Tri-Lakes Humane Society

Saving Little Lives and Speaking for Those Who Cannot since 1942.

Rehome Your Pet

Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the most frequently asked questions answered by our staff:

1) I can't keep my dog/cat anymore, will you take it?

The first thing we try to determine is why don't you want your pet any longer. In most cases the reasons usually fall under four main categories:

  • Family/personal issues
  • Behavior problems
  • Financial difficulty
  • Moving

All the above problems have solutions other than surrendering your pet to an animal shelter.

We have trained staff who would be able to discuss your situation with you. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, you may be able to solve the problems with our assistance. We have a lot of information on behavior issues that we provide to the public. We also have contacts through the High Peaks Dog Training Club and other Dog Trainers in the area. You are also welcome to visit us during our business hours for some hands on examples of training techniques, suggestions on feeding times, crate training, and other basic care. We also have information for feline issues that arise, so please contact us.

If you are moving, we may be able to assist you with finding pet friendly housing in the area you are moving to. Most newspapers have online ads which can be searched through. Offering a pet deposit up front, or a little extra in each rent check, sometimes helps to convince a landlord that you are a responsible pet owner. Having your pet spayed/neutered is also a good idea as it shows the landlord you do not plan on having any unwanted litters of puppies or kittens.

The Tri-Lakes Humane Society provides Spay/Neuter Assistance vouchers to help pet owners afford the cost of the surgery for their dog/cat. We can also help pet owners that are struggling to afford pet food through our Pet Food pantry of donated dog/cat food. Unfortunately, we can not guarantee free pet food for the same person month after month. However, we can do our best to help everyone that contacts us.

2) What can I do about stray and nuisance animals?

Each town has a Dog or Animal Control Officer. This person will address all stray animal problems. You can call your Town Clerk, Town Supervisor, local or State Police to find out who the DCO/ACO is in your town.

If you live in the Saranac Lake area, our Shelter Manager/Dog Control Officer can be reached through the Tri-Lakes Humane Society at 891-0017.

If you have a problem with a wild animal that is injured or causing a nuisance, you will need to contact the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation or local Police to find out who handles wildlife in your area.

3) Who do I call if I wish to report animal cruelty?

Depending on your location, your State or local Police Departments should handle animal complaints and concerns. Most Humane Societies or animal shelters do not employ a Police or Peace Officer. NYS Animal Cruelty laws can only be enforced by Police or Peace officers at this time, and you will need to be willing to provide information and sign a sworn statement with the Police. If you are not certain if the situation is a cruelty case, you can contact us and we will assist you with information.

4) My pet is sick or injured, what do I do?

PLEASE CALL YOUR VETERINARIAN. We are NOT an animal hospital and we do NOT have a licensed veterinarian on staff. We can provide you with a list of local vets in the Saranac Lake area upon request.

Your pet should be seen at least once a year by a veterinarian, even if they appear to be healthy. Ask your veterinarian to help you set up a schedule for checkups, spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations and checkups for external and internal parasites. Your veterinarian will also help you with the proper nutrition for your pet according to the age, sex, spay/neuter status, and activity levels. If you are in a situation where you cannot afford veterinary care, please contact us and we can direct you to organizations that can help. We can help you have your dog or cat spayed/neutered through our Spay Neuter Assistance program.

5) I have found/lost a pet, what do I do?

We keep a record of all reported lost and found pets. You should report your lost pet to your local animal shelter or Police Department as soon as possible. If your pet is microchipped, you should also contact the microchip company that handled the registration to report it and they may be able to send out lost pet alerts on your behalf. Contact your local radio stations and newspapers to have a lost pet ad run. Most Veterinary hospitals and animal shelters have bulletin boards and are willing to let pet owners post flyers.

Check out our Lost Pet page for more helpful information.

In the case of a found animal, the local Dog/Animal Control Officer or Police should be notified. A found animal should be turned over to the DCO/ACO or local animal shelter according to NYS law. Found dogs have very clear laws concerning them. Keeping a found dog is actually in violation of NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets Law. Animals are considered property, and by keeping an animal you can be charged with theft. By turning the stray dog or animal to your local shelter or DCO/ACO, you can then legally adopt the animal after it has been impounded for the required 5 day holding period that gives an owner the chance to claim the animal. After 5 days, NYS laws states that an animal may be placed up for adoption.

Unfortunately, most stray animals do not have an ID tag, microchip, rabies vaccination tag or dog license tag. If you decide to keep the animal, there is no way of knowing if the animal is healthy and vaccinated. Keeping the animal places yourself, your pets and anyone living in your household at risk of being exposed to an unvaccinated animal.The safest thing to do is to seek help and report a found animal.

6) I want to adopt a pet from you, what is the adoption fee and process?

We have our Adoption Fees and Policies listed on our website. Follow this link.

If you have other questions, or would like more information, please contact us at 518-891-0017. You may also contact us by e-mail at We are here to help you with animal questions and issues.

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