Frequently Asked Questions

about the Windham County Humane Society

+ Where is WCHS?

Our shelter is located at 916 West River Road (Route 30) in Brattleboro, VT, about 5 minutes from downtown Brattleboro. View a Google Map that shows our shelter.

+ Is there a fee to adopt a pet?

Yes. Adoption fees help support the important work we do. View our Adoption Page for more information about adoption and fees.

+ I found a stray animal. Should I bring it to WCHS?

No. If you find a lost dog, cat, rabbit, or other domesticated animal, please call your town’s animal control officer. View list of Animal Control Officers by town. List the animal in our Lost|Found.

+ How do I tell if a cat in my neighborhood is stray, feral, or owned?

It is difficult to tell an owned, free roaming cat from a true stray. For this reason, please do not feed outside cats. While it may seem kind, cats quickly learn who gives out free food and they will keep coming back even if they are being fed well at home. There are no leash laws for cats in Vermont, and cats are allowed to roam outside. If a cat appears in poor condition (thin, missing fur, or other signs of living outside for an extended) time – please contact the Animal Control Officer in your town for assistance.

Feral cats are wary of people and will scatter when humans come near. They are often excellent hunters and survivalists (similar to raccoons, squirrels, and other wild animals) and can survive well even through the winter. WCHS has a Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) program for feral cats to keep them from reproducing. Please read about our Barn Cat Program or call us for details.

+ I lost my pet. How do I know if it has been brought to the WCHS?

You may consult our Lost|Found Listings or call our office. By law, owners have 5 days to claim their animal(s). After that, ownership transfers to WCHS.

+ I suspect someone of animal abuse. What can I do?

If you suspect someone is abusing or neglecting an animal, you should report it:

  • Call your town’s Animal Control Officer or your local law enforcement agency
  • Be sure to have the correct address for the suspected animal owner before calling.

Read more about Reporting Abuse or Neglect.

+ What is the WCHS euthanasia policy?

WCHS does not euthanize for time or space. All adoptable animals are cared for until they find a new home, no matter how long that takes. WCHS does euthanize animals for severe medical or temperament issues. Fortunately, these instances are rare (less than 5%).

+ What do the terms “No-Kill” and “Live Release Rate” mean?

Animal welfare organizations look at their “Live Release Rate” (LRR) to gauge success. In other words, of all the animals that leave the facility, how many leave alive? A Live Release Rate of 90% or better is considered “no-kill”. Since we started tracking that number in 2004, the WCHS Live Release Rate has averaged 91%.

+ Why do you spay and neuter WCHS pets?

Every year, approximately 3 million animals are euthanized at shelters across America. Many of these animals are friendly, healthy, and adoptable, but a lack of space and resources forces shelters to euthanize them. WCHS is committed to doing its part to end the suffering of homeless animals, and the most effective way to do that is to spay and neuter all of our animals.

+ Do you hold rabies clinics?

Yes. Once a month, we hold a Wellness Clinic for low income Windham County Residents who are members of our Pet Care Assistance Program

+ How do I find out who is up for adoption?

All of our available animals are listed on our website. The website is connected to our animal database. When an animal is made available their photo and information goes up on the website and when they are adopted, their information comes off the website. See our Adoption Page.

If you are looking for a specific type of animal we recommend you bookmark our website and follow us on Facebook where we post regular updates. Our animals find new homes quickly - our average length of stay for dogs is one week, two weeks for cats. Small dogs, puppies, and kittens find homes even more very quickly.

+ How many animals do you help each year?

For information, please View our Recent Statistics. (The collection and publication of this data is sponsored by Maddie’s Fund.)

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See our Resource Links page for our collection of useful pet sites.

If you don't find your question answered here, please Contact Us for further assistance.