Adoption Policy

Adoption Rules!


HSSC Adoption Fees*

  • Dogs: $105
  • Cats 1 over year: $35
  • Kittens under 1 year: $75
  • Rabbits: $50
  • Ferrets: $75
  • Guinea Pigs: $10
  • Hamsters: $5
  • Gerbils: $3
  • Other Species: Fees Vary – Please ask!

1. Prospective adopters must be at least eighteen (18) years old.

2. Proof of residence is required. This could be in the form of a driver’s license with your current address, a gas & electronic bill, phone bill, etc.

3. Proof of income is required. This is to ensure the potential adopter can support the maintenance and care of the animal. Proof of income can be in the form of a recent pay stub or job identification badge.

4. All adoptions must be done in person. Prospective adoptees must meet the pet and complete the adoption application and questionnaire during the initial visit to our shelter.  The in-person visit and application process are required for all adoptions.  No exceptions!  Iowa law requires that animals adopted through a Humane Society be spayed or neutered.  A minimum of two (2) visits will be required to adopt an unaltered animal.  In most cases, shelter staff will schedule the unaltered animal to be spay or neutered and the pet’s new owner will return after the surgery to pick up their new life-long companion.  Adopters who live outside a 50 mile radius of our shelter may want to consider adopting an aimal that is already altered.

5. All dogs, cats and rabbits adopted from this shelter must be spayed or neutered. This ensures the adopted pet will not contribute to the pet overpopulation problem. Adopters will be given a deadline in which to have their newly adopted animal altered. The HSSC will be notified by the veterinarian when the animal has been altered. No adoption is final until spay or neuter of the animal has been confirmed.   Please Note: Some veterinarians charge more than the amount pre-paid by the HSSC to cover the cost to spay or neuter the pet. Any additional fee over the voucher authorized amount will be paid for by the new pet owner. Please check with your veterinarian of choice before scheduling the surgery to determine what amount, if any, you will be responsible for.

6. If children are living in the home, it is strongly recommended that they be involved in the adoption process to ensure the compatibility of the animal of your choice with the child’s age, comfort level, degree of activity, etc.

7. If a dog is being adopted into a home that already has a dog, the shelter requires that the dog living in the home be brought to the shelter to meet the new dog.  Shelter staff will make the final determination of compatibility between the pets.  We reserve the right to approve or deny any adoption.

8. If a prospective adopter rents, we must have either a copy of the lease stating pets are allowed or written verification and consent from the landlord. If a prospective adopter is over 18 years of age or older and resides with his or her parents, we must have the parents consent before the adoption can be approved.

9. Our goal is to ensure our animals are adopted only into the best possible life-long homes. Cats and dogs are only adopted as inside pets. We do not condone nor support adoptions of animals as outdoor pets.

10. Indigenous wild animals will be placed with approved rehabilitators only.

11. Our animals come from various environments.  The medical history of the animal is often unknown to us. We conduct a health and temperament test on all animals entering our shelter and make every effort to ensure the animals are healthy with no obvious signs of illness before placing the animal up for adoption. All dogs receive rabies, distemper, adenovirus(2), paroinfluenza and parvovirus vaccinations as well as a de-worming and nasal bordetella and are tested for heartworm. Cats receive a deworming and rabies and distemper vaccinations and are tested for feline leukemia. All animals are treated with a topical flea preventative. All adopted animals must receive a physical from a veterinarian within four (4) working days of the placement. Refunds or credits for adoptions will be given ONLY under the following circumstances:

  • Illness with visible symptoms within seven (7) days following the adoption
  • Veterinary statement regarding physical defect or illness within seven (7) days following adoption.
  • Severe and obvious disposition or personality defect in the animal within fourteen (14) days following adoption.

10. All subsequent examinations, vaccinations and medical treatment obtained after adoption must be paid for by adopter.

11. Families with children under five (5) years of age must adopt an animal that is at least twelve (12) weeks or older. Usually, young children cannot be expected to handle puppies and kittens properly. Mishandling is likely to result in injury to the animal, child or both.

12. Property checks will be performed at the shelter’s discretion. Adoption of American Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers and Rottweilers, and some mixed breeds, may require a property check before the adoption can be approved. We recommend a fenced yard or outside kennel.

We retain the right to refuse adoption to anyone.

*Note: Adoption fees include the above stated vaccinations, micro-chipping of dogs and cats  and the cost of spay/neuter.