FAQ

Q – How long do you keep animals?
A – The Lewis Clark Animal Shelter Board of Directors established a “no time limit” policy in regard to the animals at the shelter. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that healthy, adoptable dogs and cats are placed in loving homes. Adoptable dogs and cats are defined as all weaned or actively nursing animals that are reasonably healthy and well adjusted. Euthanasia is authorized for animals who are aggressive and placement with the public would pose a risk to family or pet safety and animals that are ill, injured or extremely old. Operating within low kill guidelines means there are no time limits regarding the length of stay for any animal at the shelter. Most of our animals find new homes withing 2 or 3 weeks.

Q – Are you a ‘no kill’ shelter?
A – No. We do not ‘kill’ for time or space constraints, however a truly ‘no kill’ shelter describes a permanent sanctuary which would require limited admission or severe crowding would result. We are, however, an extremely ‘low kill’ shelter.  We are a contractual animal shelter.  That means we are responsible to admit and care for ALL dogs and cats delivered by animal control officers in two counties and all towns and cities within those two counties.  Our purpose is to reunite pets with their owners and placement of abandoned or relinquished animals in adoptive home.  We are North Idaho’s largest nonprofit full-service animal-welfare agency. While “no-kill” shelters reject animals that are aged, sick or injured, or have little or no chance of being adopted – we take every dog and cat brought in by law enforcement. We provide care to all animals we receive for as long as possible.   Without the availability of a full-service shelter such as ours, thousands of animals would have no safe refuge. Since we receive animals in all condition and all ages, we are faced with the difficult task of evaluating them for medical and temperament problems. Despite our veterinary resources, many animals arrive at our shelter too sick, too severely injured or too horribly abused to be medically rehabilitated. We humanely euthanize these animals to prevent suffering.  In addition, we humanely euthanize animals with severe behavioral problems or temperament problems that constitute a safety risk to people or other animals.

Q – Is it true shelter and rescue animals have problems that make them homeless?
A – Definitely not. The majority of our shelter population are well adjusted, often well-trained, wonderful animals, a minority have behavior issues that are typically a result of insufficient socialization and lack of established boundaries & training as youngsters. These behavior traits can easily be modified using consistent, proven techniques and a little patience.  They typically end up at shelters due to no fault of their own. Pet overpopulation, unclaimed strays, irresponsible pet ownership, and a family’s relocation to a place where pets are not allowed are the primary causes for pets becoming shelter animals.

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Q – Is it recommended to adopt a puppy or a kitten versus an adult dog or cat to ensure getting a ‘good dog’?
A – Not necessarily. Puppies and kittens are irresistible and do give us the opportunity to provide appropriate socialization and training, right from the start. Adopting a puppy or kitten requires a dedicated time commitment, a high level of patience, physical changes in your own daily habits, and often, the acceptance that you may experience some puppy/kitty housebreaking and teething accidents in your home. We have found that the old adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is simply not true. Adult cats and dogs are often a better choice for some families than going the puppy / kitten route. Pets are incredibly adaptable creatures, and given the right guidance, they can assimilate into most any new, loving home, no matter what their age.

Q – My pet has bitten/growled/snapped at me/my kids/someone else.  Can I bring him/her to the shelter for you to find him/her a new home?
A – No! First of all, we view pets as family members and expect that they are treated as such. Thus, it is your responsibility to first seek professional help from a trainer or animal behaviorist to evaluate the circumstances and explore possible solutions. Secondly, if your animal displays severe aggressiveness, it is our policy to refuse entry. The placement of an aggressive animal into society not only poses a threat to public safety and that contradicts the very mission of Lewis Clark Animal Shelter.

Q – Who owns the shelter and is it a government agency?
A – The Lewis Clark Animal Shelter is a private, non-profit 501 C-3 corporation. The shelter operates with a very modest core management staff and kennel assistants. The 10 member Board of Directors actively volunteer and support the shelter operations. We are not a government facility. Currently, we provide sheltering services to the Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Department and The Lewiston City Police Department, Nez Perce Tribe Police Department, Asotin County Sheriff’s Department, Clarkston Washington Police Department, City of Asotin Police Department.   These police Departments bring impounded animals to our shelter for care, sheltering and reclaiming by their owners. On their behalf, we hold, care for, license and release animals that are  brought to the shelter by Animal Control Officers.

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Q – Is the Lewis Clark Animal Shelter affiliated with any animal rights organizations?
A – No. We are not an animal rights organization, nor do we support any other agency. We are an independent, community-based organization committed to educating the public about the responsibilities of pet ownership and the humane treatment of animals.


Q – How is the shelter financed?
A – The majority of our funding comes from fundraising efforts and donations. Additionally, people who share our vision and responsibility for caring for animals share their estates, insurance and wills with Lewis Clark Animal Shelter.

Q – What will my monetary donation pay for?
A – 100% of your tax deductible contributions will be spent on quality care (medical and behavioral) for our animals. In addition to providing basic sustenance for our guests, we repair and upgrade facilities, support our on-going spay & neuter program, purchase supplies, toys and treats, continue fund raising efforts, and work to improve all shelter operations and community services.

Q – Are there other ways to help besides making a financial contribution?
A – Absolutely! The shelter relies heavily on volunteer participation to accomplish a variety of tasks. Our many volunteer positions are described in detail on this web site under the Volunteers Tab. We welcome your assistance in performing any one of these tasks. Spreading the good word about the shelter is also a helpful and important mission!

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Q – What if I want to volunteer but find that it may be too depressing to work at the shelter?
A – While we endeavor to make our shelter anything but depressing, we do recognize that people are sensitive to animals in confinement. Therefore, we have plenty of other off-site volunteer opportunities. Please refer to the Volunteer Tab on this web site for a complete and detailed description of all volunteer positions.

Q – Why are all shelter animals required to be altered?
A – Animal shelters really treat only the symptoms of a greater problem of pet over-population. The underlying cause of this problem is the failure of owners to have their pets spayed or neutered. The Lewis Clark Animal Shelter is committed to solving this problem by spaying and neutering all animals prior to leaving the shelter.

Q – Why are your adoption fees different for small lap dogs and large dogs?
A – Having a higher adoption fee for animals we know will go home quickly enables us to care for long-timer residents until they find their new home.  Perfectly fine large dogs sometimes must live here for months before someone adopts them.  That costs quite a bit more than other pets that slide right through our shelter into new family homes.  Higher adoption fees for these pets help pay for the longer term pets at Lewis Clark Animal Shelter.  LCAS is a non-profit but to remain viable we have to run like a business. That means we need to present the LCAS Board of Trustees with a balanced budget every year and live within that budget.

Q – What is the difference between the Lewis Clark Animal Shelter and other animal welfare organizations that solicit funds from me through the mail (such as Humane Society of the United States, PETA, American Humane, ASPCA, Best Friends, etc.)?
A – While all these organizations work to help animals, what sets LCAS apart from the national organizations is that we operate a local shelter that receives and houses animals with a trackable health care and adoption program. LCAS works directly with members of the Lewis Clark Valley community to find homes for homeless pets, help increase the value of companion animals, stop abuse and neglect, and solve training and behavior difficulties.  Every cent donated to Lewis Clark Animal Shelter stays in the valley to improve the plight of animals here.

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Q – How can I help?
A – Let us count the ways – LCAS greatly appreciates donations of cash, time, and items. The Lewis Clark Animal Shelter is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and your donation is tax-deductible as allowed by law. Your financial support helps us maintain and even expand the programs and services we offer to the community. LCAS’s programs would not exist without the generous support from our own community.