Animals in Harrisonburg Need Your Help!

As a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide care and well being to as many animals as possible, Anicira and our amazing community of local supporters have awaited a day when we could work towards making Harrisonburg a No-Kill Community. That day has come! Anicira submitted a proposal for a public-private partnership (PPEA) for animal services for the City of Harrisonburg - an opportunity to change the outcome for thousands of animals in our city.


The local shelter has historically had extremely high euthanasia rates despite the number of animals coming into the shelter decreasing each year.

In 2016, 1,232 cats and dogs were euthanized.  This is 51% of all cats and dogs entering the shelter.   More animals leave the shelter dead than alive.

In 2010, Anicira (then Shenandoah Valley Spay/Neuter Services) entered mediation with the RHSPCA to come up with actionable items to decrease the unnecessarily high euthanasia rates. Nothing came out of this process.

In 2016, the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County hired experts from Animal Welfare Management Services to conduct an assessment of the shelter. They found that while the shelter was functioning well operationally, its policies were antiquated and outdated. 

In May 2017, Anicira submitted a proposal to the City of Harrisonburg to provide animal sheltering services.  The proposal is based on a proven no-kill model.

Quick Facts About The Proposal:

  1. The Anicira Adoption Center is located at 910 North Liberty Street in Harrisonburg. It has been inspected and licensed by the state as an animal shelter. 
  2. Anicira is willing to take on the city contract at a cost that will save the city over 25% from the current budget for 2017-2018. The RHSPCA has a budget of $282,379 for fiscal year 2018, while we propose to provide services for $213,000.
  3. Anicira proposes to operate an open admission shelter. Our goal is a 90% or better live save rate and we are actually asking the city to hold us to a higher standard with quarterly performance reviews!
  4. Read the full proposal here. 
  5. Many of the most frequently asked questions are answered here.

How You Can Help:

Your voice is important! Here are a few quick and easy ways you can help right now to save more animals:

  • Tell your friends. Use social media to let people know what's happening in Harrisonburg and their opportunity to make a change. Click here to start sharing.
  • Email City Council. Send an email to each of our City Council Members to vote to APPROVE the proposal to award Anicira’s new Open Admission shelter with the City contract. Click below to send a message to the Council Members.

Mayor Deanna Reed -
Vice-Mayor Richard Baugh -
Council Member Ted Byrd -
Council Member George Hirschmann -
Council Member Christopher Jones -

Feel free to copy the text below to paste or write a message of your own:

Dear Harrisonburg City Council Member,
I am a Harrisonburg resident who is concerned about the number of animals that are killed every year in our city. I encourage you to approve Anicira’s recent proposal to replace the underperforming RHSPCA as the City’s open admission shelter. Anicira is willing to be held to a higher standard and provide the shelter that our community has been asking for and that our animals deserve.

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