Frequently Asked Questions

 Why does it seem like the Humane Society’s shelter is always full?

  • The shelter almost always is at capacity because we strive to rescue as many animals as we can possibly care for safely. We also do not kill healthy or treatable animals to make space for new animals to come in. Once animals are admitted, they stay until we find good homes for them, except for those extreme cases where euthanasia is the truly most humane option, i.e., to alleviate suffering.
  • We are able to care for approximately 200 animals at a time in our shelter. Exceeding this capacity could compromise our ability to provide safe, humane care, so we must limit the number of dogs and cats we shelter at one time.
  • Because we are nearly always at capacity and because we do not destroy healthy or treatable animals living in the shelter to make room for new ones, we have a waiting list. We call in animals from the waiting list on a first-come, first-served basis as space becomes available. When we have open spaces and no animals are on the waiting list who can fit in those spaces, we take in animals from animal control agencies.
  • The Humane Society seeks to help the injured, neglected and abused animals who have nowhere else to turn, those who would not be treated by governmental animal control agencies. Any injured or abused animal rescued by HSPC has priority for admission.
  • We provide a safety net for those animals who would not have a chance of survival or adoption at municipal facilities – primarily the injured and abused. In fact, we have filled the gaps in city and county services by providing rescue, care and advocacy for more than half a century to animals that have no chance at animal control agencies.
  • We believe all animals have value and admit them on a space-available basis and with consideration of the physical and emotional needs of the animals. Thus, staff, volunteers, donors and members do not receive preferential treatment when they have an animal who is on the waiting list for our shelter.
  • We operate our shelter with limited staff and limited space, so we are grateful for the many volunteers and foster families who help us care for HSPC

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 Why doesn’t the Humane Society have to take in any animal I want to bring in?


  • The Humane Society of Pulaski County is a nonprofit organization. We rely completely on private contributions and do not receive funding from any governmental agency, so we do not necessarily operate in the same way as city and county agencies do. Unlike government agencies, we function as an independent organization and provide services to the community according to our own established bylaws, policies and procedures.
  • Unfortunately, due to limited shelter space and the tremendous number of homeless animals in our community, the Humane Society can admit animals only on a space-available basis.
  • We are able to help hundreds of animals each year by providing direct care, rescue and placement, but we also help countless others through our advocacy and education programs.

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 What is the Humane Society doing to help solve the dog and cat overpopulation problem?


  • Unfortunately, the efforts of the Humane Society and all the other local animal organizations combined cannot save all of the animals that need our help. There simply are not enough shelter spaces or adoptive homes to house them all.
  • Understanding this, the Humane Society is committed to providing a voice for those we cannot house, as we have done for the past 53 years! As advocates for their welfare, we work to improve the quality of life for all animals in our state, not just those within our shelter walls.
  • We continue to actively pursue long term solutions so that NO shelter will have to kill healthy animals just because they are unwanted.
  • Destroying healthy animals is clearly not the solution to animal overpopulation – spaying and neutering is. The truth is that the only way to effectively reduce the number of unwanted, homeless animals is to control the epidemic of uncontrolled breeding. For this reason, we have had an aggressive spay/neuter policy in place for decades! In fact, every animal leaving our shelter is sterilized before being adopted; the only exception to this policy requires a veterinarian’s certification that the surgery would be too dangerous for a particular animal.
  • We educate the community about the overpopulation problem and about the importance of spaying and neutering.
  • We have initiated and supported legislation and ordinances that mandate or encourage spaying and neutering throughout the state.

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 What can I do to help reduce the number of homeless and stray animals?


  • Spay and neuter your companion animals
  • Support spay/neuter laws and strong anti-puppy mill legislation
  • Adopt shelter animals
  • Keep your cats indoors
  • Contribute to HSPC
  • Allow your dogs to exercise only in a secure, fenced area or on a leash
  • Become a foster home for homeless animals
  • Keep ID tags and microchip your companion animals (even if they are primarily indoors)

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© 2017 Humane Society of Pulaski County.