Advocate for Animals

We can't do it without your help.

We cared for over 8,000 animals in 2016 and our shelter houses an average of 225 animals at all times.  This includes animals available for adoption, new arrivals waiting to be evaluated, animals held as evidence in cruelty investigations and those receiving emergency sheltering through our Safe Haven program.  

Our humane agents investigate potential cases of animal cruelty, neglect and abandonment every single day.

In addition to supporting our mission with contributions of financial resources and volunteer time, we need people to advocate for animals in our community.

You and your pets:

  • Talk to your veterinarian about how to keep your pets happy and healthy.
  • Research the particular needs of your pet's species, breed, age group, etc.
  • Talk to your family about the daily responsibilities involved in responsible pet parenting.
  • Have your pets spayed or neutered, for their own health as well as preventing unwanted litters.
  • Make sure your pets are current on their immunizations and flea prevention.
  • License your dogs.
  • Microchip your animals and be sure they are wearing identification with current contact information.
  • If you are no longer able to care for your pets, seek support in rehoming them.
  • Make plans for your pets in the event that they outlive you.
  • Be a responsible pet owner and clean up after your pet, on your property and everyone else's.

Pets in our community:

  • Even if you don't have a pet, talk to your family about responsible pet ownership and how to ask permission before approaching someone else's pet.
  • Keep an eye out for animals in need in your neighborhood, near your workplace, and during your daily commute.  Report suspected animal curelty, neglect or abandonment.
  • Encourage family, friends and coworkers to adopt from shelters rather than purchasing an animal from a retail pet store.
  • Keep up on current issues affecting animals and pets.  Take a few minutes of your time to have your voice be heard regarding pending legislation.
  • Support local shelters and rescues by following them on social media, attending their events, volunteering and/or making a financial contribution.

Spay and Neuter

Looking for economical optioins for spay or neuter surgery or immunizations?

We do not provide services to the public for owned animals (with the exception of owner-requested euthanasia).  The following resources are provided as a service.  If you’re a veterinary clinic or provider that wants to be added to this list, please email

Where to Spay and Neuter

CHA Animal Shelter
Free spay/neuter surgery, rabies shot, and physical exam for pit bulls and pit mixes living in Franklin County. No application and no restrictions. Call 614-891-5280 or email to make an appointment!

Capital City Spay & Neuter Clinic
2752 Sawbury Blvd
Columbus 43235

Care Pet Clinic
785 E. Main St
Columbus, OH 43205

The Ohio Spay/Neuter Project by Columbus Dog Connection
2761 Johnstown Rd
Columbus, OH 43219

Pet Concern
5322 N. High Street
Columbus, OH 43214

Pet Solutions of Columbus
852 E. Hudson St.
Columbus, OH 43211

Pet Wellness Mobile Vet Clinic 

Rascal Animal Hospital (open 24 hours)
5830 Britton Parkway
Dublin, OH 43016
Also operates Rascal Mobile Unit

SOS of Ohio Spay & Neuter Clinic
691 E. Dublin-Granville Rd
Columbus, OH 43229

The Spay/Neuter Clinic
3136 S. Hamilton Rd
Columbus, OH 43232

VIP Petcare Clinics, usually held on weekends at Pet Supplies Plus locations.
Visit and call location directly for current day and times.

Why Spay and Neuter?

Reason 1: To increase your pet’s chances for a longer, healthier life.

Spaying your female dog or cat before her first estrous cycle (that is before she goes into "heat") greatly reduces her chances of developing breast cancer and uterine infections, which are common occurrences in unaltered females. Neutering your male dog or cat prevents testicular tumors and may prevent prostate problems. Neutering also decreases the possibility of perianal tumors and hernias, which are commonly observed in older, unaltered dogs. Neutered dogs and cats are less likely to develop negative behaviors such as aggression, urinary marking and the urge to roam in search of a female.

Reason 2: An altered dog or cat is a better pet for your family.

No family wants to cope with an unwanted pregnancy. Spaying prevents your pet from unexpectedly giving birth and adding to an already serious pet overpopulation problem in this community. Males neutered early in life are less aggressive toward other males and are not distracted by females in heat. Therefore, a neutered male will be less tempted to leave your property and cross that dangerous highway in search of a mate. Neutered males are also less likely to mark every one of your (or your neighbor's) expensive shrubs with his urine. Spaying your female pet eliminates the problem of stray males camping in your yard and decreases her desire to roam and breed.

Reason 3: Spaying your dog keeps your home cleaner. Trust us.

Because female dogs pass bloody fluid for about ten days, twice a year, as part of their estrous cycles, constant care must be taken to avoid carpet stains in homes with such animals. Spaying your dog eliminates this problem.

Reason 4: You are helping to alleviate the pet overpopulation problem.

Each year, millions of animals are euthanized at shelters across the country. Although pet behavioral problems are often the reason that animals are taken to shelters, many animals we shelter are a result of accidental breeding by free-roaming, unaltered pets. The more pets are spayed or neutered, the fewer animals will have to be destroyed.

Spay and Neuter Myths

“My pet will get fat and lazy.”

The truth is, most pets get fat and lazy because their owners feed them too much and don’t give them enough exercise. Spaying and neutering has no effect on a pet’s laziness.

“It’s better to have one litter first.”

Medical evidence indicates just the opposite of this statement. Females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier. Many veterinarians now sterilize dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age.

“My pet is a purebred.”

So is at least one out of every four pets brought to animal shelters around the country. The truth is, there are too many dogs and cats, both mixed breed and purebred.

“I want my dog to be protective.”

Spaying or neutering does not affect a dog’s natural instinct to protect home and family. A dog’s personality is formed more by genetics and environment than by sex hormones.

“I don’t want my male dog or cat to be less of a male.”

Pets have no concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering will not change a pet’s basic personality. He doesn’t suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.

“But my pet is so special; I want a puppy just like her.”

A dog or cat may be a great pet, but that doesn't mean her offspring will be a carbon copy. Professional animal breeders who follow generations of bloodlines can't guarantee they will get just what they want out of a particular litter. A pet owner's chances are even slimmer. In fact, an entire litter of puppies or kittens might receive all of a pet's (and her mate's) worst characteristics.

“It's too expensive to have my pet spayed or neutered.”

The cost of spaying or neutering depends on the sex, size, and age of the pet, your veterinarian's fees, and a number of other variables. But whatever the actual price, spay or neuter surgery is a one-time cost—a relatively small cost when compared to all the benefits. It's a bargain compared to the cost of having a litter and ensuring the health of the mother and litter; two months of pregnancy and another two months until the litter is weaned can add up to significant veterinary bills and food costs if complications develop. Most importantly, it's a very small price to pay for the health of your pet and the prevention of the births of more unwanted pets.

“I’ll find good homes for all the puppies and kittens.”

You may find homes for all of your pet's litter, but each home you find means one less home for the dogs and cats in shelters who need good homes. Also, in less than one year's time, each of your pet's offspring may have his or her own litter, adding even more animals to the population. The problem of pet overpopulation is created and perpetuated one litter at a time.

For more information about how to support spay/neuter programs in Ohio through the Ohio Pet License Plate, visit

Adopting an Adult Animal

When selecting a new animal friend for life, many people choose a puppy or kitten. Young animals make great pets, but there are many mature animals available that often go unnoticed in shelters. There are lots of advantages to adopting one of our lovable, more seasoned friends who are just as much in need of finding a loving home. And will fill it with love.


Many adult animals have been house or litter box trained in previous homes. During an animal’s stay at the shelter, it may temporarily forget the housebreaking rules due to the stress of being kenneled. When such an animal is placed in a new home, it may only need some reminder training. No big. They pick it right up quickly. This is much easier than starting from scratch with a young animal that has never been house trained.

Less Destructive

Adult dogs and cats are often less destructive than puppies and kittens. Many young animals are very curious and chew, scratch or play with several things in the house. As the animal matures, it tends to curtail or stop its behavior of getting into everything. Consider your new shoes pretty safe.

What You See is What You Get

This old saying usually applies when you adopt an older animal. Although their behavior may change, the personalities of adult animals are generally more stable and predictable than those of puppies or kittens. Many of an adult’s physical characteristics cannot be predicted when young. Puppy and kitten owners often play a guessing game of how big their pet will grow, what it will look like and what its personality will be like. There are no surprises here, so you can match to your lifestyle even easier.

Less Expensive

The veterinary expenses of a 2-5-year-old animal can be cheaper than the expenses of a puppy or kitten. Full-grown dogs and cats need vaccination shots only once per year. Puppies and kittens must visit a veterinarian at least three times for a series of vaccination shots. Adult dogs and cats have a more natural resistance and a stronger immune system than puppies and kittens. Thus, an older animal is less susceptible to diseases common in puppies and kittens.

Training Your Dog

The attention span of a puppy is generally shorter than that of an adult dog. This makes teaching the household rules to a puppy more difficult than to an adult dog. Although both puppies and adult dogs require human interaction, a puppy needs more attention than an adult dog. Thus, an adult generally can stay home alone for a longer period than a puppy, alleviating some of that “I can’t go, I have a puppy at home” syndrome.

Exercising your Dog

Full-grown dogs are immediately ready to exercise with their owners (walking, running and hiking to name a few). Puppies need time to grow and develop their muscles before being included in these activities.

Playful Kittens

Kittens are often regarded as the most playful animals on earth. Although fun to watch, supervising a kitten who thinks everything is a toy requires much time and patience. Older cats tend to be much more sedate and ready to play when you are.

Children and Pets

A pet can be a wonderful addition to a family. It can help bring happiness, companionship and teach responsibility to your children, but there are some considerations to make when you decide to bring a pet into your home:

  •  Pets and children both need parenting. Both need to learn how to treat each other. Both need supervision and limits to their behavior. Children will need an adult’s help training their pet.
  •  A pet is ultimately the responsibility of the adult, not the child.
  •  Take an active role in teaching children how to pet and properly hold or carry a pet. It may be safer for young children not to carry a small kitten or puppy, and not to be the only person holding an adult dog’s leash.
  • Discourage challenge games such as tug-of-war, keep-away and wrestling matches with dogs. Encourage fetching games. Discourage using fingers, hands and feet as play toys and objects for cats and dogs to attack. Encourage cats to play with dangling toys and toys they can chase and bat about.
  • Do not ignore warning signs from the pet such as hissing, growling or running away from you or your child.
  • Be sure the pet has a safe place to retreat to where it can rest and have quiet time away from active, playful children. This can also be used as a “time out” place for pets who become overly-excited and rough when playing.
  • Small breeds of dogs, puppies and kittens are not always the best choice for young children. A larger, adult dog or cat may be better able to tolerate lots of active playing and handling.
  • Contrary to popular myth, rabbits are not ideal pets for children. They generally do not enjoy being picked up and carried around. They are easily frightened by the naturally rambunctious behavior of children, and they are easily injured. Children also tend to lose interest in them quickly. Rabbits can make wonderful family pets, though, so long as adults carefully supervise their children's interaction with them and assume the primary responsibility for their care. On the problem of giving live rabbits as Easter presents, see the "Make Mine Chocolate!" website.
  • Do not allow your dog to chase your children and train your children to never run from a dog. Dogs instinctively chase, and a child running and screaming can prompt a predator/prey instinctive response.

Pet Stores and Puppy Mills

What’s wrong with pet stores? Well, while they may seem like the most popular way to find a new animal friend, pet stores are actually contributing to the pet overpopulation problem and, sadly, don’t always result in the healthiest pets. Here’s why:

  • Too often, pet stores obtain animals from massive breeding operations called puppy mills.
  • Purchasing an animal from a pet store financially validates the existence of inhumane breeding operations.
  • These operations do not encourage responsible pet ownership.
  • Employees are not always able to provide information on every animal’s health background.
In this section

Adoption Hours

Monday - Friday 2pm - 7pm
Saturday - Sunday 12pm - 5pm

Animal Support Center

Admission services by appointment only
Same-day appointments may be available
(614) 777-7387 ext. 208

Contact Us

Phone (614) 777-7387 Fax (614) 777-8449
3015 Scioto Darby Executive Ct
Hilliard OH, 43026
Premiere Partners
Official pet waste removal service

Adoption Hours

Monday - Friday2pm - 7pm
Saturday - Sunday12pm - 5pm

Animal Support Center

Admission services by appointment only
Same-day appointments may be available
(614) 777-7387 ext. 208

Phone (614) 777-7387
  Fax (614) 777-8449
3015 Scioto Darby Executive Ct
Hilliard, OH 43026
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Animal Support Center

Call (614)777-7387 ext. 208 to schedule a help session appointment.
Appointments are available seven days a week and same day appointments may be available.
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