Change of Animal Ownership

VTH Policy #MR205

Implementation Date: 2/25/2021

Date of Last Revision: 2/25/2021

Next Review Due: 4/2023


Reviewed by VTH Administrative Team: 2/17/2021

Reviewed by VTH Board: 2/2021


Reviewed by Legal Counsel: N/A

Reviewed by Biosecurity Subcommittee: N/A

Subject to modification by the VTH Director without approval.


The Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) is unable to assume ownership of animals no longer wanted by their owners. Donations for teaching or research purposes will be authorized by the Head of the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine.

Owners may relinquish ownership of an animal legally and solely owned by them to a private individual if the relinquishment is made of their own free will.

All charges incurred in the treatment of patients by VTH services will be the responsibility of the legal owner of record.

Changes to ownership in the electronic medical record will only occur after a completed change of ownership is received by medical records.


  • All charges incurred in the treatment of patients by VTH services will be the responsibility of the legal owner of record.
  • Change of ownership of an animal does not automatically include transfer of previous medical record information.
    o For the new owner to obtain copies of previous medical records, the VTH Change of Ownership form needs to be completed and signed by the previous owner.
  • Telephone authorization is NOT acceptable for transfers of ownership.
  • If an animal's ownership is transferred multiple times, only the current owner is responsible for signing the transfer of ownership form.
  • Under no circumstances should coercion or pressure be used to cause an owner to relinquish ownership of their animal. 
  • If a client wishes to give up their animal to a College of Vet Med (CVM) Employee or Student, the hospital bears no liability and the personnel assuming ownership is acting solely on their own.

Procedure (if applicable)

  1. Change of Ownership 
    a. The Change of Ownership form [Available in VTH Medical Records] must be completed fully, and the owner relinquishing ownership must sign the form as                     witnessed by a third party.
    b. A completed Change of Ownership form must be received by Medical Records staff before the change is legally recognized by the VTH.
    c. If the patient is in the Hospital, the patient’s account must be paid in full before an official change of ownership may be made.
        i. Failure to do this may result in the original owner being liable for future charges.
  2. If an animal previously treated in the VTH presents with a new owner, and the previous owner is not present or available to complete a change of ownership form, a medical record will be created for patient on the new owner’s account.
    a. The patient’s records under its previous owner’s account will be merged with its records under its new owner’s account once a completed form is returned medical records.
  3. If ownership or an animal is being transferred to a CVM Employee or Student, and the animal is being treated in the VTH at the time of proposed ownership change, the CVM Employee or Student must not participate in the patient’s care or be involved in charge entry of the patient’s account until the change in ownership is completed and the account balance reconciled.

Definitions (if applicable)

Owner: The person or entity that is legally entitled to keep and maintain the animal and who is financially responsible for payment of charges associated with the animal’s care.

Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH): The collective clinical services of the Large Animal Clinic, Midwest Equine, the Small Animal Clinic, and the Veterinary Medicine South Clinic.


Keywordsmedical, record, med rec, legal, owner, ownership, relinquish, free will, authorize, authorization, transfer, responsible, donate, give up, release, change, official, merge, liable, recognize   Doc ID124206
OwnerJenny C.GroupUofI College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
Created2023-02-21 12:29 CSTUpdated2023-02-21 16:24 CST
SitesUniversity of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
Feedback  0   0