FAQs About

Our Adoption Center

We are sometimes asked whether we are “no kill”. The answer is YES. We will place every healthy or treatable, and safe pet. Period.

Most importantly, we are pro-pet and people! We offer daily enrichment to our animals, use training partnerships and behavior modification training when needed to get them ready for adoption, and work our tails off to find them loving homes.

We are dedicated to humane treatment of the pets in our care even when that means making appropriate, humane euthanasia decisions. If they’re suffering, or a danger to our community, then we lovingly guide them over the rainbow bridge.

Let’s remember that compassionate euthanasia is a gift, and every decision must consider the welfare of the individual animal. SPCA-NN will only humanely euthanize for poor medical prognosis or if the animal is too dangerous to place. Our team is highly trained and we work closely with a nationally-renowned, certified shelter animal behaviorist.

Like most catch phrases, the term “no kill” has limitations. For a more in-depth look at the current issues in the U.S. shelter overpopulation movement, click here! 

Like most catch phrases, the term “no kill” has limitations. For us, it means that we do not euthanize animals simply for time or space. We are dedicated to humane treatment of the animals in our care even when that means alleviating suffering by making appropriate euthanasia decisions in accordance with our internal, board-approved and monitored protocols.

Read this article for a more in-depth look at current issues in the U.S. shelter overpopulation movement.

We are not directly affiliated with the ASPCA or other shelters or rescues in our region or elsewhere.

Here is more information on Who We Are and What We Do.

We often partner with other organizations in our region to provide the most we can for homeless pets. We are all proud that Washoe County has a combined live release rate of 94%; one of the highest in the nation!

For more information on other organizations, please contact them directly.

FAQs About


1) Meet our adoptable pets!
Loving matches take time! Please plan on 1-2 hours for the whole adoption process.

2) Meet our dedicated matchmakers!
Our matchmakers will share what we know about the pet and are trained to make the best matches for our pets and for you. We learn about your household, lifestyle, and expectations to help ensure a successful match. If necessary, our medical heroes will provide a medical consultation too.

3) Complete the adoption and bring your new love home!
You’ll review the adoption contract, medical record, etc. We can also answer any questions you may have about bringing your pet home, introducing it lovingly to your family, and provide additional resources. You’re now part of our SPCA family, so call our Pet Help Line with any questions!

Read More

Adoption applications are first come, first served. Follow the adoption process as described above and an adoption counselor will call you on your application to discuss next steps.

FAQs About


Our Adoption Center, located at 4950 Spectrum Blvd, Reno, NV, 89512, is always in need of the following for our animals:

  • Towels, blankets, and linens
  • Dog and cat toys
  • Leashes and collars of all sizes
  • Dog and cat treats
  • Prariedog Smokehouse Treats are by far our dogs’ favorites!
  • Pumpkin, whipped cream, and xylitol free* peanut butter
    • *Xylitol is a natural sweetener that is safe for humans but incredibly toxic to dogs! Most common brands don’t contain it, but it’s always best to check to ensure the health of our pups!
  • Wet kitten food
  • For more donation ideas, you check out our Amazon wish list, which we regularly update with items our Adoption Center needs most.

For our Adoption Center, the most common items we cannot take are:

  • Pillows
  • Handmade dog beds
  • Open bags of food
  • Refrigerated treats or food

If you’re ever unsure of what to donate, you can always call us and ask.

Our Thrift Store, located at 75 E Moana Ln, Reno, NV 89502, relies on your donations to operate. Proceeds go directly to our homeless pets, and we truly rely on your support to save lives! Due to limited space, we can currently accept only PET SUPPLIES, TOOLS, and SMALL FURNITURE donations. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept any other type of donation. Please call to schedule your donation drop-off.

Here is a list of things the thrift store cannot accept:

  • Large appliances– refrigerators, dishwashers, furnaces, stoves, washers, dryers, water softeners, filters, dispensers, etc.*
  • Auto parts.
  • Beds, headboards, frames, mattresses, bedding parts, futon mattresses, sofa beds.
  • Construction and remodeling materials, carpeting.*
  • Furniture. We WILL accept furniture smaller than 4’x4’x4′ that is in good condition. We will not accept anything larger than 4’x4’x4′ or that is in bad condition.
  • Encyclopedias, magazines, newspapers.
  • Fireplace inserts
  • Flammable products – gas cans, propane cylinders, barbecues.
  • Garage doors, openers.*
  • Hazardous materials – batteries, paints, chemicals, poisons, liquids.
  • Infant products – car seats, strollers, cribs, carriers, high chairs, jump chairs, playpens.
  • Office equipment – desks, computers, printers, faxes, copiers, phone equipment, typewriters, scanners, keyboards, filing cabinets, monitors.**
  • Outdoor equipment – swing sets, trampolines, play houses, pools, sheds.
  • Sporting equipment – We WILL accept sporting equipment with the EXCEPTION of trophies, medals, awards and mechanical equipment (i.e. treadmills)
  • Televisions, television cabinets, entertainment centers, antennas, satellite dishes. We WILL accept flatscreen TV’s (preferably with power chords). **
  • VHS tapes and VCRS.
  • Unframed or broken glass, mirrors, etc.
  • Weapons – firearms, ammunition, flares, etc.
  • Window treatments – blinds, draperies, rods, shutters, shades.
  • We reserve the right to accept or decline any item offered for donation.
  • *Habitat for Humanity has a Discount Supply Store and may welcome some of the items we don’t. Visit their website: www.habitatforhumanityreno.org
  • **Best Buy offers a wide variety of electronics recycling. Visit their website: www.bestbuy.com

If your donation does not include any of the items listed above, we would love to accept it!

FAQs About

Clinic/Veterinary Services

The SPCA of Northern Nevada offers an affordable, public spay/neuter program, and vaccine and microchip clinic.

We are not a full service veterinary practice and cannot provide vet care for your pet beyond appointment-based spay/neuter and vaccine services. If you are struggling to find a full-service vet, here is a list of organizations that may offer financial assistance or credit arrangements for veterinary bills.*

*We provide this list as a community resource and are not affiliated with any of these programs or organizations. Please contact them directly with questions.

The SPCA of Northern Nevada offers a low-cost Spay & Neuter program for income-qualifying households. You can find out more information on the program here.

PLEASE NOTE: Appointments for the Spay & Neuter Program are only made available on the first Thursday of every month. Spots are limited and are filled on a first-come-first-serve basis. If you are unable to receive spay/neuter services from us, here is a list of organizations that offer financial assistance or credit arrangements for veterinary bills.*

*We provide this list as a community resource and are not affiliated with any of these programs or organizations. Please contact them directly with questions.

The SPCA of Northern Nevada offers an affordable vaccine and microchip clinic, currently held at our Adoption Center every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The vaccine and microchip clinic is available by appointment only. You can make an appointment here at any time. Please note that there is usually a wait time, and we recommend scheduling your appointment 2 to 3 weeks out.

Make appointment

Registered microchips give lost pets their best chance of returning home! It offers secure, reliable, and permanent identification.

Here is a schedule our staff has made, but please note it may vary based on your individual pet:

Vaccine Schedule

FAQs About

Rehoming Your Pet

If you adopted your pet from the SPCA-NN: You may call or bring your pet back to us during our normal hours of operation. We make a lifetime commitment to our animals and will always take them back regardless of circumstances.

If you did NOT adopt your pet from SPCA-NN: Surrendering is not a walk-in process. We only take surrendered cats or dogs that you did not adopt from us by appointment only. (For other domestic animals please contact the Nevada Humane Society.)

Do NOT abandon your pet(s): Abandoning them is ILLEGAL and punishable of up to $1,000 fine by Nevada law NRS 574.100.

Alternatives to surrendering your pet:

Surrendering a pet can be an incredibly difficult decision. SPCA-NN may be able to help you keep your pet at home or there may be alternative re-homing options to consider. Please review the following resources before surrendering your pet.

Why are you considering surrendering your pet?

  • Behavior issues (Pet Help Desk: 775.324.7773, 200)
  • Can’t afford care (Pet Help Desk: 775.324.7773, 200)
  • Domestic or disaster situation (Pet Help Desk: 775.324.7773, 200)
  • Moving/don’t have adequate housing (Pet Help Desk: 775.324.7773, 200)
  • Other re-homing options (Please read Finding a New Home for Your Pet below)

We know that sometimes it’s just not possible to keep a pet, and we are here to support you as best we can with compassionate advice and resources. Before making the decision to surrender, you may want to consider other re-homing options such as trusted friends or family.

If these resources don’t address the circumstances you’re experiencing, please see below for more about the process for surrendering your pet to SPCA-NN.

In order to surrender your cat or dog, the first step is to fill out a surrender profile. You can obtain one of these by coming to the Adoption Center in person, or by calling our Help Desk and having it emailed to you: 775.324.7773, 200.

The surrender profile will be reviewed by our staff, which may take up to a week. You will then be contacted to either schedule a handling assessment, or informed that we are unable to take your pet.

We may not be able to take your pet based on a number of reasons, including without limitation: available space, capacity for care, behavior, a lack of resources, etc. We will do our best to help you, and our staff may refer you to other organizations that may be able to take your pet.

After the appointment, we will decide whether we are able to accept your cat or dog. We do not charge a surrender fee, but donations are welcome to help cover the cost of care for your pet.

In order to surrender an animal to the SPCA of Northern Nevada, you must be the animal’s legal owner, and we reserve the right to require proof of ownership if we deem necessary.

Sometimes, people find themselves in situations where caring for their pet is no longer a possibility. Choosing to re-home a pet can be an incredibly difficult decision. We are here to support you the best we can with compassionate advice and resources.

The following are some tips to try to re-home your pet before contacting our Adoption Center:

• Give yourself and your pet time. It can often take weeks to months to find it the best home.
• Increase your pet’s adoptability. Spay or neuter, get current on all vaccinations , and get it groomed (as appropriate).
• Spread the word. Ask friends, family and co-workers to help. Social media can be a great place to share this information.
• You can also use the Home to Home re-homing tool, which gives pet owners the ability to be more involved, and it’s free and simple to use! Set up a pet profile, and interested people apply. (Please do NOT use Craigslist). Click here to go to Home to Home. 
• Use caution when considering unknown individuals or families as your pet’s new owners. Hold the initial meeting in a public place and ask questions to screen potential adopters. (Examples: Are there other pets in the house? Have you had a similar pet before? Do you have experience training a dog? Have you established a relationship with a veterinarian? Do you have an appropriate living space for this type of pet? How many hours a day will the animal be left alone?)
• Share your expectations for your pet’s new home. If you wish to stay in touch with your pet’s new family, make that clear up front.
• Contact breed-specific rescue groups.
• Never abandon your animal–it’s cruel and against the law!
• For additional tips, please call our Pet Help Desk: 775.324.7773, 200.

FAQs About

Animal Welfare

By law, you must contact the Washoe County Regional Animal Services office: 775.353.8900; or visit the WCRAS website.

Please call the Washoe County Regional Animal Services Shelter at 775-353-8900 and please submit a Lost Pet on their website. Also, be sure to check their website for your lost pet as they are the only entity in Washoe County that can legally pick up lost or stray animals. They have a high rate of return to owners!

You can also post information about your missing pet on your local neighborhood app, such as NextDoor.

Please call Washoe County Regional Animal Services Field Dispatch at 775-322-3647.

By law, the SPCA of Northern Nevada cannot accept stray animals so please don’t bring them to our Adoption Center as we must send you to WCRAS at 2825 Longley Lane, Reno, NV 89502.

If you’ve found an animal that is not believed to be domesticated, contact the Nevada Department of Wildlife at 775-688-1500.