FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are your hours of operation?
We are open Tuesday through Saturday 11 am - 5 pm.
What breed is this dog?
Most dogs that are available for adoption through our shelter are mixed breed, and we often don't know their genetic history. Not only is it difficult to surmise the breed of a mutt by its appearance, but it can also be misleading. The success or failure of an adoption correlates much more to a dog's temperament, training and behavior than it does to its breed. This is why we often place more emphasis on describing "what the animal is like" than on identifying its breed. Genetics are the primary factor in determining how well the dog will fit into your household only when you are considering pure-bred dogs. Pure bred dogs are quite rare in our shelter.
Is MVAS a government run facility?
No. MVAS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and as such receives no government funding. It is guided by its bylaws, its mission statement and vision by a Board of Directors. It has no legal jurisdiction in the area of Animal Control. Therefore, it is constrained by internal government regulations.
Is MVAS a no-kill shelter?
The term "No-Kill" has been a source of great confusion and debate in recent years. One thing is indubitably clear: "No kill" status has never meant that a shelter never euthanizes an animal. That would be practically impossible from a humane perspective, because there will always be some animals who have to be euthanized for humane reasons (e.g., extreme suffering due to incurable illness).
Within the industry the most commonly accepted definition is that a shelter attains "no kill" status when its "live outcomes" (animals leaving the shelter alive through adoption, return-to-owner, transfer to rescue, etc.) rate exceeds 90%. Another commonly used definition is "a shelter that only euthanizes for safety (in the case of dog-to-human aggression) or to alleviate irreversible suffering."
If these definitions are used, MVAS can unequivocally say that in 2017 we had "no kill" status because our live outcome rate was 97.3%.
In 2016, euthanasia and mortality accounted for exactly 10% of our annual intakes, but our live outcomes were only 84.8%. Still, euthanasia was done exclusively for humane/safety reasons (with only one animal being euthanized for aggression). Thus, in 2016 your answer would depend on what definition you use.
Do you still have the discount spay/neuter certificates?
Yes! Osborne (dog) and Einstein (cat) certificates for discount spay and neuter are available for sale at our front counter. Please refer to the Spay/Neuter tab on our website for further details.
Where are you located?
Our shelter is locatedr between Polson and Pablo on the north end of the Mission Valley in western Montana. Our physical address is 36251 N. Reservoir Rd. in Polson. We are located just west of the Polson Transfer Station off of Highway 93 N. on N. Reservoir Rd, which is about a mile south of where you start heading downhill toward the city of Polson.
Where is your thrift store?
Seconds2Go, our thrift store, is located at 51110 Hwy 93 N. in Polson, MT. As you are coming into Polson, look directly next to McDonald's on your right hand side. All proceeds from the store go to help support MVAS.
Do you accept minors as volunteers?
Yes, we gladly accept minors as volunteers! However, any minors up through the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult. Minors younger than 16 are not themselves allowed to walk dogs, although they can accompany an adult who is walking a dog.
Do you accept aggressive dogs?
Aggression in dogs can be triggered by a variety of factors - food guarding, fear, pain and canine-to-canine dominance, to name a few. Aggression can be human-directed or animal-directed. Dogs can be aggressive to varying degrees, and their aggression can be amenable to rehabilitation to varying degrees. MVAS does regularly accept aggressive dog, but there may be cases in which the aggression is so extreme, so "programmed" and so threatening to both the community at large and our staff at the shelter, that we may have to turn away an animal. We always make every effort to give every canine a fair chance. If your dog presents aggressive behavior, we may ask you to bring the animal in for an initial evaluation so that we can determine if we can help.
Do you accept aggressive/feral cats?
We generally do not accept aggressive or feral cats. There are two exceptions. (1) If these are kittens, and they are young enough, we may be able to rehabilitate them. (2) If it is determined that the cat's aggression is specifically related to a fixable problem (e.g., a health issue that can be addressed), we might be able to help. Our housing for cats is predominantly social rooms where cats interact with each other and with the public in an open area, so we are not usually able to safely accommodate aggressive cats.
When will your expansion be complete?
Barring complications with contractor schedules, we are hoping that our new addition will be fully operational by the end of 2021. We may be able to use part of the space at an earlier time.
Can you vaccinate my animal?
We do not currently offer vaccination services. We only vaccinate shelter animals that are available for adoption. All of these animals receive their full suite of vaccinations prior to adoption. The only exception being puppies and kittens that are too young to receive certain shots.
Do you spay/neuter animals?
We have no veterinary facilities on site, so we do not perform any spay/neuter at MVAS. We do, however, sell discount spay/neuter certificates to Lake County residents and can set up an appointment for you at one of our partner vet clinics.
When is the next spay/neuter clinic?
We do not currently offer any spay/neuter clinics through MVAS. There are occasional clinics offered in the area by mobile task forces, but they are not very common.
Our goal is to obtain funding and begin to offer some free spay/neuter clinics for cats starting in 2021. We hope to eventually make these feline S/N clinics regular on a monthly or at least bimonthly basis.
Is there a surrender fee?
There is no required surrender fee at MVAS, but as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit we are entirely dependent upon the goodwill of our community and always encourage donations to help defray the cost of caring for the animals brought to us.
Why do you charge a reclaim fee?
MVAS is the only animal shelter serving Lake County and the only such facility between Missoula and Kalispell. Without fees we would not exist, because it is expensive to care for a large number of animals and provide a safe place for their shelter. MVAS takes the burden when the community faces stray animal emergencies. Our staff and our budget are severely strained by the consequences of animals being injured in accidents and animals breeding when running loose. There is no other place for a lost dog to be taken, so the alternative (if MVAS went out of business) would be for the animal to be left where it was found - often on a busy road. By charging reclaim fees, we incentivize responsible pet ownership.
How are you funded?
MVAS is funded 100% through private sources - donations, fees, fundraising, events, grant writing and, significantly, the revenue generated by Seconds2Go - our very own nonprofit thrift store whose proceeds go 100% toward our life-saving mission.
What volunteer opportunities do you have?
Having a very small staff, MVAS is dependent upon the volunteer spirit of our community! We need lots of help! Volunteer opportunities are vast and diverse. They include cleaning, walking dogs, socializing and brushing cats and kittens, clerical tasks, maintenance projects, mowing grass, shoveling snow, offsite rescue opportunities, fostering or transporting animals, washing dishes, doing laundry and, of course, everyone's favorite: scooping poop! We accept adults, minors and those seeking to complete community service.
What kind of donation items do you need/accept?
SUPPLIES LIST (in order of priority)
COLLARS (MARTINGALE STYLE)
DOG TREATS (WITH NO FOOD COLORING)
FOLDING WIRE PLAY PENS
SEALED PLASTIC BINS (ANY SIZE LARGER THAN SMALL)
PRINTER INK (BUDDY MODEL)
PRINTER CARTRIDGES (MODEL)
CAT FOOD (DIAMOND NATURALS INDOOR CAT FORMULA or ANY GRAIN FREE FORMULA)
KITTEN FOOD (TASTE OF THE WILD SALMON AND VENISON FORMULA)
DOG FOOD (DIAMOND NATURALS CHICKEN & RICE FORMULA or ANY GRAIN FREE FORMULA)
PUPPY FOOD (NATURE’S BALANCE PUPPY FORMULA from Costco or ANY GRAIN FREE PUPPY FORMULA)
CAT LITTER (WOOD PELLETS FROM WESTERN BEE)
DOG TOYS (KONGS, NYLA BONES, SQUEEKY TOYS, ROPES, ETC.)
CANNED FOOD (FOR CATS AND DOGS)
STATIONARY THANK YOU CARDS, ENVELOPES
8.3*11 WHITE PRINTER PAPER, COLORED PAPER
KITCHEN SIZE TRASH BAGS
39 GALLON TRASH BAGS
TOWELS, FLAT SHEETS, BLANKETS, DOG BEDS
How much do spay/neuter certificates cost?
Cat Neuter - $30
Cat Spay - $35
Dog Neuter - $45
Dog Spay - $50
How much does it cost to adopt?
Adult Dog - $125
Puppy - $150
Adult Cat - $40
Kitten - $50
Click here for more information.