Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How often do you update the website with pictures of animals available for adoption?
A. The website is constantly updated through a feed from Adopt-a-Pet. Animals on the site are available for adoption, but MANY more are available to be seen by visiting the shelter in person. We cannot list them all due to the high volume of animals in residence. We are open 7 days a week for adoption and visitation.

Q. How do I contact the shelter if I see an animal I’m interested in adopting on the website?
A. The quickest way to find out about animals is to visit the shelter in person 7 days a week between 11 am and 3 pm. Because the staff is busy tending to the needs of the animals and we do not have a dedicated administrative person, phoning the shelter may result in you being connected to our voice mail. Our phone is (570) 622-7769. There is also an email form on our “Contact” page you can submit. Time is often of the essence on a “popular” animal, so your best bet is to visit the shelter as soon as possible if you’re really interested!

Q. What is a “no-kill” shelter?
A. A “no-kill” shelter is a shelter that does not put a time limit on how long an adoptable animal may remain at the shelter while awaiting adoption. The Hillside SPCA does not put a time limit on any adoptable animal that comes to us. The Hillside SPCA faces an issue that other no-kill shelters face and that is the limitations of space available to us to house animals. We are blessed to be able to attain a balance that allows us to continue to take in animals by adopting enough out to make room for new residents even though space gets very tight many times. Although we have many more animals in residence than most no-kill shelters, we still have a limit on space, so it is important that the public understands the relationship of our adoption rate to our intake abilities.. “No-kill” does not mean “never kill”. Euthanasia is performed under certain circumstances, including when an animal is so aggressive it can never be safely placed; in other words “un-adoptable”. We also euthanize if we have an animal for whom euthanasia is the most humane alternative due to disease, injury or suffering that can’t be alleviated. Euthanasia at the Hillside is done as little as circumstances will allow and is a heart-wrenching decision never taken lightly.

Q. Can you guarantee that you can place every animal that comes to the Hillside SPCA?
A. No. We cannot guarantee that every animal that comes to us will be adopted. Although we pride ourselves on working with animals that other shelters deem “un-adoptable” (often simply because of age or breed), there are certain circumstances in which animals cannot be adopted such as in-correctable aggression and those with certain diseases or illnesses. In reality, the older an animal is, the lower their chance at adoption. Those with continuing un-resolved behavior issues can also be very difficult to place. Some animals live at the Hillside for a long time without being adopted.

Q. Is there a surrender fee for animals brought to the shelter?
A. Although we do not have a set surrender fee, we ask that you keep in mind that we incur many costs in caring for surrendered animals, including food, quality medical care, maintenance costs for the buildings, heating, and more. Donations of money or supplies are always needed and deeply appreciated. If you cannot keep your pet due to financial difficulties please DO NOT just place a “Free Ad” for the animal or abandon it to fend for itself. IMPORTANT: the Hillside SPCA serves Schuylkill County in Pennsylvania and accepts ONLY animals from within Schuylkill County. Out-of-county animals are not accepted for intake/surrender unless the animal was originally adopted from the Hillside SPCA (it is our requirement that any animal adopted from us be returned to us if the situation requires surrender).

Q. What are the adoption fees for animals from the Hillside SPCA?
A. See our “Adoption Fees” page for up-to-date information. ADOPTION FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE – NO EXCEPTIONS!!!

Q. What if I cannot keep a pet that I previously adopted from the Hillside SPCA?
A. If your pet was adopted from the Hillside SPCA and you find you cannot keep the animal, it MUST be returned to the Hillside SPCA – no exceptions. Please note that adoption fees are NOT refundable.

Q. I’m from outside Schuylkill County. Do you allow “out-of-area” adoptions and what’s required?
A. Yes, we do if the potential adopter meets certain criteria. The Hillside SPCA’s goal is to place the proper animal with the proper adopter. This normally entails a face-to-face meeting with a potential adopter and follow-up calls and/or visits once the adoption takes place. This is to insure that the animal is being cared for properly and has been spayed or neutered as required by law if not already altered prior to adoption. With “out-of-area” adoptions, it is more difficult, if not impossible, to follow up the way we are able with local adoptions. For this reason, before any “out-of-area” adoptions can take place, we require that potential adopters submit a pre-screen application, provide vet references for us to check and the animal desired be spayed or neutered PRIOR to adoption. If you see an animal available for adoption and you are not from Schuylkill County, please contact or visit the shelter BEFORE attempting to adopt an animal. If you visit the shelter from out of the area and have not received approval on your completed application, have not provided adequate vet references along with that application, and/or the animal you wish to adopt is not already spayed/neutered, you WILL NOT be able to do a “same day” adoption. For more information, please contact the shelter at (570) 622-7769 or fill in and submit our convenient on-line “Out-of-Area” Adoption Form.

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