Frequently Asked Questions

At Francisvale, we try our hardest to match all of our rescue and shelter animals with loving homes that can provide the care an affection they need. When it comes to adopting a pet there are so many important pieces of information to be aware of. Here you can find answers to some of the most popular questions we get.


Q: I’m looking to adopt an animal from Francisvale. What’s the first step?
A: We’re thrilled that you’d like to adopt one of our animals at Francisvale! For any general inquiries about adoptions please send an email to If you’re ready to start an adoption application please visit our Apply to Adopt page. One of our staff will respond to your request in a timely manner.

Q: How long does the adoption process usually take?
A: Not every pet is right for every family or home situation, so Francisvale has developed a three–step process to insure successful adoptions. First, Francisvale evaluates each pet’s temperament. Second, it looks for a match with a prospective adopter’s household and its ability to care for its new member. As part of the assessment, a Francisvale counselor may make a home visit. Once there is a match it’s time for an adopting family to “meet and greet” their chosen pet to be sure the match will be successful.

Q: How soon can I take my new pet home with me?
A: Once your application is approved and an appropriate match is made, Francisvale’s counselors will give you information about your pet’s diet, house-training, exercise, veterinary care, manners and behavior training and help get you started with your new companion.

Q: Do I need a fenced-in yard to adopt an animal at Francisvale?
A: We do not have a fence requirement for our adopters. However, there may occasionally be a dog who will do best with a fenced in yard. It really depends on the dog and their behavior.

Q: What if I already have a pet at home and want to adopt another?
A: During the adoption process we would only recommend an animal that would get along with either your own dog or cat. Once approved you would bring your own animal to Francisvale for an “animal meet and greet” to ensure that your new animal would get along with your own animal.

Q: Are there any age requirements to adopt a pet from Francisvale?
A: You must be at least 21 years of age to adopt an animal from Francisvale.

Q: What fees or costs will there be if I adopt an animal from Francisvale?
A: Francisvale does not have a fee schedule but does provide a suggested adoption donation, depending on the type and age of the animal you are adopting.

Q: What resources does Francisvale provide after I adopt an animal?
A: Our staff is always here for your questions and concerns. We are happy to help you and your new pet through the adjustment period and you can call us at any time for advice. We can also provide you with a list of veterinary hospitals, veterinarians and trainers if needed.

Q: What happens if I have questions or need assistance after I bring my animal home?
A: Francisvale will always be here for you. We will provide you with guidance, resources, training guidelines and any other information you may need to provide the best life possible for your new companion. We are here to help, so please call!


Q: I’ve found a stray animal or have a pet I can no longer care for. What should I do?
A: You should contact us either by phone at 610-688-1018 or by email at and one of our staff members will get back to you with the appropriate information.

Q: Does Francisvale accept small animals such as rabbits, ferrets, and guinea pigs?
A: At Francisvale we only accept surrenders of cats and dogs. While we do love animals of all sizes we only have the facilities to take care of cats and dogs.

Q: Who should I contact if I want to give an animal up to Francisvale?
A: To contact someone at our shelter about surrendering an animal please email You can also get in touch with one of our staff by calling 610-688-1018. We can accept animals Monday to Sunday during business hours but you must make an appointment.

Q: What materials should I bring with me if I’m looking to surrender an animal to Francisvale?
A: When surrendering an animal that had a previous owner it is a good idea to bring all medical documentation about the animal with you. Having proper documentation will allow us to evaluate the animal more accurately and understand its needs and will help speed up the timeline for finding the pet a new home. We also accept stray animals at the shelter which will understandably have no documentation.

Volunteering at Francisvale

Q: Where can I find more information about volunteering at Francisvale?
A: Our volunteers are what keeps Francisvale running so we’re excited to have you on board! You can learn more about getting started with volunteering at Francisvale over on our Volunteers page. You can also email us at to get more information.

Q: When is orientation for new volunteers held?
A: We hold one volunteer orientation session per month, typically from 1 – 3 p.m. on a weekend. You can find the most up to date schedule for volunteer orientation on our Upcoming Events page.

Q: Are there any age requirements to become a volunteer?
A: To volunteer at our shelter you have to be at least 17 years of age.

Memorial Grounds and Cemetery

Q: What are the visitation hours for the Cemetery at Francisvale?
A: The cemetery at Francisvale is open for visits Monday to Sunday, opening at 9 a.m. and closing at 3 p.m..

Q: We’re looking to honor our pet with a memorial at Francisvale. Where can we find more information?
A: All information about our Cemetery and memorial services can be found on our Memorial Services page. For a personal response you can also get in touch with us at or call us at the shelter at 610-688-1018.

Q: What services can Francisvale provide for families who have recently lost a pet?
A: Francisvale can provide a beautiful, peaceful resting place for your beloved pet should you choose to purchase a plot in our cemetery. We can also provide a wooden coffin should you choose to use one. In addition, we can also come and pick up your animal at your home and transport it to Francisvale for the burial. Headstones and markers are encouraged and we are here to help you with your selection.

Q: Are there still burial plots available at Francisvale?
A: Even though the cemetery at Francisvale was officially created in 1909 and has been the resting place for hundreds of animals through the years, there is still space available to bury your loved ones.


Q: I’d like to make a donation to help support Francisvale, where can I find more information?
A: You can donate in several ways. You can select our Donate Button on the homepage of our website and follow the easy directions, you can call us at 610-688-1018 and donate with a credit card over the phone and you can also send a check to Francisvale at our address, 328 Upper Gulph Rd, Radnor, PA 19087.

Q: Does Francisvale accept donations of goods? What kinds of items would be acceptable to donate?
A: Francisvale always accepts donations and is very appreciative of whatever comes our way. We are always in need of Peanut Butter, cat beds, blankets, etc. and for a complete list of what we need at Francisvale just check out our Wish List.

Q: When can I come by to drop off a donation?
A: We can accept a donation of food, blankets, toys, and other goods Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m..

About Our Shelter

Q: What is Francisvale all about?
A: Francisvale is one of the oldest no-kill shelters in the United States, providing a temporary home for rescued, unwanted and abandoned dogs and cats. We work to place our animals in homes for life, offering individuals and families the love and companionship of a healthy, carefully matched pet. Since opening our doors in 1909, Francisvale has saved the lives of tens of thousands of cats and dogs.

Q: Where is Francisvale located?
A: The Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals is located at 328 Upper Gulph Road, Radnor, PA 19087. We provide details directions for reaching our shelter on our Contact Us page.

Q: When is the shelter open?
A: Francisvale is open 7 days a week (except for national holidays) and operates from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.. However, due to the busy nature of the shelter, it is highly recommended to contact us first at 610-688-1018 to make an appointment to come see Francisvale. We want to ensure that we give you the necessary time you deserve to tour the facility and/or to meet your new best friend. We accept donations and other drop off items Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m..

Q: How are animal shelters different than an animal rescue group?
A: Animal shelters like Francisvale are generally single facilities that house and care for homeless animals, operated by a mixture of paid staff members and volunteers. Animal Rescue groups, on the other hand, and mostly all-volunteer organizations which rely on the volunteers to house and care for the animals before they get adopted.

Q: What is different about Francisvale adoptions?
A: Francisvale has developed a proven procedure for matching pets with adopting individuals and families in the weeks after its arrival, each animal is evaluated based on its temperament and suitability for a variety of home environments. And each prospective pet owner’s desires and abilities to care for a pet are evaluated based on an easy-to-answer online questionnaire, ensuring a stress-free match.

Q: Francisvale is a “no kill” shelter, what does that mean?
A: Unlike some shelters that routinely euthanize animals because they aren not wanted or have disabilities or serious medical conditions, Francisvale is a “no-kill” shelter. We do not kill unwanted animals, and we seek medical care for injured or sick pets to insure they live safe, healthy lives.

Q: What kind of care do the animals receive at Francisvale?
A: From the moment they arrive at Francisvale, our dogs and cats receive all necessary health care including neutering, spaying and vaccinations. Beyond food and shelter, each animal gets exercise – and individualized loving attention from the staff as well as from a cadre of nearly 100 committed volunteers.

How does Francisvale do all of this?
A: Francisvale is entirely privately funded through the generosity of its donors, supporter, and volunteers. Many supporters make yearly donations or sponsor specific cats and dogs with a monthly donation and one increasingly popular way to make a substantial difference is through planned giving. Making a planned gift is a great way to create a lasting legacy of compassion for abandoned animals. You can make Francisvale a beneficiary in your will or even designate Francisvale as beneficiary of a dollar or percentage amount in a life insurance policy or CD.

Q: What about animals with special needs?
A: Many donors ask specifically that their donations be earmarked to help save the lives of animals in need. George’s Fund was established in 2007 to help defray extraordinary expenses associated with life-threatening or chronic medical conditions.

Q: Are there other ways to help Francisvale?
A: Yes, many. Volunteering to care for the animals is a popular and satisfying way to help. In-kind donations are accepted daily. And check our website for a Wish List of needed items.

Q: Is Francisvale a pet cemetery?
A: Yes, Francisvale is an active pet cemetery that currently honors the lives of more than 2,000 animals. Plan ahead and secure a beautiful final resting place for the pets that have made a difference in your life. See our section on Memorial Grounds for more information.

Q: Is parking available at Francisvale?
A: Yes, we have two parking lots available for visitors and some limited street parking on Upper Gulph Road.

Pets of the Week

We specialize in personal adoptions and placement.

Hours of operation:

  • Adoptions & Surrenders:
    Monday to Sunday by appointment only.
  • Cemetery:
    Monday to Sunday, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Donation Drop Off:
    Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.