How to Adopt
Meet Your Match™
Central to the DCSPCA mission is the securing of caring, responsible, permanent homes for the adoptable animals in our care. We therefore look forward to meeting new adopters and matching them with new pets. Anyone looking to adopt a pet from our shelter should read, print and bring in a completed adoption survey. The application helps our adoption counselors assist adopters in the selection of a new pet, and allows us to determine whether an adoption is in the animal's best interest.
Our adoption fee includes: the first series of vaccinations, leukemia testing or heartworm testing (as applicable), and a seven day health guarantee. All adopters will also be given a complimentary one year membership and be placed on our mailing list.
Prospective adopters should...
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Have identification showing your present address
- Have the knowledge and consent of your landlord
- Be able and willing to spend the time and money necessary to provide
training, medical treatment and proper care for a pet
For more information on the adoptable animals in our care, please call the shelter at 845-452-SPCA, visit us in person, go to petfinder.com (search under zip code 12538) or adoptapet.com (search under Dutchess County S.P.C.A.) to find your best friend at the DCSPCA!
Something to Bark About! The DCSPCA has implemented the Meet Your Match™ Canine-ality
Adoption Program at our shelter. This is a program acquired by the ASPCA
for national distribution through its National Outreach Department.
The Meet Your Match™ program is designed to facilitate a bond
between canine and adopter. The program matches the “canine-ality” of
the dogs in the shelter with the type of dog that you are looking for!
The canine-ality assessment tests that are administered to the dog include: friendliness,
playfulness, energy level, and motivation or drive. Each dog is scored
and then categorized as with easy, average, or high maintenance. These
categories are color- coded purple, orange, and green, respectively. These
color – coded descriptions are used as the dog’s cage card.
When you as the adopter fill out the survey, you will be focusing on
how you envision your new dog fitting into your home and family. This
survey is also scored, and adopters receive either purple, orange, or
green Guest Passes, and are directed to the dogs with the cage cards
that match the color of the Guest Passes. It is not only fun, but it
helps adopters go home with the type of dog they always dreamed of having!
Our staff and our adoption counselors have been trained in the Meet
Your Match™ program, and are able to facilitate adoptions that
help to make great matches between our wonderful shelter dogs and the
caring people who want to give them a second chance at a good life.
Come to the shelter and meet with the adoption staff, fill out our new
adoption survey, and find your very best friend at the Dutchess County
*Fees include the adoption of a spayed/neutered pet, Feline Leukemia
testing, Feline AIDS (FIV) testing, Rabies vaccination, Feline Distemper
vaccination, Microchip, and a free pet exam with participating veterinarians..
Puppies: $225.00 and up (6 months of age and
*Fees include the adoption of a spayed/neutered pet, Bordatella
vaccination, Rabies vaccination, 4DX testing, DHLPP vaccination, Microchip,
Licensing, and a free pet exam with participating veterinarians. Additional
fees may apply for purebred dogs/puppies.
LOW-COST SPAY/NEUTER CLINIC (Open to any pet owner. The pet does not have to be adopted from the DCSPCA to use the clinic)
*Call the shelter at 452-7722 ext. 114 for more information and to make an appointment.
Includes a Rabies Vaccination
Low-cost Rabies vaccination, Feline Leukemia/AIDS testing, Feline Distemper vaccination, Canine DNA testing, and microchipping available!
We are often asked why we charge a fee for our animals when animals
are available for “free” in newspaper ads or in front of
the local supermarket. While we are grateful that you’ve chosen
to adopt a shelter animal, the reality is that we too must pay for
staffing, electricity, heat and food. Donations only cover a portion
of these costs. But, if you compare what you get with an adoption from
the DCSPCA to a “free” animal, you’ll see that we
offer the best value by far. Chews Adoption!
e a fee for our animals when animals are
available for “free” in newspaper ads or in front of the loce
by far. Chews Adoption!Th
We want to publish your personal stories. Please email
us your success stories and photos! Send your story via email with photo attachments and your story can reach others in our community to encourage them to open their home to one of our animals.
Or click here to post about your best friend on our Dutchess County SPCA Best Friends facebook page.
Simcha and Peanut
Simcha [with the glitzy collar] and Peanut [with a very cute pink nose] are two of five cats we adopted from the Dutchess County SPCA; sometimes when they keep each other company on the cat tree, as they are doing here, it looks as if we have a two headed cat!
Simcha has been with us since 2008; Peanut joined our family in 2010. Simcha, has a nickname of "Captain Snugglypants" because of how much he loves to curl up in a soft warm lap or take his 'rightful' place on our daughter's bed at night. Peanut, not to be out done, has taken as his own a position next to my head... or sometimes on my head, if I don't object. Like Jeffrey before him, or second adoptee from the DCSPA, Peanut became a therapy animal with Visiting Positive Paws and delighted patients at Saint Francis Hospital during his weekly visits. All four felines, despite difficult beginnings which included unmentionable forms of abuse before being rescued by the DCSPCA, have become lovable, silly members of our family. I think they know how lucky they are to have us; I know we realize how lucky we are to have them with us.
A Year and A Week....
The first time I met Bentley was when he came into the shelter. He had a rash on his belly. The dog handlers would bring him to me each morning and I would laugh as they tried lifting him up or rolling him over so I could put cream on his rash. I remember thinking what a sweet silly dog he was. His time at the DCSPCA turned into weeks and the weeks into months. I thought he was the best kept secret at the shelter. Everyone knew him as the dog who didn't want to take his walk. He would walk just so far then lie down and refuse to move. He would rather sit with someone just petting him in the sun than waste all that energy walking. Many people insisted something must be wrong with Bentley because he didn't want to walk. This went on for a year and a week.
A year after Bentley came into the shelter I lost my best friend of 14 years, Marsh who Bentley very much reminded me of. They look nothing alike but there was something that drew me to Bentley hours after I lost Marsh. I went to his kennel and said, "Come on boy, you're going inside with me". There's where Bentley helped me through my grieving process. For that next week he stayed in my office just accepting all the goings on without ever a complaint. When I wanted a hug he was there to give one.
That's when I decided it was time for Bentley to go home... a year and a week after we first met. My instincts were right. He is the perfect dog for me and my family. He loves to play with his 3 canine companions Hiker, Cooper and Teek. All Shelter dogs! Cooper and Teek are the rough and tough players and Bentley is rough and tough enough to take them. They love to play tug of war with their favorite tug toys. Then Bentley can tune it right down and play with Hiker, who is the most delicate of our boys. Bentley is so gentle with him it just amazes us. We can be entertained for hours watching them all play. We often find Bentley sleeping with one of our 3 cats curled up next to him. My 2 year old grandson loves "Benlee" too. I have no concerns when he bends down and gives him a bear hug.
I would like everyone to be assured there is nothing wrong with Bentley. He goes with us and his 3 buddies for a hike each week and loves every minute of it! As per his request the leash stays off, it's the least we can do for all the happiness he gives us... yes, he still lays down when you leash him.
Bentley thanks us every day for bringing him into our lives.
The Miracle Kittens
Muffin was a neighbor’s cat. She liked to roam the neighborhood but seemed to like our house a lot more. Muffin was there with us when we sat outside, mowed the lawn or washed the car. She was always at our door when we left for work each morning waiting for a treat and a good bye kiss. Muffin eventually became pregnant and then delivered her kittens in a secret location. She then disappeared for two weeks. We looked everywhere for her. We placed lost cat posters around the neighborhood. We received a call from the Pleasant Valley Animal Hospital that Muffin was there after being found on Crumb Elbow Road, dehydrated and possibly hit by a car. Muffin’s five kittens were found several days later and nicknamed the miracle kittens. With the help of Leah Hapeman, we became foster parents and then full fledge parents to the whole crew.
Since 2006 we have adopted three more cats from the DCSPA. We could not imagine our house without these cats. They are our children. Our house is truly blessed. Here’s a picture of Felix, Quinda, Calvin, Anna, and Tommy together and one of their mother, Muffin.
William and Arnie, Hyde Park
I have had the best 10 years with my girl Angelica whom I found at the DCPSCA in 2001.
Angelica is so gentle and sweet. She always seems to know how I feel and loves being close to her Mommy. Angelica also plays fetch with me. I roll a piece of torn paper and she comes running, then I throw it passes her and she brings it right back to me. I have kept her a indoor cat only for 8 years. Now her and her sister cat whom we also rescued play in our outdoor inclosed backyard. When I call their names they come right in. I love Angelica and look forward to many many more years with her. Thank you DCSPCA for all that you do for our animal friends. I'm looking to adopt a lap dog now too. I dog sit for my friends and Angelica is great with dogs as well.
Rocco and Joan
I went to the shelter to find a playmate for my adult male FIV cat*. There were many cats to choose from, but from across the room I heard a very loud meow while all the other cats were resting and silent. To my surprise, Rocco was the beautiful orange and white cat that I had been seeking. And, he was also FIV. I opened his cage to play with him and he hugged me. Rocco is very playful, loving and enjoys being brushed and having playtime with all friends and guests who come to his new home. Rocco and his brother Mr. Cat get along really well. They sleep together, clean each other and share the joy of their bouncy balls. Rocco can be a little bully and mischievous such as pushing his brother away from his food dish but will then walk over and lick is brother’s face. Rocco let’s his owners know when he wants to engage in playtime, as he will roll over on his belly and meow to be pet. Rocco’s favorite visitor is an eight year old girl named Lauren. Lauren loves to play with him and his toys and loves to watch his roll over on his belly. Although Rocco is an FIV cat, he is not ill and does not have any symptoms of the disease. He is a carrier but carriers can live a very happy and long life. More people should be aware of what this disease is and adopt more FIV animals from shelters.
* FIV stands for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.
When Ladybelle was rescued by the Dutchess County SPCA she was emaciated,
had tick borne diseases, was anemic and had terrible mobility issues and a
host of other medical concerns.
The first time I saw her, she was being carried around by shelter staff, and
I learned her story. Judging from her scars and the fact that she was
missing so many teeth (the ones that were left had been ground down to
prevent injury to the competing dogs), it was determined she had been a
"bait dog". That is, she was used to prepare other dogs for fights.
Michael Vick was in the news at the time and I felt that I had an
opportunity to take a small step to help in the campaign against dog
fighting by helping this one dog. No one expected her to live more than a
few months when my family and I decided to do an "end of life fostering".
That was three and a half years ago and she is still with us!! She quickly
found her favorite spot and loves lying in the sun and getting treats and
love. She is now grandma to our three other dogs. She has taught us all so
much and we treasure our time with her.
She had a little bit of difficulty adjusting to the TV. Whenever a bell or
buzzer went off she would cry and try to hide. We figured out that these
sounds reminded her of being in the ring. She slowly got over what would be
described in a human as PTSD and is now a peaceful, serene, happy dog. Her
happy senior years were made possible by the dedicated and caring staff and
volunteers of the DCSPCA who work tirelessly for the animals of Dutchess.
A little over two years ago, we received a phone call with the sad
news that my husband’s first cousin Eileen had passed away.
She lived with the love of her life, Henry, a terrier mix whom she
adopted from a shelter.
was found by Eileen’s side, and thankfully taken to the DCSPCA.
Eileen had named two people in her will to take care of Henry and
both had reneged on their promise. My husband and I love dogs and
have a lot of property in Morris County, NJ. We have six Labrador
Retrievers, two of which are certified Therapy Dogs. The last thing
we needed was another dog!
I can't fully explain what made me say to my husband, "Let's
go and take a look at him, and see if we think he'd fit in
with our crew." You already know how this story ends. We went
to the DCSPCA, and Henry immediately jumped into our arms and began
kissing our faces. We took him home, and my Labs and Henry absolutely
love each other. Now Henry is our love story.
—Marilyn J. Nash
Joe and I are long time DCSPCA foster parents. One day last summer we stopped by the shelter to consult with Animal Services on a problem with one of our foster kittens. There on the floor was a “puffball toy”. I picked it up and two huge black eyes looked right back at me but the puffball didn’t move. I asked and was told I was holding Jade, a handicapped Shih Tzu puppy that had no use of her legs. I never put her back down.
Jade can move her arms and legs a bit. She slides along on her tummy but can’t walk. She is getting stronger. She can hold her head up now and her tail wags a lot. Jade is the joy of our lives. She is loving, intelligent and all ours.
— Jade Cote
Daughter of DCSPCA Volunteers Nancy Jo and Joe Cote
Luckily, I quickly found a new home and now I’m so busy
having fun and being loved that I have mostly forgotten about
that scary time. My new family is huge: 2 Airedales, 4 cats, and
2 humans. We all get along, although I had to immediately let
the 2 Airedales know that even though they were bigger, I was
going to be in charge. I love to play with the cats. Three of
them were just tiny kittens when they moved in and now we’re
the best of friends. They like to sneak up and attack me from
behind, and when I’m waiting for a treat they like to swat
at my swinging tail.
have a big yard that the Airedales and I love to race around.
I have my humans well trained to only leave me outside when it
is sunny and warm. When it is rainy and cold, I lie next to them
on the couch in front of a warm fire. They are finally starting
to scratch my belly just the way I like it. My humans feed me
well, play with me, give me my daily medicine, and love me. I
think every dog deserves a home like the one I have.
— Baxter Perkins, Hyde Park
Our love story with Abigail began back in early 1984 when we went
to the DCSPCA to find a cat to replace the one that we had recently
lost. When we went into the cat area most of the cats ignored us
except for one, "Abigail!" This one young black cat was
climbing up the cage door and making such a commotion that you had
to notice her. Notice her we did. She wanted out real bad and we
wanted a cat real bad so it was a perfect match from the start.
After we got her home, she became very sick. We took her to the
vet, who said she had an upper respiratory infection. We enticed
her to keep eating, feeding the cat food that had the most obnoxious
odor—the one she nibbled at the most. Soon, she was up and
She was independent and tolerated her sister cat, with a few "who's
discussions once in a while. One of the things that made Abby so
special was her love of traveling. She would go with us camping
up in the Adirondacks. During the journey, she would get up and
look out the front windshield so she could see where she was. On
the trip home, she would warn us that it was getting dark and we
had better get home!
When her older sister passed on, we got her a younger brother.
She would tolerate him and they would sometimes bat at each other
through the crack of an almost closed door. Chauncey knew his place
and always looked to his older sister for guidance, which she patiently
As Abby got on in years, she would take her spot on our bed every
night, up on a pillow. She was a part of our life for 17 years before
we had to make that decision that pet people wish someone else would
make for them. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share
a little bit about our Abby with you.
Susan & Jerry Gilnack, Red Hook
It was the fall of 1998 and we had recently lost our 10-year-old
dog, Fred, to cancer. We have always supported the DCSPCA and decided
to visit to see if we could find another dog to share our love.
A shelter employee said "she had the dog for us.” She
brought Lacy out from the back to take for a walk. Lacy was skinny
and timid. We filled out the paperwork and took Lacy home to meet
the king of our home: Barney, our cat. They hit it off great–we
caught them nuzzling each other.
months later we went back to the DCSPCA thinking we'd get a cat.
employee pointed out Roxy–a puppy rescued on an abuse case.
She was sitting in a cage and looked up at us with these big pleading
eyes, tail wagging, and we said "OK.” Roxy became instantly
attached to Lacy and will not go anywhere without her. As for the
King, he loves them both. All three sleep together on our bed because
they are truly spoiled.
have been truly blessed to have adopted Lacy and Roxy. They have
given us so much pleasure and we want to take this opportunity to
thank everyone at the shelter for bringing these two great dogs
into our lives.
— George and Lynn Carola, Hyde Park
Benny's story starts in February 2009 when we visited the shelter after losing our beloved Tommy Cat. Having decided we wanted to adopt two cats, our granddaughter, Sami, accompanied us. Sami selected a gray tabby whose forever name is Topper, aka Chunky Monkey. Bill wanted another orange tabby like Tommy Cat, so he chose Benny.
Benny is a success story that has taken a lot of time and patience. Shortly after arriving home with us, Bill suggested we return him to the shelter because he did not act like the cat Bill wanted. To me, that was out of the question because he had already made a place in my heart.
Benny is an extremely skittish young man and at times scares himself. He disappeared for four days when we arrived home but immediately bonded with Topper, and they have become best friends. Both cats accepted Sundance, our Rhodesian Ridgeback who grew up with cats.
Over a year has passed. We still cannot pick Benny up. However, he and I are best buddies. He comes when I call his name and spends evenings watching T.V. with me and sleeps on my side of the bed. Benny loves to have me rub his tummy and massage his feet all the while purring loudly. He is a first-class acrobat (aka Super Cat) able to leap to the top of the refrigerator or upper kitchen cabinets in a single leap, and he’s like greased lightening. He and Chunky Monkey raise mischief together and torture the dog.
Just like raising children, our pets require time, patience and, most of all, lots of love. All our animals have a place in our hearts!
— Bill and Carol Rohde
PS — The DCSPCA makes sure
that every animal is spayed or neutered prior to leaving the shelter
— just one way we can help end pet overpopulation.
back to top