Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How Long Do You Keep Animals?
  2. What do I do if I need to have my pet "put to sleep"?
  3. Who gets spayed and who gets neutered?
  4. Why is the adoption fee so high?
  5. Why don't you just give them away?

1. How Long Do You Keep Animals?

By state law, an animal entering an animal shelter as a stray must be held for a minimum of 7 days before being adopted or euthanized. Animals surrendered by their owners can be made available for adoption immediately.

Euthanasia Policy of SJRAS

We are often asked by the public about our euthanasia policy.   To understand our policy, it is first important to understand that SJRAS is what is called an "open admission" shelter and, as such, provides a temporary refuge for homeless and unwanted animals of  all types.

Although our goal is to place in good homes as many of the animals that come to us as possible, we also realize that, because we are an open admission shelter, euthanasia of an animal may sometimes be necessary.   The following are examples of situations where euthanasia may be necessary:

→        An animal exhibits aggressive or other dangerous behavior such that it poses a threat to the community.

→        An animal shows signs of severe stress from the shelter environment such that the animal is suffering an unacceptably poor quality of life.

→        An animal has a medical condition that is beyond our resources to treat, or that will likely result in a poor quality of life for the animal or that, because of its very contagious nature, would place the rest of the shelter population at risk of serious illness.

→        At certain times, we simply run out of space to humanely house every animal that arrives at our doors and a most difficult choice has to be made.

We are also often asked whether we set a maximum amount of time that we will hold an animal.   The answer is that we do not set a maximum amount of time that we will hold an animal, nor do we have a maximum age.    That is, in general, as long as the animal remains adoptable, the animal is coping adequately with the stress of shelter life and there is space to humanely house the animal, we will continue to provide shelter and care for the animal and to make every reasonable effort to find the animal a good home.

It is important to point out that every euthanasia decision is made on an individual basis for each animal.  It is never taken lightly.  Rather, every decision is very carefully considered by at least three trained and compassionate staff members and is carried out by the most modern humane means - a painless injection of sodium pentobarbital - administered by gentle, caring and trained shelter personnel.

While, under certain circumstances, euthanasia will be necessary, SJRAS will continue to work hard to greatly reduce the need for euthanasia by, among other things,:

  • using all reasonably available means to promote adoptions;
  • maintaining a foster care program;
  • sending animals to other approved shelters and rescue groups;
  • providing ill and injured animals, which are otherwise adoptable, with veterinary care to the extent our resources allow;
  • directly addressing the root of the problem - the overpopulation of unwanted pets - by providing low-cost spay/neuter services and microchipping;
  • Making available humane education classes to any local schools or social groups

2. What do I do if I need to have my pet "put to sleep"?

Unfortunately SJRAS can not offer this option to the public. You will need to contact a veterinarian to have your pet put down.

SJRAS DOES offer the option of disposing of your pets remains, or cremation service. You may call ahead for info, or find the information here on our website.

3. Who gets spayed and who gets neutered? Does it make a difference how I say it?

The term spay is used for females only, and males are neutered. But it gets a little tricky here - neuter can also be used when referring to a female. Basically "neuter" covers everyone, and "spay" covers only females.

4. Why is the adoption fee so high to adopt a homeless pet?

We supply for each animal: vaccine, heartworm tests (for dogs), dewormer, microchips, ID tags, food, and we have to pay the vet who performs the spay/neuter surgeries on each pet when it gets adopted. The adoption fees cover only a portion of the cost of these items, not to mention heating, electricity, disinfectant, water, and the numerous other items the animals need while they are in our care.

If you think our prices are high, please contact your local vet. Ask them how much it would cost you to bring in a cat or dog for all vaccines, dewormer, heartworm tests (for dogs), and to be spayed/neutered. The cost will be much greater than our adoption fee.

We often try to hold special adoption price breaks/incentives in order to get animals into loving homes more quickly, but we can only do this as funding allows.

5. Why don't you just give them away? 

Lets say you were given a TV set for free.....  if you lost it you wouldn't be too upset that it's gone, after all, it was free. If something in it stopped working correctly would you have it fixed properly, or just throw the TV out since you got it for free? If you were offered another TV by someone else would you care about getting rid of your other TV, because after all, you didn't pay for it?

Many people only place value on something that they've had to pay something for. There are people out there that want animals for various reasons (breeding, fighting, baiting, to sell to labs) where they would take a free animal because - hey, it's free. But they wouldn't want to pay a fee for the animal because they would be throwing money down the drain by using that animal in any of the above ways. Anyone willing to give a pet a loving home is willing to pay a fee of some sort for that animal, especially one that has already been given vaccines, dewormer, etc.

Another reason a fee of some amount is necessary people often don't think about. The cost for food, vet care, and other pet related items (toys, grooming, bedding, etc) for each animal can be daunting at times. While we understand that not everyone had a ton of money to be spent on animals, they need basic things regularly. If someone cannot afford our adoption fees, chances are they can't afford the food and vet care bills for an animal.

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