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Present Day

The volunteer programs has been in the shelter for over 30 years. Many volunteers have been here for 25+ years.
Approximately 25 volunteers reside: in-town; in-state outside of town; out of state.
One volunteer started at age 12 and now, as a veterinarian, continues to volunteer!
Provide all services inside the shelter including cleaning, laundry, animal socialization, office work, greeting visitors, adoptions, returning animals to their owners, educating owners about responsible pet ownership, collecting fines for the town, etc. Outdoors, volunteers maintain the shelter’s memorial garden.
Participate in various fundraiser activities. All money raised through fundraising and donations help pay for food, medicine and veterinary treatment for all animals in the shelter.
Maintain a lost and found webpage on
Email submission of “pet of the week” photos to the Woonsocket Call.
Maintain a computerized pet database and health records for each animal in our care.

The “Early Days”

1978 to 1991:

  • ○ One-room shelter
  • ○ No bathroom
  • ○ Heat from wood stove
  • ○ Wooden cat cages
  • ○ Cats and dogs in cages facing each other

In 1991, The Friends of North Smithfield Animal Shelter was formed for the purpose of initiating a capital campaign fundraising effort to erect an addition to the existing one-room shelter and to renovate that one-room space which was to become the dog room. Furthermore, the fundraising program was to continue its fundraising efforts to provide funds for the well-being of the animals at the shelter.

1992 – 1996

  • 1992 – started a fundraising campaign to raise money for an addition to the existing one-room structure
  • During this five-year campaign, $130,000 was raised by:
    • ○ Champlin Foundation Grant – (very unusual for The Friends to receive this grant as the structure belonged to the town)
    • ○ Grant from former State Senator Paul Kelly
    • ○ Memorial Garden donations
    • ○ Raffles, dinner dances, walkathons, yardsales, spaghetti suppers, breakfast with Santa and the Easter Bunny, candy sales, bake sales
    • ○ Importantly – donations from individuals who believed in what we were doing for the animals!


  • The long-awaited addition was added. The new facility now boasts:
    • ○ Office
    • ○ Bathroom
    • ○ Reception area
    • ○ Separate cat room with countertop, sink, and  cabinets
    • ○ Stainless steel cat cages
    • ○ Separate dog room
    • ○ Isolation area for sick animals
    • ○ Outside exercise area for cats
    • ○ New heating & air condition system
    • ○ Washer and dryer
    • ○ Central vacuum system
    • ○ New Storage Shed
    • ○ Brian Construction Company donated the paving work for the entire rear of the shelter


Volunteers have been in the shelter since 1978 and presently log in more than 3000 hours per year, including weekends and every holiday!
Because the shelter is staffed by volunteers, we are able to open on weekends thereby increasing the opportunity for the public to visit and/or adopt.

What we are passionate about doing

  • ○ Provide both prescription and high-quality, non-prescription pet food necessary to meet and maintain the nutritional health and well-being of all animals
  • ○ Prepare specialized diets for those animals in need.
  • ○ Purchase cat litter for the shelter or seek donations of cat litter when donated supplies provided by BJ’s Wholesale have been exhausted
  • ○ Maintain health records on all animals.
  • ○ Spay or Neuter all cats and dogs.
  • ○ Provide veterinary car for all cats and dogs in the shelter and, as funds are available, provide aid for veterinary care to non-shelter animals at no cost to the town
  • ○ Provide high-quality testing for various illnesses and diseases.
  • ○ Provide and update inoculations on all animals including Rabies, which is state-mandated.
  • ○ Provide and administer medications to animals according to veterinarian’s instructions.

Volunteers are always needed and welcome!

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