Adoption FAQ

Where do the pets 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 one of our five locations so it can 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?

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 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, 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 toward the adoption fee. If the hold is cancelled or the adoption is 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?

We do not allow pet introductions at the shelter. Proper pet introductions require in-shelter resources we do not have at this time. We've found that 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. Our 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 become a successful pet companion. Animal Humane Society offers a 60-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 AHS and receive an adoption credit certificate that can be used toward the adoption of another animal or purchase of pet supplies. All returns are scheduled through our Pet Helpline.

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 adoption, 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 cannot find a suitable home, we ask that you return the 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