How To Adopt

Search for your new best friend!

How to Adopt

We are excited to announce that our lobby and adoptable animal areas are open to the public! Here’s a guide to help with your adoption journey:

1.  View our adoptable pets

2. Fill out an adoption application today!

  • Bring it with you or we will provide you with a copy to fill out at the shelter.
  • NOTE: If you rent, please bring your lease, pet policy, or an official letter signed and dated by your rental agency/landlord that allows for a pet.

3. Stop by the shelter! First-come, first-served

  • Our staff at the greeter station in our lobby area will ask you a few questions regarding the reason for your visit to help assist you.
  • If you are interested in adopting, you can walk through our adoptable animal areas.

4. Adoption visitation

  • Please notify our staff of the animal(s) you are interested in adopting.
  • If needed, your name and phone number will be added to our waitlist. Please note that wait times vary.
  • When it’s time for your one-on-one visitation with the animal(s), one of our Adoption Services Representatives will notify you.
  • You can meet and get to know your possible new best friend in one of our visitation rooms.

5. Adoption

  • If you’re ready to move forward with adoption, our staff will be happy to assist!
  • View our adoption fees page for dogs, cats, and critters. Your adoption fee helps us continue to care for nearly 10,000 pets in need each year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need an appointment?

No, all visitations are first-come, first-served. So come visit us today!

Can I adopt if I rent?

Yes! You will just need to bring your lease, pet policy or an official letter signed and dated by your rental agency/landlord that says you are allowed to have a pet on the premises. Failure to provide the appropriate documentation of your rental’s pet policy will result in a declined adoption application.

Can I put a pet on hold?

No, we are not able to place holds on adoptable animals. If you are interested in adopting, we encourage you to arrive at the shelter early with a completed adoption application and bring any necessary paperwork. Adoptions are first-come, first-served.

Can I bring my family / roommates to meet the animal?

Yes, we encourage any family members or roommates who will be in the household with the animal to meet them with you.

Can I bring my other pet(s) to meet the animal?

No, we only allow meet and greets with other pets under special circumstances. This would need to be approved ahead of time with our staff.

How do I apply to adopt an animal in foster?

Please let our staff know of the animal you are interested in and we will arrange a visitation at the shelter during a time that works for both you and the foster parent. Just note, it may take up to a day or two for a visitation depending on scheduling.

Can I adopt a dog if I don't have a fenced yard?

It all depends on the dog! Some require a fenced yard, and some don’t. For dogs that do require a fenced yard, it’s noted in their adoption bio. If you have any questions about if a fenced yard is required for a particular dog, please ask our shelter staff.

Why is there an adoption fee?

All of our animals for adoption have received a wellness examination, a spay/neuter surgery, a microchip with national registration, their initial vaccines, and possibly even further medical care and/or training. Adopters also get a free follow-up wellness exam at VCA Animal Hospitals, pet care counseling, and a free month of pet insurance with Trupanion.

Adoption prices are a great value for your money because a spay/neuter surgery alone could cost you between $400 to $500 at a veterinary hospital.

Additional adoption benefits: 

When you adopt through our shelter, you will also receive:

  • An exclusive 20% off discount at participating MudBay stores
  • A VCA Healthy Start Certificate, which includes a complimentary veterinary health exam and 14-day follow-up care

More details are provided upon adoption. 

I need assistance with my newly adopted pet, what can I do?

Give us a call, we’re here to help! All of our adoptions come with free pet care counseling. Our team works with adopters to help give guidance and resources for any behavioral issues or training needs.

Please give us a call during normal business hours from 11:00 am – 5:30 pm at 253-383-2733 to speak with an adoption support representative.

Are there others ways I can adopt to help a pet in need?

Home To Home™ is a free rehoming and foster website for pet owners who need to find a new or temporary home for their pets including dogs, cats, and other animals. Pets can go from one home right into another without having to come to the shelter, which means less stress for animals and humans alike!

Visit our Home To Home™ site to view pets in our community that could use a new home.

Masked lady with dog

Microchip Your Pet

Every year, the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County reunites hundreds of lost pets with their owners thanks to microchip technology. We offer low-cost pet microchips to the public, no appointment necessary.