Answers to frequently asked questions
Are you a no-kill shelter?
Sometimes the animals that come to us are not adoptable due to being medically untreatable, viciously aggressive, or too old to ethically kennel. Not all animals remain mentally stable or physically healthy due to the stress of long-term kenneling. When this is the case, these animals are humanely euthanized. Euthanasia is a last resort. We want to find homes or fosters for all the pets we can.
How do I surrender my pet?
We want you to keep your animal in your home if at all possible. If you have exhausted resources to keep your pet, we ask that you make an appointment to surrender your animal. This allows us to plan shelter space. We will need your ID, and you will have a short questionnaire when you get here. If you have them, please provide us with vaccination records and anything you think your pet will want during this transition. We ask for a small surrender fee to aid us with food and veterinary care. Each dog/puppy is $25 and each cat/kitten is $15. A cat with a litter is $25. By law, we can only accept pets from Wicomico County and will need proof of residency.
Can you euthanize my pet?
We do offer low-cost euthanasia for the public if the animal is at the end of its life and suffering. We will not euthanize a pet that has a good temperament and in good health.
What does my adoption fee include?
Dogs – spay/neuter, DHPP, Bordetella, & Rabies vaccinations, testing for heartworms, Lymes Disease, Ehrlchia, & Anaplasmosis, microchipping, dewormer, flea & tick prevention, and heartworm prevention
Cats – spay/neuter, FVRCP & Rabies vaccinations, testing for heartworms, Feline Leukemia, & FIV, microchipping, dewormer, and flea & tick prevention
What does your adoption process entail?
When you know which pet you’d like to adopt, or are deciding between a couple animals, you can submit an application for adoption. In Covid times, we are encouraging everyone to download our application (either dog or cat) from our website and return via email to [email protected]. You may also submit your application in person. It will take about 24 hours to process your application. We will verify all other pets in your home are up to date on their rabies shot (as required by law,) that you own your own home, or if your landlord will allow you to have a pet, including any breed restrictions. Once you are approved, we may require all members of your household to meet the animal or schedule a meet and greet if you have dogs at home.
Will you accept more than one application on an animal?
Yes. Sometimes prior applicants don’t work out, they pull their application, or decide on a different pet. We will process the applications in the order they were received. If your application is approved but the pet goes home with a previous applicant, you’re application will be on file for 30 days in order for you to find another pet that’s a good fit for you. If you don’t hear back from us, you are welcome to check the status of your application by calling 410-749-7603 or emailing [email protected] To check if a specific pet is adopted, you can visit the Adopted Animals page of our website.
How old do I need to be to adopt?
21 years old. We have found that adopting to college-aged people leads to returns and an unstable life for the pet. If you are over 18 but younger than 21, you are welcome to spend time with our pets dog walking or as an event volunteer.
I’m looking for a specific type of dog. Will you call me when you get one?
Unfortunately, no. We are a small non-profit with limited staff. After you fill out an application, if you are approved but the animal you want isn’t available, we will hold your application for 30 days. If there is another pet you are interested in, contact us to let us know. Our best advice to you is to continuously check our website so you don’t miss out. Our adoption page is updated every day we’re open at 5 pm.
Do you accept animals from outside the county?
By law, we cannot take a pet that was found in another county, or an owner surrender from outside Wicomico County.
Can I adopt from out of state?
Yes, as long as we can verify you own your home in our property search or can get in touch with your landlord to make sure you are permitted to adopt the pet. Please keep in mind a meet and greet may be required and we can’t ensure we can adopt an animal out in one day. If we feel it’s in the best interest of the pet to adopt them out locally, we reserve the right to do so.
How can I volunteer?
We require all volunteers to be 18 or older. Our biggest volunteer need is dog walkers, especially during the winter months. To walk dogs all you need to do is sign in and kennel staff will bring you out the next dog to be walked. You may choose to walk multiple dogs or just one. You can also choose to volunteer at events.
What is the difference between the Humane Society and Animal Control?
Wicomico County Animal Control is a county entity and receives funding as such. Salisbury City Animal Control is operated out of the Salisbury Police Department. We share a facility, so any animal caught or seized by either Animal Control will be brought to the shelter and HSWC staff may be answer questions regarding the animal and assist in reclaiming the animal. Please see Animal Control and claim out information here.
Can you spay/neuter my pet?
We offer free or low cost spay and neuter clinics to everyone- not just residents of Wicomico County. “Fixing” your pet is a necessity to your animal’s well-being and can save hundreds of lives. To schedule your pet, call 410-749-7603. Keep in mind we have a small clinic and spots fill up very quickly. We may ask you to call to schedule at a later date. Depending on the weight of your pet, we may not be able to perform the procedure and you will need to consult your vet.
How do I qualify for the free spay/neuter program?
We offer a free spay/neuter program for low-income individuals making $30,000 or under. You can come by the shelter any time to fill out the form and provide proof of income.
How do I qualify for the food bank?
Any resident of Wicomico County needing a little assistance feeding their pet can come by our shelter for dry dog or cat food, kitty litter, or sometimes small animal food. Our goal is to provide a resource to keep pets in their homes. Our only requirement is that you fill out a form and provide a current rabies certificate for all pets you will need food for- no other questions asked. Please call before you come so we can have the food/litter ready for you when you arrive.
What donations do you accept?
There are several items we need that not financial contributions. Find our wishlist of items here.
I found a stray. What do I do?
If you are able to catch the animal, please safely bring it to our shelter so we can scan it for a microchip. DO NOT TOUCH ANY ANIMAL THAT APPEARS DANGEROUS! The animal can be brought to us any time during our office hours. If you are unable to catch the animal or a dog is running at large please contact the Animal Control in the pet’s jurisdiction. For animals in the City of Salisbury, contact Salisbury Animal Control at 410-548-3165. For animals in Wicomico County outside city limits, call Wicomico County Animal Control at 410-749-1070. Wicomico County Animal Control will not trap stray cats.
Can you give my pet a rabies shot?
By law, all dogs, cats, and ferrets are required to have a current rabies vaccine. If your pet is scheduled for a spay or neuter in our clinic and needs a rabies shot, we can administer one for $15. We are not offering any rabies clinics at this time and cannot set up an appointment to do so. If you need a rabies shot, please consult your veterinarian. This is subject to change. Any rabies clinic sponsored by the Humane Society or the health department will be advertised on social media and our website.
Will you microchip my pet?
Yes. Please call the shelter for us to coordinate a time to microchip your pet. The fee is $35.