The Animal Shelter Inc. of Sterling, Massachusetts EIN # 04-3236868 is a non-profit organization (formed in 1988 - incorporated in 1996) and no-kill animal shelter with no time or age restrictions. The shelter exists to provide humane sheltering and high quality medical care for stray, unwanted, abused and neglected animals and to find loving, lifelong homes for orphaned pets.
The staff is dedicated to finding good homes for adoptable pets and we continue to promote responsible pet ownership and to improve the quality of life for the animals and people in our community. The Shelter is supported entirely by donations from private individuals and through surrender and adoption fees. The Animal Shelter, Inc. does not receive support from the United Way or from federal, state or local governments. Our on-site veterinary clinic cares for over 3,000+ animals that come through our shelter yearly and provides a low/no cost spay/neuter, general wellness program assisting local animal control officers, shelters and breed rescues.
Some of our Shelter Programs…
PetRock – www.petrockfest.com - Established September 1999 – Co-sponsored/organized by our shelter for 9 long years! -The mission of the Pet Rock Festival is to provide a venue where animal welfare organizations of all kinds (from those that fight to prevent cruelty in the courts to shelters to rescues to rehabilitation programs) gather to educate the public about their pets and programs, promote kindness to animals, and raise money for their organizations. This event draws thousands of pet lovers from all over New England each year.
Early Spay/Neuter Program - Effective February 15th, 1999 - the Animal Shelter Inc. spays / neuters all animals before they leave the shelter. This includes puppies and kittens as young as 6 weeks. We maintain a 100% compliance rate and will NOT adopt un-neutered animals UNLESS it is a MEDICAL necessity due to age, complications and/or known congenital defects, which may risk the pet's life. Early age spay and neuter is the surgical sterilization of companion animals prior to the conventional age of 6 months. For an increasing number of shelters it can mean 100% sterilization compliance rates, fewer returned animals, and improved staff morale. While it may seem that interest in early spay/neuter is a recent phenomenon, it has not only been talked about, but it has been practiced for over 25 years in North America!
Save A Sato Program – www.saveasato.org – Established May 1999 - our shelters joint life-saving venture with animal rescue volunteers of Puerto Rico. Hundreds of homeless, starved, poisoned and tortured animals are rescued and rehabilitated and sent to our shelter each year, where they await loving, lifelong homes. The volunteers in Puerto Rico (at their own cost) take these animals known as "Satos" (mixed breed street dogs) off the cruel streets and care for them until they are healthy enough to be flown to our shelter. Here at our shelter, they are bathed, re-vaccinated, spayed or neutered, vet checked and found loving homes! To date our shelter has rescued and re-homed thousands of these amazing animals.
Seniors 4 Seniors - Established October 18, 2000 The staff realizes that companion animals are essential to keeping people healthy, vibrant and to reducing blood pressure and stress. Often times older people need and want animals to give them love and companionship throughout their golden years. Because the staff recognizes that pets can be expensive if one is on disability, Social Security or limited income, we have created a Seniors for Seniors program. The shelter waives the adoption fee of any qualifying animal at our shelter 5+ years for an adopter 55 years or older. The shelter will also have that pet spayed or neutered, fully vaccinated and vet checked before sending it home with the adopting family. The average cost of this service is over $500. The adopting Senior is taking home a healthy, friendly companion and saving the initial cost of any medical care and adoption fees. This program is a win/win situation for both the adopter and the pet.
Spay Your Mama & Neuter Your Daddy– Established January 2001 – our shelter provides free and low cost spaying/neutering for pet owners that have recently surrendered offspring of their pet/s. Those pets who enter this program must meet specific criteria for our services. It is our goal to accept the juveniles into our shelter (where they will be spayed or neutered before adoption), spay the mother (and father) dog/cat so they do not become repeat offenders of continual litters reproducing in our community. Prior to instituting this program, we repeatedly saw multiple litters of puppies/kittens coming from the same household. We have spayed hundreds of dogs/cats that would have otherwise kept delivering puppies/kittens in to our community.
Homebound Hounds Program – Established July 2000 - A Death Row Puppy Rescue Mission -Rescuing and re-homing puppies/dogs from Virginia - destined to die in the gas chambers. Currently we work with dozens of rural community kill shelters, animal control facilities and pounds. Here at our shelter, they are bathed, re-vaccinated, spayed or neutered, vet checked and found loving homes! We have rescued and re-homed over 10,000 dogs and puppies through this program. Tennessee Rescue – Summer 2006 – this same program was launched with shelters/rescues in rural TN.
Rescue Group Assistance – Established 2003 - our shelter clinic also provides low/no cost spay/neuter, treatment, vaccination care for several dozen breed rescue organizations, cat rescue programs and smaller shelters that do not have funds or veterinary care available to them. Each month on a space available basis we provide AT COST medical care for these non profit organizations so they are able to adopt out pets maintaining a 100% compliance rate on spay/neuter PRIOR to adoption. To date our shelter vet staff has performed thousands of surgeries/treatments and medical procedures for several dozen organizations. Additionally, our shelter collects and donates thousands of pounds of pet food and supplies for groups less fortunate than ours.
Worldwide Outreach Program – Established September 2003 – The staff, vets and volunteers at our shelter have partnered with rescue organizations in the Caribbean islands to spay/neuter and provide general veterinary care for the animals of their community at NO COST. In the Caribbean there is no money and no governmental support for animals. Our newest program is to assemble a vet team one to two times a year and travel to the most remote parts of the Caribbean (and beyond) to assist the poorest of people care for their pets. Spay/Neuter is our most important focus as well as education, proper nutrition, and ID collars for the pets. Not only do we spay or neuter their pets, we continue to collect donations and supplies to send every couple of months. 100% of the trip, supplies and materials are donated or funds are raised specifically for these trips. Our shelter staff and vets have traveled to Saint Lucia, Puerto Rico, and the Galapagos Islands.
Merit “Bone Badge” Program –The "Bone Badge" Girl Scout Pet Care patch, initiated in September 2003 has proven successful. The girls have a minimum number of lessons in kindness to perform in order to earn their patch. The program and all the lessons are age appropriate for Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes/Seniors. The girls learn how to be safe around animals, how to properly care for a pet, importance of having proper identification on pets, and the importance of medical care. We have educated hundreds of girls this year so far.
Kids Helping Kritters Humane Education – Established September 2003 – a formal program for kids that are to young to help IN our shelter. The kids have the ability to tour the shelter, learn about community involvement and the importance of volunteering. The children get a behind the scenes tour of the shelter and are educated on a variety of animal welfare topics including basic animal care, the responsibility of owning a pet, how to be safe around pets, importance of spaying and neutering, and what THEY can do to help the pets in our shelter and community.
Disaster Rescue Assistance – Established August 2004 – trained shelter staff and veterinarians travel to natural and man made disasters to assist animals in need. Rescue, recovery and rehabilitation are the main focus. 100% of the trip/s are funded through our donations. Our shelter is proud to have assisted after Hurricane Charley and Hurricane Katrina.
Veterinary and Veterinary Technician Training Program - Established January 2005 we started an official externship program with Tufts University veterinarian students and Becker College (veterinary technician school). Fourth year vet students from veterinary colleges work two-week rotations at our on-site shelter clinic. To date, we have had over 40 students (We have more students trying to sign up daily, but we don’t have enough space or doctor’s to supervise the externs.) The vet technician program trains students for their 200 mandatory hours of rotations as well. Here at the Animal Shelter Inc. of Sterling, we have the opportunity to educate the students about the pet overpopulation problem, pediatric spay/neuter procedures and protocols (which are only practiced in a select few veterinary hospitals throughout all of New England), shelter medicine and herd management. It is with this that these new graduates will leave school with a sense of accomplishment and passion and will "give back" to the homeless animals in their community in the future.
Foster Family Program – Established January 2006 – each year our shelter receives hundreds of pets that are not immediately suitable for adoption. Pets that might be in need of medical care / treatment, socializing, behavioral evaluations and training, or may be too young to be spayed/neutered and sheltered for adoption at our facility. Our foster care program is a network of pet lovers that accept “fostered” pets in to their homes to provide care, socialization, stimulation and TLC until the pets are finalized on medical work and put up for adoption. Our foster care families each have a niche to provide a life saving option for pets that would otherwise be left as strays on the street, euthanized for behavior or medical reasons and passed over for potential adoption. Many of our foster families have a “specialty” within the foster program – be it feral feline rehabilitation, medical overview to provide basic medical care and medications, capability of evaluating and modifying behavioral issues or just a loving, warm, safe environment to allow our juvenile animals to grow in to young dogs/cats.
Shelter Volunteer Program – Established January 2006 – volunteers are critical to our organizations mission. Our shelter formalized a volunteer program which accepts volunteers 17 years and older. Formal orientations are held each month that walk potential volunteers through our shelter goals, missions and programs. Our volunteers have a variety of tasks they can participate in, including hands on pet care, administrative tasks and events. Over the past two years our shelter has benefited from hundreds of volunteers assisting our shelter, collectively donating several thousand hours of their time. 2007 statistics - Volunteers: 94
Total Volunteer hours for 2007: 4747 - Total Volunteer hours for 2008 as of October 1st : 3127
Kitty Convoy– Established Spring 2006 – an intra-state kitten (and cat) relocation program assisting overburdened euthanasia shelters in Massachusetts. Spring through fall (which is high volume kitten season for shelters in New England) - our shelter accepts felines from shelters that are filled to capacity and that face euthanasia for lack of space. Our shelter absorbs 100% of the costs to spay/neuter, test, vaccinate and care for these felines until they are adopted. To date we have accepted several HUNDRED felines through this program that would otherwise be euthanized through no fault of their own.
Whisker Walk www.whiskerwalk.org – Established June 2008 - A benefit to raise money and awareness for New England based animal shelters / rescue groups that do not have the funds and resources to host their own events. Our shelter pays for all costs associated with hosting the event but generously shares the ability for animal rescue groups to raise and keep 100% of funds they generate through their participation. The Whisker Walk caters to families and their pets and promotes responsible pet ownership / care, education and ADOPTION. It’s a unique twist on a walk-a-thon and an event that’s never been done before! A great forum for a public relations campaign, fundraising, encouraging the general public to adopt a homeless pet from one of their local shelters / rescues and of course, and to show-off the wonderful pets that we’ve all adopted out.
Safe Shelter Surviving Pet Care Program – Coming 2011 – For pet owners that are no longer able to care for their pets or if the pets should outlive the owner, the owner becomes ill and can no longer care for the pets, we will immediately finalize arrangements with the pet owners representative, family member, or executor to have their pets transported to our facilities for care, housing and medical treatment – where the pet will safely reside with us until adopted. This program is available to pets regardless of where they reside.
We're YOUR Local Animal Shelter... There's a place in your community where the hungry are fed, the homeless are sheltered, and the abandoned are given care. It’s your local animal shelter, right here in Sterling, MA. Where we provide comfort and care for our community's unwanted animals. We offer many other services too, for pets and their people. To do all this, we rely on the support of people like you. Here are a few ways you can help animals, especially those in our care...Give a little bit... Donate food or towels or old blankets and other needed supplies to us. Lend a hand and become a volunteer. Find that special someone here waiting for a home - ADOPT! Help spread the word about our program. Be a responsible pet owner. Vote for the animals. Support legislation that protects animals. Report animal cruelty. Teach your children respect for animals.
Adopting a friend
YOUR ADOPTION FEES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: and adoption fees can be found at http://www.sterlingshelter.org/adoption/fees.html
The entire family! Its hard to pick a family pet when the whole family isn’t there. Some pets react differently to children, to men, to women, to older people than they do anyone else. Some animals (even puppies/kittens) gravitate to children or men or women...others may shy away! What would happen if you brought a pet home and the pet hid under the kitchen table and growled at your kids and hissed at your husband? Its not fair to bring that pet back...but if you had your whole family here...we could see that WHEN YOU WERE HERE and realize thats not the appropriate home for the pet. Please understand this is a big decision and the whole family should be allowed to make this decision together. (This is the reason our shelter doesn’t allow gift adoptions) Families with children MUST have ALL children present for a meet and greet . This is for YOUR safety as well as the safety of OUR PETS! Have another dog/s? Great! We strongly recommend and advise you bring him too! Let your resident dog pick his/her new best friend. That way you are guaranteed a success! We have a large, enclosed meet and greet area where your canine can frolick with a potential new friend. If you own your home: Proof of home ownership (mortgage statement or water/sewer bill) If you rent from a management company or leasing company: you will need to provide a copy of a leasing agreement stating that pets are allowed on company or management letterhead. Handwritten letters will NOT be accepted!!!! Please make sure that you have a PHOTO ID with you as well OR If you Rent - You are required to get a copy of our Rental Contract signed by your Landlord. This agreement will soon be on our website but for now you can get a copy EMAILED to you by clicking here. In the subject header please ask for the Rental Contract. Please bring a drivers license as well! The shelter does NOT accept checks. We DO ACCEPT Visa, MC, Discover, or cash or ATM cards with the Visa/MC logo. There is a 3% service charge to use the credit card for any transactions.
The gate closes 15 minutes prior to closing time. Please call for Holiday Hours or see our website www.sterlingshelter.org (we are closed most major holidays and holiday weekends).
Animal Shelter Inc.
17 Laurelwood Road
Sterling, MA 01564
Phone: 978-422-8585 Fax: 978-422-8574
Click here for a list of pets at this shelter
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