Frequently Asked Questions

Adoption FAQ

Why do you spay or neuter the animals?

There is a tremendous pet overpopulation problem in the United States. Every year millions of healthy, well-behaved animals are euthanized because no homes are available for them. Not only does spaying and neutering prevent more litters of homeless pets, but Missouri state law requires that ALL dogs and cats adopted from an animal shelter be spayed or neutered.

How long do you keep the animals?

We do not give the animals in our Adoption Centers a time limit in which to find a home. Once the animals pass their health and temperament examinations and are offered for adoption, they stay as long as they remain in good health and don’t develop temperament problems.

What happens if I bring you an animal and there's no space available?

Even in our new, larger headquarters certain times of the year may be more crowded than others. Springtime, when many animals are born, is especially a busy time for us. (This is truly a testament to the huge problem of pet overpopulation!) If at all possible, we ask that puppies and kittens be at least 8 weeks of age before you turn them in; this will allow us to bypass putting the little ones into foster homes and instead put them up for adoption right away. See our Puppy Partners Program for more information. If possible, please bring us the mother of the litter so we may find her a home as well. If you choose to keep the mother, please have her spayed!

All HSMO locations accept stray animals, however, we suggest you first try to take the animal to the local animal control for the area in which you found it. This will help ensure the best possible chance of the pet being reunited with his or her owner who may already be calling or visiting that shelter.

What happens if an animal is not adopted?

100% of the adoptable dogs and cats that come into our shelter are placed in loving homes. Unfortunately, some animals have health problems, which are contagious to other animals, or temperament issues, which make them dangerous to other animals or children. Sometimes animals arrive to our shelter suffering from a great amount of pain, perhaps from being hit by a car. These animals are humanely euthanized.

I can't bring myself to come into the shelter. Seeing all those homeless animals makes me too sad.

We realize that seeing homeless pets isn’t easy. Please know that the animals in our care are safe, healthy, well fed and watered, cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Furthermore, being in our Adoption Centers is the best way for them to find a real home. If visiting one of our Adoption Centers is too overwhelming, please consider visiting our adoptable pet website to view photos, watch videos and read information about animals awaiting homes. You could also make a donation to help the animals in our care find new loving, forever homes.

Donation FAQ

What will my donation be used for?

The Humane Society of Missouri is committed to the prevention of cruelty, abuse and neglect of animals and throughout Missouri through our adoption centers, veterinary medical centers, Longmeadow Rescue Ranch, rescue and investigation units, education programs and pet behavior programs. By making a donation to the Humane Society of Missouri, you will choose to be part of the solution to the problem of pet overpopulation and animal abuse.

Is the Humane Society of Missouri affiliated with other Humane Societies and shelters?

No, the Humane Society of Missouri is not affiliated with any other animal welfare organization. As a not-for-profit organization, the Humane Society of Missouri provides our services and programs to the community without local, state, or federal tax support, nor United Way funding. We rely on financial donations from individuals, corporations and foundations.

How do I get a Pet-Friendly license plate?

You can get an “I’m Pet Friendly” license plate through the Missouri State Humane Association (MoSHA) which processes the orders and transfer fees into the statewide spay/neuter fund held by the Missouri Department of Agriculture. The Missouri State Humane Association is not a part of or affiliated with the Humane Society of Missouri. License plates are available on the MoSHA website.

Can I specify which program I would like my donation to go towards?

Certainly. To make an secure, online donation to a specific program of the Humane Society of Missouri such as the Rescued Pet Trauma Fund or the Animal Cruelty Fund, simply select from the list of programs on the donation form, or learn more about all of our special funds on the main donations page of the website.

What information must I provide in order to make an online donation?

You will need to provide us with your name, address, email address and credit card number in order to make a secure online donation to the Humane Society of Missouri.

Will I receive a receipt for my donation?

You will receive a receipt via email with the tax-deductible amount of the donation, which you can print out and keep for your records.

How much of my donation is tax-deductible?

For a financial donation, if no goods or services are exchanged in return for the donation, the full value of the donation is tax-deductible. For in-kind donations (such as towels and other supplies or equipment) the fair-market value of the donated item(s) is determined by the donor and used as the tax-deductible amount for the donation.

What is the Humane Society's Tax-ID number?

The Humane Society of Missouri’s IRS Employer Tax-ID (EIN) number is 43-0652638.

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Volunteering FAQ

How easy will it be to fit volunteering into my busy schedule?

Volunteering will fit into just about any schedule. Volunteers working directly with our animals will be asked to start their volunteer service during specific hours, but once you have completed your training and served 15-20 hours you can come in as your schedule permits. Typically, the “beginner” hours are weekday mornings, weekday afternoons and weekend mornings. Times can vary. You will be able to dicuss your individual schedule during the training classes.

How much training is involved?

Each opportunity has a set of trainings required. Every volunteer role includes Volunteer Orientation (30-45 minutes) as well as additional training based on the role.

Why is there so much training for walking the dogs?

Working with shelter animals is physically and emotionally challenging and much different than the interactions you may have with your personal pets. Additional training for volunteers who work directly with our animals is required to ensure the safety of our volunteers, animals, staff and any visitors.

Are there any fees for volunteering?

Volunteers will have a $20 application fee to cover costs of volunteer t-shirt, name badge and other materials. The application fee is non-refundable, regardless of your ability to continue volunteering for any reason.

What locations have volunteer opportunities?

HSMO has two St. Louis area shelters (Maryland Heights and St. Louis City, near Forest Park) and Longmeadow Rescue Ranch in Union, Missouri.

Get directions to our locations »

I'm a college student in town for the summer. Can I volunteer?

We typically request a volunteer provide 1-2 hours per week for 6 months due to the fact that amount of training required, especially for animal handling opportunities. We encourage college students to seek opportunities outside the animal handling activities and to apply/register for training before the end of the spring semester.

Do you offer internships for college students?

Yes and No. The HSMO has limited options to host internships within the volunteer department. Internships would best be suited for students seeking college credit for experience in volunteer management/special events. If you are interested in discussing your specific needs, email us!

I have a question not listed here.

If you have additional questions about any of our programs, please contact us via phone at 314.951.1577 or email us!