Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question, please first check here for an answer before contacting the shelter.
For any unanswered questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 978-443-6990.
We may be too busy to answer your call, but if you leave a voicemail with your name, number, and question we will return your call as soon as we can.
Q: Do you accept walk-in visitors?
A: No; to visit the shelter, you must first fill out an online application, then wait for a staff member to schedule a Zoom interview, and afterwards we will schedule an in person meet and greet with the animal(s) at the shelter.
Q: Can I bring my other pet with me for my meet-and-greet appointment?
A: If your meet-and-greet is with a dog, you are welcome and encouraged to bring along all dogs in your household. A staff supervised dog introduction will need to be done and approved before an adoption can be completed. Cats should not come to the shelter to meet other cats or dogs, or dogs to meet cats. We will test our animals with other shelter residents to see how they interact and pass along the information to the potential adopter.
(For any other animals we can discuss the possibility of an introduction at the shelter, but may not be practical or possible.)
Q: Where can I find your application?
A: You can find our online applications on our adoptable cats and adoptable dogs pages respectively.
Q: How long until I am contacted after submitting an online application?
A: You will immediately receive an automated email confirming your application was received to the email you provided. We receive many applications daily so we, unfortunately, are unable to contact each applicant, and the time it takes to match an applicant with an animal can vary from days to months. We do our best to match you with the type of animal you are looking for that will also fit into any restrictions from your lifestyle, work, or living situation.
Additionally, we may get an animal who is a good match for you, but they are also a good match with an earlier applicant. We have hundreds of backup applicants waiting for the right animal to come along so almost all animals have a "waiting list" on them.
You are always welcome to check in on your application or let us know if there is an animal you see online that you are interested in.
Q: I already submitted an application for a cat, do I need to submit a new one for a dog? (or vice versa)
A: Yes; our cat and dog applications are different so you would need to submit a new one. You only need to submit a cat application once and a dog application once, but we would need one of each if you are looking to adopt both a cat and/or a dog.
Q: What types of animals do you adopt out?
A: We only adopt out cats and dogs. We are not equipped to house any other types of animals.
Q: What is the adoption fee? What goes into it?
A: Adult cats and kittens already spayed/neutered are $150. Kittens too young to be spayed/neutered are $125 + $25 refundable spay/neuter deposit.
Adult dogs and puppies already spayed/neutered are $450. Puppies too young to be spayed/neutered are $400 + $25 refundable spay/neuter deposit.
Along with helping to cover the costs for caring for the cat or dog, all adopted animals will be medically up to date, go home with a sample bag of dry food, and a 30-day free trial of emergency pet insurance is offered through Trupanion. Dogs will also go home with a complimentary leash, collar, and a name tag laser engraved on site. Gently used crates and cat carriers are sold at an addition cost.
Q: Are all your adoptable animals posted online? Are they all available?
A: No; before posting an animal online we will first try to match them with an application we already have on file. You may submit a general application even if you do not see an animal online you are interested in, and we may be able to find you a match.
Animals do not come offline until they are adopted, so some you see online may be pending adoption or have a few people "in line" to meet them. Unless stated otherwise, we will still be accepting new applications on animals online.
Q: How long until I can take an animal home?
A: There is a lot of preparation needed before an animal can go home. If the animal is available, everyone has met, and the family, staff, and animal are all in agreement that it is a good match they can (if everything else is all set) be taken home that day or picked up the next day. We cannot do extended reservations.
Before an adoption can be completed, we will need either proof of homeownership if a homeowner or a lease with the pet policy if a renter. We will also need to see any condo pet policies if applicable. The animal will need to be medically up to date and spayed/neutered if old enough.
Q: Do you allow adopters to first foster before committing to adopting?
A: No; we do not do a foster or trial period prior to adopting. Moving an animal back and forth unnecessarily can be incredibly stressful on them so we do our best to make "furever" matches by carefully reviewing applications, communicating with adopters the needs of the animal they are adopting, and assisting adopters during meet-and-greets with the animals at the shelter.
Q: Why don't you adopt out of state?
A: This policy has a few reasons behind it. 1) We reserve the right to do home visits to adopters' homes and do not want our staff to have to travel too far. 2) If an adoption ever does not work out we require the animal be returned back to us. The further away a family is the more likely they are to break their adoption contract and look to surrender to a more local rescue or rehome the animal themselves. 3) Many states have restrictions on moving animals over state lines. Massachusetts in particular has many restrictions, so after putting in so much time and resources to follow those rules we do not want to move them out of state.
Q: How do I volunteer?
A: We are not accepting new volunteers during COVID-19. For information on volunteering in the future post-COVID, please go to our volunteer page to learn more.
Q: Do you have a foster program? Where are your animals located?
A: No; we do not have an official foster program. All our animals are located at our shelter at 151 Boston Post Road, Sudbury, MA. (During the COVID-19 shutdown staff and volunteers brought home the few cats and dogs we were unable to adopt out in time, many of which ended up becoming permanent family members!)
Q: How do I drop off donations?
A: We currently have a contactless drop off location for donations. To the right of our front door, there is a small, covered patio where you can leave your donations. If your donation cannot be left outside (for example, if it is temperature sensitive) please ring the front doorbell anytime between 11am-5pm and a staff member will bring it inside.
Q: Do you accept donations of towels/pillows/sheets/etc.?
A: We do not accept any pillow donations, anything with down feathers or anything woven. We do often accept donations of towels and sheets, but please ask first as our linen storage is sometimes full. We always accept donations of gently used or new blankets, dog/cat beds, or thinner comforters. Donations must be freshly laundered (including dog bed covers) and we cannot accept anything ripped or with holes as it can be a hazard to the animals. Woven quilts and blankets pose a similar risk.
Q: Do you accept donations of dog or cat food?
A: Yes; We accept donations of unopened unexpired dry and wet dog and cat food. We accept prescription diets. We only use certain brands of dry food for our animals (mostly Hill's Science Diet) and most brands of wet food but we will share the food we do not need with our rescue partners.
If you have an open bag of dry food please email or call to see if we could take it before dropping off.
Q: Do you accept donations of medications and other medical supplies?
A: Yes; we accept donations of non-expired and labeled cat and dog medications. We accept most medical supplies, but please check via email or phone before dropping them off.
Q: How do I donate in honor of someone? Will they or their family be notified?
A: You can fill out our Special Occasion Donation Form to donate in honor of someone, in memory of someone who has passed, for someone's birthday, or for any other special occasion. On the form, you write in the name and preferred contact information (email or address) of the person to be acknowledged of your donation and select whether we send them a personalized email or card.
Q: I cannot keep my cat/dog, will you take them in?
A: We accept private surrenders on a case-by-case basis depending on the animal's health and temperament. We cannot accept animals with significant health issues or behavioral issues that could be dangerous to other animals or staff.
Q: Can you provide veterinary care for my animal?
A: No; we are not a veterinary hospital. We only provide veterinary services to the animals currently in our care. If your animal requires medical care you will need to contact a veterinary hospital.
(Adopters are offered a 30-day free trial of emergency pet insurance through Trupanion to help with unexpected veterinary expenses.)
Q: Do you provide any other services besides dog and cat adoptions?
A: No; we are only a not-for-profit animal shelter. We do not do offer any boarding, training, grooming, daycare, or retail services (we have on occasion held yard sales).
Q: Why do you have so many animals from out of state/country?
A: In Massachusetts, we are lucky that we do not have a significant stray dog population and our stray cat population is incredibly small compared to most. This gives us the ability to help save animals from more at-risk places. Our rescue partners raise the funds to transport them to us to find their "furever" homes and all animals are examined by a veterinarian before leaving our them and after arriving to us. We still receive local animals through both animal control and private surrenders.