Starting the Process

The First Step Towards Adopting a Pet Into Your Home

We are so excited that you want to learn more about our adoption process because that means you are one step closer to welcoming a new furry family member into your lives.

To adopt a pet, you can either stop into our shelter during our open hours or first check out our available animals online. If you find an animal you are interested in online, you can save time by filling out our Online Adoption Application. .  If you want to wait, you can also fill out the adoption application in person when you come to see our available animals.

Adoption Fees

Adoption fees for our animals can range depending on species and age:

  • Cats – $30 to $115.
  • Dogs – $100 and $375.
  • Rabbits – $65 to $100 (for a bonded pair).
  • Pocket Pets (Guinea pigs, Ferrets, Chinchillas and Hamsters) – $10 to $100.
  • Farm Animals – $100 to $1,000 (depending on animal)
  • Exotics (reptiles, birds, etc.) – $50 to $200 (depending on animal)

These fees cover a number of items to help support the care of each animal, including (but not limited to) their medical care, food, shelter, spay/neuter surgery, microchip, preventative testing, and more.

Adoption Holds

If after meeting one of our amazing animals you have fallen in love but can’t take the animal home immediately, we can offer you a 24-hour adoption hold for a $15 non-refundable hold fee. This fee would be applied to the adoption fee when you come back to adopt.

To give every opportunity possible for our animals to find their forever homes, if you do not officially adopt the animal within the 24-hour hold window, then the animal(s) will be removed from hold and placed back into our adoption program.

Adoption holds are only available for animals that are located at the Humane Society of Greater Dayton’s main shelter (on Nicholas Road) and at the MeowZa Cat Boutique inside the Dayton Mall.


Through our Foster-to-Adopt option, we provide people the opportunity to take an animal home for a short period of time to make sure the animal is the perfect match for your family. For dogs, our Foster-to-Adopt window is 3 days. For cats and rabbits, it is 2 weeks.

If the animal is a perfect fit, you simply come back into the shelter and finalize your adoption. If the animal isn’t your perfect match, then you simply contact us and schedule a time to bring the animal back into the shelter, and we will continue to work with you to find your family the perfect pet match.

START Dog Training Program

The Humane Society of Greater Dayton has partnered with the Dayton Dog Training Club in the creation of the START Dog Training Program. Through this program, advanced dog handler volunteers from the Humane Society of Greater Dayton go to their training facility each week with our adoptable dogs. The dogs learn basic commands such as sit, stay, down, and how to walk on a leash properly. They work with behavioral issues and really help our dogs thrive. Throughout the rest of the week, these volunteers continually train with the dogs providing them many social interactions and lots of enrichments as they master basic skills.

Plus, there is an added perk for adopters who choose to adopt a START-trained dog. With your adoption, you will receive a $25 discount on a beginner’s class, courtesy of the Dayton Dog Training Club. This allows you to learn what commands your new dog knows, which in turn, sets you and your new furry friend up for a successful transition from shelter to home environment.

Military Companions

With our animal shelter so close to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, we encourage military families to stop in and interact with our animals. Companion pets can be a comfort and support to all types of people, including our military members and their families. There are a significant number of physical and emotional benefits that pets can bring to your health, such as lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol or improving the feelings of depression or loneliness.

Although the animals at our shelter are not trained service animals, the simple companionship and unconditional love they can bring to those coping with the stresses of military life are quite impactful. From helping a veteran cope with PTSD to supporting military children who are dealing with their parent’s deployment, pets can provide love and support to get them through these difficult times.

To say thank you to our military for their service, we offer 25% off adoption fees as well as free microchipping to all active duty, current reserve members or retired military. A valid military (DOD) ID is required to take advantage of these savings.

Adoption Policies

Still Have Questions About Adopting?

View the full list of our adoption policies and procedures on our Transparence and Compliance page.