Reservation Required Policy

By mandate of the SPCA of Texas' board of directors, we do not euthanize animals for lack of space. Due to limited resources, the SPCA of Texas is not able to take in unlimited animals. We are a Reservation Required shelter.

Additionally, the SPCA of Texas does not take in stray animals for surrender in an effort to increase the likelihood of a stray being reunited with their owner. Instead, people finding a stray animal will be directed to the animal control agency closest to where the animal was found. We're asking the community to be a partner in the process of finding new homes for animals.

The decision to not euthanize animals for lack of space was enacted in 2006 to take the SPCA of Texas into the 21st century as a state-of-the-art, cutting-edge animal shelter while remaining more intensely focused on its core mission, to provide every animal exceptional care and a loving home.

Finding homes for and keeping animals in homes is of the utmost importance to us. Furthermore, we will never euthanize an animal for lack of space.

Animals will be taken in by reservation only, based on available space, which will be made on a first come, first served basis. Calls to make reservations for the surrender of an animal will be answered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. At the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center, reservations may be made up to a week in advance, and are seen seven days a week between Noon and 5 p.m. At the Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center, reservations may be made daily, and are seen seven days a week between Noon and 5 p.m. The phone number to make a reservation is 214.742.SPCA (7722).

Each reservation appointment will be scheduled 30 minutes apart so that all animals under six months can be assessed with health evaluations and all animals six months and older can be assessed with health and behavior evaluations while the owner waits.

Upon completion of the evaluation(s), notification will be given whether or not the animal will be eligible to be placed in the SPCA of Texas’ adoption program. After they are fully briefed on the evaluation outcome, each person will be given a final option to leave the animal with the SPCA of Texas or take it with them.

The SPCA of Texas will never euthanize for lack of space and never turn an animal away because of their looks, breed or non-contagious treatable health condition based upon available space and SPCA of Texas policies. Furthermore, if an injured animal is brought in that the SPCA of Texas is unable to assist, it will be humanely euthanized if the person who brings in that animal so chooses and the SPCA of Texas concurs. We do not take in strays, which in turn means we no longer take in injured strays.

Upon surrender, SPCA of Texas staff will conduct a health assessment and administer the S.A.F.E.R. test (Safety Assessment for Evaluation Re-homing)—a standardized behavior assessment tool that gives shelters a consistent, accurate way of measuring temperament in dogs—and inform the person who brought the animal in of their options.

There is no surrender fee for dogs, cats or small mammals.

The following surrender fees apply to persons wanting to surrender a livestock animal(s):

  • $50.00 per small livestock (pigs, goats, sheep)
  • $100.00 per large livestock (horses, cows, donkeys)

The SPCA of Texas will not require a reservation but does require a surrender fee of $50.00 be paid for owner requested euthanasias (if the SPCA of Texas concurs). 

If an animal is deemed not adoptable at the time of their reservation, the person who brought the animal in is given the following options: to keep the pet and/or to take the animal to a veterinarian for treatment, to seek placement at a local animal shelter or rescue group or owner requested euthanasia (if the SPCA of Texas concurs). A surrender fee of $50.00 will be required for owner requested euthanasias.

Additionally, animals who are brought to the SPCA of Texas through the organization’s Rescue and Investigations department will remain separate from the regular intake of owner surrender animals, not affecting the number of spaces available to owner surrendered animals each day. 

The Reservation Required system allows the SPCA of Texas to do more for the animals waiting for homes in our shelters. We are able to pursue our mission statement with a renewed purpose and drive, and, as always, to make a difference, one animal at a time.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the SPCA of Texas a Reservation Required shelter?

By mandate of the SPCA of Texas’ board of directors, the SPCA of Texas does not euthanize animals for lack of space. Due to limited resources, the SPCA of Texas is not able to take in unlimited animals, is a Reservation Required shelter.

The SPCA of Texas does not take in stray animals for surrender in an effort to increase the likelihood of a stray being reunited with their owner. Instead, people finding a stray animal will be directed to the animal control agency closest to where the animal was found. The SPCA of Texas is asking the community to be a partner in the process of finding new homes for animals.

How does the Reservation Required process work?

From a resource standpoint, we are unable to take in an unlimited numbers of animals and not euthanize for space. 

Animals will be taken in by reservation only, based on available space, which will be made on a first come, first served basis. Calls to make reservations for the surrender of an animal will be answered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. At the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center, reservations may be made up to a week in advance, and are seen seven days a week between Noon and 5 p.m. At the Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center, reservations may be made daily, and are seen seven days a week between Noon and 5 p.m. The phone number to make a reservation is 214.742.SPCA (7722).

Each reservation will be scheduled 30 minutes apart so that all animals under six months can be assessed with health evaluations and all animals six months and older can be assessed with health and behavior evaluations while the owner waits.

Upon completion of the evaluation(s), notification will be given whether or not the animal will be eligible to be placed in the SPCA of Texas’ adoption program. After they are fully briefed on the evaluation outcome, each person will be given a final option to leave the animal with the SPCA of Texas or take it with them.

There is no surrender fee for dogs, cats or small mammals.

The following surrender fees apply to persons wanting to surrender a livestock animal(s):

  • $50.00 per small livestock (pigs, goats, sheep)
  • $100.00 per large livestock (horses, cows, donkeys)

The SPCA of Texas will not require a reservation but does require a surrender fee of $50.00 be paid for owner requested euthanasias (if the SPCA of Texas concurs). 

What are the benefits of this process?

There will be less euthanasia, however the option will still be available for those animals that do not pass the health and/or temperament evaluations or for those animals that are injured or too sick to be treated. 

Once a reservation is secured, an animal will not be turned away because of looks, breed or non-contagious, treatable health conditions based upon available treatment space and SPCA of Texas policies. The only factors that determine whether an animal is adoptable are the results of the health and behavior evaluations.

More animals will be treated for minor health issues. All animals with treatable conditions will always be treated under veterinary supervision until the animal is healthy or the condition is no longer treatable.

With more decision-making directed towards people bringing in their animals, there is hope of more pet ownership responsibility and less surrenders.

How is it determined which animals are considered adoptable?

Upon surrender, each dog will go though a health evaluation and our S.A.F.E.R. (Safety Assessment For Evaluation Re-homing) dog behavior evaluation program. The S.A.F.E.R. test focuses on learned behaviors, sensitivities and problem solving. This test provides shelter staff with the ability to evaluate a dog’s behavior accurately and efficiently. 

A cat’s behavior will be evaluated based on its temperament shown during the intake procedures and the health evaluation. 

What happens when an animal is deemed un-adoptable?

If an animal is deemed not adoptable at the time of their reservation, the person who brought the animal in is given the following options: to keep the pet and/or to take the animal to a veterinarian for treatment, to seek placement at a local animal shelter or rescue group or owner requested euthanasia (if the SPCA of Texas concurs). A surrender fee of $50.00 will be required for owner requested euthanasias.

Does the SPCA of Texas take in stray animals?

The SPCA of Texas does not take in stray animals for surrender in an effort to increase the likelihood of a stray being reunited with their owner. Instead, people finding a stray animal will be directed to the animal control agency closest to where the animal was found.  

Will there be space for Rescue and Investigations animals?

Animals that are brought to the SPCA of Texas through the organization’s Rescue and Investigations department will remain separate from the regular intake of owner-surrendered animals, not affecting the number of spaces available to owner-surrendered animals each day. These animals will be given the same evaluations as any other animal that comes through the system in order to determine whether or not they are adoptable.

Will the SPCA of Texas be working in conjunction with Animal Control?

We work closely with animal control agencies in the surrounding areas through the transfer of animals to the SPCA of Texas for adoption from the animal control agencies to the SPCA of Texas as space permits.

How long will animals remain in shelter?

All healthy, treatable and non-aggressive animals will stay in the shelter until adopted unless the animal contracts a contagious, non-treatable illness or becomes behaviorally un-adoptable.  The SPCA of Texas has never placed a limit on the amount of time animals stay in the shelter. As long as they stay happy and healthy, they’ll stay at the SPCA of Texas, waiting for homes.

Are there any circumstances that would not require a reservation for an animal to be taken in to the SPCA of Texas?

The SPCA of Texas does not require a reservation for owner requested euthanasias (if the SPCA of Texas concurs). A surrender fee of $50.00 will be required for owner requested euthanasias. 

I need to have my pet "put to sleep." Can the SPCA of Texas help?

Yes, we can euthanize your pet at your request if the SPCA of Texas agrees that the euthanasia is appropriate. A surrender fee of $50.00 will be required for owner requested euthanasias. 

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