Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where is your shelter located?
A: Friends of the Shelter Dogs does not have a shelter. We help the dogs that are at our local county shelter, the Athens County Dog Shelter (Ohio).
Q: I'm confused. Aren't you the same as the dog shelter?
A: Friends of the Shelter Dogs is a private (all volunteer) 501(c)(3) organization while the Athens County Dog Shelter is operated and staffed by the county. Although we exclusively assist the dogs at the Athens County Dog Shelter, we are separate entities.
Q: What do you do?
A: We are a group of volunteers who are dedicated to helping the dogs at the Athens County Dog Shelter. We find rescues to take in the dogs so that the Dog Shelter does not have to euthanize them (the Dog Shelter euthanizes dogs when it needs to make space for incoming dogs).
Q: I saw another dog at a shelter in a different county/state. It is in danger of being killed. Can you take it in?
A: We focus only on dogs at the Athens County Dog Shelter. Most weeks, it takes all of our volunteers and foster homes working together to get the dogs at our one shelter to safety. Many weeks, we do not have enough foster homes for even those dogs, so we have to put dogs in boarding--which taps into our financial resources. Through our efforts and the cooperation of the Dog Shelter staff, the kill-rate at the Athens County Dog Shelter has significantly decreased--but we don’t have the time and resources to expand. If you see a dog at another shelter that you would like to help, we suggest you contact thatshelter and ask what you can to do help.
Q: That dog has been at the shelter a long time. Why aren't you sending him to rescue?
A: Each week, we share information about the dogs at the Athens County Dog Shelter with a network of no-kill rescues in Ohio, the Northeast, and Canada. They let us know which dogs they are willing and able to take. Sometimes it takes longer to find a rescue to take a particular dog. Very rarely do we pull a dog when we do not have a rescue already waiting to take it in--we do not have enough foster homes to hold dogs until they are adopted locally. We are always in need of more foster homes, and if you would like to help by fostering please email us at FOSDinfo@gmail.com.
Q: How do the dogs get to the rescues?
A: Typically on Thursdays and Saturday mornings, volunteer drivers will take dogs/puppies in their cars to a meeting point. From there, other volunteer drivers meet them and take them on the next leg of the trip. We are always looking for people to help transport the dogs--contact our volunteer coordinator at if you would like to help.
Q: I found a dog. Will you take it?
A: We do not take in dogs from individuals, including stray dogs. If you find a dog, please call the Dog Shelter to report it as found and post notices in a variety of places (see a complete list of suggestions on the Lost/Found Dogs page).If no owner comes forward and you need to find a new home for the dog, this website has great suggestions:
HomesforHomelessPets.pdf. If you cannot hold the stray dog for any length of time and the Dog Shelter is closed, the Dog Shelter has a few kennels behind the building where stray dogs can be taken after hours.
Q: I am moving (having a baby, have allergies, etc.) and need to get rid of my dog. I don’t want to take her to the shelter. What should I do? Will you take her?
A: We do not take in dogs from individuals. We suggest you try to find a home for your dog yourself-- after all, don’t you want to know who will be taking care of him? Word of mouth can really help--let your friends and co-workers know your dog needs a new home. This guide has great suggestions for finding a home for your pet:
Q: My neighbor has a dog that they are neglecting/abusing. Will you come out and help it?
A: We cannot seize dogs that are being neglected/abused. Call the Dog Warden at 593-5415 to report any neglect/abuse that you observe. Please take pictures/video, if possible.
Q: Do you adopt out dogs?
A: Yes, we usually have a few dogs that are in local foster homes available for adoption that have not gone to rescue--usually for a medical reason that had to be treated (e.g., received treatment for heartworm). The dogs are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, heartworm tested, etc. before they are adopted. Available dogs are posted on our website. The first step to adopt one of our dogs is completing the adoption application found HERE. All FoSD dogs are $165 which includes license, spay/neuter, heartworm test, vaccines, parasite treatment. As they are also in foster homes, they usually have also received some basic training (e.g., housetraining, crate training, basic obedience).
Q: How can I donate and what do you need?
A: You can donate by mailing a check to PO Box 576, Athens, OH 45701 or by making a donation through Paypal (there is a link on the Donate page). We also welcome donations of gas cards to cover the travel cost associated with getting the shelter dogs to rescues.
Q: Will you help me spay/neuter my dog?
A: There are a couple different options for getting your dog spayed or neutered at a low cost. See the Spay & Neuter tab for information about the clinic offered through Project Neuter-Spay. The Athens County Humane Society (www.athenshumane.org) also offers low-cost spay/neuter clinics and provides financial assistance.
Q: I’m looking for a [insert dog breed name here]. Can you tell me when you get one in?
A: We are happy that you are looking to adopt a shelter dog and we will help you if we can, but we don’t keep a list of people to contact for when certain dog breeds come into the shelter. Our advice is to frequently check our Facebook page for updates about new dogs in the shelter or to look for the breed you are searching for on www.petfinder.com. You may find the breed you are looking for at another neighboring shelter or with a rescue that specializes in that breed.