Many pet owners face challenging situations where they feel that turning their pet in to a shelter is their only option. We are here to help you explore other options to help keep your pet in your home and out of the shelter. 

   WHAT IS THE REAL ISSUE: Food, Housing, Vet costs, Behavior? Help is out there.

food help     pet friendly housing     pitbullfriendly    vet care     Behavior help

We don't want you to have to bring your family pet to us, but we are here if you need
help and will be sure to handle your situation confidentially and with great care.

In certain circumstances, assistance may be available through our coalition partners, the Allen County SPCA. The Allen County SPCA’s Pet Promises Program has limited funding to help keep pets in the home. Applicants will need to qualify for assistance. Call 260.744.0454 ext. 205 to inquire.

If you must surrender your animal to the shelter:


Please print and fill out either our pdfcat surrender profile or pdfdog surrender profile and remember to bring it with you when you bring in your pet. The more information we have on your pet, the better able we are to determine potential placement.


There are several options:

  • Bring the animal into the shelter during normal business hours. There is no fee for relinquishing an animal to our department.

  • If the animal is a stray, you may call for an Animal Control Officer to pick up the animal. Officers are available seven days a week from 6am-1am. They are also available for emergency call out at other times.

  • If the animal is a stray, you may hold the animal in your home and file a found report with our office. Call 427-1244 (choose menu option 7). Reporting the animal is required to allow the owner a better chance of locating their lost pet. They will go through these reports each time they visit the shelter. You will also need to bring the animal to the shelter during normal business hours to allow us to scan the pet for a microchip. You may continue to hold the animal at your home. After thirty days from the filing the found animal report, if the owner does not claim the animal, you will become the legal owner. Remember, the animal must be presented to the shelter for microchip scanning prior to legal ownership.


How Long Are Animals Held at the Shelter?

  • An animal turned in by its owner is immediately the property of the city and may go into the adoption program pending suitability and space, or may be humanely euthanized for health or behavior issues. 

  • A stray animal is held by the department for a minimum of three business days, the first day does not count if the animal arrived during business hours. Weekends and holidays are not considered in the count. For example, if your pet is picked up on a Wednesday after 11am, it will be available for the owner to claim until 5:30pm on Monday.

  • After the three business days, the city owns the animal and may then:

    • evaluate the animal for our adoption program.
    • evaluate the animal for transfer to a rescue partner agency
    • humanely euthanize the animal in the event of advanced illness, aggression, or other cause as deemed necessary.

An injured stray animal will be medically evaluated and may be humanely euthanized to prevent further suffering prior to the end of the legal holding period according to the city ordinance.


How Long Are Adoption Animals Held?

We are happy to say that adoption animals have no time frame for being held. They will remain in the adoption program until adopted. Only under rare circumstances is an adoption animal removed from the program. Even then, the animal may receive additional assistance to then be returned to the program.

Adoption Lobby Hours:

12:00 - 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
12:00 - 7:00 p.m. Wednesday

1st & 3rd Saturday of every month
11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Adoption Office: 260-427-5502

Closed Mondays FOR ADOPTIONS
To submit a pet adoption profile, you must do so 30-minutes before closing to allow sufficient time for processing.

Business Office Hours (lost & found- receiving lobby- citations or other law enforcement concerns):

11:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Mon-Fri
11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Wednesday
CLOSED Saturday & Sunday

Animal Control Officer Assistance
9am-8pm Monday - Friday
After 8pm, weekend & holidays,
call 260-449-3000

After Hours / immediate officer assistance:
1:00 a.m. - 6:00 a.m. Emergencies

General Contact Information:
Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control
3020 Hillegas Road
Fort Wayne IN 46808
After 8 p.m. and on weekends and holidays, call 449-3000 for assistance.
Fax: 260-427-5514