Let's Get Started

The Adoption Process

Why Adopt from HSHC

Bringing a new cat or dog into your family is a big decision — so we’re honored you’re interested in adopting from HSHC. We realize there are many places you could go to adopt, or purchase, a new pet.  So here’s a few reasons why we hope you’ll choose a companion from us:

Adopt one. Save two.

As an open admission, no-kill shelter, we are depending on more animals getting adopted each day than those who arrive.  Yes, we are no-kill. However, that doesn’t mean the animals in our care don’t need you.  Every time you adopt an animal from HSHC, not only do you give someone a second chance, but you create an opening in a cage or kennel for another animal who may be at risk for euthanasia to get theirs.  You see, HSHC rescues hundreds of at risk animals in other Indiana shelters every year…but only if there is space.

Our animals are fully vetted.
  • If your adopted pet has not already been altered, we will set an appointment at the point of adoption for the next business day.  Pick up will be schedule with you at that time
  • All animals will have received – at a minimum – their first round of vaccinations, a complete deworming, and Heartworm/flea/tick preventative.
  • All dogs meeting the age requirement are Heartworm tested.
  • All cats meeting the age requirement are Feline Leukemia/FIV tested.
  • Each pet is microchipped and registered to the adopter for free.
Our animals have been temperament tested.
  • Our dogs are temperament tested so we can place them in the best possible homes.
  • We will “cat test” a dog you’re interested in adopting at no additional fee.
We will be there for you, and them, post-adoption.
  • We provide complimentary,  post-adoption phone support should you run into any training/behavior issues or concerns.  We are here to help make the transition of your pet into his/her new home a successful one!
  • If you have exhausted all options in keeping the life-long commitment to your adopted pet, and simply cannot keep them, we will always take them back–for the life of the pet.  In fact, we require it.  It is not safe to rehome pets on social media or to give them away.  So, we will always be here for them, and you.
You’ll receive a lot of cool stuff.
  • All animals receive a complimentary wellness exam and a certificate for a free Rabies vaccine (redeemable with any participating veterinarian**).
  • Each animal receives 30 days of FREE Pet Insurance through the ShelterCare Program.
  • All adopters receive a complimentary bag of Science Diet food and special offers from corporate sponsors good for discounts on boarding, training, grooming, pet supplies, and invisible fencing.

  • 01.

    Meeting the Family

    Once you’ve fallen head over heels for the new love of your life, the next step is making sure you and your family are a perfect match!

    Before visiting with prospective pets, we ask that you please fill out an application either online or at the shelter so we can get to know more about you, your family and existing pets. Once that step is completed, and your application is approved, it’s time to start snuggling your favorites!

    PLEASE NOTE:  We require that children under 16 be introduced to new pets before the adoption is finalized. (We may require that ALL family members, regardless of age, meet a dog with special needs. This requirement may be waived for some cat adoptions.)

    We also require that any existing dogs in the home have a successful meet and greet with your prospective new dog.  Our team of professionals will supervise the meet and greet in one of our outdoor/indoor play areas to ensure compatibility. So if you are traveling a long distance to visit us, we recommend bringing your dog(s) and family.

    We do not, however, require existing cats in the home do a meet and greet with a prospective new kitty  member.

     

  • 02.

    Adoption Fees

    Our adoption fees range from $25 to $200 depending on the pet. We also often run adoption specials so be sure to ask when you visit us.  The adoption fee includes all of the benefits shared above.

  • 03.

    Taking Your Pet Home

    Once your application is approved and all of the required family and/or pet meet & greets have been successfully completed, it’s time for your new baby to pack his or her bags!

    If the pet you’re adopting has already been spayed or neutered, he/she can go home the same day.  If not, we will spay/neuter your pet the next business day and he/she will be ready for you to pick up at 4:30PM on that day.

    Come prepared with a cat carrier for your new cat, and a dog leash for your new dog…OR…you can purchase these items in our lobby gift shop.

     

  • 04.

    Need Some Extra Time?

    If your family needs a little extra time to prepare for your pet’s homecoming, or you need to coordinate a family/pet “meet & greet,” you may place a 24-hour, non-refundable hold on your pet.

Making Sure Every Match Is Perfect

Why should I adopt from HSHC?

Not only can you adopt a pet from HSHC for a fraction of the cost you will pay at a pet store or breeder, but you will also receive the following benefits with your adoption from us:

  • It is our policy that all animals adopted from HSHC be spayed/neutered before they go to their new homes. If your adopted pet has not already been altered, we will set an appointment at the point of adoption for the next business day.  Pick up will be schedule with you at that time.
  • All animals will have received – at a minimum – their first round of vaccinations, a complete deworming, and heartworm/flea/tick preventative.
  • All dogs meeting the age requirement are Heartworm tested.
  • All cats meeting the age requirement are Feline Leukemia/FIV tested.
  • Each pet is microchipped and registered to the adopter for free.
  • Our dogs are temperament tested so we can place them in the best possible homes.
  • We will “cat test” a dog you’re interested in adopting at no additional fee.
  • All animals receive a complimentary wellness exam and a certificate for a free Rabies vaccine (redeemable with any participating veterinarian**).
  • Each animal receives 30 days of FREE Pet Insurance through the ShelterCare Program.
  • All adopters receive a complimentary bag of Science Diet food and special offers from corporate sponsors good for discounts on boarding, training, grooming, pet supplies, and invisible fencing.
  • AND, we provide complimentary,  post-adoption phone support should you run into any training/behavior issues or concerns.  We are here to help make the transition of your pet into his/her new home a successful one!

*Adopters must choose from our list of participating veterinarians to redeem the complimentary wellness exam/Rabies vaccine included with your adoption fee. A list of those veterinarians will be provided at the point of adoption.  Please note that additional treatments, medications, or procedures your veterinarian may recommend are NOT included with our adoption fees and are the sole responsibility of the adopter.

How old do I have to be to adopt a pet?

The minimum age for adoption is 18. 

Do I have to be a homeowner to adopt?

We must be able to either verify home ownership or have approval from your landlord. Regardless of age, if you live with a parent, he or she must be present at the time of adoption.

What identification will I need if I want to adopt?

We require you to have a personal phone number and a copy of your driver’s license or state ID.

What if I already have a pet at home?

If you currently have a dog, we require they be introduced to your new addition. The shelter has a play yard to assist with new introductions.

If you currently have a cat, and you would like to adopt a dog, we will conduct a complimentary “cat test” with your prospective pet to ensure feline-canine compatibility!

If I have young kids, is pet adoption right for us?

We require that children under 16 be introduced to new pets before the adoption is finalized. (We may require that ALL family members, regardless of age, meet a dog with special needs.This requirement may be waived for some cat adoptions.)

May I give a pet as a gift?

Because choosing a pet is a very personal – and lifelong – decision, we do not allow pets to be adopted as gifts. The exception to this rule is adopting a pet for your dependent children. Gift certificates are available at our front desk.

Do my current pets have to be spayed/neutered before I adopt?

Approximately 3 million animals are euthanized in U.S. shelters every year. In an effort to do our part to reduce that number, we require that other animals within an adopter’s home be spayed or neutered. 

Please note there is a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance for Hamilton County residents. For more information on this and other Hamilton County Animal Ordinances visit this page.

To learn more about the health and behavior improvement benefits of spaying/neutering your pet and low-cost vet resources visit this page.

Some exceptions may be made under the following circumstances:

    • You provide documentation from your vet explaining why spaying/neutering is not in your pet’s best health interest.
    • Your pet is under six months old.
    • You can provide proof of a Hamilton County Breeder’s Permit.
    • You have documentation your animal is a “show” animal.

Adoption Success Story: Pinky-Pie

Read the Story

We got Pinky-Pie (formerly Salty) 1 1/2 years ago during a difficult time in our lives. He has been the best medicine for our whole family and is our daughter’s best friend! I can’t say enough about how amazing the staff were in finding the perfect match for us. This little fur ball has been a blessing!

  • Thanks again for an awesome adoption process. We are blessed with a fantastic dog!

    Brittany Mallory‎

  • I was so impressed with Hamilton County Humane’s professionalism and organization.

    George's New Owners

  • Lindsay’s only requirements were an older shelter cat who’d been waiting far too long for a home. Our staff knew the perfect cat for her.

    Congrats Lindsay and Ember!

Love & Let Live

Every animal deserves a second chance at love — and life. We invite you to be part of the solution and give back to the animals who give us so much.