Animal Shelters

  • SCRAPS handles about 10,000 pets a year - roughly 2 cats for every dog. 

    • Only about 20% of local pets are licensed.  The penalty for not licensing a dog or cat is a $200 fine. 
    • 93% of the dogs (and 78% of cats) handled in 2017 were either returned to their owners, adopted, or transferred to one of their partner rescue groups.  The only dogs euthanized were either extremely aggressive, or had severe health issues, such as cancer. 
    • Many of these rescued animals were injured or lost by either accident or intention.  SCRAPS focuses on finding homes for the animals it rescues, helped by more than 800 volunteers. 
    • The right reason to keep a pet:  They lower your blood pressure, give you unconditional love, and they are there for you every day.
    • The wrong reason to keep a pet:  As a status symbol, or protection - just leaving a dog in the yard and not doing anything with it.  ("SCRAPS director takes paws to reflect on career, change," by Michael Guilfoil, The Spokesman-Review, Jan. 28, 2018; and "Dog's rescue, recovery define SCRAPS," The Spokesman-Review, January 30, 2016)

What You Can Do
  • Donate supplies to animal shelters such as pet food, toys, supplies, cat litter, and newspaper to line cages.   
  • Help feed, water, groom, walk and play with the animals in a shelter.  
  • Acquire an emergency bag for your pet.  Area animal shelters have a supply of disaster bags, provided by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  These bags are waterproof and contain a checklist of items needed for your pets in a disaster.  There is also a brochure in the bags that gives you information on how to be prepared in an emergency to take care of your pets.  
  • Finding a pet.  Consider adopting your next pet from one of the many abandoned and orphaned animals in Spokane’s animal shelters.   These animals are licensed, spayed or neutered, and given a free vet check.  Owners are also given instructions and advice.  Acquiring a pet through adoption helps prevent abuse and cuts down on the community’s strays
  • Photograph adoptable pets and share the pictures with the public. 

  • Consider passing legislation that requires pet stores to sell dogs and cats from shelters and rescue groups only.  More than 100 cities and counties in the U.S. have passed similar laws, which are meant to help more rescued pets find homes. Each year, shelters across the U.S. take in more than 7 million dogs and cats, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). About 2.6 million of those animals don’t get adopted and are put to sleep.

    “There are so many animals that are available for adoption in our animal shelters that need loving homes,” says Katy Tang, the lawmaker who sponsored San Francisco’s new law.

    The reason for the ruling is that most dogs and cats seen in pet-shop windows come from breeders who sell them to the stores. Many breeders take good care of their animals. But some breeders run what are known as puppy and kitten mills, where they raise hundreds of animals at a time in cramped, dirty spaces. The animals often go without enough food or water, or proper medical treatment.  Tang says San Francisco’s new law is meant to send a message to any breeders who treat animals cruelly.  “You’re not welcome here if you are engaged in the practice of churning out animals for profit,” she says.  (Scholastic News Edition 5/6, March 27, 2017)

Local Organizations
Additional Resources
Connect to local rescues above.