Adoption process

We are thrilled you are considering adoption as it provides the animals in our shelter with a second chance at a happy home. When choosing an animal to welcome into your home, you are encouraged to consider what type of animal is best suited to your lifestyle. Are you looking for an active dog who will go jogging with you each day? Or would you prefer a snuggly cat who will curl up in your lap at night? How about a small animal, such as a rabbit or guinea pig? We have animals of all types available for adoption and they are all profiled on our website.

With so many things to consider when deciding to bring a new pet into your home, prospective adoptive families are encouraged to visit Before You Get a Pet – Future Pet Parent Guide*. With the goal of providing information to help families form loving and permanent relationships with their pets, the site provides resources and practical considerations to think about before bringing that new family member home.


Meet the animals

If you are interested in an animal you’ve seen on our website, you can call 519-833-2287 or send an email to learn more about them. You can also stop by the shelter to meet the animal in person. It may take a few visits to find the animal that is a perfect match for you.

You can stop by the shelter Monday through Friday from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm or Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm.

You may wish to call the shelter before visiting to confirm the location and availability of the animal you would like to meet. The UCHS staff can let you know if the animal is currently at the shelter or at one of our remote locations, such as a foster home, local pet supply store or our Thrift Shop.

Our staff and volunteers spend a lot of time with each of the animals and are available to answer any questions you may have. You may notice certain requirements listed on the profiles of the animals and this is out of concern for the animals and to protect their best interests. It also helps potential adopters know of any special requirements in advance. Our main goal is to find the best home possible for every animal in our care.

Once you have chosen the animal you would like to adopt, all family members should come to meet the animal. If you are looking to adopt a dog, a meet-and-greet session will be scheduled with any other dogs that are currently part of your family to ensure compatibility.


When you have decided which animal is right for you, we will ask you to fill out an application form that includes questions about your family’s lifestyle, any other animals that are part of your family, what you are looking for in an animal and questions about the care of the animal you would like to adopt e.g. diet, housing, veterinary care, socialization, etc. The application helps the UCHS staff see if your expectations and lifestyle are a good match with the animal you are interested in adopting. It can also help you decide on the traits you’d like in an animal to help you choose the right pet for your home.

We accept multiple applications for animals that are in high demand e.g. puppies to ensure we place the animal in the most suitable home.


A UCHS staff member will follow up with a discussion with potential adopters to learn more about them and what they are looking for when adding an animal to their family. This discussion helps the staff member determine if the animal is a good match with the potential adopter and provides a sense if the animal and the family will be happy together. This is also an opportunity for the staff member to provide any suggestions or guidance about introducing the animal to its new home.

Finalizing the adoption

If, after meeting the animal, you and the UCHS staff member believe the animal is a good fit for your home, the adoption will be finalized. This includes the completion of payment and the adoption paperwork. You will be sent home with an adoption kit, microchip registration information and the medical records for your animal. All animals adopted from UCHS also have six weeks of pre-paid pet insurance.


If you have questions about our adoption process, please contact the shelter at 519-833-2287 or via email at


*Referenced with permission from the University of Guelph.