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The Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland (ARLGP) requires an individual who wants to surrender an owned pet to schedule an appointment for an intake session with a trained ARLGP team member. The goal of the ARLGP is to help pet owners make an informed decision before they surrender their pet due to destructive or aggressive behavior, an inability to be housetrained, health issues, or because the animal does not get along with children or other pets. The intake session also allows ARLGP team members to gather information about the pet which can be shared with a prospective new owner.

Admissions must be scheduled.

To make an intake appointment, please call the ARLGP at (207) 854-9771. We do require pet owners to fill out appropriate paperwork during the admission process. You may also print this paperwork; links are located below. Please bring your completed forms as well as any veterinary records with you to your scheduled appointment.


Q: I can no longer keep my pet. Will the ARLGP accept him/her?
A: Yes, provided you are from one of the ARLGP’s contracted towns (see below). Animals are accepted by appointment only. During each admission, an animal care technician performs a medical evaluation to assess the pet’s overall health, behavior, and temperament.

Q: What are the towns the ARLGP contracts with?
A: We contract with Buxton, Cape Elizabeth, Casco, Chebeague Island, Gorham, Gray, Long Island, Portland, Raymond, Scarborough, South Portland, Standish, Westbrook and Windham.

If you live outside of our contracting towns, you may find your town’s contracted shelter by visiting the State of Maine Animal Welfare website.

Q: Is there a fee to admit an animal?
A: Yes. The ARLGP does charge a fee to admit an owned animal. The admissions fee structure is as follows:

  • Cat: $20
  • Kitten: $15
  • Dog: $40
  • Rabbit: $20
  • Rodent: $7
  • Guinea Pig: $12
  • Ferret: $10
  • Bird: $10

PLEASE NOTE: There is an additional $20 medical exam fee per pet admitted.

If admission fees are a barrier in bringing your pet to us, we will work to reduce/waive fees in the best interest of the animal’s wellbeing.

We ask that admissions of owned animals be scheduled, so our team has time to prepare for your animal’s arrival. Unscheduled admissions take additional time and resources, which impacts the timeline of animals in our care as well as the schedule of our team members who care for them.  To schedule an admissions appointment, please call us at (207) 854-9771. For unscheduled owner-surrenders, there is an additional fee upon intake (listed below). This fee is in addition to the admissions fee listed above.

  • Dog: $20
  • Cat: $10
  • Small Animal: $5

Q: Why does the ARLGP charge an admissions fee?
A: The ARLGP charges a very nominal fee to admit your animal to our shelter. We do not euthanize animals for space or at the end of a certain time period and we proudly place our healthy animals into loving, new homes. Once your pet arrives at our shelter and is accepted into the adoptions program, he/she is vaccinated, dewormed, spayed or neutered and provided with flea control medicine and a wellness exam. While at our shelter your pet’s health and behavior are continually monitored. On average, our cost of care for each dog that walks through our doors is $505.11, each cat is $352.42, and each small animal is $222.50. The very small admissions fee we charge doesn’t come close to covering the cost of giving your pet a second chance at life.

Q: Doesn’t the ARLGP get my tax dollars to accept unwanted animals?
A: No. The ARLGP is a private nonprofit organization that receives NO tax dollars or funding from the government, the United Way or “national” animal protection organizations like the ASPCA or HSUS. Your local animal control agency is the mandated authority funded by your tax dollars that enforce animal control laws.

Q: Can you guarantee that my pet will be adopted since I have to pay a fee?
A: No. We do our best and proudly place 100% of our healthy canines, felines and small animals into loving new homes. But, we cannot guarantee that your pet may not be humanely euthanized if he/she has medical or behavioral issues that prohibit a safe and healthy adoption placement.

Q: Will I be charged a fee if I choose to take my pet home?
A: No. If during your intake session you choose to take your pet home, you will not be charged an admissions fee.

Q: What if I change my mind and want my pet back?
A: The adoptability and disposition of your pet will be discussed in detail at your intake session. If you leave your pet with us you will sign a contract relinquishing ownership and all rights to that animal. There is no remorse period and we will not contact you regarding final disposition.

Q: Will the ARLGP accept my stray animal?
A: Yes, provided the animal was found in one of the contracted towns we are responsible for. There is no admission fee for stray animals.

Q: What if the animal has been in my possession for more than 14 days?
A: If you have been confining and caring for an animal for 14 days or more on your property, we consider that animal to be your property and not a stray. Please admit him/her as an “owned” animal through our admissions program so that he/she can be evaluated and, if found to be healthy, immediately placed into our adoptions program if possible.

Q: How do I find my local animal control officer?
A: You may look up your ACO and contracting shelter here, or give your local police department or town hall a call.

Q: Is my admissions fee tax deductible?
A: No, because you are receiving a service in exchange for your fee. However, a donation over and above the standard admissions fee IS tax deductible and deeply appreciated and will help us continue to provide the highest level of care to pets dependent on our organization.

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