Admission Program

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SPCA Wake's Helpline provides free guidance for whatever pet needs or concerns you may have. Whether you need help managing your cat's or dog's behavior or need information on affordable spay/neuter services, veterinary care, or anything else -- we're here for you!

The SPCA of Wake County takes in around 4,100 homeless, neglected or abandoned animals each year through our managed-admission program.

A managed-admission animal shelter takes into its care based on available space. This managed intake means we accept incoming animals based on available shelter space or foster care space. We will not euthanize an animal to make room for incoming animals. Once an animal comes into our care we will not euthanize that pet except in cases of untreatable illness or if the animal poses a safety risk to the community.

We focus our animal intake efforts on the animals most at-risk of euthanasia at area animal shelters where the sheer volume of incoming animals creates the most risk for euthanasia. Although most of our animal admissions are focused on partnering with and transferring from open-admission animal shelters, we work to divert as many animals as possible from entering area shelters through intake of unowned litters of kittens and puppies.

All animal intake is done by appointment. We also take in a limited number of pets who are surrendered by owners in circumstances of need. All intake is based on available space, and animals facing immediate euthanasia at our partner shelters are given priority in our admission program.

We envision a day where every companion animal in our community has a responsible home with a loving family; where every pet is happy, healthy and protected from harm; and where no pet suffers from cruelty, neglect or abuse.

We believe that the only way to reach that goal is through positive collaboration with other animal sheltering organizations, creating strong partnerships, and working together to serve the people and pets in our community in the best possible way.

In Wake County, nearly all lost, stray or owner-surrendered animals go to the Wake County Animal Center, the government-run and government-funded County department responsible for providing animal care and control services for our community. In 2019, the SPCA transferred 1,000 animals from the Wake County Animal Center into our care.

Managing the flow of animals into our facility allows us to do everything in our power to ensure a positive outcome for the animals that come through our doors – whether they need medical treatment, behavior intervention or a little extra time to become ready for adoption.

Additional Resources

If you have found an owned pet or stray animal, please click the link above to visit the Pet Helpline and select "Found or Stray Animal" from the dropdown menu for guidance on what to do next. 

Please click the link above to visit the Pet Helpline and select "Lost Pet" from the dropdown menu in order to tell us about your missing pet and get guidance on what to do next.

An affordable way to prevent unwanted litters!