The Adoption Process

Please note that due to the current public health emergency situation our adoption process has been adjusted as follows: 

  • All available animals can be viewed online at www.windsorhumane.orgOur Adoption Centre is open by appointment only, after an application has been submitted and approved.
  • To apply to adopt an available animal, please fill out an Adoption Survey online:
  • Applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis.  For animals receiving multiple applications in a short time, we will select one at random to begin standard adoption screening. Once the applications are reviewed, our adoption counsellors will call you to discuss your application and the pet that you’re interested in (normally the following day).  
  • If you and the animal are a match, we will complete the paperwork and send you the adoption contract and veterinary records by email, and set up an appointment for you to pick up the animal and pay the adoption fee, while maintaining social distancing.  Please note that fabric masks are required when picking up your adopted animal.

So, you’re ready to adopt a pet?  We thank you for considering adoption, and look forward to helping you find your new best friend.  Please feel free to browse our adoptable animals online before you come in (dogs, cats, small animals).  Please note that we are not able to put animals on hold for you.  If you’re interested in a particular animal that you see on our web site (especially popular breeds), you should submit an application immediately.  Applications to adopt are taken on a first come, first served basis.

When you visit our adoption centre you are welcome to just look around.  However, we encourage you to consider filling out an adoption survey first, as it may help you to narrow down your choices to the pets who will be the best fit for your home, as opposed to who is just a pretty face.  The surveys were developed by the ASPCA, and they determine what personality type of animal would be the best fit for your home.  This program is called Meet Your Match (MYM), and is used by many shelters to help adopters find the right pet for them.  For more information about MYM please visit

While filling out a MYM survey is optional when you first come in, you will be required to fill one in prior to visiting with any animals.  Our helpful adoption counsellors will introduce you to the pet(s) you’re considering, and give you some background information about them.  All of our adoptable animals have been assessed medically and behaviourally, and we will give you information about anything important that was learned during those assessments.  We will also provide you with what we know about the animal’s history, and anything else we’ve learned about them.  We will also ask you some questions about the information you provided on your survey.  Expect the adoption process to take approximately two hours, so please allow yourself ample time when you visit.

Once you’ve settled on a new friend, our adoption counsellors will ask you for identification (please remember to bring ID with your address when you come to adopt), and give you a time to come and pick up your new friend.  For most animals, your pick-up appointment will be the following day.  This gives you a chance to think about your decision, and also the opportunity to get your home ready for your new pet and pick up any supplies you need.

When you come back for your appointment you will review and sign your adoption contract, receive your pet’s medical record and other important information, and pay your adoption fee.  If you have any questions during this process please don’t hesitate to ask an adoption counsellor – they are here to help you!

Sometimes, when you first take an animal home they will go home as a foster, even though you are eventually planning to adopt.  This may be if they are still receiving medication, if they’re too young to be spayed or neutered, or for a variety of other reasons.  Please read your paperwork carefully, as there is a big difference between fostering an animal and adopting them.  Again, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Too excited to wait until you get to our adoption centre?  You can get a head start and speed up the process by filling in the adoption survey online for dogs and cats (you will receive your completed survey by email; please print and bring it with you) or downloading an adoption survey for small animals:




Adopted face