Surrender Procedure

My circumstances have changed and I can no longer keep my Airedale. Can SWAT help me?

Yes. Our mission is to find forever homes for dogs such as yours.

What will happen to my dog after I surrender him/her to SWAT?

The dog will be given a thorough health check, receive any necessary immunizations, and will be spayed or neutered if that has not already been done. Then the dog usually is placed in a foster home so we can see what sort of home will be right for this individual dog.

Occasionally, if a dog needs some obedience training, he/she will be placed in a training program. If the dog has serious health problems that can be fixed, SWAT will pay for the necessary treatment. If the dog has not been groomed, we will get him/her groomed. Once all of this is done, SWAT will place the dog on a trial basis in an adoptive home. If the placement is a good one (and most of our placements work out great), the new owner will permanently adopt the dog after a few weeks.

How do I know my dog will be going to a good home?

SWAT screens prospective adoptive families VERY carefully. An application for adoption must first be submitted to us. The form collects a wide range of information about the type of situation the dog will be in, who the family members are, what their home and yard is like, what other pets the family has, and what their expectations are of their new dog. When we receive the application, we do a telephone visit with the family and then schedule a home visit. We always take along one of our own Airedales on the home visit to see how the family interacts with the dog. We also check vet references to make sure that current pets are well cared for. We give preference to people with previous Airedale experience and also to people with fenced yards. We work hard to match dogs with appropriate households and we do extensive follow-up.

If a placement is not working out for any reason, we take the dog back and find another home.

What exactly does it mean when I sign the rescue release form?

It means that you are surrendering the dog to SWAT and giving up any ownership rights you have in the dog. Once you have signed the form, you do not have any right to try and take the Airedale back. So think carefully about what you are signing.

Can I meet the new owners?

Generally, no. We have learned through the years that it is easier on the dog and the new family that there is no contact between the previous owners and the adoptive owners. However, you are encouraged to write notes about anything you want the new owners to know and we will pass on these notes. The new owner can learn from your experiences with the dog.

Is there a fee to surrender my Airedale?

No.  There is no fee to surrender an Airedale to us.  If you can afford to make a donation to help with expenses, that would be appreciated, but is not required.  On average, we invest more than $400.00 in each dog that we rescue.  Our funds are spent on the extensive health checks, spaying, transportation, and other support services for the Airedales we rescue.  On occasion we pay several thousand dollars for surgery to correct a health problem such as hip dysplasia.

I have a mixed breed, part Airedale and part something else. Will SWAT take him/her?

No. Because our resources are limited, SWAT can only accept purebred Airedales. There is a Facebook group for Mixed Airedales where you can post about your Airedale.  Also, Adopt-a-Pet has a Rehome program to help you find a loving forever home for your pet.

Link to Facebook Mixed Airedales group:

Link to Adopt-a-Pet Rehome program:

Who do I contact to surrender my Airedale?

Use the form below to let us know the city and state where the Airedale lives, your name and telephone number and the reason you need to surrender your Airedale. 

Upload photos of your Airedale from the front and side (see examples below).  If you have any problems uploading the photos, include that in your message. A coordinator for the state where your Airedale is located will get in touch after reviewing your information.

If you prefer, you can send an email with the information and photos to:

You can review the “SWAT Surrender Form” below. This will need to be completed before SWAT takes possession of your Airedale.

Example of Airedale front photo
Example of Airedale side photo

Click on the following link to open a PDF of the surrender form.
SWAT Surrender Form

Please fill out the following information:

    Thank you to Airedale Terrier Rescue of the Midwest (ATRA) for permission to use their website as the basis for this page.