What Does It Mean To Be An Open Admission Animal Shelter?

The Mission of the APCSM is to operate an open admission animal care and adoption facility, with focus on prevention of cruelty to animals, education and outreach, low-cost spay/neuter programs and helping animals and people in the community.

Our mission statement clearly states that we are an open admission animal shelter but what exactly does that mean? How does being an open admission shelter make us different from a selective admission shelter? Why is it even important? Let’s take a look at what it means for us, and those in our community, that the APCSM is open admission.

Firstly, what is an open admission shelter anyway and how is it different from a selective admission shelter? A selective admission shelter may refuse to take an animal for any number of reasons.  None of these reasons are necessarily bad, it’s just that sometimes a selective admission shelter doesn’t have the resources or ability or even the mission to take in a wider variety of animals. For example, if the cost of care is prohibitively expensive or if the animal is terminal a selective admission shelter may refuse to take the animal.  If the breed or type of animal doesn’t fulfill it’s mission the shelter may also refuse to take the animal (i.e.: a Golden Retriever rescue may refuse to take in an English Bulldog.)  As an open admission shelter however, we will accept any animal that we can care for regardless of age, physical condition, or species. For example, here are just a few of the animals we’ve taken in at the shelter in just the past 12 months:

-A 20 year old cat

-A dog with tumors

-A pair of bonded chinchillas

-A hedgehog

-A family of 6 white rats

-A cat with lymphoma

-A talking umbrella cockatoo


-A pregnant bunny who produced 10 babies

If we have the ability to care for the animal at the shelter or in our foster system we keep the animal, add it to our available list, and care for it until it goes home.  In the case of the pregnant bunny, she stayed in foster care until her babies were 3 months old and then they came to the shelter to be adopted.  If the animal is sick and cannot be healed we often find a hospice foster for her, as was the case for the cat with lymphoma and the dog with tumors.  Our Life Is Precious Fund covers the cost of palliative care and these very special foster families commit to caring for the animal and keeping them comfortable for the rest of their lives.

Another feature of being and open admission shelter is that sometimes we take in an animal that we can’t take care of long term but that we can transfer to a specialized organization that has that ability.  A great example of this is cold blooded animals.  Again, in just the past 12 months we’ve seen:

-A 6 foot long albino boa constrictor

-Bearded dragons

-A Python

-A turtle

-A Chicken

These animals need certain things that we only have in limited supply, such as heat lamps, large aquariums and tanks, and often live food which we don’t have at all because let’s be honest, the things boa constrictors like to eat are the same things we’re adopting out. When people bring us these types of animals though we don’t refuse them.  Instead we accept the animal and then arrange a transfer to one of our partners who are able to care for them, such as the New England Herpatological Society.  That’s where the python and boa constrictor went.

Sometimes however we get an animal that we just don’t have the ability to house even for a little while.  These are usually farm animals like a pony, who needs a stable and other things that we don’t have at all.  When someone brings us theses types of animals we usually make a call to our friends at the MSPCA at Nevin’s farm and arrange for the owner to bring the animal there. Again, we don’t turn the person away, instead we help them get to a facility that can care for the animal.

Being an open admission animal shelter certainly makes things more interesting!

Now, is it a hassle sometimes to be an open admission shelter? Yes. Is it more expensive, more heartbreaking, more…difficult? Yes.  We wouldn’t trade it for the world though because it allows us to serve our community in the way that they need us and help animals in the way that THEY need.  We are a community coming together to help animals.  Animals of all kinds and all needs.  That’s what being an open admission shelter means and we love it!

different animals collage




It’s Dogtoberfest Time!!

Get Your Dogtoberfest Tickets!

On October 20th, the Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Massachusetts (APCSM) will host our second annual Dogtoberfest at the APCSM’s facility in Brockton. This will be an exciting evening featuring a tasting of great local beers courtesy of

  • Tenth District Brewery
  • Barrel House Z
  • Widowmaker Brewery
  • Bourbon tastings by The Wine Basket

Along with delicious food courtesy of NanTra Catering and live music by The Bird Gangs. This fun evening of food and drink is being held to support the mission of the APCSM, to positively impact the lives of animals in our community.

The highlight of last year’s event was undoubtedly the contest to crown the king or queen of Dogtoberfest from our available, adoptable dogs.  Each dog strutted his or her stuff to a specifically chosen theme song. Participants overwhelmingly voted for Queen Lily!

Queen Lily 2017

During the past nine years, the shelter has successfully cared for countless animals, facilitated thousands of adoptions, provided affordable enrichment programs, and been an agency that advocates for animal welfare issues. In 2016 alone, the APCSM helped place over 1000 animals in their new forever homes. There are many success stories to celebrate – but the need is continuous.

Our ability to continue this work and meet the needs of our community is only possible because of support from people like you.

Get Your Dogtoberfest Tickets!

This year we are also offering a designated driver ticket for half price.  This $20 ticket allows designated drivers and non-drinkers to still enjoy the food, music, and fun of Dogtoberfest without the beer or the take-home pint glass.  You will get a wristband on entry that designates you a non-drinker.

Get Your Designated Driver Tickets!


Coco Kitten and Diva Cat Need Your Help

coco2This is Kim K at the shelter. The past 2 weeks have been really difficult in terms of animals with emergency medical needs. Last Thursday we took in Coco the kitten, whose family had been trying to treat a severly infected eye but surrendered her to us when it got to be too much for them and their young children to bear. Then Diva’s spay incision got infected and required emergency surgery. She had a drain put in and is on a lot of meds. Both cats are at the shelter being treated now but the bills are hovering near 3K just for the past 2 weeks and we are a bit strapped. Can you help?
Diva.jpgDiva’s bill is $2,500 and we thing the worst is past for her but Coco is a different story. The antibiotics don’t seem to be helping – the picture is of her after a week of treatment – and she has an appointment today to determine what to do next. Whatever it is one thing’s for certain, we’re not giving up on her.
Every little bit helps and if everyone can pitch in just a little we’re confident that we can get these 2 kitties healthy and home.
Thanks everybody, we’re super grateful for all you do!

Cat Adoption Event Tomorrow At Bank Of Easton!

Our biggest on-site adult cat adoption event so far this year will be taking place tomorrow from 10 am-noon at Bank of Easton’s Easton location (the one near Target). Ten cats ranging from 2-14 years old will be taking over the boardroom at the bank and seeking to open their own “family accounts”. Each cat (or bonded pair) is a solid investment opportunity and comes with features including a microchip, 1 year rabies vaccine, collar, ID tag, and carrier.

Unless they’re adopted beforehand these are the “fat cats” who will be taking over the board room at the Easton branch of Bank of Easton on Saturday morning. You can meet AND adopt these fiscally aware felines right on site!





Miko, black male, 14 yrs. Miko is easy going and loves to snuggle.






RaccoonMooCowRaccoon, male tiger, 4 yrs. Raccoon is bonded to his brother Moo Cow and is the quieter of the two.

Moo Cow, black and white male, 4 yrs. You need to meet Moo Cow to truly get the awesomeness of this 20 lb, full of personality boy. He is bonded to his brother Raccoon and they must go home together.



Parmesan, black male, 13 yrs. Parmesan would like to be the only kitty in his house and loves to show affection by head butting.





Spike, black male, 8 yrs. Spike is a FIV+ cat but this handsome and friendly boy still has a full and happy life ahead of him.





Madmoiselle Kat, female tortoiseshell, 2 yrs. The bank’s newest social director, Mme. Kat is super friendly and loves to meet people.





Magenta, female dilute tortoiseshell, 3 yrs. Magenta is a talkative girl who would like to be the only kitty in her home.





Peaches, tortoiseshell female, 6 yrs. Peaches loves catnip and petting!





Mira, black female, 6 yrs. Mira is a sweet and outgoing girl who loves people and has a purr you can hear across the boardroom!





Patches, tortoiseshell 10 yrs old. Patches is a little shy at first but once she warms up she’s the sweetest girl.





If you have any questions about Bank Of Easton’s new “C” suite executives call us at the shelter during our open hours and we’ll see you Saturday at the Bank Of Easton Cat Adoption Event!

See adoption Fees and information