Frequently Asked Questions

The Humane Society of NWPA is a managed admissions shelter, and by definition, operates under “no-kill” standards. A “no-kill” shelter is an animal shelter that does not euthanize healthy or treatable animals, even when the shelter is full, reserving euthanasia for terminally ill animals or those considered dangerous to public safety. Furthermore, under “no-kill” standards, a shelter will employ many strategies to promote shelter animals, expanding its resources to volunteers, foster care, and working actively to lower the number of homeless animals entering shelters through education and spay/neuter advocacy.

We have on-site veterinarians that are in our shelter multiple times each week, and we rely on their professional recommendations. We also have a behavioral specialist on staff, and will consult with certified trainers for behavioral evaluations when we feel necessary.

There is no time-limit for the length of stay a pet has at the Humane Society of NWPA. Healthy, adoptable pets remain at the shelter until they are adopted. Additionally, there are no restrictions of age of pets. We take-in newborn kittens to senior pets, giving every animal the opportunity to thrive so that they may have a second chance at a happy, healthy life with a loving family.

We stand true to our mission by doing what is in the best interest of each animal, and while it is a difficult decision to make, we believe there are cases where a peaceful end to life is the final act of kindness.

The Humane Society of NWPA is an independent, registered 501-c3, non-profit organization. We have no affiliation with the Humane Society of the United States and receive no funding sources from them. We rely on the generous contributions made by community members who believe in the work we do and support our mission.

A pet’s stay at the shelter can be a very stressful experience. They are in a strange place with new people and strangers walking by their kennel each day.  We thoroughly evaluate each pet’s temperament and identify their personality, as well as likes and dislikes, so that we can place them in the best fitting home.  When visiting the shelter, please feel free to ask the front desk questions about timid or barking dogs. It’s always best to meet them outside the kennel to truly see all of their best qualities.

Our policy is that we do not place holds on any animal that is available for adoption. Our mission is to find our shelter pets loving homes, as quickly as possible.

As our mission is to find our shelter pets responsible, loving homes, we prefer to have potential adopters pre-approved for adoption prior to meeting the animal. This helps us reduce the amount of stress on the animal and allows our adoptions counselors the opportunity to ensure you and the pet you are viewing would be an ideal match.

All pets will take some time to adjust to their new home – it’s a big transition for both of you. We recommend giving your pet at least several weeks to settle in, as they will likely go through different stages of transition.  We also welcome you to call us if you’re having challenges or concerns. We are more than happy to talk with you and provide tips or advice that can help you ease the transition with the pet. If you decide that it is not the ideal fit, we ask that you return the pet to the Humane Society to be adopted out. We go through a very careful screening process when considering adopters. Rehoming your pet on your own can pose a danger to the animal.

The first step is filling out our adoption application, which you can do in person, at the shelter. We also need a valid photo ID/driver’s license, proof of home ownership or if you rent, a copy of your pet policy, as well as a vet reference.

Read more about our adoption procedure > 

At times, animals come in to the shelter that are highly desirable, mainly small breeds or purebred dogs, and their stay at the shelter is typically very short. Since we are aware that there is a larger group of people willing or wanting to adopt these pets, we set their adoption fee a little higher so they can help leave a financial legacy for those pets who have a much longer stay with us. 

The first thing you should do is contact all the shelters in the area and provide them with a detailed description of your animal. You should also detail where you lost the pet and provide your contact information.

More Lost & Found Tips > 

It is important that stray animals be taken to a shelter where the owner may come to look for them.

If you need to bring in a stray cat, you must call our adoptions staff in advance to set up an appointment at 814-835-8331. This allows us the opportunity to manage our feline admissions based on open kennels at the shelter, providing the best possible outcome for a successful adoption. (This policy does not apply to contracts held with animal enforcement in the City of Erie or Millcreek Township).

Any person attempting to bring a stray dog or cat to the Humane Society must present valid photo identification. You must bring in photo ID to relinquish any animal per state law. We hold strays for a minimum of 48 hours. If the pet is not reclaimed, it will go through our regular adoption process.

 Additional information, regarding reporting a stray animal, is available by visiting the link below.

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First – thank you for looking out for the animal and bringing it to the shelter. 

The Humane Society of NWPA is a non-profit organization and we have limited staff. Most often, we are busy attending to customers, taking in new pets, and answering phone calls, therefore, looking up individual records is not feasible. You are welcome to visit the shelter and check out the adoptable animals to see if a particular animal is available yet.

We are required to hold a stray animal for a minimum of 48 hours. If the animal is not reclaimed in that time, the Humane Society of NWPA acquires custody of the animal. We obtain a fecal sample to test for any parasites, and we perform a combo test on cats to check for any disease. Next, we perform a physical exam on each animal. Dogs, will then, go through a temperament evaluation. Finally, pets are vaccinated and ready to be spayed/neutered. They will also receive a microchip and flea treatment prior to being adopted.

If you are interested in adopting a stray that you find, you should consider keeping the pet and taking responsibility for any treatment it may need. You can always submit an application for adoption, however, no adoption is guaranteed. We choose the best home for the animal based on their individual needs.

Read more about our adoption procedure >

To sign over an animal to our shelter, the animal’s owner must be present. If they cannot be, the person present must have their written or verbal authorization. Contact the Humane Society at 814-835-8331 before bringing the animal so that we can give you both our best attention.

If you are surrendering a cat, you must call our adoptions staff in advance to set up an appointment at 814-835-8331. This allows us the opportunity to manage our feline admissions based on open kennels at the shelter, providing the best possible outcome for a successful adoption.

Learn More > 

The Humane Society staff reviews owner surrenders and re-adoptions based off of situational circumstances, such as a death in the home, loss of employment, divorce, moving, animals that may exhibit aggressive behaviors, health conditions such as anxiety in pets as well as other factors.  We never rule out the potential for someone to re-adopt however we review their application and if the particular pet they are interested in is a good fit for the home, we will consider placing them.  

Overtime, when circumstances change for people, we will review their applications and, keeping the welfare of the animal our first priority, determine if an adoption can be successful.

There are plenty of ways to help! Three easy ways to help are volunteering, fostering, and donating to the organization. Donations could be monetary, or choose items from our wish list.

Learn more about how you can help > 

We greatly appreciate your donation, as it will help make a lasting impact on the lives of our pets.  

You can make an over the counter donation, in-person, at the Humane Society. 

You can mail a donation payable to the Humane Society of NWPA/2407 Zimmerly Road/Erie, PA/16506. 

You can also make a secure donation online.

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The Humane Society of NWPA is not a licensed boarding facility and can not board animals. Our mission is to help homeless animals find loving, forever homes, therefore, our kennel spaces must remain available to the many homeless and unwanted animals in our community.

Yes – we offer feline and canine spay/neuter services, vaccination services as well as other screenings and treatments. We also offer private pet cremation services for families who have lost a pet.

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No – our clinic does not have any restrictions on income.

Please call our Cruelty hotline at 814-835-8360.

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All complaints are held in strict confidence and all callers remain anonymous.

Our best advice is that if the situation concerns you enough to question if an animal is a victim of animal cruelty, call our cruelty hotline at 814-835-8360. Our humane officers can answer your questions, explain the laws, and take any information needed.