Friends of the Bristol Animal Shelter

Pet Advice

Humane Agencies in RI that Accept Surrendered Animals

If you have a pet that you can no longer keep, please contact one of the agencies below for assistance:


Potter League

Animal Rescue RI

Providence Animal Rescue League

“Pets as Presents: A Good Idea?”

by Lyn Mettler,


Prepare Pets for RI Emergency

What is my plan of action?
Before the Storm

1. Persons with pets who may be displaced by a disaster should make arrangements NOW for their pets’ safety. If you will need help to evacuate (e.g., if you have a disability) and have a pet, inform the public safety, police, or emergency management office in your town as soon as possible.

2. Be sure licenses and vaccinations are up-to-date.

3. Assemble a Pet ID Pack and a Go Kit (go to for more details on what to include in your pack and kit).

4. Keep a copy of the Pet ID Pack with you and send a copy to your “buddy.”

5. In case it is best to stay put, identify a place at home to keep your pets indoors, ideally comfortable and convenient, but also sheltered from outside hazards.

6. In case an evacuation is necessary, do not assume that public shelter will also accommodate animals (except for service animals such as guide dogs). Make and keep up-to-date a list of pet-friendly motels, reliable friends, or relatives where you and your pets could seek shelter together and a list of kennels. These places should be well separated from your home, but close to the interstate or evacuation route. Call ahead to ask if there is space and if special forms of payment or security deposits need to be readied.

7. Arrange now for transportation of pets and carriers, especially if you may need assistance.

After the Storm

Planning and preparation will help you endure the disaster, but your home may be a very different place afterward, whether you have taken shelter at home or elsewhere.


If your pet is with you…
– Don’t let pets roam loose. Familiar landmarks and smells might be gone, and your pet will probably be disoriented. Pets can easily get lost in such situations.

– For a few days, keep dongs on leashes and keep cats in carriers inside the house. Be patient with your pets after a disaster. Try to get them back into their normal routines as soon as possible, and be ready for behavioral problems that may result from the stress of the situation.


If your pet might be lost…

– Act quickly, but remain calm.
– Ask around your neighborhood.
– Hand out flyers with a picture of your pet and contact information for you.
– Start checking animal shelters or municipal pounds within about 20 miles of your home.
– Put an ad in local papers.
Source: What to do with common household pets (dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and rodents) in the event of an emergency. Prepare Pets For RI Emergency. Providence, RI: Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Division of Agriculture, Print.


Missing Your Pet?

To report a lost or found pet in Bristol, please contact the shelter at 401-253-4834. After speaking with an Animal Control Officer, please send us an email at or private message us on our Facebook page. We will post your animal on our Facebook page. Please include as much of the following as possible in your email or message:

-Recent photo of pet

-Name of Pet?



-Description of the fur… long or short haired, color, any identifying markings?

-Is he/she neutered or spayed?

-Is he/she wearing a collar? If yes, what color?

-Are there any tags on the collar? If yes what kind? Do they contain your contact info?

-FOR CATS ONLY… Is he/she declawed? If yes, fronts only or fronts and backs?

-Where was the pet last seen? Make sure to include as much info as possible: street names, direction of travel, town/city and state.

-How long has the pet been missing?

-Any additional information you feel may be relevant?

-Way to contact you if someone sees the pet or has them? We recommend phone number or email address.


The following is a list of  additional ways to help you find your missing pet:

– Call local shelters and vet offices and report your pet missing.

– Check with your neighbors for sightings and notify them of your missing pet. Especially in the winter time, if you are missing a cat, have your neighbors check their garages and sheds.

– Place posters of your pet with your contact information and the shelter’s contact information around your neighborhood.

– Call your local paper and have them post your missing pet in the lost and found section of the classifieds.

– Post your missing pet on Facebook: RI Lost Pets


Never Leave Your Pet in a Parked Car!

comet2On a warm, sunny day windows collect light, trapping heat inside the vehicle, and pushing the temperature inside to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree Fahrenheit day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within ten minutes. On hot and humid days, the temperature in a car parked in direct sunlight can rise more than 30 degrees per minute, and quickly become lethal.

Heatstroke occurs when a dog’s or cat’s temperature rises about 104 degrees. Be on the lookout for some or all of these symptoms:

* unusually heavy panting
* an anxious expression or behavior
* rapid heartbeat/dizziness, lack of coordination
* weakness/collapse/excessive thirst

Heatstroke can kill your pet very quickly, so if you suspect there’s a problem, it’s imperative that he get to the vet immediately to have his condition professionally evaluated and treated.

In the meantime, you must attempt to lower his temperature by moving him to a cooler location, dousing him with cool (not cold) water or wrapping the neck, head and chest in cool, damp towels. Encourage him to drink or lick ice cubes, but don’t force it. Some animals with heatstroke may not be able to swallow properly, and forcing liquids could actually make him drown.

Follow these tips to help your pet beat the heat and you’ll both survive the dog days of summer like a couple of cool cats.

Source: “Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” The Paw Street Journal – A Pet-Loving Publication from Acoaxet Veterinary Clinic (Spring/Summer 2009).


Need to Have Your Pet Spayed or Neutered?

Benefits of Spaying (females)

* No heat cycles, therefore males will not be attracted

* Less desire to roam

* Risk of mammary gland tumors, ovarian and/or uterine cancer is reduced or eliminated, especially if done before the first heat cycle

* Reduces number of unwanted cats/kittens/dogs/puppies

* Helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives

Benefits of Neutering (males)

* Reduces or eliminates risk of spraying and marking

* Less desire to roam, therefore, less likely to be injured in fights or auto accidents

* Risk of testicular cancer is eliminated, and decreases incidence or prostate disease

* Reduces number or unwanted cats/kittens/dogs/puppies

* Decreases aggressive behavior including dog bites

* Helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives


The following is a list of low cost spay/neuter clinics:


Animal Associates
606 State Rd North Dartmouth, MA 02747
(508) 991-3900
Cats, dogs
Low cost spay/neuter, vaccinations.


2944 Post Rd Warwick, RI 02886
(401) 739-7387
Cats, dogs, feral cats
Assistance for low-income owners. Spay/neuter, wellness exam, vaccinations, euthanasia/cremation.


Pet Partners
139 Shaw St Fall River, MA 02724
(508) 672-4813 
Cats, dogs, pocket pets (rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, chinchillas, rats)
Services available regardless of income. Spay/neuter, medical clinic (wellness exam, vaccinations, heartworm and flea/tick prevention), dentistry.


Spay Neuter Assistance Program (S.N.A.P.) at Providence Animal Rescue League (PARL)
34 Elbow St Providence, RI 02903
(401) 421-1399 x213 
Cats, rabbits
Reduced rates for spay/neuter, vaccinations, microchipping.Rhode Island Community Spay/Neuter Clinic
235 Elm St Warwick, RI 02888
(401) 369-7297
Cats, dogs
Spay/neuter, vaccinations. Treatment packages available. Discounted prices for pit bulls and feral cats. The Bristol Animal Shelter is a pick-up/drop off site for anyone needing transport.


Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association (RIVMA) Companion Animal Foundation
11 South Angell Street #311 Providence, RI 02906
(401) 751-0944
Provides $100 veterinary care vouchers for low-income pet owners. Owners must live in RI.


Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association (RIVMA) Spay/Neuter Assistance Program
302 Pearl Street #108 Providence, RI 02907
(401) 751-0944
Cats, dogs
Discounted spay/neuter with proof of low-income status or benefits received.
Apply online.


Salmon River Veterinarian
Mobile RI veterinary unit
(401) 793-0092
Cats only
Low cost spay/neuter clinics. Check website calendar for clinic dates and locations.


Rabies: It’s always fatal. Is your pet protected?

cassandraThe rabies virus represents a serious risk to people and their pets – with hundreds of cases in pets each year in the United States alone. All it takes to contract this deadly disease is exposure to an infected animal through a scratch, cut, or bite.

Fortunately, there’s something you can do. A simple vaccination is the best way to help protect your pet against rabies. Even if you keep your pet indoors, it should still be vaccinated – and it’s usually required by law.

What is rabies?
Rabies is an acute viral infection that can affect all warm-blooded animals – including dogs and cats. The disease is almost always caused by the bite of an infected animal that has rabies virus in its saliva. Younger animals are usually more susceptible to rabies infection. And it’s always fatal once clinical signs appear.

What if my pet has possibly been exposed?
If your pet has been bitten by or exposed to a wild or potentially rabid animal, talk with your veterinarian right away and report it to local animal control authorities. Even if your pet has a current vaccination, you should still contact your veterinarian.

Signs and Prevention
Once the rabies virus enters the body, it travels along the nerves to the brain. It can take a matter of days, weeks or months for your pet to show signs of the rabies virus.

Infected animals often show anxiety, aggression, restlessness and erratic behavior. They also may develop weakness, poor coordination or tremors. Wild rabid animals commonly lose their fear of humans. Species that are normally nocturnal may be seen wandering about during the day.

Dogs, cats or ferrets that have never been vaccinated and are exposed to a rabid animal may need to be euthanized or placed in strict isolation for six months. Check with your veterinarian or local public health official for requirements.

Vaccinate to protect your pet.
Your veterinarian is committed to helping you make the best choices for your pet’s health. To give your pet the protection it needs, this clinic recommends vaccination with IMRAB rabies vaccine. Veterinarians have trusted IMRAB rabies vaccine to protect millions of pets – six species in all, including dogs, cats and ferrets – for 20 years. In fact, it’s the leading vaccine for rabies protection worldwide. Vaccination is one of the best ways we can help protect people and pets from rabies.

What else can you do?

– Don’t leave garbage or pet food outdoors where it may attract wild or stray animals
– Observe all wild animals from a distance.
– If you see a wild animal acting strangely, report it to your local animal control authorities.
Source: It’s always fatal. Is your pet protected? Rabies: Duluth, GA: IMRAB, 2008, Print.

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