“I found this animal. I can’t keep it.

Why can't you take it?”

CSHS does not accept stray pets or surrendered animals from the public.

Local animal impounds provide this service through contracts with local communities.  We are NOT an impound nor do we have any impound contracts. We transfer animals from the euthanasia lists and in need of rescue from impounds in Minnesota. In many cases, we are the last chance for the pets on those lists.  We try to prioritize animals from local impounds who need medical attention or who are facing euthanasia.


We are primarily a foster-based rescue for dogs and cats, and have limited capacity.

CSHS is not legally permitted to house dogs in its adoption center.  All dogs and many cats within our rescue are in foster homes. It can take time to find open foster homes for the animals we transfer into our rescue. Although our adoption center is able to house cats, we have a very limited number of spaces based on our permit with the city and our resources. Priority for those spaces go to impound animals in need or at risk of euthanasia, who we can legally rabies vaccinate so they don’t pose a risk to our volunteers who care for the cats.  Also, we do not have the resources to house very young kittens at our adoption center, due to the high demands on our volunteers and special resources needed to care for this population safely in a shelter.

We recommend TNR for outdoor or community cats
If you are asking about stray, community, feral or barn cats, the humane, effective approach to these cats is called Trap Neuter Return (TNR). Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley (NOT affiliated with CSHS) has a free program to assist you through this process. TNR effectively eliminates the problems you are experiencing (fighting, spraying, reproducing, etc.) while improving the quality of life of the cats and ensuring their health, as well as public safety. Contact Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley for more information. Removing the community cats, unfortunately, does not work, as more intact cats will simply come in and your problem will be ongoing. 


Stray hold laws create safety concerns for volunteers

Another reason CSHS cannot accept found animals is due to the mandatory five day stray hold law in Minnesota. This law specifies that it is illegal to administer the rabies vaccine or to complete any non-emergency veterinary treatments on a found animal until it has been in custody for at least five days, during which time the owner of the found animal is sought. Unlike CSHS, local animal control agencies and impounds have contracts with municipal governments that allow them to take in found animals and legally complete the state mandated stray hold safely. CSHS is primarily volunteer run (with volunteers as young as 12 years old)  and cannot safely complete stray holds on found animals. We do, however, make it a priority to assist Minnesota impounds and animal control facilities by transferring their found animals into our rescue and placing them into our foster homes so they can be seen by our vet partners be once an animal’s stray hold has been completed.  This is how CSHS obtains most of the animals in our care while still ensuring the health and safety of the animals, our foster homes, and our volunteers who work in our adoption center.


So where CAN you bring a found animal?
If you live in Carver County and found a cat, the shelter that does accept stray cats and owner surrendered pets by appointment is Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley. If you found a stray cat or dog in Chaska, Shakopee, or most other communities in the southern metro, you should contact your local police who will refer you to your local animal control impound facility.  Impounds such as 4Paws (serves Shakopee), Countryside Vet (serves Chaska), and Critter Getter (serves Jordan as well as several other cities in the southern metro) have contracts with local communities to take in found animals based on your location.  Animals that find themselves at these impound locations are released to rescue (including Carver Scott Humane Society) if not claimed by their owners or if they are in need of medical attention or at risk of euthanasia.


Resources for stray/found animals and to surrender an animal quickly:

Animal Humane Society (appointment-based, located in Golden Valley):  (952) 435-7738

For wild animals in need of rescue or medical attention (not cats or dogs): 
Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (located in Roseville):  (651) 486-9453

Local impounds (serving specific communities in the SW Metro)

  • Countryside Vet (located in Young America): (952) 442-4200

  • 4Paws Animal Control (located in Shakopee): (952) 894-9065

  • MN Critter Getter (located in Henderson): (952) 457-6878

If your local impound is not listed above, please contact your local law enforcement agency first to find the impound serving your area.

Click HERE for more resources on what to do if you find an animal.