Adoption FAQ

Where do the dogs, cats, and critters at AHS come from?

Animal Humane Society receives animals from individuals who are no longer able to care for their pets and from other shelters that lack placement resources in their area. We also provide adoption services to animals that are lost, brought in as strays, abandoned, or seized in humane investigation cases.

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

There is no time limit for how long an animal stays in our adoption centers. On average, most cats are in new homes within 14 days from intake to adoption. For dogs, it’s about 10 days. If an animal is waiting longer than usual to find a new home, we might move that animal to another AHS shelter so it can be seen by more people.

How do I meet an animal I’m interested in adopting?

You’re welcome to visit the shelter anytime during adoption business hours to meet an animal you’re interested in adopting. Once at the shelter, staff and volunteers are available to assist you. Each of our three adoption centers have private visitation rooms where you and the pet can get acquainted.

Do I have to be a certain age to visit with a pet?

For safety reasons, we ask that anyone 17 years old or younger is accompanied by an adult when visiting with an animal.

Do I need to fill out an adoption application?

We use an interview process to ensure that each animal adopted will be matched with a compatible new owner. There is no application form to complete before you visit.

How long will the adoption process take?

Plan to allow up 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 an animals and it’s less than 30 minutes before closing, we can place the pet on hold for a fee for 24 hours to allow 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?

If you’re not ready to complete an adoption, you may place an animal on hold for 24 hours with a non-refundable, non-transferable fee of $30 for dogs and cats, or $10 for all other animals. This hold fee supports the extra day of housing, staffing, and care needed and will not be applied toward the adoption of the animal. Only one hold may be placed on an animal at a time. All adoptions and adoption holds must be processed in person.

Can I bring my current pets to meet an animal I’m considering adopting?

We do not allow pet introductions at the shelter. Proper pet introductions require in-shelter resources we do not have at this time. A properly staged introduction outside the shelter increases the chances of a positive introduction outcome. Adopters are provided step-by-step instructions on how to introduce their new pet to resident pets, and our expert behavior staff is just a phone call away should adopters need advice.

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 acclimate their new environment. Animal Humane Society offers a 60-day adjustment period within which you can evaluate the pet’s progress and your adoption decision. Read more about our adoption return policy.

What if my new pet gets sick?

Once your adoption is finalized, you will be responsible for all medical bills and decisions regarding your pet. However, if a new health problem (not noted at the time of adoption) develops within 14 days after your pet’s adoption date, we can provide up to 30 days of oral or topical medication with a prescription from your veterinarian. Learn more about post-adoption medical care.

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 are unable to re-home the pet yourself, you may surrender your pet to Animal Humane Society. Before bringing an animal to AHS for surrender, please schedule an appointment via our Pet Helpline.

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline