Adoption Policies and Procedures
Thank you for choosing to adopt your new four-legged family member from WHCS! It is our goal to help you find the right match...
Every pet adopted from WCHS comes with a lifetime promise. If, for any reason, you can no longer care for your pet, he or she is always welcome to come back to WCHS.
Adopters must be 18 years or older.
Finding the right pet for you
You can see all the WCHS pets available for adoption either on our website in the Meet Our Animals section, or by visiting our facility in Brattleboro, VT.
Viewing pets at the shelter
WCHS provides a comfortable, friendly environment where you can visit your potential new pet. Staff and volunteers will work with you to find the right animal for your home and lifestyle. Plan to spend at least 30 minutes interacting with any pet you are considering adopting, and feel free to ask any questions about the pet’s health and temperament.
The adoption process
Complete an adoption survey
The first step is to submit an adopter survey. The information you provide will help us help you to find the perfect match! You may complete the survey in person at the shelter or use the links below to download, print and mail the survey to us in advance.
Click here for the Cat Adopter Survey.
Click here for the Dog Adopter Survey.
Keep an eye on our website
The WCHS website is linked to our online database. If you see an animal on the website, s/he is at our facility and available for adoption. Once an animal has been adopted, it comes off the website automatically. We advise people who are looking to adopt their next best friend to look at our website daily.
Visit our Facility
When you see an animal on our website that looks right for you, come down for a face to face introduction! Our friendly, knowledgeable staff and volunteers will help you choose a pet that best matches your preferences and lifestyle.
Dog meets dog
If you are planning to adopt a dog AND you already have a dog in your home, we require that you schedule an introduction at the shelter prior to adoption. This is to ensure that the dogs are compatible before you assume ownership of your new canine companion.
Putting a pet "on hold"
You may place a "hold" on an animal available for adoption for up to 2 business days for a fee of $25.00. The hold fee is non-refundable and will be credited towards the total adoption fee. You must meet the animal in person before placing a hold on an animal.
Pre-adopting a pet
All WCHS animals are spayed/neutered prior to adoption. Adopters may "pre-adopt" an animal that has not yet had his/her surgery. The animal remains the property of the WCHS until s/he has been spayed/neutered, at which point the actual adoption is completed. The $50.00 pre-adoption fee is applied to the total adoption fee.
Sign the adoption agreement
Once you have found your match, we will sign an adoption agreement together and we will provide you with your new pet's medical records, pet care information, one month's free pet health insurance, a bag of the food your pet has been eating and other goodies.
Take your pet home!
Congratulations! You are now a proud pet owner – and you have done a wonderful thing by giving your pet a second chance at a happy life! We are available to make the transition go smoothly, so please don't hesitate to call us with questions or concerns.
WCHS reserves the right to refuse to release any pet for adoption.