The Adoption Process

It’s easy to fall in love, but a pet is a big commitment. Make sure you are ready for the changes a pet will bring into your life. CHS adoption counselors are eager to help you find the right match for your family. The first step is to view the adoptable pets online:

Please note: Rescue Partner pets are not in CHS' care.

For pets in Waterford and Westport, adoptions are completed by appointment. You’ll start the process by clicking on a link in the pet’s profile to complete an adoption questionnaire. An adoption counselor will contact you regarding next steps.

In Newington, adoptions are completed in person. The process will begin with the completion of an adoption questionnaire on site. Adoption questionnaires are not accepted online for pets at this location at this time.

All questionnaires, whether submitted online or in-person, will be considered in the order in which they are received. Please note that questionnaires are only accepted for pets that are currently available for adoption. CHS is unable to accept questionnaires for general inquiries or keep wait lists for specific breeds or pets with certain characteristics.

Once you’ve submitted your questionnaire, adoption counselors will help you match your lifestyle and preferences to the right pet. CHS staff and volunteers spend lots of time with the pets—learning their likes and dislikes, about their personalities and little quirks, the medical care they’ve received and so much more. That means you’ll get lots of information on available pets to help find the best match. If it seems like love is in the air, you will also have a chance to meet the pet.

If you and the pet are a match, you’ll complete your adoption paperwork, review the contract and documentation, and head home together! If it turns out that the pet you are interested in is not the right fit for you, adoption counselors will chat with you to determine if there are other pets available that might be a better match.

All steps of the adoption process are now taking place in person for Newington. In order to best serve pets in CHS' care and to efficiently serve the community, the Waterford and Westport locations are operating on an appointment-only schedule. Adoptions for pets at these locations will begin online via adoption questionnaire.

Preparing for Your New Pet

Click on the sections below to expand.

General Adoption Guidelines

  • Be 18 years old or older.
  • Visit CHS in person.
  • Complete an adoption questionnaire and participate in a conversation with a counselor(s).
  • Show a valid driver’s license, or state or federal photo ID with your current address.
  • You may be asked to provide landlord approval or proof of ownership. Avoid inconvenience and delay by bringing this paperwork along to the adoption.
  • Adopting a pet impacts the entire household. Any children under 18, other family members, and family dogs living in the home may also be required to come meet the new pet.
  • CHS does not authorize giving pets as gifts. The person who will be the owner of the new pet must be present and complete the adoption process. (Gift certificates are available as an option to give the gift of adoption.)
  • Read, sign and abide by an adoption agreement.

While CHS tries to make the adoption process smooth, the adoption process isn’t necessarily a quick one and may require more than one visit. Just remember, it’s time well spent—it’s for your new family member, after all!

Adoption Fees & Benefits

What is the adoption fee and what’s included with the adoption fee?

Pets adopted from the Connecticut Humane Society have already been seen by the staff veterinary team, have a medical record, and are current on age-appropriate vaccines and parasite preventatives. Cats and dogs are microchipped. Your adoption fee will help pay for a portion of the medical, behavioral, and daily care your pet received at CHS.

Plus, CHS is here to continue to support you and your pet. If you run into questions or problems or just need your medical records reprinted, you can give us a call and the team will be glad to assist.

The adoption fee includes:

  • Consultation with an adoption counselor to help you select the best companion for your lifestyle
  • Spay/neuter for all eligible dogs, cats and rabbits
  • Flea/tick treatment and deworming
  • Basic age-appropriate vaccinations including rabies vaccination for dogs/cats over 3 months old
  • Completed medical care for most illnesses/injuries discovered during their stay
  • Microchip implant, registration, and tag for dogs, cats and rabbits
  • Basic behavioral support after adoption
  • Pet care information

Dog adoptions include:

  • Heartworm testing (if 6 months or older)
  • Collar and leash
  • Temperament evaluation to help identify potential behavioral needs (if 6 months or older)
  • Starter bag of Science Diet food (provided by Hills)
  • Discounted rate on obedience classes offered at the Connecticut Humane Society
    *For puppies up to 6 months, the $445 adoption fee includes training classes worth $95. Ask an adoption counselor for more information.

Cat adoptions include:

  • Testing for FeLV (feline leukemia) and FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus)
  • Stretch collar
  • Cardboard carrier
  • Starter bag of Science Diet food (provided by Hills)

Microchip Services

Microchip implant, registration, and tag for dogs, cats and rabbits! Pets chipped by the Connecticut Humane Society will have a 24PetWatch brand microchip. For more information about this service visit:

  • Only about 14% of lost dogs and 4% of lost cats are reunited with their families. A microchip is another method of ID and links your pet back to you and increases your chances of reuniting with your pet if they are lost.
  • A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and implanted by a veterinarian or trained medical professional.
  • Registration of 24PetWatch chips is free from the Connecticut Humane Society.
  • If your pet goes missing, call 24PetWatch at 1-866-597-2424 and choose the “lost pet” option.

Some pets come to CHS already chipped with a different microchip brand. At the time of adoption, the microchip is registered in the 24PetWatch microchip database, but we recommend that all adopters contact the microchip company (HomeAgain, ACKReunite, etc.) to register your contact information with the chip manufacturer. There may be a small fee to update this information with the chip manufacturer, but ensuring all contact information is current gives your pet the best chance of return if they are lost.

The value of adopting a pet at CHS is priceless. The fees you would pay on the open market for similar services and benefits are significantly higher.


Puppies up to 6 months: $445*

Dogs 7-12 months old: $275

Dogs 1-7 years old: $150

Dogs over 8 years old: $100


Kittens up to 6 months: $300

Cats 7-12 months old: $200

Cats 1-7 years old: $140

Cats over 8 years old: $80

Small Animals:

Hamsters/mice/rats: $10

Guinea pigs: $25

Rabbits: $35

Ferrets: $70

Chinchillas: $100


Finches: $5

Doves $15

Parakeets: $15

Lovebirds (in pairs): $50

Cockatiels: $40

Exotic Types: Market

Learn More

Adopters receive many benefits when they bring a pet home—besides all the love, tail wags and purrs, of course! A tremendous amount of effort goes into each CHS pet before he or she is made available for adoption. Pets receive age-appropriate vaccinations, are spayed/neutered as appropriate, and get treatment for any injuries, illnesses or other ailments diagnosed by the veterinary team.

Interested in giving the gift of a pet? Picking a pet should be a personalized experience, so let your loved one pick out their own pet, and give them the gift of adoption with a gift certificate to cover the adoption fee. Contact the location nearest you for details.