Frequently Asked Questions

What is Lakeshore PAWS?

Lakeshore PAWS is a mostly volunteer run, nonprofit 501(c)3 animal rescue organization located in Valparaiso, Indiana. Our vision is to create a culture of compassion and partnership in Northwest Indiana that will one day assure that every pet born has a stable home and care throughout its natural life.


Our Values:
Compassion: Treating each animal with the kindness it deserves;
Community: Creating partnerships for a better world for pets in Northwest Indiana;
Results: Acting to ensure that every pet receives a second chance at a forever home;
Advocacy: Working as a voice for every animal in despair.


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How long do animals remain for adoption?

Although most of our animals are adopted quickly, there is no time limit to the length of time that animals remain available for adoption. In some cases, we may care for an animal for several weeks or months.

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Is the shelter open to the public? What are the hours?

Lakeshore PAWS is open to the public for adoptions and animal viewing during the following hours:

Monday: closed

Tuesday - Friday: 12pm - 6pm

Saturday - Sunday: 11am - 3pm

The staff and volunteers are here seven days a week to care for the animals. Please note, these hours are subject to change.

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Where does the Lakeshore PAWS get the animals for the shelter?

Lakeshore PAWS gets about 98% of our animals from northwest Indiana. We select animals that are at immediate risk of euthanasia due to overcrowding.


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I found a stray animal, can I bring him to Lakeshore PAWS to surrender?

All strays should be taken to the appropriate county shelter corresponding to where the stray was found for a stray hold to give owners a central location to claim their animals. Other suggestions if you've found a pet:


  • Post flyers in and around your neighborhood or where the pet was found, after getting the OK from the proper authorities, of course.

  • Include an easy-to-read title, such as "Found Cat" or "Found Dog."

  • Provide a brief description of the found animal.

  • Leave your name and number.

  • Omit one or two of the pet's unique identifying marks so you can make sure you have the true owner of the pet.

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I can no longer care for my pet. Can I bring her to Lakeshore PAWS to be adopted by another family?

If you have a pet you can no longer care for, we may be able to help depending on kennel availability at our facility. Our priority is to pull from other shelters where animals that are at immediate risk of euthanasia due to overcrowding. Click here to read more about the Owner Surrender Program. We cannot guarantee that we will take your animal. All animals must be temperament tested before being considered and there is a surrender fee based on whether the animal is spayed/neutered and up to date on vaccinations.

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What is the adoption process?

Adopting an animal from Lakeshore PAWS is an easy process! It begins with coming into our center and meeting our available pets and then filling out a brief survey. Learn more by clicking here.

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Can I adopt a pet as a gift for someone else?

No. Adopting a pet is a personal, lifestyle decision. If you are considering adopting a pet as a gift, we recommend that you offer to go with them to Lakeshore PAWS and pay the adoption fee when they find the pet that fits them best.

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How much are Lakeshore PAWS's adoption fees?

Adoption fees range anywhere from $375 down to $100 depending on the age and breed of the dog. On average, it costs the shelter around $450 per dog before they are adopted. The adoption fee includes: spay/neuter surgery, microchip, all current vaccinations & heartworm preventative, all medical care/medication received at the shelter and 30 days of free pet insurance.

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Do you know the history of the dogs at the shelter?

The history of the animals begins on the first day they arrive at the shelter, where they are medically and behaviorally evaluated before being released for adoption. Sometimes we have background information (e.g., was the animal a stray, an owner surrender, etc.) but most of the time we do not.

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How is Lakeshore PAWS funded?

We are funded entirely through private donations. Lakeshore PAWS does not receive any regular government or tax money.

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Are there ways for me to donate?

Absolutely! You can make monetary donations by clicking the Donate button or click here to learn more ways you can donate!


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I would like to volunteer, what sort of work is there, and how can I get involved?

There are many ways to volunteer your time with the Lakeshore PAWS! All of the following duties are held by volunteers:

  • Dog care (walking, bathing, etc.)

  • Clerical/Administrative duties

  • Dog fostering programs

  • Adoptions assistance

  • Fundraising

  • Off-site Events

  • Cleaning

  • Many other opportunities!

To get involved, you can apply to be a volunteer by clicking here. Volunteers age 13 to 15 must volunteer with a parent or legal guardian. The parent must attend orientation with you. Volunteers age 16 to 17 must have a release of liability signed by parents/legal guardian, who also must attend orientation.

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I have to do court-ordered community service, can I do this at Lakeshore PAWS?

At this time, we do not allow those who need to complete community service.

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Does Lakeshore PAWS have a cat program?

At this time, we do not have a cat program, we only have dogs in our system.

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