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Animal Cruelty Hotline:

1-855-622-7722

For all other calls and inquiries
see our contact details.

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Adoption help topics

All adoptable animals are viewable onlineLearn what to expect when applying to adopt an animal.

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Adoption

To adopt a pig or any other animal from the BC SPCA, please visit our adoptions page. But before you adopt a pig, please consider the diversity of pig needs, which are much different from the needs of a pet dog or cat. For example:

  • How big should you expect a mini, micro or teacup pig to actually grow?
  • cute pigletWhat kind of manners do pigs have – how do they behave?
  • Are pigs compatible with other pets?
  • What do pigs eat?
  • Who will be your pig’s vet, and does your local vet accept pig patients?
  • Should you get a pet pig spayed or neutered?
  • What type of house-training is required?
  • What costs are involved?

Get the answer to these and other important questions on our pet pig information page.

Categories: Adoption, Farm animals

To adopt a chicken or any other animal from the BC SPCA, please visit our adoptions page. But before you decide to raise your own backyard chickens, please consider the following:

  • Does your municipality allow the keeping of backyard chickens?
  • What do chickens eat? What should you feed to chickens?
  • Do you have access to suitable veterinary care in your community?
  • What do you plan to do with your chickens once they stop laying eggs?
  • How will you protect your chickens from bad weather and natural predators?
  • What are you going to do with all that chicken poo?
  • What are the risks associated with owning chickens?
  • How do you transport a chicken? Do you know how to humanely catch a chicken?

Get the answer to these and other important questions on our urban chickens information page.

Categories: Adoption, Farm animals

To give adopters more adoption locations and to help more animals find their forever homes, the BC SPCA partners with local pet retailers and veterinary clinics that host offsite adoption centres.

Offsite adoption centres are a great option for people that are not comfortable with visiting a shelter. View a list of our adoption partner locations.

Veterinary clinics or other retailers interested in becoming an BC SPCA satellite adoption site are invited to call the BC SPCA at 604-681-7271.

Search for adoptable animals now >>

Fluffy cute cat looking up into the camera lens

Category: Adoption

No, buying an animal you have never seen in person can be dangerous (PDF). In pictures and descriptions, the animal might appear to be cute, happy and healthy. However, once you’ve exchanged money and the animal is shipped to you, you might be in trouble – search for animals to adopt from your local BC SPCA shelter instead.

Curious cute black puppy dog lying on carpet indoors next to a basket

Issues related to buying an animal you’ve never met

  • The animal might not be socialized to people or could have behaviour problems. This means they could bite or scratch and might never enjoy your company!
  • An animal that looks healthy can be deceiving. They could have worms, parasites or even genetic diseases (PDF) with high costs and long-term heartache.
  • What if the animal isn’t a good fit with you and your family? Are you prepared to put them through the process of being returned? What would you do instead?

puppy in pet store cage

If you’re buying from a rescue, make sure you meet the animal in person – even if you have to drive for many hours to do so. Ask the rescue some key questions to make sure this animal is a good fit for you and your family.

If you’re buying from a breeder, visit the breeder’s home and facility. Do not trust pictures or scans of documents, these can easily be falsely created.

Read our position on the sale of pets from pet stores (PDF).

Puppy dog looking sad behind a gate cage

What are the concerns with buying from a pet store?

  • You don’t know where the animals came from. What if they were living in filth and their mothers were abused or neglected? They might have costly genetic (PDF), health and behaviour problems their entire lives. Learn more about good and bad breeders.
  • Many stores carry animals that they have no expertise or knowledge to care for. These animals are not given the Five Freedoms. Many just want a safe place to hide and rest and enough space and things to do. Often, cramped housing conditions don’t meet even their most basic needs.
  • When animals are transported to the pet store, they are often in cramped containers. Many animals, especially small animals like fish and gerbils, will die during transport.
  • If you buy from a pet store, you are creating a space for another animal to be brought in, continuing a cycle of pain and suffering.

What happens to pet store animals who aren’t sold?

Just like with inventory in retail, animals go on sale. If the animal is marked down and no one purchases her, the store may give the animal away or try to return her to the breeder. After a very low cost sale of an animal that has high care costs, the store will think twice and will not purchase another, be it a puppy, turtle or gecko.

Cute rat in cage with hands over bars looking over opening of cage

Are you worried about the well-being of an animal you saw in a pet store?

If you believe an animal you have seen may be in distress, call the BC SPCA Provincial Call Centre at 1-855-622-7722.

The BC SPCA does not certify or recommend other rescue groups.

What makes a shelter or rescue reputable?

They assess the animal’s behaviour

  • An adoption matching process helps to ensure the animal is the right match for you and your lifestyle.
  • The animal has had a behavioural assessment or close behaviour monitoring to learn about what they need and identify any behavioural problems. They can provide a record of it.
  • Ideally, they know if the animal is a good fit for a household with cats, dogs and young children.

They consider the animal’s health

  • The rescue provides adequate veterinary care prior to your adoption. You should expect a cat or dog to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, de-wormed and given permanent identification. Rabbits should be spayed or neutered.
  • Health and medical records provided show an ongoing relationships with a veterinarian or veterinarians.
  • The rescue does not exceed its capacity to provide humane care for animals. All animals receive proper care, cleaning, feeding, exercise and enrichment.
  • Housing for the animals is clean and sanitary, with space to move around and act naturally.

They address the adopter’s concerns

  • A return policy states they are willing to accept the animal back at any time if the adoption does not work out and this is clearly written somewhere.
  • The rescue is transparent about medical and behavioural problems and expected future needs.

Questions to ask before you foster or adopt an animal through a rescue

  1. What is the animal’s history?
  2. What are his or her medical and behavioural issues? Does he or she have separation anxiety or aggression?
  3. Is the animal house trained?
  4. What happens if it doesn’t work out?

If the animal is from another country, ask what diseases and parasites he or she has been tested for. Be sure to reach out to a veterinarian and discuss the risks for the animal itself and the animals they might come in contact with in your home or in public.

If fostering, ask:

  • How long am I expected to foster for?
  • What do you provide and what am I expected to pay for?
  • What do I do if there is a medical emergency? If I have a problem, who do I contact?
Category: Adoption

Yes, you can adopt horses from the BC SPCA. Horses come into the care of the BC SPCA as a result of cruelty investigations. These horses are rehabilitated on-site at the BC SPCA Good Shepherd Barn or in foster homes across the province.

Viewings are by appointment. A completed adoption application (PDF) and a home check are required as part of the adoption process.

Adoption fees vary from $250 to $750, or more. Basic medical exams are performed by a veterinarian when horses are in our care; however, it is recommended that potential adopters carry out pre-purchase exams when considering horse adoption.

Search for horses now >>

Categories: Adoption, Farm animals

It costs the BC SPCA $25 per day to care for a horse. In addition to this, there are other costs of care:

  • Intake exam and blood work when necessary: $150+
  • Hoof trimming every 4-6 weeks: $40 per trim
  • Internal and external parasite treatment/control: $20
  • Castration of intact male horses: $500
  • Other medical care/medications as needed

horse and pony outside at barn

Categories: Adoption, Farm animals

Horses and farm animals come into the BC SPCA’s care through cruelty investigations. Sadly, they are usually in poor condition. In many cases they require extensive nutritional and medical rehabilitation due to starvation and health issues.

The BC SPCA has the extremely difficult challenge of finding care for these horses and adopting them out to experienced, permanent homes. In 2015 the Cruelty Investigations Department opened the Good Shepherd Barn in Cloverdale and the Kelowna Recovery and Adoption Barn to accommodate horses and farm animals involved in cruelty investigations. A third farm animal facility is being planned for Nanaimo. The BC SPCA does not have the resources to take in surrendered horses and farm animals at this time.

We rely heavily on donations to provide foster homes and boarding facilities for horses in our care. Other expenses include food, veterinary and farrier care during rehabilitation and recovery from injuries or illness.

person walking with horse outside

No, at this time, we do not have gift cards available at the BC SPCA.

The quick answer is yes! However, you still have to meet our four non-negotiable factors and the animal needs to be matched to the person receiving the animal as a gift. Please visit your local BC SPCA shelter or check out our adoptable animals. Learn more, watch our video on giving pets as gifts:

yellow dog on laptopPlease see our adoptable animals for the status of an animal you may have seen.

Please note, even though this website is live and updates frequently, we cannot ensure the animal is still available for adoption when you arrive at the shelter. There is a chance the animal may have been adopted by the time you arrive, or another party might be going through the adoption process at the time.

Category: Adoption

Fostering an animal means you take a BC SPCA animal into your home and care for them for us. While they’re in your home, we provide you with food and medical care until the pet is available for adoption. Foster families help animals recover from illnesses/injuries or provide them with socialization and love.

If you are unsure about adopting an animal, or unable to make the commitment at this time, fostering can be a great way to bring animals into your life.

While fostering is temporary, many foster families fall in love with the animal in their care and decide to adopt them.

injured dog

Some general things we look for in foster families:

  • Length of commitment from a couple of days to several weeks
  • Ability to spend time with the animal every day
  • Daily monitoring of the animal as needed
  • Ability to accommodate time to transport the animal, as needed, for appointments, treatments and weigh-ins

kitten with bottle

Fostering opportunities

  • Nursing dog with puppies
  • Nursing cat with kittens
  • Orphaned kittens or puppies
  • Sick or injured animals needing medical care
  • Animals needing help with behaviour issues
  • Puppies and kittens too young to be in the shelter

If you are 19 years of age or older, you can apply to become a foster guardian. Learn more about our program, download fostering for the BC SPCA (PDF) and watch the video below.

While being an animal guardian is an invaluable experience, there are certain costs associated with adopting your pet. The adoption fee that we charge helps to cover our cost of caring for animals, while we find them loving homes. Below is a list of what is included in each adoption fee, by type of animal.

Search for adoptable animals now >>

Dog adoption fees include:

  • An in-shelter physical performed by staff
  • Temperament assessment
  • Behaviour profile
  • First round of standard shelter “core” vaccinations (does not include rabies)**
  • Flea and other external parasite treatments as required
  • Routine deworming and other internal parasite treatments as required
  • Spay or neuter surgery (a voucher may be provided for pediatric surgeries at select locations)
  • Microchip identification implant and lifetime registration with the BC Pet Registry*
  • Certificate for a free veterinarian examination (at participating veterinary clinics & select locations)
  • Sample bag of food and coupon provided by Hill’s Pet Nutrition as fed in shelter
  • Six week free trial of pet insurance provided by Petsecure Pet Health Insurance
  • Medical treatment if required while in our care
  • Daily in-shelter care and monitoring

*All BC SPCA dog adoptions include a microchip and lifetime registration with the BC Pet Registry. Registration is $45 for lifetime protection which will be added on top of the adoption fee.

**Standard “core” shelter vaccinations for dogs include: distemper, adenovirus 2, parvovirus, parainfluenza and bordetella (kennel cough)

happy golden retriever lying on a cushion couch indoors getting pets from a man

Cat adoption fees include:

  • An in-shelter physical performed by staff
  • First round of standard shelter “core” vaccinations (does not include rabies or feline leukemia)**
  • Flea and other external parasite treatments as required
  • Routine deworming and other internal parasite treatments as required
  • Spay or neuter surgery (a voucher may be provided for pediatric surgeries at select locations)
  • Microchip identification implant and lifetime registration with the BC Pet Registry*
  • Certificate for a free veterinarian examination (at participating veterinary clinics & select locations)
  • Sample bag of food and coupon provided by Hill’s Pet Nutrition as fed in shelter
  • Six week free trial of pet insurance provided by Petsecure Pet Health Insurance
  • Their Hide, Perch & Go™ box (a cat’s personal temporary pet carrier)
  • Medical treatment if required while in our care
  • Daily in-shelter care and monitoring

*All BC SPCA cat adoptions include a microchip and lifetime registration with the BC Pet Registry. Registration is $45 for lifetime protection which will be added on top of the adoption fee.

**Standard “core” shelter vaccinations for cats include: rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia.

Pretty cat with spotted fur looking up lying down on the floor

Rabbit adoption fees include:

  • An in-shelter physical performed by staff
  • Spay or neuter surgery (a voucher may be provided for surgeries at select locations)
  • Microchip identification implant and lifetime registration with the BC Pet Registry*
  • Certificate for a free veterinarian examination (at participating veterinary clinics & select locations)
  • Medical treatment if required while in our care
  • Daily in-shelter care and monitoring

*All BC SPCA rabbit adoptions include a microchip and lifetime registration with the BC Pet Registry. Registration is $11.25 for lifetime protection which will be added on top of the adoption fee.

White rabbit being cuddled by girl

Small pet & bird adoption fees include:

  • An in-shelter physical performed by staff
  • Certificate for a free veterinarian examination (at participating veterinary clinics & select locations)
  • Medical treatment if required while in our care
  • Daily in-shelter care and monitoring

Two guinea pigs with fluffy hair

Horse adoption fees include:

  • An intake exam performed by a veterinarian
  • A nutritional assessment and individualized feed plan
  • Certificate for complimentary nutritional consult, bag of feed and treats from Otter Co-op (at participating stores & select locations)
  • Castration of intact male horses
  • Hoof assessment and regular trimming while in our care
  • Lice and other external parasite treatments as required
  • Routine deworming and other internal parasite treatments as required
  • Medical treatment if required while in our care
  • Daily in-shelter care and monitoring

Farm animal adoption fees include:

  • An intake exam performed by a veterinarian
  • A nutritional assessment and individualized feed plan
  • Castration of intact male farm animals
  • Hoof assessment and regular trimming while in our care
  • Lice and other external parasite treatments as required
  • Routine deworming and other internal parasite treatments as required
  • Medical treatment if required while in our care
  • Daily in-shelter care and monitoring

Category: Adoption

The average dog that comes into the care of the BC SPCA receives:

  • In-shelter physical
  • Temperament assessment
  • Behaviour profile
  • First round of standard shelter “core” vaccinations* (does not include rabies)
  • Flea and external parasite treatment as required
  • Routine deworming and other internal parasite treatment as required
  • Spay or neuter surgery
  • Medical treatment if required while in our care
  • Daily in-shelter care and monitoring
  • Housing
  • Feeding
  • Cleaning and supplies

Average cost of care for dogs based on an average length of stay of nine days: $445

*Standard “core” shelter vaccinations for dogs include: distemper, adenovirus 2, parvovirus, parainfluenza and bordetella (kennel cough)

A beautiful moment between a dog and a woman lying on a carpet indoors cuddling

The average cat that comes into the care of the BC SPCA receives:

  • In-shelter physical
  • First round of standard shelter “core” vaccinations** (does not include rabies)
  • Flea and external parasite treatment as required
  • Routine deworming and other internal parasite treatment as required
  • Spay or neuter surgery
  • Medical treatment if required while in our care
  • Daily in-shelter care and monitoring
  • Hide, Perch & Go™ box
  • Housing
  • Feeding
  • Cleaning and supplies

Average cost of care for cats based on an average length of stay of 18 days: $455**

**Standard “core” shelter vaccinations for cats include: rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia.

The BC SPCA charges adoption fees to help us offset the cost of caring for the animals. Learn more about our average cost of care for cats and dogs and find out what’s included when you adopt a pet from the BC SPCA.

Smiling dog outdoors wearing a collar with mouth open being pet and cuddled by a girl

Category: Adoption

The BC SPCA Drive for Lives program transfers more than 4,000 animals each year between our 44 locations in B.C. Depending on your location, and the location and status of the animal you’re interested in, we may be able to bring the animal to a shelter closer to you. Please contact your local shelter to learn more.

BC SPCA van on scenic road driving drive for lives

Category: Adoption

Every adoption is unique and the time it takes to adopt varies. Some animals can go home the same day if they are successfully matched. Visit our adoptable animals section to start your search today.

Category: Adoption

While being an animal guardian is an invaluable experience, there are certain costs associated with adopting your pet. The adoption fee that we charge helps to cover our cost of caring for animals, while we find them loving homes.

Search for adoptable animals now >>

Adoption fees vary by animal and by  branch. For specific fees in your region, check with your local branch or learn more about what’s included in your adoption fee.

Young cute kitten being held cuddles up against girl

Category: Adoption

Due to the number of adoption queries we receive at our shelters, we are unable to keep wait lists for certain breeds of animals, puppies or kittens.

On our adoptable animals page, you can request an email notification when a certain breed of animal becomes available for adoption.

Category: Adoption

happy golden retriever lying on a cushion couch indoors getting pets from a man

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