Requirements to Adopt and the Adoption Process:
Before you come:
We encourage you to spend considerable time thinking about and researching the type of pet most suitable to your family. Most breeds have specific needs and characteristic traits that must be anticipated. Read a lot of books, evaluate your lifestyle carefully, and speak to professional or experienced pet owners before making such an important commitment. Remember that some animals have a lifespan of 20 years or more, so you will be responsible for this pet for many years to come.
Requirements to adopt:
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You must have two pieces of identification, with at least one showing your current address and a picture.
- If you live in rental accommodations, please confirm that your landlord allows the type of pet you are considering, and that you have paid your pet deposit before you adopt. There are NO REFUNDS OR EXCHANGES if the building owner does not accept the animal. In addition, you will have to pay all regular surrender fees if you need to return the animal to the Edmonton Humane Society.
- ALL FAMILY MEMBERS, sometimes including family pets, must be present during the adoption process. If you already have a dog and are considering adopting another one, you MUST be prepared to bring your current family dog to the interview. This will help you to determine if all family members and existing pets will get along with the new pet.
- The Edmonton Humane Society does not allow pets as surprise gifts. Providing a home for an animal requires a great deal of thought, consideration, and commitment, and should not be adopted on a spur of the moment decision or for a "surprise." The future caregiver(s) needs to have agreed to the adoption and be prepared for the work involved in caring for a pet.
If you are looking to adopt a dog or puppy please note: Some of the dogs on our web site have recommendations on the age of younger family members. These restrictions are placed out of the concern of the dogs as well as in consideration of families:
When you arrive at the Edmonton Humane Society Animal Shelter:
- Remember that new animals arrive every day. You may have to return to the shelter a number of times before you find a good match. It is better to wait and come back again, than to take home an animal that does not suit your lifestyle.
- BE PREPARED TO SPEND APPROXIMATELY THREE HOURS looking at our animals and then working with our staff to process your application. We want to make sure that you have sufficient time to make the right decision, and we also want to make sure that you have all the information you need to help care for this pet properly.
The Adoption Process
- Take the kennel card of the animal you wish to adopt to the adoption reception desk.
- You will receive an application/survey to complete. Do not worry your selected animal is reserved for you while you complete the paperwork.
- Hand in completed form to front desk and wait for your pager to ring. Please feel free to visit anywhere in the shelter the pager has a long range even outside.
- If you have an animal to meet with your new selected animal a meet and greet will be arranged prior to your interview.
- Your interview consists of a video and one on one contact with an adoption councilor, to ensure you have selected a good match for you and your family and to also provide answers to any of your questions and review behavior and medical history.
- Your new pet will pay a last visit to the Animal Health Department. While you wait do a bit of shopping, as the next step in the process is to transfer ownership to you and can be lengthy due to the number of customers in front of you.
- You will be paged again when the adoption representative is ready to complete your application and receive payment.
- Our staff will ask you about your lifestyle, family activities, ages of any children, and your typical schedule. All these questions will give us some of the information we need to help you make an appropriate match. Our goal is to find lifelong homes for animals, and to assist prospective adopters in finding an animal best suited to their needs.
Please click on a form below to download a printable version. You are welcome to fill out the forms at home and bring them in when you come to adopt an animal.
You MUST come to the shelter IN PERSON to meet the animal. Please do not fax the forms to us.
We will ONLY hold an animal for one of two reasons. You must have already met the animal and be approved for adoption.
- We hold for four hours to allow other family members (people and pets) to come and meet the animal.
- We will hold until the next day if it is too late in the day to complete the adoption process.
- Adoption cover forms
- Adoption commitment form
PLEASE NOTE: THE ADOPTION PROCESS CAN TAKE APPROXIMATELY THREE HOURS.
The closing time indicated in the Adoptions column is the latest that we can accept an adoption application in order to complete the adoption on the same day. However, on particularly busy days, we may stop accepting adoption applications at an earlier time so that we can complete all adoptions that were started that day.
Please Note: Recommended age restrictions are based on owner profiles and behavior evaluations performed in the shelter. If you are interested in a dog, but your family would not meet the restrictions listed, you may still qualify for adoption depending on the specifics of the situation. An additional interview with our behavior department may be required prior to proceeding with the adoption process.
PLEASE NOTE: Adoption fees cannot be refunded. Please make your adoption choices carefully and arrive early on the day that you would like to adopt an animal, especially if it is a popular breed. The first people arriving at the shelter daily, receive first choice since we are not able to hold animals that people view on the website.
- Do you have enough time to spend with this animal? Even smaller pets such as guinea pigs and rabbits require daily interaction to stay healthy and happy. All companion animals also benefit from training- it helps to teach them how to interact with people, and in some cases, with other animals.
- Are you financially prepared to care for this animal? Don’t forget feeding, grooming, training, and veterinary costs.
- Is this the right pet for your lifestyle? Keep in mind that different types of animals, as well as different breeds, have different needs. If you’re not sure what type of pet to get, we would be happy to help you find the perfect one! Don’t forget to consider your family members’ allergies. This is one of the main reasons that animals are surrendered to us. Ask your doctor if your allergies restrict you from certain types of animals, or if there is a way that you can deal with the situation.
- What is the lifespan of this animal? Remember that some dogs and cats can live for 20 years or more! Think ahead before making the commitment to adopt- you will be responsible for this pet for many years to come.
- Do you have adequate space for this animal? Large breed and high energy animals require space to run, and are best suited to houses with fenced yards.
- Who will be responsible for this animal’s care? What will you do with your pet when you go on vacation or if an emergency arises? Make sure you have a reliable boarding kennel or a friend or relative that can care for your pet in these situations.