BEFORE YOU ADOPT
Before You Arrive
Adopting a pet is very big decision, and it’s always best to think about what type of dog or cat would be best for your household. For example, if you have a lot of people coming in and out of your home, an animal that gets frightened easily or doesn’t like meeting new people wouldn’t be a good match. Is shedding a factor? Do you need a dog or cat that is good with children, other dogs, or other cats? If you rent a property, does your landlord allow animals? If you’re uncertain, it’s always best to check with your landlord about their pet policies just to make sure.
Tips to Speed Up the Adoption Process:
- Make sure you let your references know that the BCHS is going to be calling them so we can get a hold of them as soon as possible.
- It’s always helpful to have a copy of your lease, if you rent, with the pet policy attached.
- Bring any roommates or family members along, so that everyone may meet the dog or cat as soon as possible. Everyone living in the household must eventually meet the animal you’re looking to adopt before they may leave the shelter.
- If you currently have a cat or dog, make sure that they are up to date on all of their shots, including their rabies vaccination and canine distemper vaccine. You’ll need a copy of your dog’s most recent rabies vaccination certificate, to do the dog introduction, and our staff cannot send cats home if your current felines haven’t had all of their shots. Bring copies of their vaccination certificates to the shelter when you fill out your application, which will save staff time and speed the process up!
Selecting a Pet
Sometimes the pet you end up adopting seems like the complete opposite of the pet you came into the shelter looking for! Instead of focusing on a particular age or breed, pay attention to the behaviors of all of the dogs and cats in the shelter. Remember the benefits of adopting a senior pet; you often times know what you’re getting into with them as far as behaviors go more so than you do with puppies or kittens! Above all else, ask questions. Our staff know all of the animals in the shelter and would be happy to discuss whether or not they’d be a good fit for your home. Any decisions they make regarding placing animals are based off of behaviors we’ve seen at the shelter, with the best intentions for both the animal being adopted and the family trying to adopt them in mind.
Applying for a Pet
Here at BCHS we do not do same day adoptions. Our adoption process typically takes 48 hours, and involves four stages:
- Meeting with a pet outside of their kennel or cage
- Filling out an application for that pet
- BCHS staff calls your references and our Kennel Director approves or denies the application
- You have a second visit with that pet, typically on which you will do the adoption
As previously mentioned, we require all members of the household to meet with the pet before they may go home with their new family. All current pets must be up to date on their rabies vaccinations, and if you are looking to adopt a dog and currently have a dog, you’ll need to provide the vaccination certificate and do a dog introduction at the shelter.
Other Important Things to Note:
- We do not, under any circumstances, adopt out pets that will be living outdoors. All pets adopted from our shelter are to be indoor pets only.
- Adopters must be 21 years of age with a valid photo I.D., or 18 years of age with a co-signer that is over 21 years.
- Under no circumstances do we adopt pets out as gifts.
- We do not adopt to college students living in student housing, on-campus homes, or multi-student houses/apartments. Due to what can often be a constantly changing living environment, our policy is to limit our adoptions to those out of school. Final decisions on this are up to staff.
What can I expect from the adoption process?
The process usually takes a minimum of 30-45 minutes. Here’s how it works:
- Take a walk through the kennels with a staff member and if you see anyone that you are interested in, take note of their names.
- Next, a staff member will meet with you to determine which animal is the perfect fit for you. For example, some of our animals don’t like cats, dogs, or sometimes even children.
- You will be asked to obtain your landlord’s approval for the adoption. This policy helps us reduce the number of animals that are returned to us.
- After you have spoken with an adoptions staff member, you will meet with your potential pet. Eventually, we ask that all members of your family meet the animal, too. If you are adopting a dog and have another dog, we want them to get along well, so we arrange a time for you to bring in your pet to visit and socialize.
- When your new pet is ready to go home with you, you will be asked to sign an adoption contract and pay an adoption fee. The fee helps to cover the cost of surgery, vaccines and daily care that your pet received.
- Kittens 6 months and younger: $100.00
- Cats older than 7 months: $65
- Puppies 6 months and younger: $175.00 – $250
- Dogs 7 months and older: $65 – $250
We strive to keep our fees reasonable. The adoption fees vary and depend on size, age, behavior, medical condition and anticipated demand. Those animals with a higher adoption fee help us care for other animals who stay with us longer and require more of our resources. We appreciate your support!
Senior citizens (over 65 with proof of ID) as well as active military and veterans are eligible to receive a 10% discount on all adoptions.
Why do we require an adoption fee?
The Butler County Humane Society is a small, non-profit organization that relies on the donations from generous community members to keep our doors open. We do not receive any type of federal funding. We are also a no-kill facility, which means that we do not euthanize to create space. Therefore, when we pledge to care for an animal at our shelter, it very well may be for their entire life. When we take in a healthy pet that costs a minimal amount to care for in terms of medical bills, the profit from that animal’s adoption is applied to the costs of the many others who are not as fortunate.
When an animal arrives at the shelter, funds must be spent on neutering and spaying, vaccinations, and various other screenings and medical procedures. Veterinary expenses on a healthy animal can run as high as $175 – $250, and can be even more depending on the breed and animal. The truth is the majority of found/stray/rescues DO require additional veterinary care. Here at the BCHS we do whatever is necessary to help the animals in our care, and it can often take several months to return an animal to good health. It is not unusual for the cost of this care to run from $450.00-$1,000.00 per pet. All of this does not include general finances for caring for the animals, such as feeding them and making sure they have clean beds to sleep on and plenty of toys to play with! In short, our shelter relies on adoption fees, just as we rely on any other donation in order to provide the care we do for the animals at the shelter. Even our highest adoption fee, $250, is a very small amount when you compare it to the cost of caring for an animal for what can often be years.