Animal Resources

Our Reality

SPCA Cincinnati is the only open-admissions shelter in Hamilton County.  This means we never turn an animal away.  We receive over 13,000 animals each year and although we do our best to find loving homes for all of the pets in our care, we are sometimes faced with the difficult decision to humanely euthanize an animal that is deemed behaviorally or medically unfit for adoption. Length of stay and available kennel space does not determine an animal’s outcome but does impact quality of life for the animals we care for.  We do our best to keep your pet happy and healthy if you choose to bring them here, but a shelter is a very stressful environment for animals which can lead to behavior deterioration and illness.  As we find a balance between open admission and our commitment to maintaining our “no-kill” status, we are calling on the citizens of Cincinnati to help us limit the number of animals surrendered into our shelters. We ask that you do everything in your power to find alternatives to surrendering your pet to us.

We Have Answers

We have answers for many of the reasons you may be thinking about rehoming your pet.  Whether you’re experiencing issues with housing, new family members, cat or dog behavior, or the high cost of veterinary bills, we are here to help.  Please call 513-541-6100, email or CLICK HERE for a list of resources SPCA Cincinnati can provide to you!

At SPCA Cincinnati, we want to see you and your pet stay together forever! We are here to provide you with resources for common pet surrender reasons.  Often, many issues you are facing with your pet have solvable answers with the right guidance.


Having trouble finding a rental due to your pet's breed? CLICK HERE FOR RENTALS WITHOUT BREED RESTRICTIONS

Are you having a baby? CLICK HERE FOR TRAINING TIPS

Are you or a family member allergic? CLICK HERE FOR TIPS TO COMBAT ALLERGIES

Is your cat not using the litterbox? CLICK HERE FOR TRAINING TIPS

Is your dog destructive? CLICK HERE FOR TRAINING TIPS

Does your dog bark too much? CLICK HERE FOR TRAINING TIPS

Does your dog escape the yard? CLICK HERE FOR TRAINING TIPS

Do you need financial assistance with veterinary costs? CLICK HERE FOR FINANCIAL AID INFORMATION and LOW-COST OPTIONS



Still Need to Rehome?

If rehoming your pet is your best option, we encourage you to contact the many limited admission (often referred to as “no-kill”) shelters and rescue groups around the greater Cincinnati area and statewide. Their resources are often limited and they tend to prioritize and accept highly-adoptable animals, so if your pet meets their criteria, they may have space available once a foster home opens.  CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF LOCAL LIMITED ADMISSION SHELTERS AND RESCUES. If you choose to rehome your pet on your own, please consider having him/her fixed before sending them to their new home.  This will drastically help cut down on the number of unwanted animals in our community and leave shelter space and homes open for the thousands of homeless pets we already have.  CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF LOW-COST SPAY AND NEUTER CLINICS 

SPCA Cincinnati should be your LAST RESORT.  We are overwhelmed with animals and would like to reserve our limited space for truly homeless pets.  Try these options before coming to SPCA Cincinnati:

SPCA Cincinnati Surrender Process

  1. Contact SPCA Cincinnati to discuss your options and arrange a time to bring your animal to the shelter:

513-541-6100 Northside

513-489-7387 Sharonville

  1. Bring veterinary records including vaccines, rabies, and spay/neuter (your pet will be available for adoption much sooner if he/she is already neutered/spayed and will have a better chance of staying illness-free if he/she is up to date on vaccines) CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF LOW-COST SPAY/NEUTER AND VACCINE CLINICS
  2. Bring your ID and the cost of fees.


$20 for animals surrendered from Hamilton County

Why pay fees? When you surrender a pet to SPCA Cincinnati, you are asking us to take on the responsibility of caring for your pet until he/she finds a new home. This responsibility includes a financial burden for care, food, and veterinary services.  As a non-profit, our funds are limited to the donations we receive and your fees help us offset the expense of caring for your pet.

Due to our limited space, we do not accept animals from outside of Hamilton County. If you live outside of Hamilton County, please contact your local animal shelter.

  1. Be prepared to complete an animal profile about your pet so we can place your pet in the best home possible for his/her needs.
  2. Plan on the entire intake process taking between 20-30 minutes.

SPCA Recommends Spaying or Neutering Your Pet!

You can call Ohio Alley Cat Resource at (513) 871-0185 for a cat spay/neuter or UCAN at (513) 721-7387 for a low-cost dog or cat spay/neuter. If you’re not in the Greater Cincinnati Area, click here for a locator to find a clinic which will assist you and your pet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a spay?
A spay (ovariohysterectomy) is the surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries from the abdomen of a female animal.

What is the purpose of a spay?
Spaying is the only foolproof method of birth control for female dogs and cats. It is a permanent method.

Will spaying stop the animal from going into heat?
A spayed animal no longer goes through heat cycles. Female dogs normally come into heat about twice a year. Cats come into heat more often. Spaying ends several problems associated with heat, including spotting and the necessity of confining females to prevent the approaches of persistent males.

Are there other good reasons for spaying a pet?
The risk of mammary cancer is reduced if a dog is spayed before its first heat. Also, spayed pets cannot develop pyometra, a serious uterine infection.

Do pets gain weight after a spay?
Your pet will not gain weight if you provide a balanced diet.

Should dogs have at least one litter before being spayed?
Your dog does not need to have a litter to mature, learn obedience or become a good hunter.

What is a neuter?
A neuter (castration) is the surgical removal of the testicles from the scrotum of a male animal.

What is the purpose of a neuter?
Neutering is the primary method of sterilizing male dogs and cats.

What are the other benefits of a neuter?
The neutered dog is usually more compatible with people and easier to train. Neutering an immature cat usually prevents development of mating behavior and the obnoxious habit of spraying urine to mark territory around the house and yard. An un-neutered male dog or cat cannot control its mating instincts. If given the freedom to wander, such an animal may become hurt or lost and is almost certain to be responsible for unwanted litters.

Pet Overpopulation

Pet overpopulation is a serious problem. It costs the lives of millions of pets and costs communities millions of dollars a year.

Nationwide, the number of pets entering animal shelters is estimated to be 6 to 8 million. Only about 30 percent of dogs and 2 – 5 percent of cats are reclaimed by owners. Only about half of those remaining are adopted to new homes. The number of pets euthanized in shelters across the country is 3 to 4 million. (Estimates provided by The Humane Society of the United States.)

SPCA Cincinnati is working with other shelters and animal welfare organizations to reduce the number of unwanted litters that are born, increase the number of lost pets that are rehomed and increase the number of relinquished pets adopted to new homes.

Here are some of the things we are doing:

  • We spay/neuter cats and dogs that we adopt to new homes – more than 7,000 surgeries every year. We can spay/neuter as early as 8 weeks of age.
  • We provide humane education programs in schools, stressing the importance of spaying/neutering family pets.
  • Working with community partners, we help create comprehensive solutions to the problem of pet overpopulation through various community initiatives.
  • We collaborate with local, state and national organizations to save the lives of all healthy or treatable cats and dogs that.

Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Spay and neuter your own pets and make sure they wear identification.
  • Give generously. Your donations to SPCA Cincinnati are appreciated and are the basis for everything we accomplish on behalf of the animals. We are a private, nonprofit organization. We spend an average of $150 on every pet adopted, over and above the fee paid by the patron. Click here to make a secure online donation.
  • Tell friends and co-workers that the best place to adopt a pet is at a shelter. Wonderful animals, training opportunities and one-on-one behavior advice are available.
  • Never buy a pet from a pet store or sight unseen from an Internet site. These pets may come from large-scale breeding operations.
  • Support legislation to control commercial breeders.
  • Only purchase pet supplies from sources that do not sell animals, including small mammals, birds and reptiles.
  • Be informed about local laws and tell others.
  • Don’t support the greyhound racing industry. This cruel and inhumane “sport” is now illegal in 35 states.
  • Promote SPCA Cincinnati through your professional association, service club or your child’s Scout troop or 4-H Club. We welcome the chance to present educational programs.