The Fauquier SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is a private, 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing a temporary refuge for stray, homeless and abandoned animals and to place such animal in a caring, appropriate home whenever possible. Educating the public about the benefits of spaying and neutering is also an extremely important part of our mission.
The SPCA has a membership of approximately 600. All people who adopt an animal or contribute $50 or more each year automatically become members of the SPCA. The SPCA was organized in 1957 with the help of Betty Maloney, Polly Howard, Frances Frost and Charlotte and Joe Trundle. The first membership drive began that year with fees of two dollars per year. The SPCA lived up to its name almost immediately. Two weeks after it was organized, the Fauquier SPCA went to rescue some livestock in Brandy Station.
The SPCA opened its original shelter at the farm of one of the members, Mrs. Betty Maloney on Springs Road in Warrenton. Prior to that, game wardens had no place to take stray dogs and cats and just shot them. When Mrs. Maloney learned of this crude practice, she immediately offered an alternative – her farm, appropriately named Dog Patch Farm. At first the animals were housed in temporary quarters, using beach umbrellas and doghouses. Then some horse stalls were cleared and used as dog kennels until a permanent shelter could be built. In 1962, construction began of a cinder block shelter at Dog Patch Farm on land belonging to Mrs. Maloney. This shelter remained in use for 25 years.
In 1989, the present Fauquier SPCA shelter was built in Casanova on 11 acres donated by Mrs. Robin Cutler. This modern facility boasts 36 dog kennels, six dog quarantine kennels, and two separate cat rooms that can hold up to 60 cats. It has a barn and a fenced paddock for larger animals and for storage. A cottage next door offers housing for the shelter manager to live nearby and be on call for emergencies. An additional enclosure, completed in 2001, provides more office space, an enclosed area in which Animal Control can unload animals and a room for spay/neuter clinic. In recent years, the shelter has been renovated to include two new adoption rooms and a large sunroom where three or four cats can live surrounded by windows.