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 Adoption FAQ


Where do the pets come from?

The Animal Humane Society receives animals from individuals who are no longer able to care for their pets, pets that are lost or abandoned and some pets come from other shelters that lack placement resources in their area.

Do the pets in the adoption center have a time limit?

There is no time limit for how long an animal may remain in our adoption center.  On average, most cats are in new homes within 14 days from intake to adoption.  For dogs, it’s about 10 days.  We want to see all pets into a new home sooner than later but we recognize that sometimes a pet may wait longer to find just the right home.  One of the advantages to having 5 locations are we can move pets to other locations to be seen by more people.

How do I meet a pet I’m interested in adopting?

You are welcome to visit the shelter anytime during adoption business hours to meet a pet you’re interested in adopting.  Once at the shelter, staff and volunteers are available to assist you.  Most locations have private visitation rooms where you and the pet can get acquainted.  All household/family members should interact with the pet before the adoption is finalized to ensure the pet is compatible with everyone.

Is there an adoption application to fill out?

Yes.  Adoption applications are available online and in our adoption centers.  The adoption application outlines key adoption policies for your review.  And, it collects helpful information about you and your household for our staff to review and discuss prior to finalizing the selection.  To save time, we recommend you print and complete the application prior to your visit to the shelter.

How long will the adoption process take?

Plan to allow one to two hours to complete the adoption process.  It may take longer depending on how many pets you wish to meet, your previous experience with pet care and the number of other visitors at the shelter.  Peak days for visitor traffic are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, so please allow extra time if you plan to visit on those days.

Adoptions can be processed up to 30 minutes before closing time.  If you wish to adopt and it’s less than 30 minutes before closing, complete the application and we can place the pet on hold for you to finish your visitation and/or finalize the adoption the following day.

What if I need more time to decide? Can I place a pet on hold?

A non-refundable, non-transferrable hold deposit may be placed on a pet for a 24 hour period.  If the adoption is completed during that time, the deposit is applied towards the adoption fee.  If the hold is cancelled or the adoption not completed, the deposit is forfeited to Animal Humane Society.  Only one hold may be placed on a pet at a time.  All adoptions and adoption holds must be processed in person.

Can I bring my current pets to meet a pet I’m considering adopting?

Sorry, we do not allow pet introductions at the shelter.  The shelter is a strange and stressful place for most pets and proper pet introductions require in-shelter resources we do not have at this time.  And, we have found that a properly staged introduction outside the shelter increases the chances of positive introduction outcome.  Adopters are provided step by step instructions on how to introduce their new pet to resident pets.  And, our behavior staff is just a phone call away should adopters need advice. 

Does Animal Humane Society offer any veterinary care for my new pet after the adoption?

Adopters can take their new pet to one of over 200 participating veterinarians for a free wellness exam within 14 days of adoption.

If your new pet should become ill within 14 days of adoption, Animal Humane Society can provide free medication to help treat the following conditions:  feline upper respiratory infection, kennel cough, eye/ear/skin infections, external parasites such as fleas, ticks and mites and internal parasites such as roundworms and tapeworms.  If your pet is diagnosed with any of these conditions within the first 14 days of adoption, your veterinarian can call in or fax the prescription to us and it will be available to pick up at our facilities. 

Minnesota law prohibits Animal Humane Society from practicing veterinary medicine on privately owned animals.  Once an adopter assumes ownership of a pet, Animal Humane Society cannot provide any veterinary care or advice.  Adopters assume full responsibility for the pet’s care and Animal Humane Society is unable to reimburse adopters or veterinarians for post-adoption expenses.

What other services does Animal Humane Society provide to support me and my new pet?

Animal Humane Society is committed to providing services for all stages of a pet’s life.  We offer a free behavior helpline, an on-line behavior library, pet training, pet boarding, pet supplies and events for you and your pet.  Our web site also has many resources to help pet owners including:  microchipping, spay/neuter, pet friendly housing and a lost pet bulletin board.

What if my new pet doesn’t work out?

Both you and your new pet will need time to get better acquainted and adjust.  For some pets the transition is quick and easy.  Others may need more time and help from you to become a successful pet companion.  The Animal Humane Society offers a 30 day adjustment period within which you can evaluate the pet’s progress and your adoption decision.  If you should determine you and the pet are not compatible, you may return the pet to Animal Humane Society and receive an adoption credit certificate that can be used towards the adoption of another animal or purchase of pet supplies in the Adoption Center.   All returns are scheduled through our Animal Admissions department at 763-412-4969.

What if I can no longer care for my adopted pet?

If at any time you can no longer care for your adopted pet and cannot find a suitable home, we ask that you return the pet to Animal Humane Society. 

Animal Humane Society locations


4375 Hwy. 55 S.E.
Buffalo, MN 55313
(763) 390-3647

Operating hours

Coon Rapids

1411 Main St. N.W.
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
(763) 862-4030

Operating hours

Golden Valley

845 Meadow Ln. N.
Golden Valley, MN 55422
(763) 489-2201

Operating hours

St. Paul

1115 Beulah Ln.
St. Paul, MN 55108
(651) 645-7387

Operating hours


9785 Hudson Rd.
Woodbury, MN 55125
(651) 730-6008

Operating hours

  • Administration
    (763) 522-4325
  • Animal Admissions
    (763) 412-4969
  • Pet Behavior Helpline
    (763) 489-2202
  • Boarding
    (763) 489-2222
  • More contact info »