Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Adoption Questions

We do this to ensure that animals will be welcome at the property and that we're not placing an animal in a home where it will ultimately not be able to stay. SVASC does not discriminate against renters and would be very happy to work with you!

Additionally, knowing your housing type and the noise/activity level of the home helps us match you with a pet that will be a good fit for your lifestyle. Some of our dogs are very noisy and rambunctious and would not do well in housing types such as apartments or condos.

A fenced-in yard is not a requirement to adopt a dog from us, however, some of our dogs are more likely to thrive in a home with a fenced-in yard.

As part of our adoption process, we look for a history of veterinary care for your current animals. At a minimum, we do require that all pets in the household be up to date on their rabies vaccination (as required by law), and we prefer that animals currently in the home be spayed or neutered unless there is a medical exception. We ask for your veterinarian’s name and phone number so that we can confirm your pet’s medical history.

It is important to disclose all pets living in your home. Some of our dogs and cats do not get along with other animals. We would not want to place them in a home where they may harm other pets in the household.

As a municipal animal shelter, we often do not know the background or history of the animals in our care. The shelter environment can be very stressful and often times an animal may be shut down while at the shelter, making it more difficult to predict their behavior/personality in a home environment. Many of our animals will need basic obedience training, house training, etc. when they get to your home. SVASC is more than happy to help with trainer recommendations!

Animals are a lifelong commitment and this question allows us to match you with the best pet possible. For example: If you would return a pet for resource guarding, we would not want to set you up with a pet that displays that type of behavior.

SVASC strives to place our animals into the best homes possible. While it may be disappointing to not be chosen for the pet you applied for, please know that we ultimately want the adoption to be a good match for both the animal and the adopter.

Fostering Questions

When you foster, you agree to take a shelter animal into your home and give them love, care, and attention, either for a pre-determined period of time or until the pet is adopted.

The amount of time spent fostering will vary. It may range from a weekend to several weeks, or even months, depending on the individual case. During kitten season, many mother cats and kittens need a place to stay for several weeks while they are growing.

There are a few things to consider when deciding to foster an animal. Foster caregivers must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Complete a foster care application and sign a foster care agreement.
  • Have the time and ability to care for the foster animal(s) and keep them safe from potential hazards.
  • Keep the fostered animal(s) indoors.
  • Be able to set aside time to bring your foster animal in for scheduled follow-up vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, and/or adoption events.
  • Be able to administer medication (as needed).
  • Isolate foster animals from family pets within the home (as needed).
  • Quarantine your foster animals for the first 14 days to prevent the spread of diseases to resident pets.
  • Maintain a peaceful, loving environment for the foster animals and spend time socializing with them.
  • Maintain communication with the foster coordinator – notify immediately of any changes in appetite, signs of illness, etc.

In addition:

  • Existing animals in your home must be up-to-date on vaccines, spayed or neutered, and in good health
  • Every family member in the household will need to be prepared for the commitment and emotions involved with fostering.

In addition:

  • Existing animals in your home must be up-to-date on vaccines, spayed or neutered, and in good health
  • Every family member in the household will need to be prepared for the commitment and emotions involved with fostering.

If you have questions about fostering dogs or cats, please contact us.

There are many benefits to placing an animal into a foster home. Here are some examples of animals that need foster homes:

  • Orphaned kittens and puppies that require frequent (around the clock) bottle feeding and care.
  • Scared/unsocialized cats and dogs who need time and patience to learn to trust humans and build confidence.
  • A momma cat and her babies need a quiet place to stay and will need socialization as they grow older.
  • A cat or dog recovering from surgery, illness or injury needs a safe place to recuperate.
  • A cat or dog showing signs of stress, such as pacing or hiding in the shelter needs a calm place to relax.

Fostering is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have (other than adopting, of course). By taking an animal in need temporarily into your home, you’re:

  • Freeing up a cage at the shelter for another cat or dog.
  • Giving your foster animal the time that s/he needs to be ready for adoption.
  • Helping the shelter learn more about the animal so they can find the right adoptive home for him/her.
  • Socializing the cat or dog to a home environment and (possibly) getting him/her used to being around other pets and new people.

Fostering is a good option if you are unable to care for an animal full-time (if you travel a lot, frequently move, etc.). It’s also a good way to determine if having a cat or dog in your life is for you.

You may only have your foster animal for a short period of time but might quickly bond. It can be difficult to let a foster pet go but remember that doing so is for the greater good, once the cat or dog has found a new family, this will free up space for you to help another animal in need.

Spay & Neuter Questions

Spaying and neutering are common surgeries that ensure dogs and cats can’t reproduce. Spaying is the surgery for female dogs and cats; neutering is the surgery for male dogs and cats.

Benefits of Spaying Female Pets

  • Decreases the risk of breast cancer and tumors.
  • Eliminates uterine disease, ovarian cysts, miscarriages, and delivery complications.
  • Stops the heat cycle (bloody discharge, nervous pacing, crying/yowling) which, in turn, stops male dogs from having the urge to come into your yard.

Benefits of Neutering Male Pets

  • Decreases the risk of enlarged prostates, testicular cancer, and tumors.
  • Stops the mating drive and subsequent spraying, reducing the urge to roam and mount.
  • Reduces aggression against other animals, lowering the risk of injury, infection, and expensive veterinary bills.

Community Cat Spay/Neuter Services:

For more information, we have a page dedicated to Community Cats.

If you have community cats (also known as feral cats or stray cats) living on your property, please contact Cat's Cradle at (540) 433-1135 or https://www.catscradleva.org/spayneuter for information on low-cost spay/neuter services.

Community Cat Eartip:

If you see a community cat missing part of his or her left ear, that means the cat has been through a TNR program. This is called an 'eartip,' and an eartip is the universal signal that a cat has been spayed or neutered, and vaccinated against rabies and distemper. Community cats who have been through a TNR program are ear-tipped while they are under anesthesia for surgery, so if you see an ear-tipped cat - that means someone is looking out for that cat!