Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to our most frequently asked questions below!

Are you part of the ASPCA?

No. The Rhode Island SPCA was established by an act of the Rhode Island legislature in 1870 and is not affiliated with the ASPCA or any other “SPCA”.

How long has the RISPCA been in existence?

Since 1870 ~ 152 years and counting.

What services do you provide?

The Rhode Island SPCA provides adoption and rehoming services, veterinary care, humane education, training support and pet owner assistance programs. The Rhode Island SPCA is also the only organization in the state that can legally investigate and prosecute cases of animal cruelty and neglect and takes an active role in legislative matters concerning the welfare of all animals in our state.

Where do your animals come from?

At any given time, you can find dogs, cats, and small animals including rabbits and guinea pigs, here at the RISPCA. Our animals come to us under a variety of different circumstances. Often they are surrendered pets. Sometimes they are transferred to us from another facility within the state. Recently, we have been assisting our friends in the South by taking in transports of cats/kittens and dogs/puppies where the animal populations are high and euthanasia of adoptable animals is more likely.

How do I adopt?
We post all of our adoptables on our website. If you see a potential new best friend, we suggest you complete an online application.  Once approved, one of our animal care staff will contact you to schedule a meet and greet with the animal.  For our cats, we suggest stopping by the shelter to see what is available since many of our cats are adopted before they make it to the website.  Of course, you are also welcome to stop by the shelter at any time to see what is available but we cannot guarantee an “on the spot” adoption will happen.
What do I do if I can no longer keep my pet?

Unfortunately, you are not alone and because of that there is often a wait list for pet surrenders. If you need to surrender your pet, you must call the shelter first.  We will ask you to complete a surrender form and when space is available we will contact you to come in with your pet.

Why do you charge an adoption fee?

It costs a great deal of money to shelter, feed and take care of the animals. Some of them require veterinary care before they can be adopted. Our adoption fee includes an exam, microchip, spaying or neutering, vaccinations, deworming, flea and tick preventatives, and any necessary medications. Overall, we estimate our fees cover only about 25% of the combined cost of these medical expenses and the care of the animal while it’s waiting for its new family.

How is the Rhode Island SPCA funded?
The Rhode Island SPCA is a private nonprofit organization with 501(c) (3) status. The RISPCA is funded by donations from individuals, grants, and charitable foundations; by income from an endowment; and by funds from special events. Bequests help to ensure the ongoing financial stability of the RISPCA and, as with all gifts, are greatly appreciated. As a non‑profit, charitable organization, all donations to the Rhode Island SPCA are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Our financial records are independently audited each year.