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Mary Margaret: Oh, the animal shelter right? How's that going?
David: Well, the apes haven't taken over.
David and Mary Margaret src

Storybrooke Pet Shelter, also known as the Animal Shelter, is a Storybrooke location on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the tenth episode of the first season.


During First Curse

Sheriff Graham, having plans to meet Regina for an evening tryst, leaves his night patrol shift to his deputy Emma with the excuse he has to help a sick dog at the shelter since the veterinarian, Dr. Thatcher, won't be available. Later that night, however, Emma catches him sneaking out of Regina's house and figures out why he lied. Despite this, Graham insists he really is an animal volunteer at the shelter. ("The Shepherd")

After coma patient David is discharged from the hospital and resumes his life, he finds a job at the pet shelter helping Dr. Thatcher. While putting up posters around town, he bumps into Mary Margaret, who asks how his job search is going, to which he tells her about working at the pet shelter. ("Desperate Souls")

Although David seemed to be developing feelings for Mary Margaret, he tells her that he is going to work on his marriage with Kathryn. Without either party knowing, they become more enamored with one another. Both begin showing up daily to the diner by seven-fifteen just to see each other. Throughout each day, Mary Margaret secretly watches David come to the diner, go to work at the pet shelter and then return home. When Emma catches her one morning at the diner rather than at the school like she claimed, a lovesick Mary Margaret admits to "stalking" David and tracking his movements. Later on, in the woods, Mary Margaret finds an injured dove and brings the animal to the shelter to have Dr. Thatacher check its health. The doctor says the dove's wounds will heal, but cannot survive on its own and needs to reunite with its flock soon. Although David protests against it, Mary Margaret leaves the shelter to release the dove where its flock might pass by. ("7:15 A.M.")

Following the fallout from David and Mary Margaret's love affair becoming public knowledge to Kathryn and the whole town, Kathryn mysteriously disappears as she is on-route to Boston. Emma begins an investigation, and with Ruby's help, she finds a box with a human heart in it. At the pet shelter, David shares his fears with Mary Margaret that he may have killed Kathryn without remembering he did it, as earlier he was wandering the woods with no recollection of how he got there. When Emma comes in to announce a human heart was found, a grief-stricken David believes himself to be responsible and begs to be arrested. Instead, Emma reveals the fingerprints on the box are Mary Margaret's. ("Red-Handed")


On-Screen Notes

Set Dressing

  • The pet shelter has silvery forest wallpaper on the counter and behind the counter,[6] and tree silhouettes on the window panes.[6][7] Above the fish tank, there is a framed picture of a winter woods scene with birch trees.[6] Real birch tree trunks are used as decorations.[8] These are all nods to the Enchanted Forest. ("7:15 A.M.", "Red-Handed", "The Return")

Filming Locations


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


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