Get In Touch

596 Hathaway Rd.

New Bedford, MA 02740


Open every day by appointment only.


Until further notice, visitors to our shelter are limited to approved applicants only.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Do you have puppies/kittens/purebred animals?

A: Lighthouse's primary focus is on adult dogs/cats. We bring last call death row dogs into our care. Adult dogs, senior dogs and mix breeds are the least likely to make it off the euthanasia list. Therefore, we very rarely have dogs in our care who are purebred or who are younger than a year. When you adopt from Lighthouse, you are truly adopting a rescue! Our cat adoption program also focuses on adult and senior cats. We rarely have kittens in our care. If you are interested in adopting a kitten/puppy, there are still adoption options and we urge you to seek them. If you message us about puppies/kittens we will let you know if we have puppies/kittens in our care or we will refer you to another shelter/rescue that may have them.

Q: Will you take my dog/cat?

A: We can not accept dog surrenders. We are almost always filled to capacity. We can SOMETIMES accept cat surrenders if we are not full. Feel free to message us for help rehoming your pet as we may know of other options.

Q: What are your hours?

A: We are open every day by appointment only. In order to limit the number of guests we have at the shelter during the pandemic, visitors at our shelter will be limited to approved applicants only. After receiving and processing your adoption application, a volunteer will contact you to set up a day and time to visit with our dogs/cats.

Q: Why do I need to fill out an application? Why do I need a home visit?

A: Our adoption application simply tells us more about you and better puts us in a position to match you with the right dog or cat. The last thing we want is for anyone to be unhappy (animals or humans!). We want to make sure that we set you up with the right animal for your situation/lifestyle. Home visits are necessary for dogs who need help adjusting and is the perfect time for us to express what is necessary to make the transition from shelter to forever family successful. At this time, we will also go over all medical paperwork to set you up for happiness & health with the new addition to your family. We can also perform introductions at your house between our Lighthouse dog and your current pets and give advice on how to proceed with integrating your new pet into your household.

Q: Can I bring my dog to meet your dogs?

A: Eventually, absolutely! We ask that you please fill out an adoption application first. We need to confirm with your vet that your dog is up to date on necessary vaccinations before proceeding with any introductions.

Q: How old do you have to be to adopt?

A: You or your co-adopter must be 21 years old to adopt from Lighthouse.

Q: How old do you have to be to volunteer?

A: Our insurance requires that all volunteers who have direct contact with our animals to be at least 18 years old.

Q: What does the adoption fee include?

A: Our animals are up to date on all vaccinations, at minimum tested for heartworm but most of the time receive a 4DX test, are always spayed/neutered and are up to date on all of their preventatives. We also pay a transport fee per animal. If by chance an animal in our care has already received their vaccinations, spay/neuter, and testing beforehand, your adoption fee goes toward the care of other animals who's rescue exceeds the adoption fee (for example: ultrasounds, dentals, heartworm treatment, infections, etc). Our rescue could not survive without your help! Please remember we are an organization with no paid staff and we are privately run so we do not receive funding from the city or state. We rely solely on donations, fundraisers, and adoption fees. Often our adoption fees do not cover the care that each cat or dog received.

Q: How long does the application process take?

A: The answer to this question varies. It really depends on how long it takes for us to get in contact with your references. Sometimes it takes a day or two, sometimes it takes a week! We are an all volunteer program, so our volunteers who process applications will likely be calling from their personal cell phone. Sometimes we end up playing phone tag with your references and this is really the only thing that holds up your application. In order to prevent this, please let your personal references and vet reference know that we will be calling and everything should go smoothly. If you have not heard from us within a few days, please feel free to send us a message or email and we will let you know the status of your application and any other additional information we may need from you. We appreciate your patience.

Q: Are your dogs housebroken/trained?

A: It really depends on the dog. Some of our dogs have been in and out of kennels their whole lives. These particular dogs are likely not trained and need guidance from their forever family. Other dogs have spent a little time in foster homes before their stay at Lighthouse so they are ahead of the game as far as training goes. If you are looking for a dog who is already house trained and knows basic commands ask us about the dogs we have who have been in foster homes! Please remember that almost all dogs will go through a transition period where they will have accidents in the house, no matter how much training they have received.

Call us: 508.999.7387   |  Email us: |  Open by Appointment Only

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