The Lewis Clark Animal Shelter’s mission is to promote the humane treatment of animals, prevent cruelty to animals and provide education to enhance the human-animal bond and to end pet over-population through an aggressive spay/neuter campaign.


1. Lewis Clark Animal Shelter envisions a time when our community celebrates the human-animal bond, embraces the mutual benefits therein and treats all fellow beings with care, compassion and respect;  a time when LCAS is  primarily a resource for health services, education and recreation for animals and their people.

2. We present LCAS as a happy, cheerful place where people come for pet adoption,  pet information and community events.

3. Our valley will become a unified community where pets are not stray and unwanted.

4. LCAS together with the community becomes a model for achieving a “humane society”.

The Adoption & Learning Center will be the stage for implementing and achieving three cornerstones of the Strategic Plan: Intervention through sheltering and investigations, Prevention through education and outreach, and Advocacy through leadership and public policy.

As an interactive educational facility, the new Adoption & Learning Center will provide an experience that allows people to see how animals enrich our lives.  Learning experiences at The Center will engender respect, compassion, and empathy for animals, and a sense of increased responsibility for animals.  The Center will host pet adoptions and a wide range of positive reinforcement training classes, behavior consultations, pet day care, seminars, pet sitting certification, specialized pet boarding, a behavior help line, retail pet supplies and gifts, owner/pet recreation, and dozens of unique opportunities for volunteer service ranging from foster care to political action.   As prevention services supplant intervention services, The Center will function as a conduit for citizens who care about animals and humane values to actualize their vision of programs that can contribute to a more humane society.

The Lewis Clark Animal Shelter, Clinic, Adoption & Learning Center will be the resource our community needs to solve pet problems and concerns, rehoming pets if necessary.  Ultimately, the Lewis Clark Animal Shelter Adoption & Learning Center and Clinic along with the Lewis Clark Valley will serve as a successful model for shelters, humane organizations, and communities nationwide as programming and community involvement minimize the need (and reliance on LCAS) for traditional shelter services.

Lewis Clark Animal Shelter’s ultimate goal is to change the relationships between people and animals. LCAS spends 85% of its resources providing for abandoned stray and abused animals and finding homes for them.  Our focus goes beyond simply educating; instead, it is our mission to empower people to have successful relationships with pets.  Our intent is to inspire the community, to create the resources, educational opportunities and location to allow community members to get involved socially, in classes, during events and many other ‘pet related’ agendas.

Background:  The Purpose of an Animal Shelter

There will always be a need to find new homes for animals.  People and circumstances change.   An animal shelter can provide a place for animals to stay in between homes, but it does not have to be the only place.  Foster care, rescue organizations and adoptive services help rehome these homeless pets; however, availability of these resources is being outpaced by the increasing need for more temporary homes.  Resolution must be focused on maintaining current permanent homes. Offering education to pets and owners will increase pet retention.  Last and most importantly we are morally obligated to decrease stray and unwanted pet populations by making spay/neuter surgeries available to all pets.

The vast majority of people who adopt from or surrender a pet to a humane society never maintain a continued relationship with that humane society.  They view their surrender or adoption more as a business transaction that’s completed, their contribution finalized.  Further, when the transition to a new home doesn’t go smoothly, adopters frequently blame the shelter rather than focusing on the tools necessary to solve the problem.

The new LCAS Adoption & Learning Center will practice a new approach that 1) addresses the core problems leading to animal suffering, and 2) builds interest, commitment, and participation from the community in partnering to solve the problems.

A new look at “The Problem”

Lewis Clark Animal Shelter staff and volunteers have worked hard to shape a humane society that is friendly and caring in order to provide the most successful shelter services to animals and the community.

The best animal shelter is a ‘humane community’.

We now understand our role differently – LCAS is an agent of change.  While managing the problems, we will build awareness in community.  LCAS will begin providing incentive and forums for solution building.  LCAS is not, cannot be, and should not be the only solution for animal suffering.  Instead, LCAS will help people find solutions to their pet problems, through services we offer, education and training opportunities and referral services.

The Lewis Clark Animal Shelter Adoption & Learning Center will further the mission of the humane society by enhancing and supporting pet/owner relationships through problem intervention and prevention services.  Programs such as dog training and puppy kindergarten classes, doggie day care, understanding pet behavior seminars, and private behavior consultations will help adopters get their new shelter pets off on the right foot (paw) and will help both adopters and community pet owners address and solve problems that would otherwise lead to a break in the pet/owner relationship.

The Adoption & Learning Center will elevate and change the image of the humane society – reaching the greater pet owning community (in addition to pet owners who acquire their pets from LCAS).                         

The new LCAS Adoption & Learning Center As A Strategic Tool 

Creating an “experience” that…
      …engenders respect, compassion, and empathy for animals,
      …conveys that animals enrich our lives,
      …motivates people to return to LCAS again & again,
      …inspires increased responsibility for animals,
      …motivates people to become involved.
Education Objectives

  • Provide information and experiences which inspire visitors
  • Be accessible and inviting to visitors of all ages and abilities
  • Suggest a homelike environment appropriate for pets and people
  • Create environments for observing as well as direct interaction with shelter animals
  • Offer changing pet exhibits for repeat visitors  (animal population changing regularly will change experience for repeat visitors)
  • Provide appropriate educational activities for people of all ages

Visitor Experience Goals

While here, we want visitors to:

  • feel comfortable and at home; feel comfortable enough to ask questions
  • see animals living with people and other animals
  • observe and compare animal behavior and personalities
  • interact realistically and positively with prospective pets
  • observe proper, high quality animal care (systems for cleaning, feeding, grooming, waste exercise & socialization will be visible and accessible)
  • participate in care for shelter animals (tasks available for untrained people)

Communication Goals 

What we want to hear people say as they leave the facility:

  • Animals enrich our lives because they are fun, interesting, entertaining, comforting.
  • There will be fewer unwanted pets if more pets are spayed or neutered.
  • Pets need attention, stimulation, socialization and steady relationships.
  • Pet guardianship is a lifelong commitment.
  • Most pets are trainable.  Positive reinforcement and praise is the best way to train pets.
  • Animals and people are similar in many ways.
  • Domestic animals rely on people to provide everything they need.
  • Lost pets with ID tags are more likely to return home quickly and safely.


The Adoption & Learning Center is designed to afford visitors a series of experiences – sensory, physical, and emotional – which, combined with information, will inspire and encourage the human animal bond.  Animals will be housed with other animals and stimulated with music, human interaction, color, toys and training.  This is better for both animals and people because it is more natural, more humane, and facilitates better understanding of animals and therefore better choices in adoptions.  Visitors will find museum-quality exhibits which change daily as the animal population changes – always affording new, interactive learning experiences.   Training at The Center will both strengthen the human/animal bond and provide rewarding volunteer opportunities.

The primary vehicle of the LCAS Adoption & Learning Center is in our name…Learning!  From pet training classes to cat watching outside the “Cat Tails’ living center, from volunteer training for animal behavior rehabilitation to summer day camp for students; from adoption counseling to foster care for orphaned kittens – every interaction at LCAS is a learning opportunity which will have positive impact on individual animals and people, as well as the community as a whole.

The Lewis Clark Animal Shelter Strategic Plan calls for a dramatic shift in emphasis from crisis intervention to prevention and advocacy.  Programming at the Adoption & Learning Center will provide the tools people need to achieve success. In the future, LCAS will be able to reach record numbers of animals and owners in the region with programs that make living with animals easier, more successful, and more enjoyable.  Non-animal owners will be inspired by a community effort where friendship, team work, and ingenuity turn a dream into reality.

Lewis Clark Animal Shelter will become the heart of the Lewis Clark Valley. Through the Adoption & Learning Center, LCAS will redefine companion animal welfare, paving the way for our communities to become “humane societies”.

Lewis Clark Animal Shelter has served the Lewis Clark Valley since 1950.  The agency provides vital services to animals and people alike through sheltering and adopting animals, providing positive reinforcement behavior training for adoptable animals and for owned animals through public training classes, income-based reduced cost spay/neuter surgeries, investigating animal cruelty and neglect, providing adult and youth education programs, sharing animals through pet-assisted therapy, and rescuing animals in emergency situations.

A private nonprofit organization that relies on community support, contributions, grants, bequests, investments, fees for service.