SPCA of Wake County

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Adoption Hours:
Mon: 1:00pm-8:00pm
Tue: 11:00am-6:00pm
Wed: 11:00am-6:00pm
Thu: Closed
Fri: 11:00am-6:00pm
Sat: 11:00am-6:00pm
Sun: 1:00pm-5:00pm
Holiday Hours:
Closed Wed. 12/24
Closed Thu. 12/25

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Hours & Locations
SPCA Home Page

SPCA MAIN CONTACT:
919-772-2326
200 Petfinder Lane
Raleigh, NC 27603

More contact info >

Save a life. Adopt a Pet.

Adopt a Pet
What to Expect When Adopting
This is a summary about what to expect when you come to the SPCA of Wake County to adopt.  You can also read our helpful FAQ >

All adoptions take place at the SPCA Curtis Dail Pet Adoption Center. The animals waiting for space at the SPCA’s Holding Center are also available for adoption but arrangements will need to be made to meet them. Call the main number at 919-772-2326.

When you first come to the SPCA Adoption Center you will be asked to fill out a pet survey form which doubles as the adoption application. The SPCA uses the “Meet Your Match” Adoption Program. These Meet Your Match questions are designed to measure your expectations about what you want in a pet.

All the pets at the SPCA have been objectively evaluated as to how they will measure up to what you are looking for based on these basic questions. An adoption counselor will give you a color-coded slip of paper based on the answers you gave to what you are looking for in a pet. You can then see what pets in the shelter are most likely to be your ideal match. This guide is simply meant to be helpful (and fun!) and will not limit your options to choose a pet.

As part of the adoption process, the SPCA gives the same information to everyone so please be patient. We are hoping to engage you in a meaningful dialogue to ensure your relationship with your new pet is a good and lasting one. Please know we are your advocates in this matter and we are hoping to set up a successful relationship with you and your new pet. All questions are asked with this in mind.

Some things you will be asked include:
> For a current photo ID.
We will need your information to link a microchip to and for our contact records.

> Do you rent? We ask this because so many landlords have specific pet ownership policies and many times the renters aren’t even aware of policies or if breed restrictions have changed. We may or may not contact your landlord to verify their specifics in their tenant pet ownership policy.

> Are you 18 or older? You must be at least 18 to adopt.

> May we contact other adults in your household or could you verify they are on board with adopting the new pet? This could be parents or a spouse/partner.

> If you own a dog and are adopting a dog we will ask you to bring the dog in for a dog to dog introduction. Our professional behavior staff and/or trained volunteers provide skilled assistance to introduce the dogs on neutral territory. This is to create a great foundation for your current dog to have a successful relationship with your new dog.

> For dog adoptions: We will ask what your enclosure plan is for outside time. For example, if you don’t have a fence do you plan on leash-walking your dog? Or if you have a fence, we will engage you in a discussion about your fence (is it chain link, is it invisible fencing, is it a picket fence …?). We want to make sure whatever enclosure plan you have for your dog is one that will keep him or her safe and healthy.

> For cat adoptions: If you are planning to let your cat outside we will ask what your enclosure plan is for outside time. Cats are safest indoors or with supervised outside time.

> Do you plan on declawing your new cat? We will give you the AVMA’s position on declawing – which advocates only doing the procedure when no other measures are effective. We will provide helpful information and tips on easy alternatives to declawing.

> Have you considered what vet care you will seek for your new pet? We do expect that you plan to provide your pet with regular preventative care and we will ask you about it.

The adoption process will take from 45 minutes to 1 hour. In addition to discussing the questions above, we will go over your new pet’s medical and behavior history, provide these to you in a packet and link the pet’s microchip number to your contact information. The SPCA Adoption Counselors are a great resource for information about pet ownership and about what animals in the shelter might be right for your family. Many people find it helpful to speak with an adoption counselor before they pick out an animal to adopt.

 

How To Choose A Pet

Adopting a Cat >
Adopting a Dog > 

How Do I Choose A Cat?
Consider the following questions:

  • Am I looking for a cuddly cat or an independent feline?
  • How much time do I have in my daily schedule to spend with my cat? 
  • Will my cat need to be compatible with children?
  • Do I need a cat that can get along with other pets?
  • How much time and patience do I have for training?
  • What are my expectations or limits for financial and veterinary care?

Meet with an Adoption Counselor

Choose a Personality
When looking for a feline companion, you should focus on personality and behavior. It is tempting to choose the youngest kitten or the one with the most striking coat, but the initial cuteness may wear off quickly if you and your new friend are not matched well. Do you want a cat to follow you around, sit in your lap, and need a lot of attention? Or, do you want a cat that is independent and can keep busy or remain content without your constant affection?

Do You Have Children or Other Pets?
If the human members of your family are young, we recommend that you avoid cats that are skittish or easily startled by noises and activity. Though kittens are cute and  playful, they are not always good matches for households with young children (say  under 7). Kittens are fragile physically and need very consistent and gentle handling. Bringing  together young animals and kids can be problematic, as kittens exhibit playful nipping and  scratching, which can injure or frighten children. And children can inadvertently be too rough with young animals. Adopting a mature pet who interacts well with kids can be the best option.

If you have a dog, you should choose a cat that is confident and has experience with dogs. Avoid cats that are timid, disabled, or declawed. Make sure you have the time and space to  introduce the two gradually. You should also be willing to make practical changes to your  environment as needed, such as blocking your dog’s access to the litterbox, and installing safety gates. If you already have a cat, it is best to match temperament and age group. It is important to realize that no matter who you decide upon, it will take time and space to separate the cats, in order to make gradual introductions. Cats are territorial animals, and often take weeks or months to adjust to another cat in their space.
 
Lifestyle
Are you home a lot, or gone all day? If you are gone all day, a young kitten or a needy cat is not the best match. Behavior problems (such as biting, scratching, and destructive behavior) are common if cats are under-stimulated. Kittens need someone who has enough time each day to spend with them during their important developmental months. A more independent temperament may suit your lifestyle better. You could also think about getting two cats instead of one, so they can provide stimulation and company for each other. An excellent option is to adopt cats that have come into the shelter as a pair, and have a history of getting along well. If you often have company over, you would do well choosing an outgoing cat who will enjoy the extra attention. A shy cat would be overwhelmed by lots of social gatherings, and would likely hide.  If you have a busy schedule, are an inexperienced pet owner, or have young children, consider adopting an adult cat.

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How Do I Choose A Dog?
Consider the following questions:

  •  Am I looking for a dog to join me on the sofa to be a couch potato?
  •  Am I looking for a jogging or hiking partner?
  •  Will my dog have access to a big yard and fenced area?
  •  Will my dog need to be content with leashed walks?
  •  What type of dog can fit into my daily schedule?  
  •  Will my dog need to be compatible with children?
  •  Do I need a dog that can get along with other pets?
  •  How much time and patience do I have for training?
  •  What are my expectations or limits for financial and veterinary care?

Meet with an Adoption Counselor
The SPCA staff can help match you with the right dog. They have valuable information to share that can determine which dogs will be most compatible with you and your household. You can meet with a counselor to discuss adoption options prior to choosing a dog. We want your adoption to be a success and provide you with a wonderful companion for years to come!

Choose a Personality
When looking for a canine companion, you should focus on personality, behavior and overall maintenance level of the dog. It is tempting to choose the youngest pup or the one with the most striking coat, but the initial cuteness may wear off quickly if you and your new friend are not matched well. Do you want a dog to follow you around and shadow everything you do? Or, do you want a dog that is independent and can keep busy or remain content without your constant entertainment? If you already have pets, it is very important to choose a dog that will be compatible with them as well. We can help with dog meetings to get your pooch’s approval! To avoid longer wait times, we strongly recommended that dog-to-dog meetings take place after 1:00pm. 

Match Your Energy Level
If you are an active person who loves to run, hike, and go to the park, then chances are we have several dogs for you! If you are a couch potato, then that’s okay to, but be sure to pick a pooch that will be content watching the tube with you. Otherwise, your friend may end up bouncing off the walls and being destructive from boredom. You should choose a pet that fits into your current lifestyle. If you plan to start running, though you never have, it is not a good idea to pick a super-active dog for your motivation. You may end up very frustrated and overwhelmed. Considering exercise requirements is essential in finding the right match!

What Size of Dog?
Do you have a preference for a particular size of dog? Remember that most puppies will grow to be large and shelter pups are usually of mixed breeds, so there is no guarantee as to what their full-grown size may be. Are you prepared to keep a dog that may grow larger than your expectations? If not, you should consider choosing a dog that is already full-grown. Also, many people say that dogs seem larger running around their home than they appeared to be in the shelter setting. What size of dog do you want romping around your home?

Adult or Puppy?
Young dogs require more supervision, training, and visits to the veterinarian. If you have a busy schedule, are an inexperienced pet owner, or have young children, consider adopting an adult dog. Adopting a mature pet who interacts well with kids can be the best option. Puppies also need someone who has enough time each day to spend with them to help socialize and housetrain them.