MSPCA Animal Shelter at Nevins Farm -
 Methuen, MA
Adoption Center

Adoptions are a primary focus at the MSPCA Animal Shelter at Nevins Farm and the staff works to find loving homes for as many animals as possible. When you're ready to add an animal companion to your family, consider adopting a homeless animal. When you adopt from an MSPCA Animal Shelter, you not only give your new companion a lifetime home - you are also saving a life. And when the two of you head for home together, another Shelter animal will have a chance to live happily ever after.

Adoption Process
Things to Consider Before You Adopt
Giving a Pet as a Gift

Adoption Process:
We are delighted that you are interested in providing a home for one of our many animals. This page :

  • Lists some things you need to think about or do before you visit the shelter
  • Explains what you need to bring with you when you come to adopt a companion animal
  • Describes the overall adoption process
  • Includes our adoption prices

If you have any questions, please call us or ask a staff member when you visit. 

We estimate that the adoption process will take about an hour, but it could take longer. The Shelter is a busy place, so we appreciate your patience! Thank you!

Before You Visit the Shelter:

  • Please make sure you have considered the financial obligation involved in caring for an animal companion. This includes both routine and emergency veterinary care, food, supplies and training. Although we can give you a general idea of costs, it is best to check with veterinarians, trainers, and supply stores for prices before adopting your new friend.
  • Be honest with yourself about the time you have to devote to training, grooming, and exercising the companion animal you have chosen. Some things to keep in mind: do you work long or erratic hours? Do you travel often? Do you dislike outdoor exercise (don't forget rainy and wintry days)? Figuring this out will help you make the best match for your lifestyle!

What you need to bring with you when you come to adopt a companion animal:

  • If you rent, please be sure that your landlord will consent to have the pet on his/her property. We verify this information with landlords over the phone before sending a new pet home, so please have the appropriate name and phone number available.
  • If you own your home, please bring something that provides proof of ownership (i.e., a tax bill, water bill, mortgage payment receipt or deed). Some towns allow verification of home ownership via the Tax Assessor's Office or an online database. We can try that if you don't have documentation with you.

    Whether you own or rent, please be sure that there are no coverage restrictions on the homeowner's policy pertaining to the breed of dog you wish to adopt. Many insurance companies have breed restrictions which may include Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherd Dogs and Doberman Pinschers.

  • All your pets need to be up to date on vaccinations. Please bring documentation with you. Alternately, we may be able to verify this by calling your veterinarian.
  • It is important that your new companion gets along with everyone in your household. Please bring children and all adults in the home so that we can make sure it will be a good match before you make a commitment. If adopting an additional dog, please bring your current dog(s) with you. We can let them spend some time together and provide information on easing the adjustment period.
  • If you would like to adopt a bird or small animal, we'll need to ensure that you have a suitable cage or enclosure. We may ask you to bring the cage to the adoption center or to supply a picture.

Adoption Process
In general, you will follow these steps when you come to the shelter to adopt an animal companion:

  1. Visit the animals available for adoption to find the one(s) who might be right for you.
  2. Fill out an adoption application that tells us about yourself and your household so we can facilitate the match-making process.
  3. Talk to a staff member to learn more about your prospective companion and to determine if he or she is truly right for you.
  4. Decide whether or not to adopt.
  5. Go through the adoption materials with the staff member. You will receive information about your animal's vaccination history, as well as other information that will help you once you get your new companion home.

2008 Companion Animal Adoption Prices

Companion Animal

Donation Cost

What's Included


$300 donation

Adoption counseling and take home care information
Spay or neuter surgery
Rabies vaccination
DHLPP vaccination
Bordatella vaccination (Kennel Cough)
Initial general deworming
Heartworm test
Identification tag
Flea and tick treatment or preventative
Initial treatment for ear mites as needed
Cats (older than 4 months)
Kittens (4 months or younger)
$150 donation

$200 donation

Adoption counseling and take home care information
Spay or neuter surgery
Rabies vaccination
FVRCP vaccination
Initial general deworming
FeLV and FIV test for cats (FeLV test for kittens)
Identification tag
Flea treatment or preventative
Initial treatment for ear mites as needed
Rabbits $75 donation Adoption counseling and take home care information
Spay or neuter surgery
Ferrets $90 donation Adoption counseling and take home care information
Rabies vaccination
Mouse, Rat, Degu, Hamster, Gerbil $20 donation Adoption counseling and take home care information
Guinea Pig $30 donation Adoption counseling and take home care information
Chinchilla $90 donation Adoption counseling and take home care information
Other Exotic pet See staff Adoption counseling and take home care information
Cockatoo, Macaw, African Gray $350 donation Adoption counseling and take home care information
Cockatiel, Conure, Lovebird $45 donation Adoption counseling and take home care information
Parakeet, Finch, Canary, Dove $20 donation Adoption counseling and take home care information

Additional donations are always appreciated!

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Living Happily Ever After With a ... Cat or Dog or Rabbit or Hamster or Gerbil or Rat or Mouse or Guinea Pig or Bird... Things to Consider Before You Adopt a Pet

Sharing your life with an animal companion is truly one of life's greatest joys. But which kind of animal is the one you will live with happily ever after? And will live happily ever after with you?

Everybody's idea of the perfect companion animal is different. That is why it is so important to think carefully before you decide to bring an animal into your life. Be sure the one you bring home is the companion you will be able to (and will want to) live with for its entire lifetime.

How much time do you have?
Whether it is a hamster or horse, every day every companion animal needs love, attention, and your time for feeding, cleaning, exercise, and guidance.

A cat will not learn that climbing curtains is off-limits if you are not home to set the house rules. If you work late or have lots of after-school activities who will walk the dog? Or clean the rabbit cage? Think ahead, too, because your time will change as your family and lifestyle change with travel, hobbies, job transfers, new babies, and school.

The costs keep adding up!
Regular veterinary care, vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, food, collars, leashes, kitty litter, cage or kennel carriers, animal care books, and obedience classes add up - and these are just the basics! You might find that right now a loving rabbit or an already spayed adult cat may not only be the right pet for your family, but also better suited to your budget.

Happily every after can sometimes be a rocky road
Shedding, accidents, chewed furniture, muddy footprints, fleas, odors, broken vases, behavioral problems, infections, vomiting, diarrhea are some or all of the things you may run into during the life of your pet. Often the hardest part is in the beginning, as you and your animal get to know and adjust to each other. The more time you devote, the more close-to-perfect your new friend will be!

Moving, No pets allowed.
If you are planning to rent for a while, chances are you will need to move at some point. Pets-allowed places can be difficult to find, and may also be more expensive. Will you be able to keep looking until you find a place where your animal companion will be allowed? Protect yourself with written permission, but be careful... destroyed property could change your landlord's mind.

Good things come to those who wait.  
If you have an infant at home or one on the way, if you are moving into a new house or starting a new job or expect some other big change, you might want to wait until things settle down before you bring a new pet home. Many animal lovers do not have animals because it is just not the right time. Whether you adopt next month or next year, you will find a loving companion will be glad you waited.

Cats do not have nine lives, they only have one - a long one.
A cat or a dog would live up to 20 years; a rabbit for 10; a horse could live for more than 30 years. Where will you be then? Will your animal be with you?

Picture the dog of your dreams, your feline fantasy, your model mouse!
It may sound silly, but this is what happily ever after is all about! Are your expectations, hopes, and dreams for your new friend realistic with your day-to-day life? To dream of jogging on the beach with your retriever is nice, but would that really happen? Do you picture hours of playtime with your hamster friend? Remember, they are nocturnal! Talk to your veterinarian, pet-owning friends, and the staff of your local animal shelter to learn more about the feeding, housing, and exercise needs of the animal YOU dream of!

Looking for "Happily Ever after." Where to begin?
Call or visit an animal shelter! You will be amazed at all the different kinds of animals there. Most humane societies have not only cats and dogs, but rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, gerbils, rats, hamsters, and sometimes birds. Some, like the MSPCA
at Nevins Farm, even have horses, goats, geese, and other farm animals.

They all have one thing in common: they are looking for their happily ever after.

Put yourself in their paws!
Talk to the shelter staff about the kind of animal companion you are looking for. They can often give you helpful observations about special animals who may catch your eye as well as those who may not. Shelters are very busy, noisy places, so some animals' true personalities may not shine through. That timid Siamese may
be a cuddly lap cat at home, and that unruly German Shepherd mix may just be trying to get your attention.

The Shelter's goal is to find a lifetime home for as many animals as possible and to help you find your lifetime companion. Keep in mind that some animals, no matter how wonderful, just may not be right for you.

You may not find your friend on your first visit to a shelter. Do not despair! Keep calling or visiting the Shelter as often as you can because the animals which are there change every day. Some come in. Some are adopted. Also be sure to check in with local pounds and breed rescue groups.

It is well worth the wait. You are taking a step that will change your life forever, so take time now to be sure.

And as you take the time to think and look, know that a lifetime of love will be the reward as you and your animal companion live happily ever after. Together.

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Giving a Pet as a Gift

If you are considering buying a puppy, kitten, or other pets as a gift, the MSPCA Animal Shelter at Nevins Farm recommends that you give a shelter adoption gift certificate instead.

Many animals are received by the Shelter after birthdays and holidays when new pet owners realize they do not have the time -- or cannot afford -- a pet. Some families who receive pets as gifts never wanted them in the first place. Not to mention the reality of taking a puppy out at 5 a.m. on a bleak, frigid morning can be daunting to even the most avid puppy lover!

Gift certificates allow the recipient to be involved in the process of choosing when to adopt an animal and who to adopt, so they can choose the companion animal who will best fit their lifestyle and their desires. You may think a Siamese kitten is the perfect pet for your friend, but she might really be longing for an adult orange tabby, or may even another animal entirely -- like a guinea pig. Gift certificates also allow people to adopt a pet when they are ready. Holidays can be a very difficult time to bring home a new pet. They are often so hectic that there is little time to train a pet and to help it adjust to its new surroundings. By bringing an animal home well before or after the holidays, the whole family and the pet can have time to get to know each other, begin a regular routine, do necessary veterinary check-ups, and if it is a puppy or dog, start obedience training too. 

One gift suggestion for that special person might be to tuck the adoption gift certificate in with a couple of supplies, a veterinary certificate, and a special note saying "When you are ready, let's pick out the perfect companion together."

The Shelter staff is also available to give prospective adoptive families information about the adoption process and choosing the animal companion who is right for them. Another super gift idea is a gift certificate for obedience training classes! For more information about Adoption Gift Certificates, call the MSPCA Animal Shelter at Nevins Farm at (978) 687-7453.

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