History & Accomplishments

The SPCA is Reno’s original no-kill animal center. Our mission is to be an innovative regional leader in responsible treatment of homeless dogs and cats, primarily through their rescue and placement in forever loving homes and by promoting spaying and neutering to control pet overpopulation. The SPCA of Northern Nevada receives no tax dollars or funding from any national organization. We rely totally on the local community to support our life-saving programs.

In 1997, a small group of volunteers, motivated by the unnecessary deaths of thousands of adoptable pets in our local shelters, recognized that Washoe County needed a new type of animal rescue facility — a facility dedicated to giving the dogs and cats at our municipal animal control shelter a second chance at life before their time ran out. Originally founded as the “Reno SPCA,” this new charitable organization began its work by taking dogs and cats from the Reno Animal Services shelter to off-site adoption locations every weekend, eventually placing over 700 pets in new homes during that first year. Then, in 1998, the SPCA began leasing a shelter center on Fifth Street, establishing Reno/Sparks’ very first no-kill animal center. At that time, the first paid staff positions were created, although volunteers continued to make a crucial contribution. From that humble beginning, the newly renamed “SPCA of Northern Nevada” continued to grow, eventually rescuing and re-homing over 20,000 pets in our community. The SPCA moved into the Stanley James Walker Pet Care & Adoption Center located at 4950 Spectrum Blvd in June, 2011.

Through these first 18 years, the SPCA has always remained faithful to these core principles:

  1. We make a lifetime commitment to every dog and cat in our center
  2. We believe that every shelter dog and cat deserves a chance at a life in a loving home
  3. We celebrate and promote the mutually beneficial bond between pets and people
  4. We are a locally run and locally funded organization, receiving no funding from government dollars or from national organizations


  • The SPCA is northern Nevada’s first no-kill animal center.
  • First local center to focus on rescuing dogs and cats at risk for euthanasia from our municipal animal control facility.
  • Found forever loving homes for over 20,000 dogs and cats and provides the public with a low-cost spay-neuter program. Through these programs we have been responsible for helping to spay and neuter thousands of animals over 20 years.
  • Built dozens of partnerships within our metropolitan area and across northern Nevada to facilitate pet rescue and the distribution of spay-neuter assistance.
  • Operate ongoing low-cost vaccination and microchip clinics for the public.
  • Provide the public with over 16,500 hours of volunteer opportunities annually.
  • The SPCA operates a Foster Program supported by volunteers in our community who take very young animals into their homes to be cared for until they are mature enough to be returned to our facility and adopted into a forever home.



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