to Intake (located at PawsCo headquarters in Denver) so professional photos can be taken.
  9. Once the relinquishing owner pays the relinquishment fee, signs and completes the responsibilities within the Intent-to-Relinquish Agreement, signs the Relinquishment Agreement, completes animal vetting, and brings the animal to Intake for photos, PawsCo will begin marketing the animal for adoption. PawsCo makes no guarantees regarding the methods of marketing nor the amount of time an animal will be fostered before adoption.  


Please fill out the form below to start the relinquishment process. If you have any questions regarding our policy, please send an email to relinquish@pawscoadoptions.org.

Please note: only animals adopted from PawsCo are eligible for the PawsCo Relinquishment Program.