The Shelter offers numerous services to the public, not just adoption.
The Great Falls Animal Shelter (GFAS) provides shelter for stray, abandoned and owner surrendered animals. We house animals brought in by the Animal Control Officers and citizens of Cascade County and numerous other surrounding counties. Each animal is assigned an impound number, given vaccinations and a health assessment when they enter the shelter. They are then placed in a kennel where they are kept while waiting to find a new home.
Citizens who may be concerned about an animal's welfare can call the Great Falls Police Department and speak with an Animal Control Officer at 406-771-1180 (Choose Option 2 and then Option 3) and they can do an animal welfare check. Occasionally, we are called upon by the Great Falls Police Department and the Cascade County Sheriff's Office to assist in the removal and housing of animals in crisis. GFAS will maintain the animals at the shelter while legal proceedings are underway and may be responsible for placement of the animals at the conclusion of the court case.
GFAS has many adoptable animals awaiting their forever home. Each potential adopter completes an application and begins the adoption process. A paws-ability program is available for adopters to try out an animal in their house to see if it is a good fit for both the family and pet, before formally adopting (only available on animals that have already been altered). Please see the Adoption tab for more information about adoptions and to see if you are ready to adopt.
GFAS requires that all animals that are adopted from GFAS be altered upon adoption. Animals that are not old enough to be altered at the time of adoption will require a $100 alter deposit for puppies and a $50 alter deposit for kittens. Once the new owner gets their new pet altered from a veterinarian the certificate can be returned to the shelter for a refund. Please see the links under Pet Owner Resources for the possibilities of spay/neuter assistance.
GFAS provides pet cremation services to the Great Falls community and surrounding areas. After cremation is complete the pet ashes are put into individual urns and returned to their owners. All fees go to the ongoing care of the shelter animals. Please see the Cremation Services menu for more details.
Per City Ordinances all dogs and cats over the age of 6 months, must be licensed. You may purchase the license for an annual fee of $15 for an altered animal and an annual fee of $30 for an unaltered animal. Please see the Pet Owner Resources and Licenses menus for more information on the City Ordinances and Licensing.
The public can purchase microchips for their dogs and cats from the Shelter for a fee (however, microchipping is already included in the cost of dog and cat adoptions). Microchipping is a simple procedure that involves injecting a microchip beneath the surface of the pet’s skin, between the shoulder blades. The microchip ID code is one of a kind. When the pet is taken to an animal shelter or veterinary clinic, they scan the pet for a microchip and read its unique code. The code is stored with the pet's profile and linked to the owner’s information. The Shelter is currently utilizing the HomeAgain National Pet Recovery Database. Microchips are designed to last a pet's entire lifetime. Virtually all vets and animal shelters across the country are equipped with microchip readers. Please see the Shelter Fee List for current pricing.
GFAS provides the opportunity for people to volunteer at the shelter. There are a variety of volunteer jobs such as Dog Walking, Cat Companion, Inputting Data, Fundraising/Special Events, Blanket Maker, Update Website etc. Volunteers help socialize and assist with training the many animals in the shelter helping to make them more adoptable as well as assisting the staff in daily cleaning and care of the animals. Please see the Volunteer menu for more details.