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What does SPCA stand for?

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. There are many organizations with SPCA as part of their names, but they are not affiliated organizations, and there is no national SPCA. SPCA is now a common name used to describe animal adoption centers.

Are you part of the ASPCA?

No. The ASPCA is New York City’s animal welfare organization. Although they do give advice to shelters and make grants to some shelters, they are not the Maryland SPCA’s parent organization, and they do not provide us with any operating money.

What's the difference between the Maryland SPCA and other animal groups, like the pound?

We are a private, non-profit organization, not a municipal or government agency. The MD SPCA does not receive any tax support for any of its services, so we depend upon donations and adoption fees to operate.

Are you a "no-kill" adoption center?

Yes. Our organization exceeds the accepted standard by having a save rate over 90%. There is no time limit for an animal to stay in our care, and all healthy and treatable animals are saved. Our ultimate goal is a community where all healthy and treatable pets are saved. We work closely with other shelters toward that goal.

The MD SPCA saves lives community-wide by:

  • Providing high-volume spay and neuter services in the community— 6,600 surgeries per year!
  • Adopting pets into loving, new homes—more than 3,000 animals adopted and rescued per year!
  • Taking pets in from other shelters—more than 1,500 animals transported in from other shelters last year!
  • Providing foster care to special-needs animals—a record 1,600 animals received foster care in 2017!
  • Serving more than 5,000 public-owned pets at our Maryland SPCA Wellness Clinic.
  • Collecting pet food for needy pet owners and hungry animals—more than 22 tons of pet food collected last year.
  • Providing behavior training and advice to more than 750 owners in 2017 to keep pets in their homes.
  • Working with the greater Baltimore community through educational partnerships on animal welfare and kindness to pets. Our education and outreach team served more than 11,000 students in 2017.

How long do you keep the animals at your adoption center?

There is no set time limit for how long an animal can remain in our adoption center. As long as an animal maintains general good health and a sound temperament, we'll keep a pet until it is adopted.

I need to put my pet up for adoption. Can I bring it to you?

Before bringing your pet to any adoption center, please try other sources, such as friends and family members who may be able to care for your pet. We've created a Re-Homing program to give you information and tools to help you find a new home for your pet.

If you are unable to find someone to take care of your pet, you can call the Maryland SPCA at 410-235-8826 and make an appointment to bring us your pet. Please bring a valid photo ID and all veterinary records for your pet to your appointment. Your pet will be evaluated before it can be placed up for adoption. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that your pet will qualify for our adoption program. If your pet does not meet our requirements, we can talk to you about other options.

There is a surrender fee of $30 per pet (over the age of 6 months) or per litter (under the age of 6 months), which is due at the time of surrender. This fee represents a small fraction of the total cost incurred by the shelter for the care of each pet. We receive no funding from the government or national animal groups to pay for their care.

Do you take rabbits or reptiles?

We are only equipped to care for and adopt out dogs and cats. If you have another type of animal you need to re-home, you can post the animal on our website or you can try rescue groups that specialize in the type of pet you have. Here is a good listing of pet rescues. You can also post these pets on Petfinder.com.

I lost my pet. Where are you located and when are you open?

We're happy to help reunite you with your pet! Check out our Lost & Found page to find out all you need to know.

There are stray pets in my neighborhood. Can you come pick them up?

No. The Maryland SPCA is unable to come out and pick up stray animals; however, we can offer you some suggestions. If there is a stray dog or cat in your neighborhood, you can try to locate the owner by contacting your local Animal Control. Baltimore City Animal Control can be reached by calling 311. Baltimore County Animal Control can be reached by calling 410-887-5961.

What is your stance on feral cats?

The Maryland SPCA believes that feral cats can survive outside with a little human support and compassion. We do not accept feral cats at our shelter for euthanasia. We promote and support the work of feral cat caretakers by offering low-cost spay/neuter.

How do I know if a pet is being abused?

There are signs to look for in the physical condition of the animal and also his home environment. Often, if a pet is poorly treated, other family members like children are also mistreated.

  • Observe the Animal’s Physical Condition: Does the animal have an untreated injury or limp? Is the animal extremely thin or weak? Is there a severe flea or tick infestation? Does the animal have much missing hair? Is the animal overly fearful or aggressive?
  • Observe the Animal’s Environment: Is there adequate shelter and water outside? Is the animal left outside alone and in extreme weather? What is the condition of the animal’s yard? Is it relatively clean? Is the animal outside during all hours of the day? What is the condition of children living in the house? Do they appear well-cared-for or not?

What should I do if I suspect animal cruelty or neglect?

If you witness animal cruelty, call 911 immediately. Also report any cruelty or neglect to animal control at 311. Document what you have witnessed; a camera phone can help. If you suspect neglect, consider offering to help find a new home for the animal. If you are fearful of approaching the family, call the police or animal control confidentially. Baltimore-Area Animal Control agencies are listed here. Contact social services if you are concerned about other family members. Do something. There is a link between animal abuse and human abuse. Violence hurts everyone.

What does the MD SPCA do to prevent animal cruelty and neglect?

To prevent animal cruelty and neglect, the Maryland SPCA visits schools to teach children about kindness to animals, hosts tours and activities at the MD SPCA for children to help animals, neuters and spays thousands of animals in need to reduce strays (often victims of violence), supports reward funds in cases of cruelty and serves on the Mayor’s Anti-Cruelty Task Force.

The MD SPCA does not investigate animal neglect or cruelty. The police and animal control agencies investigate animal abuse. Baltimore-Area Animal Control agencies are listed here.

I need to have my pet put to sleep. What can I do?

The Maryland SPCA provides humane euthanasia for pets. If you would like the cremains returned, you can request a private cremation. Visit our Owner-Requested Euthanasia page for a list of fees for this service. Owners cannot be present during euthanasia.

I'm having difficulties with my pet. Can you help me?

Yes. You can visit our Behavior page to help answer your pet questions.

Do you board animals?

No, the Maryland SPCA is not a boarding facility. We shelter and care for needy animals who are looking for new homes.

Does the MD SPCA provide free or low-cost veterinary care?

In our Spay and Neuter Clinic at the Maryland SPCA, we offer low-cost spay/neuter surgeries to owners of pit bulls and to low-income pet owners (some weight, age and breed restrictions apply). In 2010, we opened the Maryland SPCA Wellness Clinic at 4007 Falls Road to provide affordable pet wellness care, including basic exams, vaccinations (core vaccines) and spay/neuter surgery.