Where is the WCHS?

Our shelter is located at 916 West River Road (Route 30) in Brattleboro, VT, about 5 minutes from downtown Brattleboro. Click here to view a map and obtain driving directions.

Is there a fee to adopt a pet?

Yes. Adoption fees help support the important work we do. For our current adoption policies and fees, click here.

I found a stray animal. Should I bring it to the WCHS?

No. If you find a lost dog, cat, rabbit, or other domesticated animal, please call your town’s animal control officer.

How do I tell if a cat in my neighborhood is stray, feral, or owned?

It is very hard to tell an owned free roaming cat from a true stray. For this reason, please do not feed outside cats.  While it may seem kind, cats quickly learn who gives out free food, and they will keep coming back (even if they are being fed well at home). There are no leash laws for cats in Vermont, and cats are allowed to roam outside. If a cat appears in poor condition – very thin, missing fur, or other signs of living outside for a long time – contact your animal control officer for assistance.

Feral cats are truly wild animals and will scatter when humans come near.  They are often excellent hunters and survivalists (similar to raccoons, squirrels, and other animals living in  your neighborhood) and can survive well even through the winter.  WCHS does have a TNR (Trap Neuter Release) program for ferals to keep them from reproducing and overwhelming a neighborhood. Simply call us for more information!

I lost my pet. How do I know if it has been brought to the WCHS?

All strays currently residing at the WCHS are listed on our Lost & Found Center page.  By law, owners have 5 days to claim their animal(s). After that, ownership transfer to WCHS.

I know someone who is abusing an animal. What can I do?

If you suspect someone is abusing or neglecting an animal, you should report it:

What is the WCHS euthanasia policy?

The WCHS does not euthanize for time or space. That means that all adoptable animals are cared for until they find a new home, no matter how long that takes. The WCHS does euthanize animals who are unadoptable due to severe medical or temperament issues. Fortunately, these instances are rare. In 2015, we euthanized 3% of the animals that came into our facility.

What does “No-Kill”  and “Live Release Rate” mean?

Animal welfare organizations look at their “Live Release Rate” (LRR) to gauge success. In other words, of all the animals that “leave” the facility, how many “leave” alive? A Live Release Rate of 90% or better is considered “no-kill”. The WCHS  Live Release Rate has been 92 % or better for the past 4 years. In 2015, our LRR rate was 96%.

Do you offer help with spay and neuter services?

WCHS offers monthly low-cost spay/neuter clinics. Interested pet owners must submit a simple application to demonstrate need. Click here for more information on spay/neuter services.

Why do you spay and neuter your pets? I was hoping to mate my pet and have kittens/puppies.

Every year, approximately 3 million animals are euthanized at shelters across America. Many of these animals are friendly, healthy, adoptable animals, but a lack of space and resources forces shelters to euthanize them. WCHS is committed to doing it’s part to end the suffering of homeless animals – the most effective way to do that is to spay and neuter all of our animals prior to adoption.

Do you hold rabies clinics?

Yes. Once a month, we hold a vaccination clinic for low income Windham County Residents.  Please check with us to see when the next clinic is.  Residents who are already signed up for our Pet Care Assistance program may come to these clinics.  Residents who are not yet signed up for this program may also come, but they must bring proof of Windham County residence (a current ID with your address, or an official document or piece of mail listing your address) and some proof of low income (SSI documentation, food stamp card, disability, pay stub, or other information).

Animals will be seen on a first come, first served basis.

Do you have ____ (kittens, puppies, a specific breed)?

All of our available animals are pictured on our website.  Click “meet our animals” above to see cats, dogs, and small animals. Our website is tied in to our animal management database, so as soon as an animal is made available, they are listed and their picture is removed immediately when they are adopted.

If you are looking for a specific type of animal, we always recommend you bookmark our page and check often.  Certain animals (small dogs, puppies, and kittens) go very fast. You can also friend us on Facebook.  Our fans are usually the first to know when we are getting in new animals. Click the link in the upper right-hand corner of this page to like us on Facebook!

How many animals do you see each year?

Check out our 2015 numbers here. (The collection and publication of this data is sponsored by Maddie’s Fund.