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Why is West Valley Humane Society still by appointment only?

During the Covid-19 epidemic we were forced to close our kennels to the public as all businesses were forced to close public spaces. Throughout that period of lockdown, we noticed that our animals were much less stressed and we saw a decrease in the spread of common shelter illnesses such as Kennel Cough and Upper Respiratory infections. When businesses started reopening their public spaces, we re-evaluated our adoption processes and decided to maintain our policy of scheduled adoption appointments for all potential adoptions. If you think about it, having a constant flow of strangers walking past your kennel all day would be stressful for any animal.

As a result of keeping our kennels closed to the public, we have been able to adopt out more animals than ever before (no more impulse purchasing on a Saturday), been able to streamline our processes for a simpler, faster system (no more waiting for two hours to see the same dog that 50 other people arrived at the shelter first to see.), and keep our animals healthier (no more fingers going from kennel to kennel spreading germs). Our animals are happier, our staff is less stressed, and we have noticed our customers are happier as well. We have also seen a decrease in return adoptions as a result.

By switching to an appointment only system we are able to provide potential adopters better one-on-one time with trained adoption specialists to help find a pet that will be the best fit for each family. Our goal is to find the best fit for everyone involved; human and animal(s) alike!

What is the Adoption Process?

Looking to adopt? Just visit our adoption pages on our website! All animals that are available for adoption are posted on our website with pictures and a short bio of what we know about the animal.

See a pet you might like? Fill out an adoption application. Adoption applications are processed on a first come/first serve basis meaning that the first qualifying application is contacted to schedule an appointment. We do not offer any holds and we do not accept deposits to hold animals.

Once your application is received, our experienced staff reviews your application and usually responds very quickly via email! That email will contain important information and/or a calendar link for you to set up your own appointment. Sometimes there may be a bit of a wait if there is an animal that has a lot of applications, but our schedulers will be in contact with you to keep you updated during the process.

Please keep in mind that our Front Desk staff rarely interact with animals, so the best way to find out more information about the animals you are interested in meeting is to fill out an adoption application.

If you are interested in adopting an animal choose from one of the following options:

How do you determine your adoption fees?

We assign adoption fees based on national research of breeds, age of the animal, and recommendations from national organizations. Adoption fees are $25.00 and up.  (Sometimes lower for cats.) Adoption fees are also based on current supply and demand. Animals that are purebred, rare breeds, and/or very young, will be priced slightly higher. Those higher fees help cover medical costs of some of our less in-demand animals who need lower adoption fees.  The higher fee essentially subsidizes the lower fees and allows us to provide the medical care, spay, neuter, vaccines, etc. that all shelter animals require. 

Adoption fees also cover the costs of special shelter programs that we make available to our community. Programs like Spay the Mama, Community Cat Program, the shelter Foster Program, Low-Cost Vaccine Clinic, and theSenior Adoption Program are all made possible by this gradient adoption pricing. We also want the best home for each of our animals.  Higher adoption fees for the animals in higher demand also deter “animal flipping”, which is prevalent in our area.

What is covered in an adoption fee?

Spay & Neuter: The average dog spay or neuter can range from $80-$350 for an animal shelter.

Vaccines: The cost of intake vaccinations for dogs to prevent: Distemper/Parvo, Bordetella, and Rabies can cost approximately $60 or more.

Parasite Treatments and preventative monthly flea, tick, and ear mite treatments for animals are $10-$60, assuming no labs were needed.

De-wormer medications are given as a preventative, as opposed to waiting to see evidence of worms. These treatments can cost approximately $10-$30, assuming that no lab work was needed.

Microchips: The cost for a shelter to microchip their animals is approximately $35.

Food, Shelter & Comfort: The cost to feed a dog for a month in an animal shelter can range greatly based on the resources of the shelter, but a general ballpark estimate is around $40-$60.

Extreme Conditions: If your adopted animal is on anti-anxiety medication, eye drops, or other antibiotics or medicines, the shelter may be paying an average of $100 or more in order to provide their care.

Additional surgeries to include dental work: average $100 and up.

Do you offer discounted adoptions?

Yes, we do! In the senior-for-seniors program folks who are 65 years or older can adopt a dog that is 10 years or older for $50. If a senior wants to adopt a dog that is less than 10 years of age they will receive a 15% discount. Additionally, there is a 15% discount for all first responders, active military personnel and veterans!

*Discounts cannot be stacked.

Do you run adoption specials?

We do! We regularly host adoption specials with discounted rates on pets. Adoption fees support the services and care of the other animals in our programs. (i.e. the adoption fees for puppies helps balance out the lower cat adoption fees).

Can I bring my dog to play with shelter dogs?

You are welcome to bring your dog(s) during your scheduled appointment to do a meet and greet with shelter staff and a dog(s) that you are considering for adoption. We want to try to make sure that pets are compatible before you bring a new family member home.

However, we do not do “playdates” at the shelter with non-shelter dogs. Some of the reasons for this are:

1) The potential for the spread of disease

2) Limited staff availability

3) Lack of physical structure to host these playdates.

Why is there a fee to reclaim a lost pet?

The simple answer is that there are costs to running a shelter to take care of your pet during its stay at WVHS.

To break it down a little, let’s talk about a common scenario when an animal is brought into the shelter. Most commonly, animals are brought to the shelter either by a private citizen or Animal Control/law enforcement. Once they arrive, our staff scans the animal for a microchip to see if we can find an owner. Every animal brought into the shelter is scanned for a microchip.

During the intake process, animals undergo a general physical evaluation. They are checked for potential medical conditions and examined by the veterinarian, if needed. Then they are given vaccinations to help protect them (as recommended by National Best Practices), entered into the database, and treated for parasites. They are then placed in a kennel and immediately given a meal and water.

If an animal stays with us for multiple days they will be given food, water, and medical attention as needed. Additionally, staff cleans each kennel daily and again hourly, as needed.  All of these services cost the shelter money; to provide staff to perform the tasks, to feed/water/shelter and generally care for your pet. Owner reclaim fees help to offset these costs, incentivize more responsible ownership in the future, and assist in funding community programs that address overpopulation.

We (and nearly all other shelters around the country) have found that one of the leading causes of animal welfare issues is unsterilized (unspayed/unneutered) pets. Being unsterilized can cause problems with unwanted/unplanned breeding, wandering, aggressive behavior, and more. A large portion of the dogs that come into the shelter as strays are not spayed/neutered. We try to incentivize owners to spay/neuter their pets through an adjusted cost option depending on whether they are spayed or neutered. If you have lost a pet, please visit our lost and found page.

Does West Valley Humane Society have a dog trainer on staff?

We Sure do! Our dog trainer is highly skilled and holds several certificates that give her the knowledge, tools, and training to not only be able to work with our canine population, but also to help her work with our staff. This helps everyone at our shelter increase their canine knowledge!  Please give us a call at 208-455-5920 for more information.

Do you offer public veterinary services?

The short answer is limited services. Here at West Valley Humane Society we are limited in the resources that we have available. The only public services we offer are spay/neuter, vaccination, and microchipping. This allows us adequate time to perform surgeries and provide care to the animals that are currently housed in our facility.

Does West Valley Humane Society offer spay/neuter services?

We sure do! Our spay/neuter services are offered as a low cost solution for our community. To check availability and get cost for services, please visit Spay & Neuter Services page, or email us at clinic@westvalleyhumanesociety.org.

Does West Valley Humane Society offer spay/neuter services for a stray cat or feral cat?

Yes, we do! West Valley Humane Society has a Community Cat Program that serves feral and friendly cats in Canyon County. Find more information about our community cat program.

Do you offer microchip services?

Yes, we do! The current cost of getting a microchip at WVHS is $35/microchip.  Click here to schedule an appointment: Microchip Services

Do you offer vaccine services?

Yes, we do! West Valley Humane Society offers low cost vaccines to our community. Click here to schedule an appointment: Vaccine Services

Do you provide Grooming Services?

No, we don’t. We do not offer grooming services but we do offer nail trimming services for animals who are already under sedation for other services such as spay and neuter surgeries.

Do you offer euthanasia services to the public?

We do provide low cost euthanasia services. However, we are unable to provide “owner present” services. If you are facing an end of life situation with your pet, we have several services available to help ease the transition including cremation.

Why are owners not allowed to be present for euthanasia services?

Our euthanasia technicians are legally unable to perform euthanasia with outside personnel present. This also allows us to be able to provide low cost services.

Euthanasia cases are provided on a case-by-case basis and pricing is determined by weight.

We also offer a variety of low cost cremation services that meet the needs and desires of most pet owners.

If you are facing the hard decision of saying goodbye to a beloved pet, please visit our euthanasia page.

Do you offer pet food assistance?

Yes, we do! As an additional resource for our community, we can often help with food assistance for cats and dogs. Visit our Pet Food Assistance page.

*Resources may vary

Does West Valley Humane Society go into schools?

Yes, we do! We love any opportunity to talk to young folks about animal welfare! We go into classrooms, libraries and museums, and are always looking for new opportunities. If you would like to help us connect to the kids in our community contact our Education Coordinator at Education@westvalleyhumanesociety.org or visit our Education Page

Do you have any programs for children?

Yes, we do! Even more so during the summer months, keep an eye out on social media for when the next kids’ event is happening. Some of the most common events that we host are children’s reading, toy and treat making, and card making for the kennels. We look forward to offering more new and fun opportunities very soon! For more information, please visit our Education Page

Why aren’t there more dog parks in Canyon County?

West Valley Humane Society does not have any control over parks and community space in Canyon County. If you would like to propose changes to your community we highly recommend getting more involved in your community, going to town hall events, talking to parks and recreation, and making your voice heard.

How does animal control work with West Valley Humane Society?

Animal Control is a separate entity from West Valley Humane Society. Animal Control works for the city they are serving, or for the County Sheriff. The best way to contact Animal Control is through Canyon County Dispatch here: 208-455-5925 for the City of Caldwell or rural county. Or here for Nampa City: (208)465-2257

We do not have the ability to pick up strays, take animals from homes, or otherwise perform rescue outside of our facility. If you have concerns about an animal, make sure to contact your local Animal Control to get the most immediate service.

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