frequently asked questions

adoption faq

Our Adoption Centre is located at 1375 Provincial Road, Windsor. The centre is open for walk-ins on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 1:30pm to 6pm; every other day visits to meet animals are by appointment after you have submitted an application. Walk-in times are limited for the welfare of our animals. We’ve learned that they find a lot of foot traffic stressful, so by limiting walk-ins times we’re keeping them more comfortable and calm. However, all animals can be viewed and applications submitted online 24 hours a day, with scheduled meetings seven days a week.
The Windsor/Essex County Humane Society adopts animals into loving new homes every day. In 2023, we adopted out 3,225 animals!
With current social distancing restrictions in place we are offering most meetings at time of pick up. When we are open for walk ins (Thurs, Fri & Sat 1:30-6pm), serious adopters can meet with available cats in their kennels only. 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.
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 the discovery of a serious medical or behavioural issue. 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 $40 fee. The test must be requested 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.
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 keeping an eye on our web site and applying quickly if you see an animal you’re interested in, because new animals become available for adoption all the time.
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. 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 that you will ensure that everyone is introduced carefully.
Sometimes we know that a dog or cat has lived with other animals, and our behaviour team can sometimes 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. If you have a dog at home our adoption 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. In some cases we will set up a meeting with your dog and the dog you are adopting before they go home. For the welfare of our cats, we are unable to “cat test” dogs available for adoption. If the dog’s history with cats is unknown we will provide you with information on how to safely introduce your new dog to your cat. 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. We typically add new animals at 12pm and 5pm daily.
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. Any 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 accidentally 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 its 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”, even if they appear to be purebred.
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. In the longer term, we will always take an adopted animal back if things aren’t working out, but adoption fees will not be refunded and standard surrender fees may apply.