The Houston SPCA requires an individual who wants to give up an owned pet to schedule an appointment for an intake session with a trained Houston SPCA team member. The goal of the Houston SPCA is to help pet owners make an informed decision before they give up their pets 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. During each admission, a veterinary technician performs a medical evaluation to assess the pet's adoptability. Pet owners may visit our behavior page to find ways to address specific behavior issues that may lead 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.
Admissions can be scheduled by calling the Houston SPCA facility, 713 869-SPCA (7722). Scheduled sessions are conducted daily from 9 am to 6 pm at Houston SPCA, 900 Portway Drive.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I can no longer keep my pet. Will the Houston SPCA accept him/her?
A: Yes. The Houston SPCA accepts animals by appointment only. During each admission, a veterinary technician performs a medical evaluation to assess the pet's adoptability.
Q: Is there a fee to admit an animal?
A: Yes. The Houston SPCA does charge a fee to admit an owned or stray animal. The admissions fee structure is as follows, effective January 1, 2013:
$35: Adult dog
$20: Adult Cat
$15: Puppies and kittens under 6 months old (Maximum of $50 per litter.)
$35: Medium to large parrots
$15: Small to medium birds
$3: Small birds
$15: Rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, goats, pigs, sheep
$3: Small rodents
$3: Poultry, waterfowl
No fee if individual opts to take animal home again
$100: Horses, donkeys, mules
-Must have all vaccinations (rabies, west nile, equine encephalitis, tetanus)
-Must have current worming (within 1 month)
-Must have current Coggins test (within 6 months)
-Males must be gelded
Q: Why does the Houston SPCA charge an admissions fee?
A: The Houston SPCA charges a very nominal fee to admit your animal to our shelter. We do not euthanize animals for space or at the end of a certain time period and we proudly place 100% of our healthy canines and felines into loving new homes. Once your dog or cat arrives at our shelter and is accepted into the adoptions program, he/she is vaccinated, dewormed, spayed or neutered and microchipped. While at our shelter your pet’s health and behavior is continually monitored. We estimate that it costs us between $300 and $500, excluding staff time, to place your pet into a loving, new home. Did you know that the average adult dog or cat stays with us between 14 and 19 days before being adopted and puppies and kittens are with us between four and seven days? The very small admissions fee we charge doesn’t come close to covering the cost of giving your pet a second chance at life.
Q: Doesn’t the Houston SPCA get my tax dollars to accept unwanted animals?
A: No. The Houston SPCA is a private non-profit charity that receives NO tax dollars or funding from the government, the United Way or “national” animal protection organizations like the ASPCA or HSUS. Your local animal control agency is the mandated authority funded by your tax dollars that enforces animal control laws and houses strays. 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
Q: Can you guarantee that my pet will be adopted since I have to pay a fee?
A: No. We do our best and proudly place 100% of our healthy canines and felines animals that are healthy 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.
Q: Will I be charged a fee if I choose to take my pet home?
A: No. If during your intake session you choose to take your pet home, you will not be charged an admissions fee.
Q: Will there be a fee for adoption returns?
A: An admission fee will not be charged for any adopted animal that is returned within 30 days of placement.
Q: What if I change my mind and want my pet back?
A: The adoptability and disposition of your pet will be discussed in detail at your intake 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.
Q: Will the Houston SPCA accept my stray animal?
A: 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 space available.
Q: What if the animal has been in my possession for more than 14 days?
A: 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 immediately placed into our adoptions program if possible.
Q: How do I find my local animal control agency?
A: We have information available on the animal control agencies in the city of Houston, Harris and our surrounding counties.
Q: What if I need to have my animal euthanized?
A: There is no fee for owner requested euthanasia. The service is donation based for dogs, cats and exotic pets and we will provide disposal as well. However, there is a $100 fee for horses and owner must haul in and must take care of body disposal.
Q: Is my admissions fee tax deductible?
A: No, because you are receiving a service in exchange for your fee. However, a donation over and above the standard admissions fee IS tax deductible and deeply appreciated and will help us protect and save Houston’s homeless, abused and neglected animals!