Programs and services by appointment

Dakin has transitioned to appointment-only operations

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to make major adjustments to the way we deliver our programs and reconfigure our services to continue as a resource to people and pets. During that time, we learned that many of those adjustments, such as operating by appointment only, have been beneficial to both animals and people. Therefore, will continue to operate using an appointment-based system and will not reestablish general open hours. We believe this new way of operating will allow Dakin to better serve people and animals.

Frequently Asked Questions

> Why has Dakin decided to operate by appointment only?

There are a number of factors that led to this decision, the most important being the massive benefit to the animals in our care. We have found that these animals are more comfortable and thrive in a quieter shelter. The number of accidental bites/scratches have decreased significantly, indicating pets are calmer with less traffic. We can use our space in different ways to better accommodate the varying needs of the animals in our care. Approximately 60% of the animals in our care have medical and/or behavioral needs that do not make them the best candidates for high traffic public viewing or handling.

Another factor considered is the experience of our clients. Public viewing hours most often lead to extensive wait times for those wishing to adopt, or simply inquire about an animal. This has been reduced dramatically through scheduled adoption appointments.  An appointment-based system allows for dedicated and (semi)uninterrupted time when counseling those adopting, surrendering, or seeking advice and assistance from Dakin.

Lastly, many of the conversations that take place at Dakin are of a sensitive and emotional nature. Operating by appointment only gives the client more privacy for such discussions, especially when of a sensitive or emotional nature regarding their pet. This includes admission, domestic violence situations, and end-of-life decisions.


> Do I need an appointment to drop off donated items?

No. Every day between the hours of 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m, a blue donation bin is located outside Dakin’s Springfield Animal Resource Center. A blank itemized donation form can be found in the holder directly above the bin for you to record the items you dropped off and serve as your tax receipt. If you have additional questions or would like to schedule a drop-off from a supply drive, our Development department is happy to assist you. Please call 413-781-4000 ext 3 or email


> I have a monetary donation to drop off. Who do I contact?

We encourage monetary donations to be made online, by mail, or over the phone. If you would like to drop off a donation in person, please contact our Development Office for further instructions. A staff member will be happy to assist you. Call us at 413-781-4000 ext 3 or email


> How do I make an appointment for a Dakin program or service?

  • Programs and services such as the Community Spay/Neuter Clinic, dog grooming, and other services will remain unchanged as they have always operated by appointment only.
  • Animal adoptions and admissions will continue to be conducted by appointment only.
  • Those seeking assistance from the Pet Food Aid Program can do so Tuesday - Saturday between the hours of 12:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Please bring a phone with you - the number to reach a staff member for assistance is posted on our fence.
  • Thrift shop - Home Again - The Shop at Dakin is open for in-person shopping on Saturdays from 10am - 3pm. Online shopping is also available on Dakin's eBay store.