Frequently Asked Questions
How do I adopt a pet from your shelter?
1. Our shelter is open Monday-Saturday, 11am-5pm and Sundays 11am-3pm. Adoptions are processed Monday-Saturday only, with the last application accepted at 4:30pm to allow for communication and paperwork with the potential adopter. See available pets here.
I am looking for a specific breed. Can you let me know if you receive one?
Please come to our shelter at 199 Willow Run Rd, in Aiken to fill out an "adoption request" form. If we receive a pet matching your request, you will be contacted in order of when your request was submitted.
How much is the adoption fee? What's included?
In general, our adoption fees are:
If I adopt a heartworm positive dog, what is the treatment and is it included with his adoption fee?
The adoption fee covers heartworm treatment for heartworm positive dogs.
Can you show me a dog/cat that will be good with kids or my other pets?
Our staff makes every effort to observe the pets in our care and can advise potential adopters about cats or dogs who have expressed behaviors indicating a strong intolerance of small children, other pets, or other negative triggers.
I found a dog that I'm interested in adopting. Can you tell me what breed he is?
While up to 25% of dogs entering animal shelters are purebred, and we will label them as such when and if we know for sure, most of them are what's commonly referred to as mutts. We prefer "American Shelter Dog".
Are your adoptable dogs house trained?
Sometimes, though rarely, we can definitely say yes to this question. Some dogs arrive in our shelter by way of personal surrender, and have already established indoor bathroom etiquette which carries over into the shelter environment despite the drastic change in their lives.
If a pet has been in your shelter for a while, or was returned, does that mean something is wrong with it?
Not at all! Some pets have longer shelter stays than others for many reasons. They may be a bit older than most adopters want, they may not adapt well to the shelter environment and therefore not seem as friendly, or they may just get overlooked because of their size or color (Google "Black Dog Syndrome" for an example.)
Are your cats declawed? Will you perform the procedure?
Sometimes, cats who have been previously declawed arrive in our shelter by way of personal surrender. We will label their adoption information indicating this and stress their specific needs to the adopter, which includes living an exclusively indoor life.
Volunteering & Fostering
I'd like to volunteer, what's the process?
Thanks so much for wanting to volunteer with us! The SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare welcomes individuals who can help provide care for our animals until forever homes can be found, and also in many other areas. Volunteers with our organization must be registered, which includes and approved application, orientation session, and training. Learn more and get started on the "Volunteer" page of our website. General volunteers must be at least 16 years old, and we also offer a Jr. SPCA program for kids in 6th - 12th grade.
I would like to Volunteer with my child, but he/she isn't old enough for Jr. SPCA . Do you have any other opportunities for us together?
If your child is of reading age (typically age 5 or up), then you can participate in our Read & Relax program. The goal of the program is for children to read aloud to shelter dogs, one-on-one, without stimulating them with play. This helps shelter dogs learn to relax and "just be" around people without needing to be the center of attention which sets them up for more success in a permanent home. At the same time, children can build their reading confidence and ability! Learn more by contacting our Volunteer Coordinator at 803-648-6863 or send an email.
How does pet fostering work? Can I choose the pet to foster?
Foster parents or families are volunteers who are willing to provide temporary, in-home care for cats, dogs and their offspring. You provide the love, we'll provide the pets and supplies. Anyone who loves animals and is willing to donate their time, providing lots of tender, loving care, could make a great foster parent. Ideally, this program is best suited for retirees, homemakers, people who work from home or who have flexible work schedules.
Spay/Neuter, Vaccinations, TNR
How can I get stray cats fixed?
The SPCA Veterinary Care Center can help! We partner with the City of Aiken on a TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) program which enables citizens to humanely trap community/stray cats, have them spayed or neutered, rabies vaccinated and ear tipped for just $40 per cat. Visit our TNR page or call 803-648-6863 ext. 1 for more information.
Strays, Pet Surrendering
I found a stray cat/dog, can I bring it to your shelter?
Stray animals should be taken to the animal shelter with jurisdiction over the location it was found.
I am unable to care for my pet anymore, can I bring him to your shelter to find a new home?
We do accept personally surrendered pets on a limited basis as space and funding allows. Your pet will also need to be evaluated by our staff. Please call 803-648-6863 to check availability.
I'd like to donate some large items to your Thrift Shop, can you pick them up?
Yes! We offer FREE Thrift Shop donation pickups. Please contact our Operations Manager at 803-648-6863 to schedule a time convenient for you. Please note that we only pick up Monday - Friday between 9:00am and 5:00pm. Thank you for your generosity!
I am a loyal donor to the ASPCA - their television commercials are so sad. Does the money I donate help the animals in your shelter?
The ASPCA, or American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, is a large organization based in New York state and our organization is not a subsidiary, affiliate or local branch of that organization. We are completely separate organizations.
I just got a new kitten/puppy. What vaccinations or medical treatment do I need to have done and when?
Unless medically necessary, your kitten or pups first visit to the veterinarian should be between 6-8 weeks old for initial testing and vaccinations, followed up every few weeks with booster vaccinations until they are 16 weeks old. Spay/neuter can usually be performed as early as 4 months old if the pet meets the weight requirement. Please call our Veterinary Care Center at 803-648-6863, ext 1. for specific questions, pricing and the schedule an appointment.
Animal Control - Stray Animal Pickup or Drop-off
I had a stray dog picked up by Aiken Count Animal Control, but I don't want it going to the County Shelter. Can I have it transferred to your facility?
First, thank you for making the right decision. Unlike feral or community cats, dogs tend not to thrive well as strays. Secondly, any cat or dog picked up outside of City of Aiken Limits must be taken to the Aiken County Animal Shelter. Our organization's priority to animal intake is to the City of Aiken since the City has no government run shelter of its own. We do occasionally pull pets from Aiken Count Animal Shelter as our space and funding allows. You will be pleased to know that the Aiken County Animal Shelter now has at least a 75% live release rate through adoptions and transfers to rescue groups. Our County shelter is not the "dead end" that it was long perceived to be. Please call them at 803-642-1537 and explain your concerns so they can work with you on a solution.
Can the SPCA come pick up a stray? What if I suspect neglect or abuse?
The SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare is not a law-enforecement agency, and our employees have no legal authority to seize animals, nor are we equipped to pick up stray animals. Please contact your jurisdiction's Animal Control department regarding your concerns. Please also call these departments if you suspect animal cruelty, neglect or abuse so that an officer can perform a wellness check and begin an investigation if necessary.