Frequently Asked Questions
How does Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center differ from other animal welfare groups like Umpqua Valley Humane Society, New Beginnings SPCA, Sutherlin-Oakland Stray Cat Action Team and Douglas County Animal Control?
Like the Umpqua Valley Humane Society (“UVHS”), New Beginnings SPCA (“SPCA”), Sutherlin-Oakland Stray Cat Action Team (“SOSCAT”), Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center is also a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Douglas County Animal Control is a division of the Sheriff’s Department. Each county is required by the state to provide animal control services.
Currently, Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center (“Saving Grace”) is the only organization with a full service, open admissions animal shelter. Saving Grace has a contract with Animal Control that requires Saving Grace to house and care for cats and dogs brought into the shelter from both Animal Control and the public. The UVHS, SPCA and SOSCAT are not contracted with Animal Control.
Each of the three non-profits depends largely upon donations from the public.
Saving Grace must accept all animals brought to them by Animal Control and cats and dogs from the public; we are able to house adoptable animals at the Adoption Center (the shelter) and in our foster care program. The SPCA accepts animals from the public by appointment only. SOSCAT works with stray, abandoned and feral cats in Sutherlin and Oakland. They can house some of their adoptable cats in their store space and in their foster care program. UVHS also accepts from the public and hosts some adoptable animals at their thrift store from time to time and in their foster care program. However, the Animal Control Officers bring or refer all animals to Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center.
The UVHS is primarily a philanthropic organization that is able to assist pet owners that meet certain criteria with the cost of spay or neuter, emergency veterinary care, emergency pet food and basic veterinary care.
The SPCA is able to assist pet owners with spay and neuter of pets and feral cats, emergency veterinary care and emergency pet food as their budget allows.
SOSCAT’s mission is to reduce the stray and feral cat population in Sutherlin and Oakland through their spay/neuter program. They will rescue, spay or neuter and adopt stray and abandoned cats from their target area.
Saving Grace is able to provide basic medical care and spay or neuter for animals that are being readied for adoption through the Center. At this time, Saving Grace does not have the funding to be able to assist the public with veterinary care. We recommend that low-income pet owners contact Umpqua Low-Cost Veterinary Services for assistance.
Where does Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center get its funding?
Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center gets it’s funding from various sources including:
16% Douglas County Animal Control Contract
27% Fees-for-Service (adoptions, return to owner fees, spay/neuter, etc.)
19% Retail (pet supplies sold at the center, sales made at the Saving Grace Thrift Store)
7% Grants & Foundation Gifts
9% Special Events and Fundraisers
0.1% Interest Income (this contributes to less than 1% of our annual funding)
21.9% Donations, Sponsorships & Bequests from generous people like you!
How many animals does Saving Grace care for?
Saving Grace cares for over 3,000 animals every year. On average we receive 3 dogs and 5 cats coming every day of the year!
Is Saving Grace a “no-kill” shelter?
Saving Grace has an open admission philosophy, which means we accept every animal surrendered to us regardless of health, age, breed or behavior. Open admission is essential to providing shelter and care to the thousands of animals that would otherwise have no safe refuge. Many “no-kill” shelters limit their admission by the number of animals allowed into the shelter or by the age, health or temperament of the pet. We strive to help people find alternative solutions to surrendering their pet, but place no judgment on the decision to do so.
Saving Grace is the only animal shelter in Douglas County, and we are required to accept any and all animals brought to us by Animal Control. We often receive feral (meaning wild) cats and dangerous dogs, and animals with very serious medical conditions. Some pets have behavioral issues that require more professional intervention than we can provide or afford.
Because of our open admission policy and our commitment to placing only healthy, treatable, and safe animals in the community, we are sometimes faced with the difficult decision to euthanize animals with severe or untreatable illnesses or issues of aggression.
We euthanize animals in the same manner that your vet would use if you were faced with the difficult decision to put your family pet to sleep. We administer an I.V. injection of sodium pentobarbital. As a result of the “overdose”, the animal drifts out of consciousness.
Saving Grace receives approximately 3,000 animals each year. For complete statistics on intakes and outcomes for 2015, click here. We are very proud of the success our adoption center has in placing pets. We always hope to see a reduction in the number of animals that need our assistance, but until then Saving Grace will continue to provide shelter and find homes for unwanted dogs, cats, puppies and kittens.
If you are reading this, you must care about the welfare of unwanted and mistreated animals. Please help them by committing to the following:
• Make the choice to adopt from a shelter rather than buying a pet.
• Have your companion animal spayed or neutered; it is the only way to win this battle.
• Encourage everyone you know to do the same.
• Be an advocate for the animals; share your knowledge. Make a difference!
How long does an animal get to stay at the shelter?
Many animals can be placed in our adoptions programs immediately, and we provide medical treatment and foster care to many others as space and funding allow. There is no time limit placed on animals in our adoption center. As long as an animal remains in good health and temperament, it is available until it is adopted.
Some highly adoptable breeds or cute kittens and puppies will be adopted almost immediately after being made available for adoption. Other animals, particularly older ones, have stays for several months before finding the right family.
How do you decide which pets go up for adoption?
We take the following into consideration: stress level, sociability, health, age, appearance, behavior and special needs requirements. These elements are collectively referred to as the “adoptability” of an animal.
Pets that are surrendered by their owners are evaluated for heath and temperament immediately.
A dog that enters our center as a stray is held for 72 hours as state law requires. This time period is provided to give the animal’s owner time to locate the pet before we consider it for placement. If the owner does not reclaim the dog, it is evaluated for health and temperament. If the dog qualifies for adoption, and we have room, we will put the dog up for adoption.
Cats are evaluated for adoption typically within 24-48 hours. If the cat qualifies for adoption and we have room, we may put the cat up for adoption. If the cattery staff identifies an apparently friendly, healthy and truly lost cat, we will try to hold that cat a little bit longer in hopes that an owner comes forward to reclaim their pet.
Do we have to pay a fee if we surrender a pet?
Effective July 1, 2015 Saving Grace charges a small surrender fee for owned animals and stray cats.
The money that you will be charged when you bring an animal to Saving Grace helps cover the cost of care for our animals. Saving Grace will vaccinate, deworm, flea treat, and provide basic medical care for all animals brought to the center. Animals that go up for adoption receive a microchip, spay or neuter, booster vaccinations and upper respiratory or kennel cough treatment, if needed.
The money that is collected at the time of surrender helps to keep our adoption fees as low as possible. Monetary donations help keep our doors open. All surrender fees are due at time of service.
What if I want to have Saving Grace put my animal to sleep?
The staff at Saving Grace first asks you to discuss this with your veterinarian. If euthanasia is recommended by your vet, we then ask you to consider having it done at your veterinary office. Your veterinary clinic is much more quiet and peaceful than the shelter. Your veterinarian is also able to offer sedation for your pet if it is feeling anxious. In a veterinary clinic, the owner is able to be present (but not required) to comfort the pet before and/or during the process. Saving Grace is not able to allow you to be present. It is also hard to ask our staff to euthanize any more animals than they already must do.
We recommend that low-income pet owners contact Umpqua Low-Cost Veterinary Services for assistance at (541) 672-3161.
If you still need Saving Grace to provide euthanasia for your pet, we charge a fee of $55.00 for cats and $75.00 for dogs. If you cannot afford these fees, the management can make special arrangements for you. Please be aware that, though you request that your pet be euthanized, Saving Grace retains the right to make that final decision.
If I bring in an animal and it doesn’t get adopted or it might get put to sleep, can you call me?
The staff members at Saving Grace will ask you upon time of surrender if you would like a call back if the animal is to be humanely euthanized and not placed for adoption. If you choose the option of having a staff member call you back, you must leave us a phone number where you can be reached right away. You will only have until 5 pm the next business day to come and retrieve your animal. Saving Grace will not continue to try to contact you and will not continue to hold the animal past the time allowed to pick up your animal.
What if I want to talk to the new owners?
Due to privacy laws and internal policy, Saving Grace only does “closed adoptions”. This means that we will not share contact information between the party surrendering and the party adopting the pet.
Who names the animals?
Many animals come to us already named. Those that don’t may have a name assigned to them by their foster family or the staff that receives them here at the center.
How can people just leave their pets here?
There are many reasons and unforeseen circumstances in which owners bring their pets to us. For most folks, we are their absolute last resort when it comes to having to give up their pets. We are here to receive these pets, even if it means that they will have to be euthanized. We would rather that these pets come to a safe place like us than to be abandoned, left exposed to the elements, predators or starvation. We are compassionate towards all animals and humans.
Where did all these puppies and kittens come from?
Unfortunately, Douglas County experiences a very low spay-neuter rate, high numbers of stray and feral cats, lots of people allowing their pets to breed and less than ideal demand for adoption of pets. This results in a huge over population crisis for cats, dogs and even rabbits now. Many more puppies, kittens and bunnies are being born than there are homes for.
Why does it cost so much to adopt a pet from Saving Grace? Why don’t you just give them away? Why would you deny a potential adopter?
Please remember that Saving Grace was founded to champion and promote the human-animal bond through responsible pet ownership. Saving Grace would not be a responsible pet owner if it adopted out animals that were full of parasites, unvaccinated and unaltered (not spayed or neutered). Allowing our pets to go back into the community without a health and temperament assessment or to families that are not ready and able to care for the animal properly would be irresponsible! Imagine how many (potentially ill) puppies and kittens would be born to all of those pets!
Caring for the animals costs a lot of money! Imagine what the veterinary bill would look like if you did all this for the pets that we care for in just one day, then consider the boarding fees and food bills – wow! Saving Grace is a non-profit organization, anything “extra” only goes to help us grow and provide better service to our sheltered pets and the community.
We recently changed our scale for calculating adoption fees. We did increase some adoption fees on highly adoptable animals, which allowed us to lower the fees on others. The higher fees on our younger and “highly adoptable” animals helps subsidize the cost of care for older and needier animals who might have to wait weeks or months to get adopted.
Wouldn’t it be cheaper to get a free puppy or kitten?
Actually, it can be a lot more expensive to get a “free” dog or cat. Examine the following list – these are the services we provide that are included in your adoption fee, then find out what a local vet would charge.
Microchip & Registration
Spay or Neuter
And for some pets add:
Upper Respiratory or Kennel Cough Treatment
Feline Leukemia virus, FIV and feline heartworm testing
Booster Flea Control
Cardboard Cat Carrier
Up to 45 days free pet health insurance
And don’t forget the valuable coupons in your Gift Pack!
Why do the adoption fees vary from pet to pet?
Our adoption fees are customized for each pet. Our younger pets, smaller dogs, purebreds and especially popular pets will have higher adoption fees. This allows us to reduce the fees for older animals, larger dogs, mixed breeds and pets that have been at the center for a longer time.
Why is there so much paperwork?
We put a lot of care into our pets and want to make sure that they are going into homes that are able and willing to make them a priority. Our moderate amount of paperwork allows us to collect and share vital information about the animals and the people that care for them.
Why do I have to get it spayed or neutered? What if it’s a purebred?
Spay and neuter is the only effective means to reducing euthanasia of healthy, adoptable pets. The vast majority of our euthanasia is the direct result of overpopulation. There are more puppies and kittens being born than there are homes for them – and this includes purebreds! Heartland Humane Society found that for every human born, there are 15 dogs and 45 cats born. This means that every human family of four would have to adopt 60 dogs and 180 cats to ensure that every pet had a home! More than 25 percent of the animals we receive are purebred; some of them even come with their “papers”. Take look at all of the animals currently in purebred rescue groups. It would be unfair and irresponsible of us to make just one exception to the spay and neuter rule.
Can we please take our new pet home today and bring it back for surgery?
No. All adopted animals must be altered before leaving the building. This is how we ensure our 100% spay & neuter compliance rate.
Can we make payments?
Full payment is due at time of adoption.
Do we get our money back if we return our new pet?
Our adoption contract allows for a partial refund if the pet is returned within 5 days of adoption.
Can we bring our dog to visit the one we want to adopt?
Absolutely! We encourage a meet and greet with your current dog(s). Adoptions of some dogs actually require a dog to dog introduction before the manager can approve the adoption. Please be sure to schedule your meet and greet with the staff since assistance is required.
Can you call us when you get in the specific pet we want to adopt?
No, but our website is updated daily and all available animals are posted immediately. We just don’t have the man power to provide a notification service at this time. You can also check www.petfinder.com and www.petango.com for this service.
Can Saving Grace come and pick up an animal?
Douglas County Animal Control is the only organization currently authorized to retrieve and transport animals for the public. They will pick up stray dogs as their schedule and location allows. The public is allowed to bring pets or stray animals to the shelter Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Special appointments can also be made for Mondays, when we are normally closed. Saving Grace is not allowed to pick up or drop off animals.
Who should I call when I see animal abuse, neglect or abandonment?
Douglas County Animal Control has the important responsibility and legal jurisdiction to investigate cases of animal mistreatment. Please make sure you make detailed notes of your observations and call Animal Control at (541) 440-4471.
How old do you have to be to volunteer for Saving Grace?
Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age with parental consent. Youth ages 10-15 may volunteer alongside a parent. Arrangements for special volunteer projects for organized youth programs may be made by calling our Community Outreach Director at (541) 672-3907 ext 111.
Can I just come sometime to walk dogs?
Only trained volunteers and staff members may walk our dogs. Having consistent handling as well as a regular schedule helps our animals deal with the stress of being sheltered.
I’m not sure I would be able to work at the center. What else can I do to help?
Working at the Adoption Center is hard, and it’s not right for everyone. You can also volunteer at our thrift store, transport animals to other shelters for us, help at off site events, help out with fundraisers, foster a litter of kittens or a dog that’s recovering from surgery, donate money, help with outreach and education events and so much more! Just call us our Volunteer Coordinator at (541) 672-3907 ext 111.
Do you feel sad working here?
There are times and cases when it is easy to become sad, but you quickly learn to focus on the positive. Look how much we do for these critters! What would happen to them if our shelter did not exist?
One of the most important things that you can do to help the pets in Douglas County:
Remind everyone you know to spay and neuter their pets!