Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make a donation to help the animals at the Houston SPCA?
Click here to make an online donation. You can also mail a check to:
900 Portway Drive
Houston, Texas 77024
What is the Houston SPCA and what do you do?
We are Houston's oldest and largest animal protection organization. For information on all of life saving programs, click here.
How do I find you and when can I come?
Click here to visit our hours and directions page.
How do I adopt a pet from the Houston SPCA?
We suggest that you first stop at the shelter adoption center. Here, highly trained adoption counselors will help you in making the perfect match. Click here for all of our adoption information. The Houston SPCA is open for adoption seven days a week; Monday through Friday from 11 am to 7 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.
I can no longer keep my pet. Will the Houston SPCA accept him/her?
Yes. The Houston SPCA accepts owned animals by appointment only and we require that pet owners join us for a brief meeting with a trained Houston SPCA team member. Our goal is to help pet owners make an informed decision before giving up their pet due to destructive or aggressive behavior, an inability to be housetrained, health issues or because the animal does not get along with children or other pets. This meeting is about providing a plan to work through these issues. During each meeting, a veterinary technician performs a medical evaluation on the animal and speaks with the owner about the pet’s adoptability. Pet owners may also meet with behavior specialists who suggest ways to address specific behaviors that may be leading the owner to give up the animal for adoption. The session also allows Houston SPCA team members to gather information about the pet which can be shared with a prospective new owner. Counseling sessions can be scheduled by calling the Houston SPCA at 713-869-SPCA and are conducted daily from 9 am to 6 pm at Houston SPCA, 900 Portway Drive. Click here for all of our admissions information.
Do you have a certain type of dog or cat?
Our adoption staff is not able to research requests regarding particular animals. However, we keep a current listing of all adoptable animals on our adoptions page.
What do you consider an “owned” animal?
If you have been confining and caring for an animal for 14 days or more on your property, we consider that animal to be your property and not a stray.
Can you guarantee that my pet will be adopted?
No. We do our best and proudly place 100% of our adoptable canines and felines animals that are healthy and free of serious behavior issues - into loving new homes. But we cannot guarantee that your pet may not be humanely euthanized if he/she develops medical or behavioral issues after being accepted into our adoption program. The Houston SPCA places more animals into loving new homes than all other private and public shelters combined.
What if I change my mind and want my pet back?
The adoptability and disposition of your pet will be discussed in detail at your counseling session. If you leave your pet with us you will sign a contract relinquishing ownership and all rights to that animal. There is no remorse period and we will not contact you regarding final disposition.
How do I adopt a farm animal?
In order to adopt a farm animal, we need to have your completed and approved Farm Animal Adoption application on file. Visit our farm animal adoption page for details and a downloadable application
How do I become a Houston SPCA Volunteer?
The Houston SPCA has more than 500 dedicated volunteers helping us. Without these compassionate, caring people, we couldn't continue our efforts on behalf of the animals. For more information, or to become a Houston SPCA volunteer visit our Volunteer Page.
How do I become a Houston SPCA Employee?
Visit our Employment page for our downloadable employment application and current job listings.
How do I file a cruelty report?
Please go to the Cruelty Investigations and Rescue page of our site. You can submit a Cruelty Report online or call 713-869-7722 to speak to an operator. We need as much detail as possible about the suspected abuse.
Can you come pick up an animal that I saw running the streets?
Because we are a private shelter, unfortunately we are not able to pick up animals running loose and considered strays. You will need to contact either Harris County Animal Control (HCAC) at 281.999.3191 or Houston Animal Control (BARC) at 713-229-7300.
Will the Houston SPCA accept my stray animal?
We encourage people to take stray animals to the appropriate animal control agency for their area. The local animal control agency is the mandated authority funded by tax dollars that enforces animal control laws and impounds and houses strays and the first place pet owners will look for their animal. At the Houston SPCA, our ability to accept stray animals changes daily. It depends on our available space and the number of animals currently in our shelter. If we have space available, the Houston SPCA will accept an animal as a stray if the animal has been in your possession for less than 14 days. If space is unavailable at our shelter, you have several options: (1) Be referred to your city or county animal control agency; (2) Keep the animal in your possession, post neighborhood signs, post on shelter web sites, etc. and attempt to reunite the animal on your own, OR wait until Houston SPCA has a space available. Click here for all of our admissions information.
What if the animal has been in my possession for more than 14 days?
If you have been confining and caring for an animal for 14 days or more on your property, we consider that animal to be your property and not a stray. Please admit him/her as an “owned” animal through our admissions program so that he/she can be evaluated and, if found to be healthy and behaviorally sound, immediately placed into our adoptions program if possible.
Doesn’t the Houston SPCA get my tax dollars to accept stray animals?
No. The Houston SPCA is a private non-profit charity that receives NO tax dollars or funding from the government. Your local animal control agency is the mandated authority funded by your tax dollars that enforces animal control laws and impounds and houses strays. The Houston SPCA shelter is an adoption center and was never designed to serve as an animal control housing facility for strays. The majority of animals received by animal charities are owned animals that are being given up by their owners and the Houston SPCA is no exception. However, as a service to our community, we have set aside about 25 % of our animal housing spaces to accommodate strays. We cannot accept more strays than we have spaces available for, as we will not inhumanely overcrowd them.
Does the Houston SPCA euthanize strays?
In accordance with Texas law, stray animals will be held for at least three days to give owners an opportunity to reclaim. If they are not reclaimed by their owners they will undergo health and behavioral evaluations. Healthy, behaviorally sound animals will be placed into our adoption program. The Houston SPCA proudly places 100% of our healthy, behaviorally sound canines and felines animals that are healthy and free of serious behavior issues - into loving new homes. No animal is ever euthanized at the Houston SPCA to make room for incoming animals.
How do I find my local animal control agency?
We have information available on the animal control agencies in the city of Houston, Harris and our surrounding counties.
My pet has behavior issues; who can I talk to about this?
We have a certified Animal Behavior Specialist on staff. Check out our Behavior Page for many great tips.
Is the Houston SPCA a “no kill” shelter?
The Houston SPCA is what is termed an "open door" shelter, meaning that we accept every animal that is brought to us. We feel that we serve the animals of our community best this way. Although the idea of becoming a no-kill shelter is certainly appealing, current reality in Houston is not that simple.
How long do you keep the animals at your shelters before they are euthanized?
There is no set "time limit" for animals in our care.