Here are some of the questions we often get asked. If you don't see your question, feel free to reach out to us through our Contact page or by phone at (203) 750-9572.
Renting with Pets
Pet Medical Assistance
Surrender or Report
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get my pet Spayed/neuter for a low cost?
PAWS CT does not spay or neuter pets that are not in our shelter. If you adopted a kitten or puppy, please call us for more information at (203)750-9572. If you are looking for low cost spay/neutering, please visit our Resources page.
Can I get my pet Vaccinated for a low cost?
PAWS does not vaccinate pets that are not in our shelter. If you are looking for low cost vaccination, please visit our Resources page. A company called Luv-My-Pet offers low-cost vaccination clinics, as well as low-cost heartworm testing, FIV/FeLV testing, and deworming services, at various Petco locations. You can find out more about Luv-My-Pet by calling 860-793-9162 or by contacting your local Petco.
What Veterinarians do you recommend?
Please visit our Resources page for a list of recommended vets near you.
I found a stray Cat!
There are literally millions of "feral" (wild) and stray cats in the USA. They come from various sources: cats that were dumped by their owners, cats that maybe got out of the house when they weren't supposed to and have gotten lost and cats that have been born outside and are the kittens of stray cats. Feral and stray cats have varying degrees of friendliness to humans. A cat that was once owned may still be friendly to people and could be placed into a new home. Other cats may be nervous around people, but with some work can be rehabilitated. Yet others are completely wild and can never be house pets.
If you have a completely wild cat hanging around your home or office, the best that we are going to be able to offer you is to provide a trap to catch the cat in. Once captured, we can only offer information for feral spay/neuter options in the area (see below). After that, you will have to re-release the cat back to the area where it came from. While this may sound cruel, as long as the cat has a food source and a place for shelter, they can make a life for themselves. These cats cannot be socialized to humans and the only other alternative for them is to spend the rest of their lives living in terror in a cage or being taken to a humane society or vet and having them destroyed. None of these options are perfect, but the trap/neuter/release option at least gives them their life and stops the cycle of endless breeding which only bring more kittens into the same fate.
If you found a seemingly house cat hanging around, you should call the Animal Control group for your area. They will come out and should be able to help track down the owner. Social media is also a great way to advertise lost and found animals. Post a photo in a few groups in your area to try to find the owner and let them know where the animal is.
However, we would be happy to take a description of the cat so we can add it to our Lost & Found book. Please contact us by phone or e-mail giving us a description of the animal (breed, size, color, gender), any identifying features (collar, scars), the location where the animal was seen, and your contact information.
Also, please understand that since our resources are limited, we must focus on the strays/ferals right here in our own "backyard" first. The need is so great and we cannot cover all areas. We are usually not able to accommodate strays/ferals from outside the Fairfield County area. We can try to assist you in finding a rescue group closer to the town in which you live.
NOTE: Please do NOT just come to PAWS with a stray cat that you want us to evaluate! We must schedule all appointments in advance. Additionally, we have a limited number of cages available to us and we cannot accept cats without prior knowledge of them coming to us.
Spay/Neuter Options for Feral and Stray Cats:
New Hope Clinic: 860-620-0325, www.hopect.org
Nutmeg Spay/Neuter Clinic : 203-690-1550, www.nutmegclinic.org
I found a stray Dog!
PAWS cannot accept stray dogs. If you have found a dog, you must report this immediately to the municipal shelter in the town or city in which the dog was found. The Humane Society has a guide if you are able to contain the animal by yourself at HumaneSociety.org.
However, we would be happy to take a description of the dog so we can add it to our Lost & Found book. Please contact us by phone or e-mail giving us a description of the animal (breed, size, color, gender), any identifying features (collar, scars), the location where the animal was seen, and your contact information.
Do you take in Wildlife?
PAWS does not accept or rehabilitate injured or orphaned wildlife. This is a speciality and we simply do not have the expertise to be able to help these animals.
If you come across wildlife that appears to be injured or orphaned, please go to Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. On this website you will find a great wealth of useful information including how to handle injured wildlife, what to do if you think you've found orphaned wildlife, phone numbers for wildlife rehabilitators and much more.
Help! I lost my pet!
We collect information about lost and found animals and try to connect you back to your pet if it has been found. Many social media groups also advertise animals that have been found so we recommend looking around on sites such as Facebook which has many groups for CT lost pets.
However, we would be happy to take a description of the dog or cat so we can add it to our Lost & Found book. Please contact us by phone or e-mail giving us a description of the animal (breed, size, color, gender), any identifying features (collar, scars), the location where the animal was seen, and your contact information.
Giving up your pet to PAWS
PAWS makes every effort to help as many pets as we can, but we have limited space and limited funds. As a No-Kill shelter, we can only accept new pets as we place our current residents, so please give us as much advance notice as possible if you are looking to place your pet on our waiting list. PAWS only accepts dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens from the Fairfield County, CT area. If you have a pet of another species you are seeking to place, please contact us and we will attempt to refer you to other rescue groups that may be able to help. Please fill out and turn in a questionnaire about your pet, found below.
We also recommend that you contact as many groups as possible within your area as another group may be able to help you sooner than we can. Please see these our resources page for a list of dog rescues and cat rescues throughout Connecticut and the surrounding states.
On average, it costs PAWS more than $500 to care for each pet, from the time of intake, to the time the pet gets adopted. Our adoption fees do not even begin to cover these expenses and as such we must request a donation for each pet released to PAWS.
Surrender a Cat:
Minimum surrender fee: $100 (elderly or ill animals, an additional donation to offset costs is appreciated)
All cats must be up to date on appropriate vaccinations including rabies and distemper. In addition, cats must have a negative result on a feline leukemia/combo test within 3 months of coming to the shelter. We cannot accept feral cats, please check out resource page for spay/neutering options.
Surrender a Dog
All dogs must be up to date on appropriate vaccinations including rabies and distemper. We will schedule an appointment for you to bring your dog in for an evaluation. We may or may not accept the dog into the shelter at that time, depending on kennel space. Your dog must have proof of a rabies vaccine at the time of the evaluation. By law, we cannot take in stray dogs. If you are trying to place puppies, please call us as soon as possible at 203.750.9572.
Intake Waiting List
Completion of the form does not guarantee that PAWS will be able to take your pet. When a space becomes available for an accepted pet, you will be contacted to schedule an "Intake Appointment". You will be asked to have your veterinarian fax records to PAWS prior to the Intake Appointment.
Finding a New Home for my pet
Here are some suggestions if you seek other options for rehoming your pet:
PAWS can post a photo and description of your pet, along with your contact information, on our website, on our Petfinder page, and Adopt-a-Pet site. There is a $15 charge for this service. Please email us the photo and description of your pet along with your contact info. Please send a check in the amount of $15 made out to PAWS and send to: PAWS, 504 Main Ave, Norwalk, CT 06851 or you can drop this off at our shelter.
Be sure to include the following information:
Name of Pet
Whether pet is spayed/neutered
Why the pet needs to be rehomed
Any special needs (e.g., home with no other pets, adult-only home, stay-at-home owner, health issues or medication needs, etc.)
List some of the pets best qualities
List any issues that will require work or patience
Be sure to provide your name, phone number, and e-mail address, which will be included in the posting
Please be aware that PAWS will have no involvement or responsibility in screening potential adopters who contact you.
Our other advice includes:
Independently advertise your pet in as many locations as possible.
Make a flyer, containing a good photo of your pet. Post the flyer on bulletin boards in stores, libraries, places of worship, veterinary hospitals, boarding facilities, grooming salons, etc.
Please be certain that your dog or cat has been spayed or neutered prior to making it available for adoption. Not only will this be beneficial to the health of your pet, but it will make it far less likely that your pet will be adopted by someone who has harmful intentions.
Here is a link for suggested questions to ask someone who is interested in adopting your pet: Ten Questions to Ask
Contact other shelters and rescue groups. If there is no space available, as is often the case, ask if your pet can be placed on a waiting list. To find listings of other groups, check our Resource page.
Be sure to check with friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, etc. to find out if someone might be interested in providing a home to your pet. If you cannot find a permanent home for your pet, is there someone who can provide a temporary home, while your pet is waiting to be admitted to a shelter?
Under no circumstance should you leave your pet behind when you move; nor should you otherwise abandon it. Abandoning a pet is cruel and against the law. If you have a true emergency and have not had success in finding a new home for your pet, please contact your local Animal Control facility. In some municipalities, Animal Control facilities accept owner-surrendered dogs and/or owner-surrendered cats, while some do not.
If you are seeking to rehome your pet because the pet is ill, incontinent, or has exhibited behavioral problems, please be honest about this when discussing your pet with shelter representatives or potential adopters. If you are seeking to place your cat because it has been urinating outside of the litter box, please be honest about this. We might be able to offer some suggestions. If your dog has become aggressive with a child in your home, let us know this. Failure to disclose this information can result in future heartache both for other people and for your pet.
Report Abuse or Neglect
We appreciate your concern, but as a private organization, PAWS is not authorized to investigate animal abuse or neglect and we do not have any legal right to seize animals from abusive or neglectful situations. If you see instances of abuse or neglect, or you suspect that an animal is being abused or neglected, please contact the Animal Control Division of your local municipal shelter or police department. They will investigate the situation, and take measures in accordance with the law.
Are there restrictions on adoption?
We will only consider pet parents who live within a reasonable driving distance of the shelter. This is because we insist you spend time with the pet in person before the adoption so make sure it is the best fit possible for you and the animal. You also must be over 21 years old. All other pets in the house must have updated vaccines and be in good hands or good health. You must meet with our adoption counseler before you can meet the potential pet.
Do I have to live near Norwalk, CT?
We will only consider pet parents who live within a reasonable driving distance of the shelter. This is because we insist you spend time with the pet in person before the adoption so make sure it is the best fit possible for you and the animal.
Can I choose a specific breed?
PAWS often has purebred dogs available for adoption, as do many other shelters and rescue groups. If we do not currently have the type of dog in which you are interested, we invite you to complete our Dog Adoption Application and let us know what breed of dog you seek to adopt. We will place your Application in our Breed Request file and contact you if we get a dog of that breed that we think you would like to meet.
We also recommend that you visit http://www.petfinder.com, an online database that allows you to search for adoptable pets by entering your zip code and the criteria you seek, including breed. And another option is to contact a “Breed Rescue Group” for the breed in which you are interested. You can perform this search on line by entering the breed and the word “rescue”. For example, you can enter “Rottweiler Rescue” or “Beagle Rescue” on your search engine.:
There are many wonderful purebred and mixed breed dogs awaiting new homes. With millions of dogs being put to death in shelters each year in our Country, we urge you to adopt, rather than support the practices of breeders, pet stores, and puppy mills. For more information about stores that sell puppies and puppy mills, please go to http://www.savepuppymilldogs.com.
Can I foster a pet?
PAWS is always seeking volunteers who are willing to provide foster homes for our animals when the need arises. Examples of animals that may need fostering include young motherless kittens who need to be bottle-fed, kittens or puppies who are too young to be housed at the shelter, dogs or cats recovering from illness or injury, and dogs or cats who would benefit from spending time in a home.
Some foster situations will be short-term, and can range from anywhere between overnight or weekend care, to care lasting for several weeks. Requirements for fostering a PAWS animal or a litter of animals will vary depending upon the particular animal’s needs. If you are interested in becoming a PAWS foster parent, please complete and submit our Foster Application.
Where can I donate?
PAWS can use donations of many different types of items, but to be honest, our biggest need is money. We are a non-profit organization and only survive by the generosity of private donations. We do not receive funding from any city, state or federal agency. The medical care and boarding-related expenses for the pets are our biggest drain of funds. If you would like to give, you can make a secure donation by credit card right from our website, or mail a check to PAWS at:
PAWS, 504 Main Ave, Norwalk, CT 06851
If you would like your donation to be used for a specific function, please note it on your check. We have the following programs:
Spay/Neuter Fund (helps provide low cost spay/neuter to low income families and the elderly)
Critical Care (Cosmo) Fund (helps pay for medical expenses for very sick or injured pets)
Operating Fund (helps us pay for the day to day expenses - food, vaccines, etc. for the pets in our care)
Trap/Neuter/Release (TNR): Help spay and neuter some of the thousands of feral (wild) cats in Fairfield County
Item or Service donations
Visit our Donate Items page for a list of items and services we really need.
If you would like to donate any of these items, please call PAWS at (203) 750-9572. Or bring them to the shelter any afternoon from 12 noon to 4:00 pm.
A huge Thank You to all our volunteers and donors! We couldn't do this without you!