Adoption FAQs

Please find the answers to some frequently asked questions about adoption below.  For more information about adoption please also check out The Adoption Process and Adoption Fees.

Our Adoption Centre is located at 1375 Provincial Road, Windsor. However, all animals can be viewed and all applications submitted online. Due to current social distancing restrictions, our Adoption Centre is open by appointment only after an application has been submitted. 
The Windsor/Essex County Humane Society adopts animals into loving new homes every day. In 2019, we adopted out 3,236 animals!
With current social distancing restrictions in place we are offering most pre-adoption meetings online. When needed, we will set up a meeting at the Adoption Centre with an appointment. Only one family member if permitted to meet with the animal, and fabric masks are required. We understand that you may be worried that the animal may not be a good fit if you haven’t yet spent time with them, and while in most cases everyone will quickly fall in love there will be some instances where it’s not an ideal match. If so, we offer a full refund of your adoption fee (the $30 admin fee is not refundable) if you decide to return the animal within 30 days.  Click here for details about the adoption process and what to expect when you submit an application to adopt.
The idea that there are “time limits” on an animal in adoption is a common misconception.  There are no time limits on animals in adoption. They will remain available for adoption until they find a home barring a serious medical or behavioural issue arising.  While we hope to find animals home quickly, sometimes they take a little longer waiting for the right person to come along.  We will promote them during this time to encourage people to consider taking them home. No animal is euthanized for space, or because they have been here too long.
While this test isn’t part of the standard adoption package, it is available to cat and kitten adopters for a $30 fee.  The test is only available at the time of adoption.
The adoption process at many shelters is different than it was years ago. Our goal isn’t to interrogate you, or find reasons not to adopt to you. While we do have requirements that adopters be willing and able to care for their new pet, our goal is helping you to find a new friend.
The Humane Society is dedicated to ending pet overpopulation. All dogs, cats, and rabbits adopted from the Humane Society are spayed or neutered. While veterinarians used to believe that spay or neuter couldn’t be performed safely on young animals, it is now widely agreed that early spay and neuter is safe and often reduces recovery times.
Donations, bequests, and fundraising subsidize our adoption program. The adoption fee often doesn’t even cover the services provided. If you had to pay separately for all the extras we include in our adoption package, your cost would be 3-5 times greater.
Unfortunately, we aren’t able to keep waiting lists for animals. These requests are normally for animals who are in high demand when they go up for adoption, and we try to give everyone a fair chance. We suggest coming in to our Adoption Centre frequently as well as keeping an eye on our web site, because new animals become available for adoption all the time and sometimes are adopted before they are even able to be posted online.
The Humane Society discourages people from adopting pets as gifts for other adults. A pet is a long term commitment, and the pet you choose for someone may not be the pet they would choose for themselves. We offer adoption gift certificates, which allow you to surprise someone with an adoption, but still allows them to decide on their new friend. In some cases we will approve gift adoptions – please ask to speak to an adoption manager for more information. Parents are permitted to adopt a pet as a gift for children, although we still suggest that the pet meet the whole family as the best choice. If you are adopting a dog and your children don’t meet the dog first, we may have you sign a waiver before taking the dog home which promises to ensure that everyone is introduced carefully.
Sometimes we know that a dog or cat has lived with other animals, and our behaviour team can also test them to see if they appear to do well with other animals. It is always important to monitor interactions carefully when you first bring your pet home. Due to current social distancing guidelines, we are not performing dog meetings. If you have a dog at home our adopteion counsellors or behaviour team will talk to you about your dog’s experience with other animals, and provide information about how to safely introduce them. If you have any questions or require any assistance please contact
Adoption fees may be paid by cash, debit, credit card (MasterCard or Visa), or gift certificate. Personal cheques are not accepted for adoption fees.
There are some animals who we know will immediately attract a number of potential adopters. And, unfortunately, others who will take a lot more time before the right person comes along. When there is a VIP adoption candidate available their adoption fee may include a small surcharge to help care for the other animals who may not be as popular.
Cats, dogs and small animals are uploaded to our web site as soon as they are available. If you are looking for a specific animal to adopt please check back frequently.  

A dog can come into our care in a variety of ways. Depending on how the dog came to us, we are sometimes able to obtain a full history of a dog’s life prior to arriving, but other times their history is unknown. For every dog that comes into our care, we have a very comprehensive assessment process to determine what type of home would be the best fit for each animal. Our age limits are in place for the benefit of your family and to ensure that the dog will be comfortable in its new home. Age limits can be placed for a variety of reasons:

  • A known history that the dog is not comfortable with children
  • The dog has displayed behaviours that would not be safe around children
  • The dog has a boisterous personality and may be able to injure a small child

Even if your child has experience with dogs, not every child that will enter your home does and it is not fair for your family or the dog to be in a situation where it will be uncomfortable or feel unsafe.  Please know that when making a decision for any requirements for a dog, we take it’s history, assessment results, and any behaviour demonstrated at the shelter into consideration.

Animals come into our care a few different ways, and often they are purebred (or appear to be purebred).  Following consumer protection laws, we only list an animal as a purebred when we have CKC papers for them, which is why most of the pets on our site are “mixed breed”.  
We understand that sometimes an adoption doesn’t work out. Maybe they aren’t a good fit for your home, or maybe you learned that your child has an allergy that you weren’t aware of. We are happy to accept the animal back and fully refund your adoption fee (the $30 admin fee is not refundable) within 30 days of adoption.