What programs and services that you offer contribute to the creation of a no-kill community?
ABOUT THE SPCA
1. What is the SPCA of Wake County?
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Wake County, founded in 1967, is a non-profit animal welfare organization dedicated to creating a more humane community where every adoptable animal has a home. The SPCA is an autonomous organization and is not affiliated with or supported by any other SPCAs including the ASPCA. The SPCA is not a government-run organization but does have a high-volume transfer program with the Wake County Animal Center whereby we transfer animals from their municipal shelter to our own facilities to be placed for adoption. To learn more about the history of the SPCA, click here.
2. What is the Mission of the SPCA of Wake County?
Founded in 1967, the SPCA of Wake County is a non-profit animal welfare organization whose mission is to protect shelter and promote adoption of homeless animals; to provide education about responsible pet ownership; and to reduce pet overpopulation through spay/neuter programs. To learn more about the SPCA, click here.
3. When was the SPCA of Wake County founded?
4. Is the SPCA of Wake County funded by tax dollars?
No. The SPCA of Wake County receives no federal or state funding, nor do we receive funding from any national humane organizations, including the ASPCA. We rely on private donations from individuals, corporations and foundations.
5. Do all humane societies within the state fall under the direction of the SPCA of Wake County?
No. The SPCA is an autonomous organization and is not affiliated with or supported by any other SPCAs including the ASPCA. The SPCA is not a government-run organization. The SPCA of Wake County is a private, non-profit organization that serves the pets and people of the Wake County community. To find your local humane society or animal shelter visit www.petfinder.com.
6. How do I get to the SPCA Curtis Dail Pet Adoption Center?
For directions to the SPCA Curtis Dail Pet Adoption Center, click here.
7. How do I get to the SPCA Holding Center (previously called the SPCA Lost & Found Pet Center)?
The SPCA Holding Center is not open to the public. If you have an appointment with the SPCA Holding Center and need directions, please click here.
8. What are the hours of operation for the SPCA Pet Adoption Center?
For hours of operation of the SPCA Pet Adoption Center, click here. The SPCA Pet Adoption Center is open for adoptions only. It does not receive lost or found animals and does not accept pets being given up by owners. If you need to give up your pet, please click here for more information on what to do next. If you have lost or found a pet, please click here for more information on what to do next.
9. What are the hours of operation for the SPCA Holding Center (previously called the SPCA Lost & Found Pet Center)?
The SPCA Holding Center is not open to the public. If you have lost or found a pet, please click here for more information on what to do next.
10. Does the SPCA of Wake County sell dog licenses?
The SPCA of Wake County is not a licensing location. For information about purchasing tags for your pet, call your local animal control agency.
11. What services does the SPCA of Wake County provide?
The SPCA of Wake County provides a wide variety of services including: pet adoption; low-cost spay/neuter; community outreach; emergency rescue; humane education; pet behavior and more.
12. What kinds of animals does the SPCA of Wake County help?
The SPCA of Wake County’s primary focus is companion animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters. However, we are often called upon to help with injured wild animals, abandoned exotic animals, or birds. Resources determine the extent to which we can help in these situations, but we try to provide helpful information and assistance as we can.
13. How can I help?
Monetary donations can be made online through our secure website, through the mail directed to the SPCA of Wake County Pet Adoption Center location, and over the phone at 919-532-2083.
If you are interested in remembering the animals in your will, we are happy to send you information for wills and bequests to benefit the SPCA of Wake County. You can call 919-532-7065 and ask for further information.
Fundraising events are another way to help the animals in our care. For information on hosting an event at your workplace or on other types of office, individual or group fundraisers, please call 919-532-2082.
We have many volunteer opportunities available at our Adoption Center as well as at special events. You may learn more about our volunteer program and sign-up for an orientation from this web site.
We welcome donations of dog and cat food, treats, toys, used towels and blankets, clay cat litter, pet carriers and office supplies. We invite you to check this web site for a detailed "Wish List" of items needed at the SPCA of Wake County.
You can also advocate for the pet next door. Resources to get you started are available on this web site.
ADOPTING A PET
1. Can I get some information on a specific animal available for adoption?
Every animal available for adoption has a profile that provides their approximate age and breed, sex, and a description of their personality. These profiles are available on our website as well as at our Adoption Center. If you need additional information about an animal, you can speak to an adoption counselor at the SPCA of Wake County Pet Adoption Center or by calling 919-772-2326. We cannot give out specific information about the animal’s previous owners, potential adopters, or previous veterinarians. We can let callers know if an animal is still available, if it was surrendered by its owner or a stray, what types of behavior has been observed since coming into our care, and any potential health issues it may have.
2. How do I adopt an animal from the SPCA of Wake County?
The SPCA of Wake County requires potential adopters to fill out a questionnaire at the Adoption Center once they see an animal in which they are interested. As we strive for permanent homes for the animals in our care, trained adoption counselors will assist adopters in selecting an animal that fits their lifestyle. We invite you to visit our Adoption Center and let our adoption counselors answer your questions about breed characteristics, temperament and any particular adoptable animal’s history. The Adoption Center is open 6 days a week and most major holidays. To "meet” pets online before visiting the adoption center, click here for detailed information and photos of our wonderful available pets! For more information about what to expect from the adoption process, click here.
3. What does it cost to adopt a pet from the SPCA of Wake County?
The SPCA of Wake County’s comprehensive adoption package includes sterilization (spaying or neutering), age-appropriate vaccinations, a medical check-up and behavioral evaluation, a heartworm test for dogs, and FIV/Feline Leukemia test for cats. We invite you to visit our Adoption Center or our online adoption pages. Each animal available for adoption has an information card that will indicate what we know about the animal's history as well as the adoption fee.
4. What is the Meet Your Match program?
Developed by the ASPCA, the Meet Your Match program helps potential adopters find the best companion animal based on the adopters history and expectations for a pet and the pet’s temperament and personality. Click here to learn more about the program and how to find your perfect match.
5. What compatibility factors does the “Meet Your Match” survey look at? Have the surveys been successful?
Meet Your Match aims to scientifically match a shelter dog’s personality, traits and behavior characteristics with the traits and characteristics adopters are seeking in a new animal companion. The canine-ality includes friendliness, playfulness, energy level, and motivation or drive. Each dog is categorized as either easy, average, or high maintenance. The adopter survey focuses on how adopters envision their new pet fitting into their home and family. The questions help to determine which animal will best match the family's expectations, experience, lifestyle, and home environment. Some things that the Meet Your Match survey looks at include:
- Schedule and lifestyle.
- Energy level and playfulness of animal.
- Independent or dependant personality of animal versus expectation and preference of adopter.
- Training knowledge and/or willingness of the adopter to provide training versus the amount of training an animal needs, considering behavior issues, age, and current manners.
- Age of children in home and/or living with senior citizens.
- Housing plan.
- Compatibility with other animals.
- Experience level with same type of animal and expectations.
The surveys have been successful in prompting adopters to think about what they want and what type of pet will fit into their life. It is also a useful tool for the adoption staff to better identify discussion topics and improves their ability to recommend appropriate matches and meet adopter’s expectations. Matching the canine-alities with dog adopter surveys provides for an objective look at adoption matching.
6. How long does the SPCA of Wake County keep animals up for adoption?
All of the animals in the care of the SPCA of Wake County have an Adoption Guarantee. An Adoption Guarantee is a promise to an animal that he/she will be placed into a home. The only exception would be if a pet developed an intractable health issue where it would be inhumane to extend their life or developed a behavioral problem that posed a danger to others.
7. What is an Adoption Guarantee?
The SPCA’s Adoption Guarantee is a promise to an animal that he/she will be placed into a home. This means we will not euthanize reasonably healthy animals once they are in our Adoption Program. The only exception would be if a pet developed an intractable health issue where it would be inhumane to extend their life or developed a behavioral problem that posed a danger to others. Because of our Adoption Guarantee and our No-Kill mission, we are committed to animals already in our care and do not euthanize an animal to make room for another.
8. Do you get small-breed dogs?
We do adopt small-breed dogs. However, because of demand, small-breed dogs, puppies and kittens are adopted most quickly from the shelter. If you are interested in a small-breed dog, we recommend proceeding with the adoption application process and becoming listed in our wish book. When a dog that fits the description arrives at the shelter, the wish book individuals are contacted first prior to the dog being made publicly available. If you have a specific type of dog in mind and don't want to wait, we recommend exploring www.petfinder.com or looking into breed-specific rescues.
9. How does the SPCA adoption wish book program work?
If you have your heart set on a specific type of animal, we recommend using our Wish Book program. For our Wish Book program, we ask for potential adopters to proceed with the adoption application process. Wish book applications are only processed on weekdays due to the number of adoptions that take place on weekends. During the application process, you will be asked what type of pet you are looking for. For the wish book, it helps to be as general as possible. For example, you are more likely to find a match by requesting a dog that is twenty pounds or less than if you request a Shih Tzu that is less than three years old. If an animal arrives at the SPCA fitting your description, you and other potential adopters requesting that type of dog are the first to be contacted prior to the dog being publicly available.
10. Does the SPCA just adopt out cats and dogs?
The SPCA of Wake County’s primary focus is companion animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, and rats. However, we occasionally adopt out abandoned exotic animals, reptiles and birds. You can see the other animals avaliable for adoption at this link. Resources determine the extent to which we can help with placing these animals in adoptive homes.
1. I want to report animal neglect or abuse. Who should I call?
To report animal cruelty, neglect or abandonment, please contact animal control, the division of local law enforcement responsible for investigating these cases. Please contact your local office immediately if you suspect that an animal is in danger. To request an animal control officer in Wake County's jurisdiction, call 919-856-6911. Wake County Animal Control does not have jurisdiction on animals running loose or animals creating a nuisance within the city limits of Cary, Garner, Holly Springs or Raleigh. The animal control contact numbers for these municipalities are as follows:
Cary Animal Control: 919-319-4517
Garner: 919-772-8810 or 911
Holly Springs: 919-557-9111
Animal Control for Other Surrounding Counties:
Durham County: 919-560-0630
Franklin County: 919-496-3032
Granville County: 919-693-6749
Johnston County: 919-934-8474
Halifax County: 252-583-5021
Harnett County: 910-814-2952
Lee County: 919-718-4641
Nash County: 252-459-9855
New Hanover County: 910-341-4197
Orange County: 919-967-7383
2. I am concerned about the pet next door. What can I do to help?
Visit the SPCA's Advocacy page for community information and resources that you can use to improve the lives of pets in your neighborhood.
3. What are the laws pertaining to animals in the community?
Visit the SPCA’s Advocacy page for information about laws that pertain to pets in our community.
GIVING UP A PET
All stray and owner-surrendered animals are being routed to the municipal shelter, the Wake County Animal Center, located at 820 Beacon Lake Drive in Raleigh. Phone number: 919-212-PETS. The SPCA of Wake County frequently pulls animals from the Wake County Animal Center and considers them our most important sheltering partner.
2. I adopted a pet from the SPCA of Wake County but can no longer care for it. What should I do?
Please bring the pet back to us. Adopters are encouraged, but not required, to return a pet adopted from the SPCA of Wake County back to our shelter in the event that they can no longer care for the animal. Our commitment to the animal is for the life of that pet. If you choose to rehome the pet yourself, we encourage adopters to be responsible and humane in the steps they take to find a new home for their pet. We can assist with rehoming your pet into a responsible, loving home through our adoption program if you are unable to do so on your own. For more information please call the SPCA Holding Center at 919-772-3203. We can also assist with behavioral or other issues that might cause you to relinquish your pet. For more resources to help prevent you from feeling the need to give up your pet, please click here.
1. Is the SPCA of Wake County a No-Kill organization?
YES. The SPCA of Wake County is a No-Kill organization working towards a No-Kill community.
2. What do you mean when you say that the SPCA of Wake County is a No-Kill humane organization?
By “No-Kill,” we mean that once we admit an animal into our care, we treat that animal no differently than we would expect a loving pet owner to do. We do not take the life of any animal in our care for reasons of length of stay or our shelter capacity. If our veterinarian determines that a pet in our care requires veterinary care, we provide that care so as to return that pet to a healthy or a manageable state. We euthanize a pet only if our veterinarian determines that the pet is too sick or injured to recover to a life of quality and is suffering or if our animal behavior specialist determines that a pet is so behaviorally aggressive as to present a material danger to human safety.
3. Why do you think being No-Kill is important?
In 2009, the SPCA of Wake County helped a record-breaking 12,831 needy animals in our community. It wasn’t enough. Thousands of homeless animals still died. We have to change the status quo. By fulfilling our goal to be a No-Kill organization, we are taking a huge step forward towards a No-Kill community.
4. I thought the SPCA was always No-Kill.
Since 2004, we have operated an Adoption Guarantee (or No-Kill) adoption program. Now, with this change, we are going completely No-Kill and we are making a promise to save all the healthy or treatable animals in our care as well over thousands of other needy animals transported from other area animal shelters.
5. If the SPCA of Wake County no longer receives animals from animal control, where are you going to get animals?
Right now there is no shortage of animals who desperately need our help. We have established a high-volume transfer programs with "high-kill" shelters in Wake and surrounding communities. We are dedicated to helping the animals most at risk of being killed. Our staff members visit the local municipal shelters regularly and frequently to transfer animals into our care.
9. What is the difference between a public animal control agency or municipal/government shelter and a private humane organization?
Public animal control agencies and municipal/government animal shelters are legally charged with enforcing animal control laws and the laws protecting animals from abuse or neglect. They respond to citizens’ complaints about animals and impound stray animals (thus the name “pound”). They are responsible for investigating instances of animal abuse or cruelty and are supported entirely by tax revenue. Private humane organizations receive no government funds and carry no legal authority. The role of a private humane organization, such as the SPCA of Wake County, is to provide resources to save healthy, treatable animals from death, to treat animals with more compassion and understanding, and to help people have happier, more fulfilling relationships with their pets.
10. What is the SPCA doing to prevent an increase in euthanasia at the Wake County Animal Center?
The Saving Lives Spay/Neuter Animal Clinic (an initiative of the SPCA opened in January 2009) is this community’s most powerful tool to reduce the number of animals coming into area animal shelters and subsequent killing of adoptable pets. In the first year of operation (January 2009 - January 2010), the clinic performed 5,766 surgeries for low-income families and rescued animals. Our mission is to decrease the euthanasia of this community’s animals by preventing them from entering the shelters in the first place.
We will be asking more of people who are looking to give up their pet. By offering owners other options if they need to give up their pet, we will be able to assist pet owners through our pet retention resources and work cooperatively with them to resolve their problems with their pet. As a result, we foresee a community where there are fewer unwanted litters of puppies and kittens entering shelters and where more and more pet owners are working to resolve their problems satisfactorily so that they are keeping their pets rather then surrendering them to a shelter.
11. When you say that you are working to save the lives of all of the healthy animals in Wake County, what will happen to the old, the sick, and the injured?
We will save the lives of thousands of them as well! The SPCA is fortunate to be able to provide support and care to thousands of animals not considered adoptable at other shelters. The SPCA Foster Care Program, Veterinary Care Program and Behavior Program all contribute to our ability to provide care to these animals most in need.
We do not regard age as a consideration in determining whether a pet is healthy. Older pets may be in great health and are usually wonderful companions. We do not automatically regard pets with behavior issues or pets that are sick or injured as unhealthy. In fact most of those animals have behavior or health issues that, given enough time and resources, are treatable.
12. What is the difference between the terms “healthy” and “adoptable” when used to describe pets in a shelter?
“Adoptable” is a term used by many people and organizations in the animal welfare field to refer to an animal that is capable of being immediately adopted into a home because he is healthy and free of legal impediments to adoption. The term has been the subject of considerable disagreement because some people believe that it is highly subjective.
We prefer to use the word “healthy” which is more simple and clear. A healthy pet is one that is free of any significant physical or behavioral problems. We do not consider the lack of a limb, eyesight or hearing or the age of a pet to be a problem that makes a pet unhealthy. We accept pets that are healthy and also pets that are not healthy but are treatable (meaning that they have an injury or ailment that we will treat to return them to a healthy condition for adoption such as an upper respiratory infection and other infectious diseases that can be remedied with medicine and/or supportive care). We also offer pets for adoption from the SPCA of Wake County that are not healthy but are manageable, meaning that they have a chronic ailment that will require ongoing care but, with that care, they can live a life of quality.
13. Do you believe that an end to the killing of healthy, homeless animals in Wake County is achievable?
We do believe that an end to the killing of healthy, homeless animals in Wake County, North Carolina is achievable. But, we do not believe that the outcome can only come through our efforts. It is our hope that given the necessary education, tools, and resources, the citizens of Wake County, the Wake County Animal Center, animal advocacy groups, and other local rescues will fully embrace our vision for a No-Kill community. Every member of the community who adopts a pet from a shelter rather than purchasing one from a breeder or a pet store and every pet owner who has his pet spayed or neutered and every feral cat caregiver will also be responsible for this victory. An educated community will continue to be a vital partner in guaranteeing life to Wake County’s homeless dogs and cats.
14. Has this worked in other communities?
Yes. Communities across this country have transitioned to No-Kill, where adoptable animals are no longer euthanized. So we aren’t reinventing the wheel – we know this can be done because other communities are doing it.
Our community already has FOUR of the elements that are vital to creating No-Kill success: 1- A high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter clinic (Saving Lives Spay/Neuter Animal Clinic). 2- A strong No-Kill humane organization to lead the charge (SPCA of Wake County). 3- An engaged local government shelter that cares about rehoming animals (Wake County Animal Center). 4- A community that cares about homeless animals and wants to end the use of euthanasia as a means of controlling the pet population.
The blueprint for a No-Kill community was first devised and implemented by the San Francisco SPCA in the Bay Area in the early 1990s. They achieved enormous lifesaving success there. The Richmond SPCA was the first humane organization to replicate that model in another community. They have demonstrated that this operating model is very effective at saving lives and will work in communities with different characteristics. We look forward to repeating the success of other communities right here in Wake County.
15. What programs and services that you offer contribute to the creation of a No-Kill community?
The SPCA of Wake County has developed and implemented a number of highly effective pet-retention, spay/neuter, and humane education programs and services which have directly contributed to the reduction of homeless animals in Wake and surrounding areas by offering pet owners alternatives to relinquishment, access to low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for their dogs and cats, and responsible pet ownership learning opportunities. Pet-retention programs include behavioral assistance, pet food assistance, foster care, and in-shelter consultations that offer pet owners an alternative to relinquishing their animals to the SPCA of Wake County or to any other shelter.