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 - hamsters, guinea pigs, horses, goats, birds, snakes, iguanas, fish, turtles, rabbits - often available for adoption. Most animals that come to the shelter are either pets relinquished by their owners or stray animals.

Municipal ordinances require that stray dogs are held a minimum of 5 days and cats a minimum of 3 days to give their owners a chance to claim them. After the stray hold period, the pet may be available for adoption.

How It Works

You can see all of our available pets online here. Although we update the database hourly, the animal you saw online may have found a home already. We're sorry, we process adoptions on a first-come, first-serve basis and can't place holds on animals by phone. The adoption process takes a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour. Please know on weekends, our busiest time, the adoption process may take 2 to 3 hours. 
At the shelter, you'll notice animals available for adoption have a kennel card with a brief description and an ID number. Write down this ID number so a matchmaker can give you more information about the pet. You will also be asked to complete an adopter survey to help our matchmakers assist you in finding a new pet that's the right fit for you and your family.  When you find an animal that interests you, our matchmakers take you to visit your new friend in one of our get acquainted rooms. Due to the large number of visitors to the shelter, we must limit visitations to 2 animals per individual/family per day. Once your visit is complete, you will be directed to the customer service area to complete the adoption process.

Adoption Package

Adoption fees help offset the cost of evaluating, housing, feeding, and providing medical care for the 23,000+ animals we shelter each year. Because we are a nonprofit, donations subsidize the gap between the cost of care and the adoption fee. It is through the generosity of our donors that we have the resources to help so many unwanted, abandoned, and abused animals.

Like many animal shelters across the country, we use variable adoption pricing. We can help more animals in need by pricing pets in high demand at a higher rate. The money raised by their adoption leaves a legacy for other animals in our care that require extensive medical treatment or need more time to find a home. We often reduce the adoption fees on these harder-to-place pets to help them find homes. You'll find an animal's adoption fee listed on their individual bio.

All of our dog and cat adoptions include:

  • spay/neuter
  • voucher for a veterinary exam
  • vaccinations
  • one year dog license (cat licenses are additional)
  • 30 days of pet health insurance
  • microchip
  • unconditional love!


For animals not already spayed or neutered, a $50 refundable deposit is required by state law (House Bill 1185). This bill seeks to help decrease pet overpopulation in Colorado. Once proof of sterilization is returned to HSPPR, the $50 deposit will be refunded to the adopter via check mailed through USPS. Please allow 10-14 business days to receive your refund.

Licensing fees may apply.

All dogs must leave on a leash and cats and other small animals must leave in a carrier.

Please note we do not accept checks for adoption fees. Adoption fees can be paid using cash, MasterCard or Visa only.

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.

In the event the individual with the choice hold decides not to adopt, we will hold a popular pet drawing to ensure all interested parties have the same opportunity to adopt. Interested adopters must be at the shelter when the Adoption Center opens the day the pet becomes available and register their interest with customer service. A random drawing will take place immediately to select the adopter.

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 the pet is reclaimed by the original owner or if the animal is not an adoption candidate.

The choice hold fee for an animal in foster care is $50.

Choice Hold Fees 

Meet & Greet With Your Pet

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.