Adoption policies and procedures
Are you thinking about adopting a pet from our shelter? Great! Here you will find all the information you need to make your decision and find the right pet for you.
Requirements for adopting a pet
- Adopters must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
- All adopters must visit the shelter in person before adopting a pet.
- Adopters must complete an application form and pay the requisite adoption fee.
- No animal may be taken home before it has been spayed/neutered, although you may “pre-adopt” the animal. See Pre-adopting a pet.
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 shelter in Brattleboro.
Viewing pets at the shelter
WCHS provides a comfortable, friendly environment where you can view your potential new pet. Our goal is 100% placement and we will work with you to find the right fit with an animal. Plan to spend at least half an hour interacting with any pet you are considering for adoption, and feel free to ask any questions about the pet’s health and temperament.
For more information about visiting and viewing our pets, see Visiting Our Shelter.
The adoption process
To ensure that our animals are going to a safe and caring environment, we require all potential adopters to complete an application form and visit us in person at the shelter. Please note that the WCHS reserves the right to refuse to release any pet for adoption. Also, if an animal is being adopted for children, the WCHS holds the household's adult(s) responsible for its care.
1. Complete an application?
WCHS requires all prospective adopters to complete an application for adoption, which must be approved before you are permitted to adopt an animal. Applicants must be 18 years or older with a valid photo ID. Before approving your application, we will verify with your landlord that you are permitted to have a pet in your home (if applicable.) We will also speak with your vet to verify that you have kept up with the care of your current or previous pets. For your convenience, you may complete your application online.
2. Select your new pet?
Please visit Meet Our Animals to see photos and descriptions of all our available pets. If you see an animal that interests you, it is important that you visit the shelter to spend some time interacting with the animal. Our staff and volunteers will help you choose a pet that best matches your preferences and lifestyle.
Please note that if you are planning to adopt a dog AND you already have a dog in your home, we require that you schedule an introduction of the dogs at the shelter prior to adoption. In this way we ensure that the dogs are compatible before you assume ownership of the new dog.
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. Please see our Hold Policy page for additional details.
Pre-adopting a pet
While animals may be adopted only after they have been spayed/neutered, you may "pre-adopt" an animal that has not yet had his/her surgery. The animal remains the property of the WCHS until it has been spayed/neutered, at which point the actual adoption is completed. The $50.00 pre-adoption fee will be deducted from the total adoption fee.?
3. Sign the adoption contract
Once you have selected your pet, you will sign an adoption contract and be given your new pet's medical records, pet care information, and a bag of the food your pet has been eating.
4. 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. Please sign up for our newsletter before you go, and don't forget, you can always call the shelter if you have any questions about your pet’s care.