Stray & Owner Surrender Policy


One Tail at a Time is not licensed in the state of Illinois to accept stray animals. If you encounter a stray dog, here is a wealth of information on your options and our best suggestions for helping the dog in your care. Please also consider utilizing the resources available on Lost Dogs Illinois‘s website, specifically their page 5 things to do if you’ve found a dog.

Owner Surrenders

One Tail at a Time only accepts owner surrender animals if all other options have been exhausted. We take owner surrenders by appointment only when we have space available. At this time, we cannot accept any pets that have a bite history or aggression.

First, please read How to Rehome Your Pet Yourself

FOR DOGS: Please email our Dog team a photo, behavior and medical history of your dog at

FOR CATS: Please email our Cat team a photo, behavior and medical history at [email protected].

FOR CRITTERS: Please email our Critter team a photo, behavior and medical history at [email protected].


If you are unable to care for your animal due to the cost of routine medical care, please view Pet Mutual Aid’s directory of services.

If you are considering relinquishing your pet due to behavioral issues, please call Anti-Cruelty Society’s Behavior Helpline at (312)644-8338.

Chicago residents that need support in keeping their pet can visit the Chicagoland Rescue Intervention and support Program’s website to see if they qualify for assistance.

After reviewing your options, if you still wish to surrender your animal and we are not able to take them, please visit the Anti-Cruelty Society’s website.