Consider All Your Options

If the decision to give up your pet is based on behavioral issues, please consult your veterinarian or call the shelter for advice. Training might help. Our team will be happy to help determine if the behaviors can be resolved. Please call extension 115 for assistance. Some behaviors are the result of an underlying medical problem and may require a visit to the veterinarian.

If you are giving up a pet because you are moving, please visit our resource page for options regarding renting with pets.

Ask family, friends and coworkers if they know of a home for your pet. We advise against placing “free to good home” ads in the newspaper or using an online resource such as Craigslist. For the sake of your pet, please do all you can to ensure placement with committed and caring owners. It is all too easy to put your pet at risk by being too willing to give away or sell him to a stranger who may not be honest about their intentions for the animal.

You might also want to contact other shelter or rescue groups to help rehome your pet, especially if you have a purebred dog. Download our list of area rescue organizations and shelters below, or go to Petfinder for more options.

Local rescue organizations

Bringing Your Pet to the APF

The APF prefers to take in owned cats and dogs by appointment.  Appointments are strongly encouraged for the surrender of more than one animal.

  • Appointments are scheduled Tuesday through Friday between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, and on Saturdays between 10:00 am and noon.
  • Call (518) 374-3944, ext. 101 to schedule an appointment.
  • You must be a resident of Schenectady County and you will be asked to show identification with your current address. Please leave a message and your call will be returned promptly. Note: the shelter is closed on Sunday and Monday and calls are not returned on these days.
  • We request a minimum donation of $25 for each animal in order to help offset the cost of care that your pet will receive. The APF relies on donations and receives no government support. However, we will not turn away anyone who is unable to leave a donation.
  • If possible, we ask you to print out and complete an animal intake profile below and bring it with you to your appointment. Please also bring any veterinary records that you have for your pet.
  • Your appointment will take 20-30 minutes. Please allow additional time for multiple pets.
  • In an emergency situation in which an owner is not able to wait to schedule an appointment to surrender a pet, we will accept it.


Intake by appointment offers benefits for pet owners and their animals

  • An appointment allows our staff to spend time with the owner one-on-one in a more private setting.
  • A scheduled time provides more opportunity for owners to share in-depth information about their pet.
  • More information enables us to provide more thorough information on the animal with potential adopters.
  • Managed intake helps to prevent overcrowding during peak intake periods, which keeps animals healthier.
  • Appointments allow us to have sufficient staff resources available, especially when more than one pet is surrendered at a time.

Dog Intake FormCat Intake Form

The APF is an open admission shelter. We will do everything we can to ensure that your pet finds a new home, however, please understand that temperament, health, age, and kennel space are all factors that will determine our ability to do so safely and responsibly.