Pet Advice

Animal Cruelty

By law, companion animals must be given fresh water and shelter, especially in the hottest and coldest times of the year. To report this or similar incidents, call Prince William County Animal Control at 703/792-6465 or Manassas City Animal Control at 703/257-2420. If the animal is immediate distress, please call 911.

Considering giving up your pet?

Before making the decision to give up a pet, please look at all your options. Pets are family members and should not be looked at as disposable items. If you have to move, make sure your pet is able to go with you. If you or someone in your household is pregnant, know the facts about coexisting with kitty during the pregnancy. If you have exhausted all your options and must give away your pet, please try to find it a good home with a friend or relative. There are some rescue groups that will take the animal but most are already overwhelmed with other pets. Never drop off your pet at a farm or in the woods because domestic pets cannot care for themselves in unfamiliar environments. Your pet will become confused and more than likely be killed by a wild animal or hit on the road as he or she tries to return home. If you must take your pet to the local shelter, be aware that it may be euthanized if it becomes ill or unadoptable. Exhaust all of your options before taking your animal to the shelter.

Emergency Preparedness: Don’t Forget Your Pets!

Emergencies come in many forms and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe. The best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared. Keep an emergency kit handy for your pets. This kit should contain the following:

  • Canned (pop-top) or dry food*
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
  • Litter or paper toweling
  • Pet feeding dishes
  • Extra leash
  • Pet first-aid kit and guide book
  • Photocopies of medical records
  • Waterproof container with a two-week supply of any pet meds*
  • Bottled water
  • Flashlight
  • A pet traveling bag or sturdy carrier, ideally for each pet
  • Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet)
  • Photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters)

* Remember that food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit otherwise they will go bad or become useless.

Poison Control Center

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is the premier animal-oriented poison control center in North America. It’s the best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Make the call that can make all the difference: (888) 426-4435. A $50 consultation fee may be applied to credit card.

Trapping Stray or Feral Cats

The Prince William SPCA does not have a feral cat program and does not provide financial support for feral colonies.  Our focus is on adoptable companion animals.  While we are proponents of humane treatment of all cats, we simply do not have the resources to undertake feral cat issues. If you need additional information on feral cats, please contact Metro Ferals (703-528-7782 |, Alley Cats (, or another organization that focuses directly on feral cat issues.  These organizations are not affiliated with the Prince William SPCA but may have resources available to help with feral cats and colonies.