The New Hampshire SPCA has been specifically addressing abusive domestic situations for more than 15 years. We have witnessed firsthand the threat domestic violence poses to pets.  To help eliminate that danger and to assure victims that their animals will be safe when they leave an abusive situation, the NHSPCA has a long-established Safe Pet Program. This program was expanded in 2019 to include individuals and families facing housing transition due to loss of housing and short-term hospitalization, when traditional pet boarding is not an affordable option. This program provides victims of domestic violence, those who are facing imminent loss of housing under certain circumstances and those who will be hospitalized for routine care, free housing for their pets for an initial period of two weeks.

This is not a surrender, but temporary care on behalf of an owner and is free of charge.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How do I apply?

    If you are working with a case worker, please ask them to contact us on your behalf. If you do not currently have anyone to help, you may contact us directly or complete the Safe Pet Program Inquiry form. (See below for details.) We can also provide you with a listing of organizations that will be able to help you if you do not have a case worker.

  • I live outside of New Hampshire. Can you help?

    At this time, due to NH State Department of Agriculture regulations, we are not permitted to accept pets from outside the state of New Hampshire. Please contact the Community Programs Coordinator to inquire about programs available in the state where you live. (See below for details.)

  • My pet(s) will need to be housed longer than two weeks. Can you help?

    Temporary housing through the Safe Pet Program is available on a case-by-case basis based on the current capacity of the shelter and the needs of the owner, with attention paid to the well-being of the pet(s). The typical timeline is two weeks. This is sometimes renewable for additional time, depending on the capacity of the shelter and how the pet is doing in the shelter housing. We recommend that all owners work with an organization or case worker to help them with their housing transition or hospitalization needs to streamline the timeline as much as possible.

  • Where will pet(s) be housed in the Safe Pet Program?

    In most cases, pets are housed in the shelter in kennels or enclosures.
    Much of our facility is brand new, having just undergone a large-scale construction project through 2020-21. Many of our housing areas are updated and all enclosures meet or exceed optimal animal housing guidelines.
    We will always investigate if an undisclosed foster home is available within our network of approved fosters. However, this is not always the case and can be dependent on the pet’s needs in addition to which foster homes are available and for what length of time.

  • Are you staffed 24/7

    While we are not staffed 24 hours per day, we do have trained animal care staff here 365 days per year, no matter the weather. Most days, we are here from 8am to 4pm.

  • What is the typical day for a dog, cat or small animal:

    Dogs are walked at least twice per day. Many days, they will receive multiple walks per day and get additional playtime.
    Cats and small animals will receive daily enrichment activities and a rotation of toys and treats (if their diet permits).
    We have a robust enrichment program that provides all animals in our care regular changes to their routine, including toys, treats, music and even scents! We monitor all animals every day and try to customize enrichment based on what the pet is needing. This helps to alleviate stress, add interest to their time here and help keep their minds and bodies healthy.

  • Will you provide medical treatment?

    In many cases, we are able to provide basic vaccines and preventatives for no additional fee. An updated rabies vaccine would be mandatory for cats, dogs and ferrets. If the pet is not up-to-date for a rabies vaccine upon arrival to the shelter, one will be administered by our licensed staff veterinarian. Additional vaccines and preventatives may be available and could include feline distemper, canine distemper, kennel cough, flea/tick preventative, heartworm testing and heartworm preventative.
    As this is an animal shelter and we frequently receive pets that are strays or otherwise not current on their vaccines and may be unwell, we do encourage owners to try to have their pets up-to-date for all vaccines and preventatives before coming into the shelter.

  • Can you take an animal into the Safe Pet Program that has a medical condition or is on a special diet?

    In many cases, we can house pets that have medical conditions. However, we will need to carefully review veterinary records and determine if we have the capacity to meet the needs of the pet.
    Pets that are on a special diet can usually be accommodated. We recommend supplying the shelter with the special/prescription food to ensure the pet has enough for it’s stay.
    As we are only staffed from 8am to 4pm, we are not able to house pets that need to be monitored 24 hours a day or pets that require medication dispensed at very specific intervals

  • I have a dog with behavioral challenges. Can you help?

    Please complete the Safe Pet Inquiry Form using the link below to tell us all about your pet. If there is a history of behavioral challenges, please provide detailed information and we will be happy to reach out to you to discuss further.

Safe Pet Inquiry Form:
In order to determine if we have the ability to assist, please complete the inquiry form for the Safe Pet Program.

Inquire Here

Please provide all information about the pet(s) and include all veterinary records that are available. If the pet is not up-to-date for vaccines and preventatives, please make a note of this.

Please Note: This inquiry form establishes information for us so that we can assess our capacity, space and staffing availability at the time you need temporary housing for your pet to determine if we are able to accept the pet into the program. Completing and submitting this form is for inquiry purposes only and is not a promise of service. 

If you live outside of the state of New Hampshire or need assistance, please contact the Community Programs Coordinator: