Adoption FAQs

What’s the process?

  1. Call to check the status of a pet(s) you are interested and to ask questions before making a long drive.
  2. Staff may encourage you to place a “hold” on a dog until you can come in. More info on that below! To place a hold please call the shelter at 218-632-5938. If we don’t answer please leave a voicemail.
  3. Spend time with the pet!
  4. If you have other dogs over the age of 6 months, we will conduct a meet and greet for your dog and a WCHS adoptable dog at our shelter.
  5. Complete the adoption application at the bottom of this page. (We recommend doing this ahead of time if you are driving a distance.)
  6. Once approved, we will go over vaccination history and discuss best practices to assist your pet’s transition to a new home.
  7. Sign legal contract acknowledging your responsibilities to your new pet. Pup or kitty goes home with you! In some cases, we send an animal home while we await their spay/neuter surgery. In this case, we will schedule for you to bring the pet to the appointment.

Hold Policy:  A $50 (+tax) hold guarantees you will be first in line to meet and adopt a pet who is not yet ready to go home or who you want us to hold onto for 48 hours. If you adopt, the hold fee goes toward the adoption fee. If you decide not to adopt it is considered a donation to our shelter animal. If your adoption application is not approved we will also fully refund the $50 hold.

*We aim to do same day adoptions providing a manager is present or has provided verbal approval to WCHS staff. That stated, at staff discretion, we may ask for an additional 24-48 hour wait to further review your application and whether the animal may be a good fit with your family. If you are driving a distance we encourage you to submit an application online before visiting (accessible at the bottom of this page).

What are the open hours for visiting and adopting?

Please contact us with any questions or to make an appointment.

Monday – Sunday: 10am-4pm

*Hours may vary on holidays.

What are the requirements to adopt?

  1. You must be at least 18 years of age to adopt and provide legal proof upon request.
  2. You must spend time with the pet you are interested in before applying, although you can call to place a hold.
  3. You must complete the necessary paperwork and pay the adoption fee. If an animal is not yet fixed, a refundable spay/neuter deposit of $100 is required for individuals residing within 100 miles. For adopters further than this, we require a $200 refundable deposit to ensure the pet is brought to their spay/neuter appointment which we schedule and pay for. After proof of surgery is provided the deposit will be fully refunded as long as you do not miss the appointment and provide proof of surgery within two weeks of date. You may use card, cash, or a check which we simply hold onto and do not cash (unless the appointment is missed!)

What are the adoption fees at WCHS?

  1. Adult Dogs: $200 +tax
  2. Puppies (12 months or less): $250 +tax
  3. Cats: $85 +tax
  4. Kittens (under 7 months): $120 +tax

*Exclusions may apply.

What does the adoption fee cover?

  1. All pets are spayed/neutered. No exceptions. We cover the cost of spay/neuter.
  2. We ensure all pets are up to date on core vaccinations according to age. Dogs receive DAPP, and Bordatella. Cats receive the FVRCP/Ch vaccine. Owners are responsible for rabies vaccinations.
  3. Our pets are microchipped.
  4. Pets are dewormed.
  5. During summer months we keep dogs current on heartworm prevention and flea control. Cats are treated if fleas or ear mites are present on intake.
  6. We provide adopters a 5lb bag of NutriSource dog or cat food to help you transition your adopted pet into your home.

Is the adoption fee refundable?

That depends. For puppies and kittens the adoption fee is 100% non-refundable and is considered a donation to our organization – even if you change your mind within 24 hours. In the case of adult pets, we allow a 2-week trial period in which the adoption fee is refundable less $25 for processing and microchip transferring fees.

Can I exchange a pet?

No, we never allow pet exchanges as pets are not disposable. We advocate forever responsibility – forever adoptions.

What if it doesn’t work out?

  1. Please call us at 218-632-5938 to discuss the issues you are facing before returning. Often there are solutions to the problems that you are facing and we may be able to help.
  2. We accept returns ALWAYS so long as adoption papers are returned. However,  adoption fees are non-refundable for puppies and kittens and only refundable within the first two weeks for adult pets.
  3. We are “No-Kill” and require adopters re-homing an adopted pet to first contact us. That way, we can help make a better match or if you have already found another home assist in the transfer of the microchip to the new owner.

What if it does work out?

Share updates with us by joining the “WCHS Adopters!” private group on Facebook. Fosters and staff love to see the shelter pets happy and loved in a home!