Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not answered here, please send an email to and we'll do our best to get it answered.


1. Where are you located?

We are located at 629 Oakland Park Avenue in Clintonville (Columbus, Ohio), between Indianola Avenue and the railroad tracks. We are near West North Broadway and I-71, on the south side of Oakland Park Avenue.

2. What are your hours?

We are open 7 days a week! During the summer months, we are open Monday thru Friday from 12PM - 9PM (we close at 8PM during the winter months), and 12PM-8PM on Saturday and Sunday. We are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. We work hard to keep such extended open hours in order to make our pets and services as available as possible to you.

3. What kinds of pets do you have?

Dogs, puppies, cats and kittens.

4. Where do your adoptable pets come from?

Most of our canines come from kill-shelters where they risk being euthanized to provide space for more incoming pets. The rest of our dogs have either been surrendered by their previous owners or found as strays. Most of our felines are surrendered as strays (often mommies with their babies or orphan kittens) and some of them have been surrendered by their owners. If you are interested in the back history of a particular pet, please ask. We will be more than happy to provide any information we have regarding a pet’s past.

5. What does no-kill, all-breed mean?

Being a no-kill shelter means that Pets Without Parents does not euthanize for lack of space, time of stay, curable illness, or manageable behavior issues. There is no time limit placed on our pets. Once a pet has been entered into the PWP program, that pet will be kept in the care of PWP until that pet is placed into an adoptive home, no matter how long that may take. All curable or manageable illnesses are treated and behavior issues are addressed. Pets Without Parents only euthanizes when it is undoubtedly in the best interest of a suffering pet or a pet is a danger to the public. Pets Without Parentsis also an all-breed shelter. We do not determine adoptability based on breed alone. We are one of the few shelters in Central Ohio that does not euthanize pitbulls or pitbull-type dogs based solely on breed.

6. How do I surrender a pet to Pets Without Parents?

PWP is a no-kill shelter, thus we can only accept pets based on available cage space.  We do not euthanize for space; and therefore, the only way for a cage to become available is by adoption. Sometimes this can require six adoptions from the same cage to occur as only related pets may be housed together.  We are a small shelter and SPACE IS LIMITED. All incoming pets must first be approved by the director. You can inform us of your need by contacting the shelter in person, by phone, or by e-mail. Priority is given based on the urgency of need of the pet and adoptability. Pets Without Parents helps those that need us most, while trying to help as many as possible.

7. How do I keep informed about the happenings of Pets Without Parents?

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter! You may also get on our electronic mailing list by sending an email to



1. How do I adopt a pet from Pets Without Parents?

Pets Without Parents has an application process. The application can be completed in person at the shelter or submitted online at Indicating interest for a particular pet on the application places that specific pet on hold for the applicant. Our applications are assessed on a first come, first adopt basis. Incomplete applications will not be considered and we cannot place more than two pets on hold for an applicant while they decide. Applications will be processed as quickly as possible and is dependant upon how quickly our messages are returned. Please expect a day or two to hear from us. You will be contacted about your application once the review is complete whether it is approved or denied.

Note: If you submit an application online, we ask that you come to meet that pet as quickly as possible as to not hurt that pet’s chance of being adopted if they are not the right fit for you. Also, feel free to call to see if that pet has any previously submitted applications and determine your ranking. We will not place a hold on any pet without a fully-completed application.

2. Do I need an appointment to meet a particular pet?

Not typically. We welcome visitors of our pets to the shelter during our open hours. Occasionally some of pets will go to off-site adoption events, so they may not be at the shelter at all times. Feel free to call and confirm that a particular pet has no prior engagements. You will need to schedule an appointment to meet any pet in foster care.  To do so, first complete an adoption application. In order to make fostering as easy as possible for our foster parents, an application will first need to be approved before a meeting is set up. 

3. What is the cost of adopting, and what does that include?

DOGS: The adoption fee for any dog between eight weeks and four months of age is $175. All dogs 4 months and older have an adoption fee of $160. This includes their spay or neuter, any distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus, or parainfluenza vaccination for which they are eligible during their stay, any standard deworming (Strongid) for which they are eligible during their stay, rabies vaccination and rabies tag if they are over four to five months of age, and heartworm testing if they are over 7 to 8 months of age. In addition, they are treated for any health issues present while they are in the care of PWP.

CATS: The adoption fee for cats is dependant on the age of the cat. Kittens estimated to be between eight weeks and six months of age have a $100 adoption fee. Kittens that are estimated to be between 6 months and 1 year of age have a $75 adoption fee. Cats estimated to be 1 year of age or older have a $50 adoption fee. This includes their spay/neuter, testing of Feline Leukemia and FIV, any Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, panleukopenia, and Chlamydia psittaci vaccination for which they are eligible during their stay, any standard deworming (Strongid) for which they are eligible during their stay, and rabies vaccination and tag if they are over 4 to 5 months of age. In addition, they are treated for health issues present while they are in the care of PWP. For the safety of our pets, all cats must leave in a secure carrier.

At this time, Pets Without Parents cannot accept credit or debit cards. We can only accept an adoption fee in the form of cash or check.

4. Spaying and neutering is included in your adoption fee. Can I take a pet home unspayed or unneutered and bring it back for this process? Or can I have my own vet perform the surgery?

No. Pets Without Parents feels strongly about the responsibility to spay and neuter all of the pets that enter our shelter program in hopes that some day there will be no more homeless pets. Pets must be spayed or neutered before leaving the shelter and are eligible to be fixed at eight weeks of age. The veterinarians that perform our spay/neuter surgeries use pediatric spay/neuter procedures on pets under six months of age.  If you would like to know more about this procedure, check out this article from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

5. What can I do to speed up the application process?

Review your application to be sure all questions are answered completely.   Incomplete applications will not be processed. Contact your references and let them know we will be calling, as many people screen their calls.   Some veterinary clinics will not release information without the owner’s permission. Please contact your veterinarian and give them permission to release information to us when we call.  If your pet has been to multiple veterinary clinics, be sure we have all contact numbers or that your pet’s records have been compiled at one vet office. Lastly, feel free to check in on your application status if you haven’t heard from us in 1 or 2 days. We may need your help getting connected with one of your contacts.

6. Will my adopted pet come with a health guarantee?

PWP treats all of its adoptable pets for any noticed health issues while in its care. Pets Without Parents also gives a 10-day health guarantee with all adopted pets. Why 10 days?  Most common illnesses among pets will present symptoms within 10 days of exposure. If your newly adopted pet presents symptoms of illness that they may have contracted during their stay at the shelter within the first 10 days of adoption, please contact us immediately. Pets Without Parents will cover the cost of any treatment given by one of our partnering veterinarians up to the full adoption cost of your pet. We cannot reimburse any adopter for veterinarian costs they have accrued through other veterinarians. We insist that any treatment covered be through one of our  partnering veterinarians. These partnering veterinarians offer the same treatment to shelters for a discounted . If you choose to use your own veterinarian for treatment or are unwilling to drive to our veterinarian, you forgo the option for treatment coverage by PWP. Note: this guarantee does not cover additional vaccinations, additional defleaing, additional deworming already performed by PWP, removal of stitches, testing, or office call/exam fees.   Nor does it cover an injury they sustain after adoption.

7. My pet is not working out. Do you have a return policy?

Pets Without Parents will ALWAYS accept a pet adopted from us back into our program as quickly as possible. First-intake priority is given to returns and they can often be accepted back immediately. Adoption includes a 10-day return policy that insures that if an adopter returns the pet for any reason within 10 days of adoption the adopter is either refunded half of the original adoption fee or receives a gift certificate for the full adoption amount toward another adoption to be completed within one year of the return. If at ANY point during the pet’s life, an adopter can no longer care for the pet, the pet must be returned to Pets Without Parents. Be sure to notify staff that the pet was originally adopted from Pets Without Parents. We will need the year of adoption when you contact us.

8. Do you take credit cards?

At this time, Pets Without Parents can only accept cash or checks.



1. I want to volunteer! What do I need to do?

Our volunteers must first attend our volunteer orientation before beginning their help at PWP. To sign-up for the next available orientation, please e-mail Then bring a completed and signed volunteer application (link to application) to your assigned orientation. In order to provide you with the most pertinent information about our shelter, the orientations are divided into youth and adult orientations. Youth must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to orientation. Pets Without Parents has many in-shelter and off-site volunteer opportunities. If you have a specific skill or talent, please let us know! We can help you find tasks that best fit your interests.

It's a good idea to visit the shelter before you decide to volunteer and register for an orientation. Volunteering at a pet shelter may not be for everyone, and it's good to see how we ae set up before you make a committment.

2. What kind of committment do I have to agree to?

In order to use our resources as effectively as possible, we ask that volunteers commit to a minimum of four hours each month for at least one year. Our volunteers must first attend our volunteer orientation before beginning their service at PWP. Preregistration is required. A parent/legal guardian must accompany youth younger than 15 during orientation and while volunteering.

4. What types of volunteer opportunities are there?

Our shelter is always in need of helping hands. Volunteering is a very rewarding experience. You meet new pets, learn their stories, and cultivate your own space in their hearts as they find a place in yours. Here are just a few of the volunteer opportunities at Pets Without Parents:

  • Volunteer at the shelter: You can help with cage cleaning, dog walking, cat socializ-ing, general cleaning throughout the shelter, etc. You will get lots of time to interact with pets.
  • Volunteer at Off-Site Events: Events in-clude Mingle with the Mutts twice each month, and special events such as attending festivals, pet supply stores, or schools. Often you can bring a shelter pet with you.
  • Fundraisers: PWP is constantly holding fundraisers to help sustain the shelter. From car washes, to garage sales, to a 5K run, we are always needing help with all stages of the fundraising process.
  • Become a Foster Family: Provide a loving, quiet home environment for pets that are too young or are not thriving at the shelter.
Before volunteering, you must attend one of our volunteer orientations.

5. Do you ever need someone to foster a pet?

Yes! We always have a need for foster families to help out with young kittens and puppies, animals recovering from an injury or surgery, or an animal that just isn't thriving well in a shelter environment. It is a temporary situation, but vital to the health and well-being of the animal. The shelter provides everything you need, including food, litter, litter boxes, crates, and veterinary services - all you need to provide is a home, a loving environment, and your time.

If you are interested in becoming a foster family, fill out a Foster Family Application and drop it off or mail it to the shelter. For more information, send an email to

6. I'm a current volunteer. How do I sign up for a time slot to volunteer at the shelter?

First of all, thanks for helping out! Our shelter wouldn't exist without folks like you. Please sign up for a time slot using our online calendar. Please be careful not to overwrite anyone else's schedule!! If you have any problems using this feature, send an email to Meg at



1. What kinds of donations do you accept?

Everything! Well, almost. A common misconception about the shelter is that we receive tax funding. This is simply not true. Pets Without Parents is a private non-profit and is funded through adoption fees, fundraisers, donations, and grants. If you're able to make a monetary donation, please understand how much it helps. Every dollar truly goes to the pets. Plus, maintaining a no-kill philosophy is quite costly. We must ensure all of our pets live quality lives while at the shelter, which sometimes means several months, even years.

2. What are your most needed supplies?

Donating supplies to the shelter allows us to allocate more funds to rescuing other dogs and cats. Click here for a printable copy you can take to the store or hang up at your office.

Our most urgent supplies are always posted on the home page of our website.

We also have an Amazon Wish List. Think of us when you are doing some of your online shopping.

3. How else can I support the shelter?

Over the years we've spoken with many people who want to help the shelter, but don't have the time to volunteer or the spare change to donate. We've put together a list of creative ways you can generate support for the shelter. Many of these have actually been done by supporters.

  • Have a yard sale or a lemonade stand
  • Throw a party (or have a wedding!) and make PWP the beneficiary
  • Organize a "penny drive" at your school and make PWP the beneficiary
  • Pick up "irregulars" or broken bags of food at the store
  • Choose PWP for your Kroger's Community Rewards Program charity
  • Sign up for Goodshop and Goodsearch and select PWP as yor charity
  • Attend and support our fundraisers
  • Spread the word about PWP to anyone you know who may be looking for a pet
Other ideas can be found on our SUPPORT page.



1. My neighbor might be mistreating his pets. What should I do?

All reports of cruelty to animals are taken seriously by the Capital Area Humane Society. To report cruelty, please contact the Capital Area Humane Society at (614) 777-7387, ext. 250.

2. There’s a feral cat hanging around my house. What should I do?

Pet Promise in Columbus, Ohio offers a trap-neuter-return program for feral cats. Also check out Alley Cat Allies.

3. What do I do if I have found wildlife in need?

Pets Without Parents is a rescue for dogs and cats only.  For injured wildlife, please contact the Ohio Wildlife Center at

4. What do I do if I have lost or found a pet?

You will first want to post the pet as lost or found with a few organizations:

A list of local pet rescues for both cats and dogs can be found on the Columbus Dog Connection's website. If you have lost a pet, the best option is to visit each rescue in person so there can be no confusion over the details of identifying your pet. Make fliers with a current picture of your pet to post in the area in which the pet was lost or found. Also distribute these fliers to rescues and veterinarian clinics. Speak to your neighbors and let them know your pet is missing.  Many pets are allowed by their owners to roam free.  Your neighbors may not realize that a roaming pet is a lost pet. Good Luck!

5. Do you know of apartments that accept pets? will show you rentals that allow pets - anywhere in the country!