What We Do

Frequently Asked Questions

Change an Animal's Life

Portage APL Services

Can the Portage APL help me to spay/neuter my pet?
The Portage APL does not have the facility to perform spay or neuter services to the public on a regular basis but does offer several programs to help people afford spay/neuter services.

Low cost cat spay/neuter surgeries are available each month provided by NOMAD; a mobile cat spay/neuter service. Please come to the shelter to sign up. Please note that there is a waiting list so call as soon as you acquire your new cat.

Can the Portage APL recommend a veterinarian?
Portage APL works with many local veterinarians. We cannot specifically recommend one, but when you adopt we do offer a certificate for a free wellness exam at many offices.
How do I report neglect, abandonment or cruelty?
If the animal in question is in Portage County, you can make a report here.

Note: You will be asked to provide detailed information about the location, animals in question, and potential suspect as well as your contact number, which will be kept confidential. Being able to contact you for additional information often helps resolve the issue in a timelier manner. If we cannot reach you because we didn’t hear the address or have further questions, we may not be able to help the animal, so please leave all information.

Due to the confidential nature of the investigations, you will not receive any information regarding the results of the investigation.

How do I report a lost pet?
Call Portage APL at 330-296-4022 or file a lost pet report on our Lost & Found page.

Dog owners should also call the Portage County Dog Warden.
Important note: Dogs and cats can travel further than anticipated. If you live within 10 miles of the county border, it is advised that you contact the neighboring county Dog Warden and humane society in addition to the Portage APL and Portage County Dog Warden.

How do I surrender an animal to the shelter for adoption?
You must call the shelter at 330-296-4022 to inquire if room is available. If we are unable to take your pet, we can add you to our waiting list or provide you with resources to help.

The shelter can only accept animals that are of sound temperament and in good health. Pets with a history of aggression may not be accepted.

For more information, visit our Animal Intake page.

About the APL Pets

How many pets do you place into new homes?
Each year the Portage APL finds loving homes for about 800 dogs and cats.
Where do the animals come from?
Some are surrendered to the shelter for a variety of reasons like moving, eviction, or death of the owner. Many are strays that become sick, injured and in need of medical attention. Some are seized by APL humane agent due to neglect, cruelty or abandonment and brought to the shelter for rehabilitation and placement.

Sometimes Portage APL will arrange to take dogs from the Dog Warden or other local shelters that need help.

Does the APL euthanize animals?
We do not euthanize treatable, friendly animals in order to make room for more animals and there is no time limit on their stay here. However, there are some circumstances under which we may euthanize. Because we rescue sick, injured and abused animals, sometimes they are too ill or unsafe. We make every effort to rehabilitate animals and often provide extensive care to do so. Occasionally though, there is no humane alternative.
Do you ever get purebred dogs or cats?
Yes, purebred animals pass through the shelter and are available for adoption. Check our pet gallery frequently to see if any purebred pets are available.
How do I adopt a pet from Portage APL?
So that we can make the best match we ask that you fill out an adoption application if there is an animal you are interested in. Adoption staff members are available to help select the perfect pet for your family and explain the adoption process.

Dog adopters are asked to spend time with the dog and bring in family members as well as any other family dog(s) to interact.

Cat and dog profiles can be viewed on our Available Pets page and we also share pets ready for adoption on our Facebook page.

Why do the animals have to go to an indoor home?
Generally many of the animals available for adoption come to the shelter after being injured or abandoned. Some have had horrific experiences. The APL spends considerable time and money to make the animals ready for adoption. Indoor homes are safer. Under certain circumstances, indoor/outdoor animals are available for adoption.

General Information

How can I contact the Portage APL?

Phone: 330-296-4022

Check out our Contact page for full phone, fax, address, and staff directory information. You can also send us a message there, too.

Where is the Portage APL located?

The Portage APL is located just north of Ravenna at 8122 Infirmary Road, behind the Portage County Water Resources and the Dog Warden office. Turn into the Water Resources driveway and continue to the blue building at the end of the road.
View on Google Maps

How can I volunteer for Portage APL?
Please fill out an application form according to your age. It will be sent to our Volunteer Coordinator at the shelter. Applications are reviewed before an orientation is scheduled.
I found a lost/stray dog. What should I do?
Please report stray dogs to the Portage County Dog Warden
Phone: 330-297-6924
Emergency after hours 330-296-5100
Fax: 330-298-2053
Toll Free 1-800-772-3799

Check it for a microchip. The APL and local veterinarians can do this for you. You can also report it to us, and we will keep an eye out too.

Please call the shelter at 330-296-4022 regarding injured domestic animals or call your police or Sheriff office at 330-297-3889.

What are the shelter's hours?
Our shelter is currently closed to the public except for adoption appointments. Please visit our Contact page for up-to-date information on shelter hours and COVID precautions we are taking.
My animal went missing. What should I do?
Here is some information to help you get reunited with your furry friend.

  • You can make a Lost or Found Report. Here you can fill out an online form and attach a photo. This will help us match you to your pet if your animal comes to us injured or sick. (We do not take in stray dogs.)
  • Inform the Portage County Dog Warden (for dogs) or your local sheriff/police.
  • Visit the website lostmydoggie.com or lostmykitty.com. There you can create a lost poster for your missing pet and once you’ve created the poster the website will send the poster to 25 agencies (shelters, rescues, animal controls, vet offices, sheriff offices) within a 20 mile radius of your home.
  • If you are on Facebook, let your friends know your animal is missing. There are also two more pages that are very helpful. There is Portage County Lost and Found Dogs and Cats and also Pet FBI Ohio. You can search for these pages in the search box on your Facebook page. There are also Lost and Found pages for surrounding counties where you can post. (I.e., Summit County, Stark, Geauga, etc.)
  • Remember that cats don’t normally stray very far. Check under bushes, parked cars, up in trees, open garages or sheds or under trailer skirting. Also check your basement, rafters or hideaways in your own home.
    Put something outside that belongs to the animal so they may pick up the scent of home. (No food!)
  • Putting a sign in your yard that states you are missing a cat or dog is very helpful to your neighbors or passersby who may see your animal out and about and wonder where it belongs.
  • Remember that spaying and neutering your pet will keep them from wandering.
  • Microchipping, licensing and ID tags are helpful to connect you if your pet goes missing.

Don’t lose hope. Animals can find their way home.

How can I help?
Portage APL is a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization, which appreciates donations of cash, time and items to help the shelter operate. All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. The shelter, nor its programs, would exist without the generous donations from the community.

Here’s how you can make a difference:

Cash donations are accepted online, via mail or can be brought directly to the shelter.

Supply donations can be brought to the shelter, or shipped to us when you order off our Amazon and Chewy wish lists

What is the difference between the county dog warden and the Portage APL humane agent?
The Humane Agent is appointed by a county probate judge once they have completed their training and are employed by Portage APL (county humane society) This agent is empowered to investigate and enforce all Ohio laws regarding animal cruelty and abandonment in Portage County. The Humane Agent is an employee of Portage APL.

The Dog Warden is a county employee that focuses on:

  • Dogs running at large / stray dogs
  • Dog License / Registration
  • Vicious dogs/ dog bites


Who funds Portage APL?
The Portage APL is a private, nonprofit humane society which means all operating funds come from community donors like you. In addition Portage APL receives some grant funding from foundations on a competitive application basis.
Does Portage APL receive money from my taxes?
No. The Portage APL is not a government agency and is funded by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses and foundations in the community. We invite you to donate online.
Does my gift to national animal welfare organizations (such as Humane Society of the United States or ASPCA) help animals in Portage County?
No. Portage APL is a local shelter that receives and houses animals from Portage County and is dependent on local support to keep the shelter operating.

National organizations can offer great resources and information to assist local shelters. Portage APL is an independent non-profit funded by voluntary donations. Funding for Portage APL’s services and programs is received in the form of cash donations, bequests, trusts, endowments and through adoption and surrender fees.