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Frequently Asked Questions


Are you affiliated with The Humane Society of the United States or other national groups?

No. We are a local non-profit organization founded by community members in 1973. We serve the Wayne County community’s companion animals and are not affiliated with the HSUS or ASPCA.

Are you a no-kill facility?

While there is no widely used definition for a no-kill shelter, WCHS does not euthanize for time or space. We will not euthanize adoptable companion animals. However, we believe humane euthanasia is a last resort to end an animal's suffering or to ensure public safety and welfare. We will not allow terminally sick or badly injured companion animals to die painful deaths. Our compassion for companion animals will not allow us to keep an animal endlessly in a cage without hope of release, nor will we release animals that we know are dangerous or diseased.

Do my taxes help pay for your services?

We do not receive any tax support from Wayne County or the state of Ohio. We rely on the generosity of donors, local businesses, grants, individuals, and the community-at-large, to continue our important lifesaving work. Additionally, we have contracts with the City of Orrville and the City of Wooster that allow us to recapture a small portion of the cost of services per cat from the respective jurisdiction.

Are you the same as the Wayne County Dog Shelter?

No, we are two separate entities. The Wayne County Humane Society is located on Mechanicsburg Road in Wooster, Ohio. Pending space availability, we take in cats, rescue dogs from overcrowded/euthanasia shelters and puppy mills, small companion animals (e.g. rabbits, guinea pigs), and owner surrenders. We provide spay, neuter, and basic medical services to all cats and dogs before adoption.

The Wayne County Dog Shelter is located on Burbank Road in Wooster, Ohio. The Dog Shelter is responsible for taking in all of the stray or lost dogs throughout the county. If you have a stray or lost dog, please contact the Wayne County Dog Shelter by calling (330) 345-1018.

Do you accept volunteers?

Absolutely! As a nonprofit, volunteers are incredibly important to shelter operations.  We need help with clerical work, socializing animals, maintaining shelter cleanliness, yard work, fundraising events, and all sorts of things! Please see our Volunteer Page to apply.

What are your adoption fees?

Kittens (8 weeks to 10 months) $100
Adults (11 months to 9 years) $75
Senior (10+ years) $50

These fees include:  Spay/Neuter, De-wormer, Flea Treatment, FVRCP Vaccine & Rabies (if age permits).


Puppies (8 weeks to 8 months) $300
Pure Bred or Designer Puppies (8 weeks to 8 months) $500
Small & Select Dogs (less than 30 pounds/specialty breeds) $250
Adults (9 months to 7 years & over 30 pounds) $150
Senior small breed (8+ years and under 30 pounds) $150
Senior Large Breed $75

These fees include: DAPPv Vaccine, microchip, Bordetella vaccine, Spay/Neuter, Heartworm Test, Rabies Vaccine (if age permits), Dewormer, and Health & Behavior Evaluation.

When I make a donation, where does my money go?

It stays locally! Donations help us provide programs and services within our community. As a non-profit, all proceeds help to support our mission. As a donor, you can also specify where you would like your donation to be allocated. We have many services that we provide.  We are not part of any national organization and we are not a government agency, so all donations received are greatly appreciated.

Which programs and services are funded by donations?

All of them! WCHS does not receive state or county funding; our shelter operates using income from grants, donations, and fundraising proceeds. Additionally, we have contracts with the City of Orrville and the City of Wooster that allow us to recapture a small portion of the cost of services per cat from the respective jurisdiction. This income pays for animal medical treatments, spay and neuter surgeries, animal food and enrichment, and other necessary expenses. Donations may be directed to certain programs, however, if unrestricted, the donations will be used in the area of greatest need.

How can I make my donation go further?

We have many ways that your donation can be maximized. 

  1. Your donation may be matched by your employer through corporate matching.  Prior to making a donation, you should check with your employer to see if your company can match your gift. Some companies will match you dollar-for-dollar and others even provide a 2:1 match!  Follow all instructions provided by your employer’s corporate matching program. 

  2. We have generous donors who pledge matching dollar-for-dollar for certain campaigns.  If you are interested in donating to a campaign with a donor match, please contact a member of our Board by emailing

  3. Corporate or Personal Sponsorships of Shelter Services, including but not limited to TNR events, medical expenses, shelter repairs, shelter maintenance, in-kind donations, or volunteer days.

Can I make a donation in honor of or in memory of a person or animal?

Absolutely! This is a wonderful way to celebrate or remember a special person or animal in your life. Please stop into the shelter to let us know who is to be remembered or honored so that we can let them know of your thoughtful gift. We also have physical mementos, such as engraved bricks or a mural of a loved pet, that can be purchased here (bricks) or here (mural).

WCHS can be added as a beneficiary to wills or life insurance policies. Talk to your estate planner to learn more.

Can I make a donation using a credit card?

Yes, you can! Please visit our "Donate" page here.

How will I know you have received my donation?

When you donate through an online campaign you will receive an email receipt from the third-party vendor.  For donations made directly to WCHS, we will provide a thank you note acknowledging your support within 60 days of receiving your donation. This correspondence may be used for your tax records.

Do you sell my personal information?

Never! Your personal information is not sold or exchanged with any other organization, or shared by our third-party vendors. We maintain standard physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that protect confidentiality and security of non-public personal information. We give you the option to opt into our newsletter as well as stay in contact as to what is happening at the Wayne County Humane Society.

Do you offer low-cost spay/neuter and TNR services?

We partner with many organizations to offer low-cost spay/neuter as well as TNR services. 

  • AlterClinic sponsors a transport once a month from WCHS to AlterClinic for pets to be spayed/neutered. Call (234) 804-3064 to sign up or visit our Resources page for more information.

  • The Rascal Unit is a traveling veterinary service that visits WCHS approximately 4 times a year to spay/neuter pets. 

  • Local veterinarians also volunteer at WCHS a few times a year to offer TNR clinics for feral (wild) cats. Call WCHS to learn when the next TNR event will be offered or to be placed on the waiting list.

What do I do if I find a stray cat or kittens?

If you find a litter of kittens, it is best to leave them alone and watch to see if they are truly abandoned. Mother cats will leave their litter behind to hunt for food. If the kittens are quiet, cuddled together sleeping, look pink/warm, and have round bellies, their mother is likely nearby. If you believe that the kittens are orphaned, you can step in to help them.  Alley Cat Allies has great resources for helping orphaned kittens: Neonatal Resources or Kitten Care. If you are unable to care for the orphaned kittens yourself, see if a friend or family member can care for them, or contact WCHS for drop-off information.

If you find an adult cat outdoors, first determine if it is a stray(homeless/lost) cat or a feral (wild) cat. If the cat is friendly and comes to you with gentle coaxing, it may be lost. Look for Lost Cat posters in your community, or take the cat to a veterinary clinic to have it scanned for a microchip. If you cannot find the stray cat's owner, you can call WCHS to see if there is availability for us to take it in. If the cat is feral (wild) and does not come to you, leave it alone! It would rather be outside than being scared in a trap/cage in your house. If you are caring for a stray or feral cat, please see the TNR information below and on our Resources page.

What is kitten season?

Kitten season is when cat reproduction goes into overdrive, usually from March to October in our area, when the weather is nice. This causes an increase in the amount of kittens brought into WCHS, some of them being too young to care for themselves, requiring round-the-clock care. Others are sick or injured and require nursing back to health. In truth, kitten season is never really over, as cats are induced ovulators and can have babies any time of year - this is why spaying and neutering (even feral and stray cats) is so important!

How do I drop off a stray or feral animal I found?

Please visit our "Strays + Owner Surrenders" page for more information or to fill out an intake form.

REMINDER: It is illegal to dump animals anywhere, including a shelter. Our premises are monitored by security cameras and anyone dumping animals may be prosecuted.

Why do you only accept sick and injured animals at certain times?

While we would love to help every animal, our facility is only so big, and when all of the kennels and cages are filled, there is nowhere else for us to house animals. We make special provisions for sick and injured animals during their time of need so that we can get them some help and so they do not suffer. We will utilize foster homes when possible.  If we crowd the animals in the shelter, it causes undue stress, which can and will cause illness (especially in cats). Our animals need to be healthy to be adopted, so it is best for our animals that we limit intake when our facility is full. If you are able, sign up to be a foster home to help expand our abilities.

Capacity is often used as a shortened term for “Capacity for Care '' which is a term used in the shelter environment to describe meeting the needs of every animal admitted to a shelter, regardless of how they came in, when they came in, their age, health status, or personality. WCHS’s capacity for care is 86 cats. WCHS tends to be above capacity during the warmer months of the year, averaging between 120-150 cats in our care during that time. We combat this by getting as many cats into foster care as possible or by working with other rescues to meet mutual needs. We could not help as many animals as we do without our vast network of volunteers, fosters, and rescues.

Can you accept animals during closed hours?

For the safety of our staff and in order to properly care for animals, we are unable to assist with animals outside of our open hours. Please call during our open hours for non-emergency situations.

If you find a stray or lost animal while we are closed, you can put this animal in a safe, warm, dry location (such as your garage or bathroom) with food and water, away from your other animals, until you can find a solution.

For emergency situations for personal pets, please contact your veterinarian.

For any stray or lost dog situations, please contact the Wayne County Dog Warden at (330) 804-3647.

For emergency situations for stray cats, emergency services are available at the following locations:

Cleveland Road Animal Hospital Urgent Care

2752 Cleveland Road

Wooster, Ohio 44691

(330) 345-6063


Mon, Thurs, Fri, Sat: 8am-10pm

Sun: 11am-7p

Tues, Weds: 8am-7pm

Medvet Akron
(in Copley, approximately 42 min drive from our shelter)
1321 Centerview Circle
Akron, Ohio  44321
(330) 665-4996

Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital
(near Akron, approximately 44 minute drive from our shelter)
1053 S. Cleveland-Massillon Rd
Akron, Ohio  44321
(330) 666-2976

REMINDER: It is illegal to dump animals anywhere, including a shelter. Our premises are monitored by security cameras and anyone dumping animals may be prosecuted.

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