Work in Progress: List of Open Admission Shelters in NH

In response to some unsupported claims I’ve seen online about New Hampshire being a “no kill state”, I have endeavored to compile a list of every open admission shelter in the state and the 2012 kill rate for each. If I am able to compile such a list, it can serve as a reference for those wanting to see documentation of how New Hampshire’s open admission shelters are doing.

I need your help. Please take a look at what I’ve got so far and let me know if there are any errors. I also need additions for the open admission list.  If anyone knows of any NH open admission shelters not yet on the list, please leave a comment. If you have any pet advocate contacts in NH, please share the open admission list with them and ask if they know of any other open admission shelters.  I am hoping to make it a comprehensive list for accuracy’s sake.

Open admission shelters in NH –  These shelters accept all animals in need.  They may require an appointment for owner surrenders but there is no waiting list.

1.  Upper Valley Humane Society
300 Old Route 10
Enfield, NH 03748

(603) 448-6888

Open admission statement and 2012 stats here.

11.5% kill rate in 2012.


2.  New Hampshire SPCA
PO Box 196
Stratham, NH 03885

Phone: 603-772-2921

Open admission claim here.

Most recent stats:  2011 (Note: Although these are Asilomar stats, the NH SPCA failed to categorize any of the animals killed in 2011 so it’s unclear from this report whether any of those animals were healthy/treatable.)

Current stats requested 9-22-13, response not yet received.


3.  New Hampshire Humane Society
PO Box 572
Laconia, NH 03246

(603) 524-3252

Open admission statement here.

Current stats requested 9-22-13, response not yet received.


4.  Conway Area Humane Society
P.O. Box 260
Conway, NH  03818-0260


No specific open admission claim but the website gives the impression they are.

Current stats and admission status requested 9-22-13, response not yet received.


Limited admission shelters in NH –  These shelters have waiting lists at some or all times for pet surrender and they may decline to accept animals in need.  I have added them simply for informational purposes:

Animal Rescue League of NH

Cocheco Valley Humane Society

Concord Merrimack Co SPCA

Franklin Animal Shelter

Manchester Animal Shelter

Lakes Region Humane Society

Monadnock Humane Society

Salem Animal Rescue League


Humane Society for Greater Nashua  (Admission status and current stats requested 9-22-13, response not yet received.)

7 thoughts on “Work in Progress: List of Open Admission Shelters in NH

  1. Salem Animal Rescue League says that in practice they’ve never had to turn away a dog. The problem is with cats; the numbers are much greater, and they do turn away cats.

    They do have an excellent, active adoption program. The cats as well as the dogs get lots of attention and socialization. They take pregnant cats and new mamas with their kittens, and spay/neuter mama and kittens before they’re adopted out. They’ve also over the last year been trying new things to make the cats as well as the dogs more visible and play up what makes them great pets.

    I’d like to see them add more space for cats, but they’re on city-owned land and may not be able to. I’d like to see them have an active barn cat program as Manchester does. They’re doing a lot of good now, though, and moving in the right direction with the changes over the last year or so.

  2. I should add that one important thing that contributes to NH being no kill or near no kill is that the ACOs and the rescues have strong working relationships. Dogs at the end of their hold period get pulled by rescues or transferred to a shelter. In Salem, getting transferred from AC to SARL just means some paperwork and walking the dog to a different kennel.

    1. Lis – If I am understanding your comment correctly, it sounds like SARL partners with an open admission facility. Is that correct? If so, is that open admission shelter already on my list? I’d like to add them if need be.

      1. They partner with Salem Animal Control, which is open admission for dogs. Howver, in New Hampshire, animal control has no jurisdiction over cats, or rather only the same jurisdiction they have over wild animals. ACOs try to avoid ever picking up cats, and instead refer people having problems with ferals or strays to Feline Friends NH. If AC does have to pick up a cat, they have no facilities, no legal authority to hold it or to adopt it out, and basically need to start calling the rescues and private shelters to see who can take it.

        Overall, dogs are much better off than cats, but TNR is legal and encouraged in NH, even though the ACOs can take no direct part in it.

  3. I could be wrong, in fact I probably am, but I always got the impression that just because its open-admission it doesnt mean that its no-kill. It just means they will take in more animals. I couldnt assume that for any shelter unless they had “No-Kill” in their title, and even then. But anyway, granted I live on the other side of the country, but I didnt think NH was no-kill. I didnt think any state was. Some cities are TRYING to be no-kill (i.e. Los Angeles) but it hasnt fully happened yet.

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