Before we help someone find their perfect pet, we make sure they’ll be the perfect owner.
To ensure that all our adopted pets are well cared for, we ask that individuals who are interested in adopting fill out a survey, meet with an adoption counselor and go through an animal matching process. This simple system also increases the probability that adopters will be satisfied with their new companion animal.
To speed up the adoption process, please bring the following items with you:
- Fill out the adoption survey before arriving at HSWM
- Bring your current pet's medical history
- Bring a letter from your landlord
Adoption surveys must be turned in 30 minutes before closing to be considered for a session with an adoption counselor that same day (animals cannot come out for a visit 15 minutes before closing). Sessions with an adoption counselor and adoptions are processed in a first come-first served basis with no need to make an appointment.
Our policies are designed so that our animals are placed in suitable homes and will be cherished for its remaining natural lifespan. We have adopted many thousands of animals into good homes and have developed these policies and guidelines as a result of successful experiences.
We will not adopt to those living in quarters where animals are not allowed. We conform to household pet limitations imposed bylocal zoning ordinances.
Adopter Age Restrictions
Adopters must be responsible individuals at least 18 years old.
Companion Animals Only
We are committed to adopting animals only as companions.
We strongly discourage adopting animals as a gift. Ideally, all family members should be a part of the adoption process.
Young Animal vs. Mature Animal
The age at which an animal is placed in a home depends on the maximum number of consecutive hours it will be left unattended. One of the main reasons people abandon animals is because "it cannot be house-trained." Animals can be house-trained if given appropriate time and supervision. For example, puppies left alone during the crucial early weeks and months can grow into unsocialized, untrained, and unhousebroken pets that are often surrendered.
This is our number-one policy, because failure to sterilize animals is the leading cause of overpopulation, abandonment, and euthanasia of millions of wonderful animals. All adopted animals must be sterilized. We require that all animals of the same species and opposite sex in the adopter's home be sterilized (unless you have a breeder's license).
Vaccinations & License (Dogs)
All adopted animals will be current on their vaccinations, unless age prohibited, as part of the adoption fee. Adopters are responsible for the cost of vaccinating animals too young for us to perform vaccinations before delivery. All pets already in the home must be current on all shots. Dogs must have a valid license as required by local ordinances, subject to age limitations. The license fee is collected from the adopter and sent to the County with the documentation.
Veterinary Services Beyond the Scope of the Adoption Package
We do not perform veterinary services beyond the scope of the Adoption Package. It is strongly encouraged for adopters to quickly establish a relationship with an independent veterinarian for care of their adopted animal and the performance of optional veterinary services.
Return of the Animal
If adopters cannot keep their animal, they must return it to us. We strive to match adopters with an animal that will be a life-long companion. However, we do realize that circumstances can arise that prevent continued animal ownership. Our Return/Exchange Policy recognizes that sometimes things just don't work out as anticipated when the animal goes home. If family conditions change and a long-term companion animal cannot be kept, all pet owners are encouraged to let our experienced professionals evaluate the situation and do what is best for the animal.
Return/Exchange of an Animal
If the adopted animal gets sick or a behavior problem is discovered within 14 days from the day after the date of adoption, we will offer to EXCHANGE ONLY. The exchange must be made within the 14 day period. Problems may include such things as digging, biting, behavior problems, or destructive habits.
PLEASE NOTE: There will be a $25 processing fee for the return of an animal. Animals are living creatures and as such cannot come with a guarantee of perfect health or behavior. Occasionally a condition or medical problem may exist that needs vet care, which is not obvious to the Humane Society while the animal is at the shelter. If something is discovered by your vet, and we were not aware of the problem or condition while the animal was at the shelter, we are not responsible for treatment costs.
If the animal is diagnosed with a fatal illness or dies within 14 days from the day after the date of adoption the Humane Society will issue a REFUND OR EXCHANGE during this period only. The adopter must furnish to the Humane Society a signed statement on veterinarian letterhead from the vet stating that the animal has died or is suffering from a fatal illness and is not expected to recover.
If you adopt an animal that has a pre-existing condition(s) such as heartworms, upper respiratory (cats & dogs, etc) we are not responsible for any costs incurred for treatment of the pre-existing condition(s). If an animal has a pre-existing condition(s) that the Humane Society is aware of at the time of adoptions, the adopter will be informed of the pre-existing condition(s) at the time of adoption.