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Humane Society/SPCA of Nelson County

About Us

  Once a Dream...Now A Reality! Giving Them a Chance to Live...

2015-05-07 Bette with Casa PERM
Bette Grahame, Founder & Former President, with Casa (ADOPTED)

 Our Mission…

  • The Humane Society/SPCA of Nelson County (HS/SPCA) strives to improve animal welfare by providing care and adoption of "unwanted" companion animals through our "no-kill" adoption center, foster care networks, satellite adoption venues, and Kitten & Puppy Rescue/Transport Programs; by funding veterinary services and education programs; and, by controlling over-population through low-cost Spay-Neuter-Vaccinate and Feral Cat Trap/Neuter/Release programs.
  • Our goal is to extend the no-kill philosophy throughout our county, so that no healthy, non-aggressive animal is euthanized.  Animals being surrendered by their owners are accepted on a space available basis, if they are judged to be adoptable. Animals are also selected from unclaimed or unwanted animals at the Nelson County Animal Control Facility after they are evaluated by the HS/SPCA and judged to be adoptable. Strays will continue to go through the Animal Control Facility.
  • No animal will be put down unless it is judged to be dangerously aggressive or untreatably ill. The HS/SPCA (also known as the Almost Home Pet Adoption Center) now has several part-time employees but still relies heavily on volunteer help. Because of our efforts here at Almost Home, thousands of animals have been saved and are now living in permanent homes. 

A Little History…

  • In 1981, a small group of dedicated animal lovers successfully achieved incorporation status for the Humane Society of Nelson County.  Some time later the name was officially changed to the Humane Society/SPCA of Nelson County.
  • Nelson County’s Animal Control Facility, located at the site of the landfill in Arrington, Virginia, was not open to the public on a regular basis, and there were few or no adoptions.  Thus, the HS/SPCA Board members began volunteering their time to open the facility on Wednesdays and Sundays.  Their efforts resulted in about a 2% adoption rate.
  • In October 1991, Nelson County contracted the HS/SPCA to manage the Animal Control Facility. The HS/SPCA made many improvements to the facility and opened it to the public on a daily basis.  When the HS/SPCA and the County terminated the contract in March l998, the adoption rate was at 40%.
  • From 1998 through March 2004, the HS/SPCA continued to rescue animals and find homes for them, operating from foster homes having no facility of their own.  The HS/SPCA’s No-Kill facility, which was named the Almost Home Pet Adoption Center, was completed in April 2004.

Web Image: Nelson County SPCA

  • Now, seven years later, more than 5,000 animals have found homes…some adopted at Almost Home Pet Adoption Center, some adopted at Pet Forum and now at Pet Supplies Plus (both pet stores in Charlottesville), some at community events, some through Breed Rescue Groups and others adopted after being transported to no-kill shelters in Northern Virginia, and other states, primarily Massachusetts and New Jersey.
  • Five years ago, the HS/SPCA Board of Directors voted to set a goal to make the entire county a no-kill community, meaning that no healthy, friendly, adoptable animal would be euthanized at the County’s Animal Control Facility. A recent study done by the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA, posted as a blog on June 6, 2011, listed Nelson County as one of seven Virginia communities that are already no kill or very close to becoming a no-kill community, all saving more than 80% of the animals and some closer to 90%.
  • Calculations showed that the HS/SPCA and the Nelson County Animal Control facility, working closely together in 2010, saved 87% of the animals. This “save rate” requires a tremendous number of time, money and effort. We are proud of this achievement and with your continued support, we will strive for a 90% or greater save rate in the coming years.

Almost Home Van

PLEASE NOTE: The state requires a completed surrender form for all animals brought to Almost Home.  Animals left at Almost Home after hours are considered abandoned strays and cannot be processed and must be transferred immediately to Nelson County Animal Control to wait out their mandatory hold period of 5 days (if not wearing a collar) or 10 days (if wearing a collar).  If you must surrender an animal, please call 434-263-7722 between 1-4pm daily to make arrangements to do so legally.  Legal surrenders save time, money and greatly reduce the stress on the animals :) 


Grammy winning Country singer-songwriter Miranda Lambert and her mother Bev Lambert co-founded Mutt Nation Foundation 10 years ago as a result of their love for their pets and their desire to end animal homelessness, neglect, abuse and abandonment and increase adoptions of shelter pets.  In 2013 they launched a plan to select a shelter in each of the 50 states to lend a financial hand to and gave it the name " Mutts Across America: 50 States/50 Shelters."  Their Board of Directors spends over 100 hours sifting through shelters in each of the 50 states and then chooses one from each state based on criteria that they have set up. The Humane Society/SPCA of Nelson County is proud to announce that this year, Almost Home Pet Adoption Center was the Virginia shelter selected for this unsolicited award.  The Mutt Nation Foundation honored us with a $3,000 grant in recognition of the work that Almost Home Pet Adoption Center is doing to help the homeless animals in Nelson County.  We thank the Mutt Nation Foundation for this very special recognition of our achievements.  These achievements would not be possible were it not for our HS/SPCA Board of Directors, our staff, fosters and volunteers at Almost Home Pet Adoption Center and the SPCA Thrift shop, the Nelson County Animal Control Department that works as a team with us, the no-kill shelters and rescues that "partner" with us, and those that give us the financial support to enable us to fulfill our mission of helping the homeless animals. Together we can all feel proud of this special recognition.  Select the logo below to learn more about this foundation or view notification letter to the shelter from Mutt Nation Foundation under News & Articles.   

2016-02-13 PERM Mutt Nation Logo

Our Almost Home No-Kill Pet Adoption Center…

We are located on Stagebridge Road (Rt. 624) and Rt. 29 just two miles north of Lovingston on 2 acres of land...

  • House animals in "real-life rooms"
  • With a lobby/waiting room and reception area.
  • 13 rooms for dogs which will hold 2 to 3 dogs depending on their size
  • 5 cat rooms for multiple numbers of cats
  • Two isolation rooms, one for dogs and one for cats
  • A room for bathing and grooming
  • A food preparation area
  • Inside and outside exercise areas for dogs
  • Open seven days a week



Almost Home prior to July 2016




July 2016 - Addition of New Dog Pens
(Visit our Photo Gallery for additional Photos)

2016-080-1 AH Updated Photo 1 AH Updated Photo 2 AH Updated Photo 3

If you would like to make a donation, a PayPal button is provided below.  Or for more details on donations, select one or more of the following links:  "Cash Donations", "Items Needed" or "Help to Heal Fund". 

29 Stagebridge Road •  Lovingston, VA 22949  •  (434) 263-7722 •  pets [ at ]