The Adoption Process

Dogs and cats are the most common pets found at Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, but there are a wide variety of other animals, such as hamsters and guinea pigs as well as large mammals such as horses, goats, and our feathered and finned friends as well. Birds, snakes, iguanas, fish, turtles, rabbits and other animals are often available for adoption.

Most animals that come to the shelter are either pets relinquished by their owners, or stray pets found wandering loose. Animal Law Enforcement Officers are on duty to pick up strays during regular business hours, and many Good Samaritans bring lost pets to the shelter as well. Our Animal Law Enforcement Division provides numerous services to the Pikes Peak community, though services may vary by area.

Municipal ordinances require that all stray animals be held for a minimum of 3 days to give their owners and chance to claim them. After 3 days, the pet may be available for adoption. During the holding period, a stray pet may be reserved for you through our choice program, which allows you to have first choice on the pet if the owner does not claim it.

How It Works

You've reviewed the online database of available pets and decide to head to the shelter for a better look. Remember that although we update the database hourly, the animal you saw may have found a home already. We process adoptions on a first-come, first-serve basis and cannot place holds on animals by phone.

The adoption process takes a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour, and up to two hours on Saturdays. We designed our adoption process to give you as much education and time with the animal as we can.
At the shelter, animals available for adoption have a kennel card that gives a brief description and an ID number. Write down this ID number so a staff person can give you more information about the pet.
A stray pet has a card that indicates it is "lost and waiting for an owner. If you're interested in a stray, we can give you what information we have and when that animal may become available for adoption. We also offer a "choice" program for the strays, outlined below.
When you find an available animal that interests you, our great staff and volunteers can take you to visit your new friend in one of our 'Get Acquainted' rooms. This lets you decide if the pet's and your personality match. Any animal that is a stray cannot be visited until it becomes available for adoption. Due to the large number of visitors to the shelter, we must limit visitations to 2 animals per individual or family per day.
Before you visit with an animal you will be asked to complete an Adopter Survey. The information that you provide on this survey will help our Matchmakers assist you in finding a new pet that will be the right fit for you and your family. Our Matchmakers will also answer any questions that you may have on the animal and will provide you with important medical and behavior information to get you both started off on the right foot.

Staff and volunteer Matchmakers can be found in the animal housing areas and if not immediately available, can be requested by signing up at the “visitation stations” located in the cat and dog adoption areas.

Once your visit is complete you will be directed to the Customer Service area to complete the adoption process and to arrange to take your new pet home.

Adoption Holds

A choice hold allows you to place a hold on a stray dog or cat in the event his family does not reclaim him. The hold gives you the first opportunity to meet the animal and decide if you wish to adopt once the stray period is up. Holds must be placed in person at the shelter and must be made by the potential adopter, and you must be able to complete the adoption process on the first day the animal becomes available for adoption.

Animals that are owner-relinquished, held for court or safe-keeping, as well as those less than 6 weeks of age, are not eligible for a choice hold. We’re sorry, but visitations are not allowed until the animal’s stray period is up. Please note this donation is not applied towards the adoption fee and is not refunded if you decide not to adopt the pet. However, the fee is refunded if his owner reclaims him or the animal is not an adoption candidate.

Choice Hold Fees 

Meet & Greet

We’re sorry, but we ask that you leave your current furry family members at home. Unfortunately, a short meeting at the shelter hasn’t proven to be a true indicator as to how the animals will react to one another once they are home and have to share space/resources. Additionally, the shelter environment may unnecessarily expose your pet to disease. Please see an adoption matchmaker if you have additional questions.

Don't See the Right Match?

The Humane Society thanks you for considering adopting a shelter pet. We receive so many wonderful animals every day! If the right match is not here for you on your first visit, come again. You will be surprised at the diversity of animals we receive. Our goal is to help you make the right match so you can enjoy each other's company for many wonderful years.