Frequently Asked Questions

What is your service area?

We provide services to Antrim, Montgomery, Peters, Quincy, Warren, and Washington townships and the boroughs of Mont Alto, Waynesboro, Greencastle, and Mercersburg.

Are you a no-kill shelter?

No-kill can mean a variety of things. When we say “no-kill” we mean that we strive to have our save-rate averaging over 90% for all animals that come through our doors. We regularly accept animals regardless of breed, temperament, or medical condition and do our very best to work through their issues with them or give them some more time until we can find a rescue or sanctuary with more ability. Unfortunately, this means that sometimes we do have to euthanize, but we reserve this for animals that are either very sick or injured to the point that medical treatment will not help OR if the animal is aggressive to the point that it is unsafe for staff to handle. Aggression is never determined immediately. That decision is made after several attempts to work with the animal, as well as time for the animal to decompress.

During high-peak intake months, specifically for cats during spring/summer kitten season, this percentage is harder to reach because with such a large intake, it is easier for illness to spread, causing animals, especially kittens, to pass away on their own.

We do not euthanize for space or because an animal has been here for too long.

The best way to help us maintain our mission of no-kill is for the community to spay/neuter their pets as well as our community cats.

Do you receive any government funding?

We do not receive any funding from local or state governments toward the necessary services we provide. We rely exclusively on donations from our generous community of supporters.

I have a stray/feral cat on my property. What should I do?

First, you will want to take note if the cat is healthy. Additionally, look for a tipped-ear or a collar. If a cat has either of these and it appears healthy, this cat is being cared for and should be left alone.

Second, if the cat is not causing a nuisance* and it appears healthy, it is best to leave the cat alone, or if you think it needs spayed/neutered, rent a trap from the shelter and check out our spay/neuter resource pages.

Ultimately, if a cat seems safe and healthy, the best option is to get it spayed/neutered and return it to where you found it. The shelter should be the absolute last resort for any animal.

*if a cat is causing a nuisance, contact the shelter to discuss mitigation practices. The vast majority of the time, once a cat is spayed/neutered, nuisance behavior will stop.

What is your policy on accepting walk-in stray cats/owner surrender animals?

Due to limited kennel space, all owner surrender animals must be done by appointment only. Please see our owner surrender page for more information.

If you have stray or feral cats on your property, we ask that you please contact us first to discuss rather than just bringing them in. We do our very best to save every life that comes through our door, but we have only so much space and are unable to accommodate when cats are brought in at all hours.

Lost cats have only a 3% chance of finding their way back home if they are brought into the shelter, but when left alone are 13 times more likely to be reunited with their owners.

Feral cats are already home in the outdoors, and often have someone in the community caring for them and do not need to come into the shelter. Instead, they just need spayed/neutered and returned. These cats are “street smart” and have a much higher likelihood of survival in the wild than they do coming into a shelter.

Please care for our community cats and use the shelter as an absolute last resort, and contact us prior to bringing in any cats.

What is your policy on feral cats?

AHS does not accept feral cats to be euthanized. We will only accept feral cats to be altered and returned to the location from which they came (a process called “Return to Field”).

If you know you have a feral cat problem, we will rent a trap to you exclusively for the purpose of trapping, altering, and returning the cats to the same location (a process called Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return). If you are from our service are, you can schedule an appointment through our spay/neuter clinic for TNVR of stray/feral cats.

The over-population of cats is not solved by bringing cats to the humane society and having them euthanized. The remaining cats in the area will continue to breed and fill the void left behind from the cats removed and new cats will move into the are (a process called the vacuum effect). The best and most effective way to solve the problem of cat over-population and nuisance behavior is to alter the cats and return them to the same location. This keeps other cats from moving into the area and prevents new cats from being born. This also helps keep cages at the shelter open for cats that are truly without a home.

Do you pick up stray animals?

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide this service. If a stray dog is running loose, please contact county dog warden at 717-762-9794. You may also contact your local police department. For stray cats, please see the question regarding stray/feral cats.

Do you rent humane traps for TNVR?

Yes! And thank you for caring enough about our community cats to get them spayed/neutered and vaccinated!

Traps can be rented for a $50.00 refundable* deposit.


*trap must come back on stated return date and in the condition it was rented out to receive a refund of your deposit.

Do you accept donations of opened food/treats?

Yes, we appreciate any donations of food or treats for our animals.

Do you have a pet food bank?

We rely on donations of pet food for the animals in our care. We sometimes have an abundance of food and are able to offer food to the public in need from our service area. If you are struggling to feed your pet(s), please contact the shelter to see if we are able to help. Our ultimate goal is to keep pets with their families if that is the best place for them, and sometimes all it takes is a few bags of pet food to get things back on track.

I found an injured/orphaned bird, rabbit, or other wild animal. What should I do?

We are not able to accept wild animals. Please contact the game warden at 814-643-1831.