Mission & FAQ's

The mission of the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area, Inc. is to build a better community for pets and people through compassion, protection, education, and collaboration.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What's the difference between the Humane Society and other animal groups, like "the pound”?
The Humane Society of Harrisburg Area is a non-profit organization, not a municipal or government agency. We rely solely on donations from our local community to fund our mission. 

Is the Humane Society funded by or related to other organizations, like the Humane Society of the United States?
No. The Humane Society of Harrisburg Area is an independent organization, not related to HSUS, the ASPCA, or any other Humane Societies. We receive no funds from national organizations or the government.

Is the Humane Society a taxpayer supported municipal agency?
No. The Humane Society of Harrisburg Area is a private organization and does not receive municipal funds, other than fees for service.

Are you a “no-kill” adoption center?
The phrase “no-kill” is frequently misleading and has numerous different definitions, which is why the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area does not use the label. However, HSHA does not euthanize any adoptable animals due to lack of space or length of stay. Residents in our shelter do not have a time limit on their stay. As long as an animal remains medically and behaviorally healthy, it will remain at the shelter until adoption.

What does HSHA’s adoption fee include?
HSHA’s adoption fee includes all the basic’s you’ll need to get off to a great start with your new pet. The fee covers spay/neuter surgery, microchip, first round of vaccinations, deworming, leukemia/FIV test (cats), and 30 days of pet health insurance. Please note that it is HSHA's policy that all animals must be spayed/neutered prior to leaving for their FURever home.

What geographic area does the Humane Society serve?
HSHA serves Dauphin, Cumberland, and Perry Counties.

Why does HSHA have so many pit bulls?
The area that HSHA serves produces many unwanted pets, especially pit bulls. The breed is largely misunderstood in the public and falls victim to people’s misconceptions. Pit bulls have many wonderful qualities and make great companion animals. HSHA does not discriminate against pit bulls, or any other animals, and prides itself on being an advocate for the breed.

Why doesn’t the Humane Society take strays from some municipalities?
Some municipalities choose not to contract with HSHA for stray services. Thus, HSHA is unable to take in strays from these areas because we do not receive support from the municipality to care for these animals. If a citizen from a non-participating municipality is willing to pay the intake fee, and there is space available in the shelter, we may be able to accept the animal. HSHA encourages citizen in non-participating municipalities to urge their municipality to participate. Click here for help.

I need to put my pet up for adoption. Can I bring it to you?
If you are unable to find a new home for your pet, contact HSHA at (717) 564-3320. Acceptance of surrendered animals is dependant on space and cannot be guaranteed. Additionally, a surrender fee is required.  

There are stray pets in my neighborhood. Can you come pick them up?
HSHA is unable to pick up stray animals. However, we do offer affordable rentals of humane traps for strays. Additionally, your local police may be able to offer assistance.

I need to have my pet put to sleep. What can I do?
HSHA offers humane euthanasia and cremation for pets. Click here for a list of fees for this service. Owners cannot be present during euthanasia.

I'm having difficulties with my pet. Can you help me?
Definitely. HSHA strives to help pet owners in every way possible to prevent them from having to give up their pet. We offer behavioral advice for challenging behaviors, low-cost clinics, and a pet food bank for those struggling to feed their animals. Call (717) 564-3320 for more information.

I think someone is abusing/neglecting their pet. Can you help?
Absolutely. HSHA’s Cruelty Department investigates cruelty in our service area. Complaints are accepted at (717) 564-3320 and complainant information is kept strictly confidential.

Do you board animals?
No. HSHA is an animal welfare agency that provides services for needy animals in our community.

Does the Humane Society provide free or low-cost veterinary care?
HSHA offers low-cost vaccination, microchipping, and spay/neuter clinics. However, we do not offer routine veterinary care for owned animals. Visit our clinic page for more information.

What is the Humane Society's policy on feral cats?
HSHA does not accept feral cats to be euthanized. The organization only accepts feral cats to be altered and returned to the place from which they came (known as “Trap-Neuter-Return” or “TNR”). In order to receive a FREE Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) surgery for a feral cat, you must obtain a TNR Voucher from the municipality in which you reside. Only municipalities that contract with HSHA for services will have these vouchers to distribute. Each municipality will also determine how many vouchers may be distributed per individual. To find out if your municipality contracts with HSHA for services and if they are distributing TNR vouchers, contact your municipal building directly after January 1, 2012. Citizens who do not have access to TNR Vouchers may continue to participate in HSHA’s TNR Program on a paid basis. Costs are $40 for a neuter and $60 for a spay, plus additional costs for FeLV/FIV testing and basic vaccinations. An appointment is required for TNR services (regardless of whether you have a voucher). To schedule an appointment, please call HSHA at (717) 564-3320 and follow the recorded prompts.

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July 27 | Christmas in July Adopt-A-Thon

October 19 | Pittie Party

November 9 | Fur Ball Gala & Auction

December 7 | Holiday Adopt-A-Thon

Pet of the Week

Benaiah (Rooney)


Handsome, handsome, handsome. That's all anyone says about me. I'm Benaiah, named after a character in the bible who bravely killed a lion. But everyone here just calls me Benny! I was born in 2017 and was first at the shelter in the spring of 2018. My ears had just been (badly) cropped and they needed care, then my rear leg was severely injured and my owners neglected to get treatment soon enough. My friends at the shelter took me back in July 2018, but it was too late for my leg -- it had to be amputated. So I became a tripod dog! Of course it did not slow me down one bit. I was adopted in March of 2019 after HSHA won ownership of me in the cruelty case against my neglectful owner. I got a new name, Rooney...but I was returned in August 2019. My first two years of life have been difficult, and I'm really in need of a stable, permanent home. I'm very much a dog who lives in the present, and no tough past is going to hang on my shoulders. I'm looking for a special family who can give me the life I deserve after spending so many months recuperating in the shelter, only to be adopted and returned. I love to play fetch and I've even learned the command "drop it," which I'm very proud of, I know "sit" too, and I love to get rewarded with treats and affection. I've very strong, so no kids under 12 in my new home, please.



Hold me! I'm Chantey, a small black cat who was a stray. I love to be held, and if you could walk me over to a window and let me watch the birds, that would be perfect. I'm slightly fearful and still trying to figure everything out. My life on the streets may have been tough, and I'm not sure who to trust yet. However, I'm trying hard. I know black cats gets overlooked, so I'm hoping my huge golden eyes will make people stop and say "Wow, I need to adopt that black cat!"

Workplace Giving

CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) – 77697
SECA (State Employees Combined Appeal) – 4401-0027
United Way – 3022