Did you know this past Sunday was National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day? Celebrated on April 30, the day was created to spread awareness for the thousands of pets currently waiting to be adopted from shelters. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), about 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Looking to adopt your own furry family member? Here are some shelters in Westchester for animal lovers to find the perfect companion.
Humane Society of Westchester
This shelter was founded in 1911 as the New Rochelle Humane Society, and services 19 communities in Westchester County. As a non-profit, no-kill shelter, their goal is to be a transitional home for stray, lost, abandoned, injured, and abused animals until they can be permanently placed. The Human Society of Westchester offers both adoption and fostering of pets.
To adopt, you must be 21 years of age, have a valid ID, and provide proof of home ownership or lease stating the landlord’s pet policy. A pre-adoption questionnaire must also be filled out prior to adopting. There is an adoption fee that varies depending on the age, number, and animal species being adopted.
Dogs start at $300 and decreases as the dog’s age increases. Cats start at $100 and also decrease as the cat’s age increases. There is also a different fee if a person were to adopt more than one cat. The shelter also offers other pets for adoption that can be found on its website.
70 Portman Road, New Rochelle
Mt. Vernon Animal Shelter
This municipal shelter was founded in 1974 on the premise of serving as a safe haven for animals in need including lost, abandoned, neglected, unwanted, or distressed animals. Mt. Vernon Animal Shelter promotes both adoptions and fostering, as well as welcomes volunteers and donations for the shelter. The cat and dog adoptions fee is $40, but there are discounted fees for multiple animal adoptions. The fee includes spaying/neutering and vaccinations.
A license must also be purchased at the time of adoption. If the animal is too young at the time of adoption, a refundable deposit could apply. Adopters must bring a government-issued ID, personal check or money order for payment, a copy of lease stating the pet policy if the adopter is not a home owner, and fill out the online pre-adoption form. Once this has been filled out, a volunteer from the shelter to discuss the next steps will contact the interested party.
600 Garden Ave, Mt. Vernon
The New Yonkers Animal Shelter
The Yonkers Animal Shelter is an entirely volunteer-based non-profit shelter. The shelter reopened in October 2015 considered as a new, state-of-the-art building. More than 1,000 dogs, cats, and other animals enter the shelter each year.
Potential adopters are required to fill out a pre-adoption form at the shelter or download the form online to speed up the process. All adoption fees must be paid with cash. Interested adopters can call for assistance, visit the shelter, or check out the website for a list of adoptable pets. All animals are spayed or neutered before leaving the shelter.
1000 Ridge Hill Boulevard, Yonkers
Paws Crossed Animal Rescue
The mission: “rescue one by one until there are none.” Paws Crossed is dedicated to rescue, rehabilitation, and re-homing orphaned pets through a variety of programs and service to make pet ownership more affordable for the public. Adoption and fostering programs are both available, and the shelter offers obedience training and a healing service with foster children through partnership with Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry.
The process of adoption starts with an online application that will be processed. Once this is done, the adopters are contacted to go over any missing information and set up an appointment. Adoption fees vary, but include spaying/neutering, vaccines, de-worming, micro chipping, and heartworm or FIV/FELV testing. Anyone who would like to adopt is asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to closing time.
100 Warehouse Lane South, Elmsford
SPCA of Westchester
Not only is the SPCA of Westchester a shelter, but it is also the only humane society in Westchester able to enforce laws relating to animal cruelty. The SPCA was started in 1883 and associated with the ASPCA of New York City, but became independent in the 1920s. The SPCA is dedicated to caring for animals until a loving new home can be found, no matter how long it takes. A public low-cost clinic is also provided through the SPCA for people to keep their pets healthy.
The programs and services provided are numerous. No appointments are necessary to visit the shelter for meeting or adopting a new pet; rather they are first come first come first serve based on your application status. If you are a current dog owner, you must bring him/her in to meet the dog you are interested in adopting. Also bring copies of your current pet’s medical record along with a copy of your lease in case the landlord and veterinarian cannot be reached by phone. Dogs and cats vary in adoption fee depending on the age or number of pets you are adopting. If the adopted animal is not the best match, it must be brought back to the SPCA with some advance notice. There may be a return fee if the animal is brought back 30 days after the adoption date.
590 N State Road, Briarcliff Manor