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Questions to Ask at an Animal Shelter

No matter if you are going to an animal shelter to adopt puppies or a kitten or if you need to give your dog or cat to an animal shelter because you have come into hard times, you need to make sure to ask plenty of questions. You can find information about animal shelters through the Humane Society or another non-profit foundation. If you do not find all of your answers on the Humane Society website, it is best to go directly to a shelter in your own county or city.

  • Is this a no-kill center?
    Some shelters, typically pounds, have to put animals to sleep if they do not find people to adopt them. If you are dropping off your own pet or a kitten that you found on the street it is important to make sure that you are not leaving it at a kill shelter in order to avoid animal cruelty.

  • Can you take in a whole lost litter of puppies?
    If you find an entire litter of stray puppies, call the animal rescue or shelter that you intend on sending them to before calling animal control to bring them over. Some shelters will have the space to take a lot of animals at once while others may only be able to take some of the animals.

  • Which breed of dog is best for kids?
    Allow workers at the facility to pair you with a pet that will fit your family's needs.

  • I need to move and my cat will be homeless. Can you take it in for free?
    Rescues may or may not charge a small fee to take in an animal.

  • Can I foster multiple dogs or cats?
    Some shelters may get so many abandoned or abused dogs that they need foster homes to house them until a permanent home can be found.
  • National Animal Control Association
    Our association aids animal shelters nationwide in getting the funding they need and finding new homes for their pets! If you would like to adopt from an animal shelter, find one near you today!
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    Write review for this local business

    STANDARD LISTINGS:   ANIMAL-SHELTERS IN/NEAR WASHINGTON
    Liberty Hall Livestock Rescue
    1 review: *****
    258 N Washington St, Falls Church, VA 22046
    (571) 839-1143 Write review for this local business

    "Large Animal or LIVESTOCK Heaven! Did everything to help us! 2AM sent a team out to us in crazy weather when no other shelters responded! This place is amazing! Good people and didn't cost a dime. I asked if we could pay for the meds or vet services and they refused and told us if we ever have some free time to come help around the farm - still so inspired by this place I've gone back several tim ..."
    Sadsac (save A Dog Save A Cat) Write review for this local business
    P.O. Box 972, Dumfries, VA 22026
    (703) 594-3324  
    SADSAC is a 501c3 non-profit animal rescue. Bingo helps us rescue, spay/neuter, and adopt homeless, abandoned, and abused dogs and cats, & to fund a new animal shelter in Prince William County, VA.
    Alley Cat Allies Write review for this local business
    1801 Belmont Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009
    (202) 667-3630  
    Amazon Cares Write review for this local business
    888 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20006
    (202) 349-0845  
    Maxon IP Write review for this local business
    888 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20006
    (202) 621-1802  
    The Washington Animal Rescue League Write review for this local business
    71 Oglethorpe St NW, Washington, DC 20011
    (202) 726-2556  
    Prince and Princess Home Care Corporation Write review for this local business
    6230 3rd St NW, Washington, DC 20011
    (202) 758-0779  
    The Washington Humane Society Write review for this local business
    1201 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
    (202) 529-0481  
    The Humane Society of The United States Write review for this local business
    2100 L St NW Ste 500, Washington, DC 20037
    (202) 452-1100  
    Alley Cat Rescue Write review for this local business
    3904 Rhode Island Ave, Brentwood, MD 20722
    (301) 277-5595  
    Lucky Dog Animal Rescue Write review for this local business
    Washington, DC 20007
    (202) 741-5428  
    Homeward Trails Write review for this local business
    822 N Daniel St, Arlington, VA 22201
    (703) 766-2647  
    Poverty Pets Write review for this local business
    314 Carroll St NW, Washington, DC 20012
    (202) 248-8866  
    Animal Welfare Write review for this local business
    2650 S Arlington Mill Dr, Arlington, VA 22206
    (703) 931-9241  
    Alley Cat Allies Write review for this local business
    7920 Norfolk Ave Ste 600, Bethesda, MD 20814
    (240) 482-1980  
    Ferrets R No 1 Shelter & Rescue Write review for this local business
    5906 Boston Dr, Falls Church, VA 22041
    (703) 998-3151  
    City of Greenbelt Animal Control Big Write review for this local business
    550 Crescent Rd, Greenbelt, MD 20770
    (301) 474-0014  
    Alexandria City Government Animal Shelter Write review for this local business
    4101 Eisenhower Ave, Alexandria, VA 22304
    (703) 746-4774  
    National Federation of Humane Societies Write review for this local business
    808 Cottage St SW, Vienna, VA 22180
    (703) 242-3675  
    Polyxenes Write review for this local business
    8700 Chestnut Ave, Bowie, MD 20720
    (301) 464-2663  
    Celtic Acres Farm Siberian Huskies Write review for this local business
    Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
    (301) 642-7472  
    Rockville City Government Frequently Called Number Write review for this local business
    111 Maryland Ave, Rockville, MD 20850
    (240) 314-5000  
    Coakley Williams Mc Animal Shelter Tr B Write review for this local business
    7315 Muncaster Mill Rd, Derwood, MD 20855
    (301) 569-7126  
    Waldorf Well Pet Clinic Write review for this local business
    4499 Leonardtown Rd, Waldorf, MD 20601
    (301) 885-0263  

    Most work at animal shelters is done by volunteers. Animal shelters require a lot of mundane, menial work such as cleaning cages and pens. Dogs and horses also need to be trained and exercised.

    Animal shelters mostly rely on donations, although animal control gets city or county funding. A humane society generally does not get any kind of government subsidy. Breed rescues are sometimes supported by a breed society.

    An animal control facility is commonly obligated to take in any kind of animal that may be brought in, ranging from puppies and kittens to cows, sheep and goats. In many cases, large animals are fostered or specialist rescues are contacted.

    Shelters may find themselves dealing with a situation involving cruelty and abuse. Animals may be remanded into the custody of a shelter until the court case occurs, with adoption restricted or banned. Photographic documentation of the animal's condition is important. Most animals that come into shelters, though, are simply homeless for one reason or another, with many being abandoned. A shelter or humane society may also deal with stray and lost cats or dogs. Animal control generally puts strays in the pound until their owner can be found. Most rescued animals are eventually put up for adoption.

    Fund raising is an important part of a shelter's activities. Rescues are generally required to get a 501(c) and may be set up as a foundation. The physical center is also subject, in many jurisdictions, to inspection. Other areas, however, only check on a rescue's finances.

    Adoption fairs are also important, and may take place at the shelter's facility or at pet stores or even other locations. It is often easier to find homes for puppies and other youngsters. Shelter workers tend to be young, mostly volunteers or low paid, and doing it for the love.



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