Frequently Asked Questions
A: Every day animals at The Toronto Humane Society find new homes. Each year the shelter finds loving forever homes for thousands of animals.
A: Many of our animals have been surrendered by owners that can no longer care for them.
A: Shelter adoption hours are:
A: We are located at 11 River Street, on the North East corner of Queen and River just East of the Don Valley. Click here for a Map.
A: We ask interested applicants to come in during adoption hours to choose an animal, fill out an application, and be interviewed. The interview is to ensure a good fit for both the animal and the individual, to reduce the likelihood of the animal being returned. Once approved, applicants can take an animal home with them that day. Most adoptions happen the same day, and that we accept applications until 6pm as the adoption interview and paper work can take up to an hour.
A: Our adoption fees are as follows:
* Please note - Senior Dogs are 10yrs +, Senior Cats are 7 yrs +
A: Pets stay in adoption until the right home comes along. The length of stay for animals varies. No animal is ever euthanized due to lack of space or because the animal has simply “been here too long.”
The Society has foster families who care for newborns, pregnancies, and recuperating animals.
A: Information on how to adopt a pet is available on the Adoption page of this website.
A: Too many pets live in neglected or ill-informed homes. We spay, neuter, and microchip pets, but believe that it's best for animals that there be legislation requiring that animals only be bred by licensed breeders. Return adoptions have to go through the same process as owner surrenders.
A: If you wish to surrender a pet, please visit our admissions page for more information on the surrender process.
A: If you are no longer able to care for a pet that you have adopted from The Toronto Humane Society, we ask that you please return the animal. We will always accept our animals. We do ask that you please call the shelter ahead of time.
A: Animals “On Hold” are temporarily approved for adoption and are waiting for their potential owners to take them home. It also indicates that applications are no longer being accepted for that particular animal. If its status changes, its “On Hold” classification will be removed.
A: No, unfortunately we do not keep a notification list due to the sheer number of requests, however, please refer to our “Adopt A Pet” section of our website and when a breed of your choice appears we encourage you to visit us and fill out an application form for adoption. However, please be aware that animals “On Hold” are temporarily approved for adoption and are waiting for their potential owners to take them home.
A: No, you cannot place an animal on hold via phone or email. The THS runs an open adoption system to help people adopt animals that are best suited to their lifestyle. You will need to come into the shelter in order to put an animal “On Hold.” And of course, whether or not you can put an animal on hold will depend on your interview with one of our adoption specialist personnel.
A: Generally, the quietest time to visit the shelter is between 3 and 5 p.m. during the week; on the weekend it is 10 a.m., right when we open. Though it's not guaranteed, our staff has typically found these two periods to be the least busy. Alternatively, our peak hours are from 5 p.m. to close during which time people have just finished their work day.
A: The OSPCA conducts the enforcement of animal welfare legislation in the province. The OSPCA also operates some animal shelters and humane societies. The THS is a separately incorporated, independently operated humane society that services the needs of downtown Toronto. The THS receives no provincial funding and is operated entirely through private donors and sponsors.
A: Though we cannot refer any specific clinic, there are many resources on the internet.
A: Contact the OSPCA. Visit http://ontariospca.ca for contact information.
A: The THS is dedicated to reuniting lost animals with their owners. If you find a lost or stray animal, try keeping the animal with until you locate the owner, by placing ads or by checking our public lost and found animal postings. The THS is working closely with the Toronto Animal Services to accommodate stray animals. If you bring a stray animal to the THS, every effort will be made to locate the animals owner. The THS is unable to hold or accommodate stray animals at this time. The THS is working to establish a Trap-Neuter-Release program for feral cats. For more information on lost or stray animals, please go to : www.toronto.ca/animalservices.
A: Firstly remain calm. Then search everywhere possible, inside and outside, for your pet right away - look under bushes, in tight corners, in your neighbor's house and garage, etc. Search further around the neighbourhood than you expect your pet to roam. Check with all your neighbors as someone may have seen your pet or even taken him/her in for safety.
There are several options when trying to find a lost pet, here are some suggestions:
Call Toronto Animal Services at: 416-338-PAWS (7297) or check the "lost pets" section of their website.
We do not have an active lost & found program here at the shelter, however you can check the Lost and Found section of our website, which is a public service to connect people with lost & found pets.
Register the pet on our Lost Pets page.
Put up "lost" posters where the pet went missing – you can find a downloadable poster in the Lost & Found section of this website.
Place a "lost" advertisement in the newspaper.
Don't give up-it may take time to locate your pet. And when you do, please make sure that he/she has up-to-date tags on his/her collar. Consider getting your pet a microchip implant for more permanent identification.
A: Under no circumstances would The Toronto Humane Society ever give up an animal for research or any other commercial use.
A: The Toronto Humane Society is not and has never been a “no-kill” shelter; rather, we are a “low-kill” shelter. Animals are never euthanized based on long shelter stays or a lack of space and healthy animals are never euthanized. If an animal presents an issue that can be treated through behavioural modification or medical intervention, we will give that animal every chance to succeed.
A: Euthanasia is a veterinarian’s decision, and only administered as a last resort to animals who are suffering and whose quality of life has been diminished to the point that it can no longer be sustained in the shelter or an alternative environment (e.g. palliative care), or when the animal shows behavior that cannot be rehabilitated, or lastly if it poses a significant health and safety risk. Our euthanasia rate is quite low at 2.3 per cent.
A: Yes, every animal at The Toronto Humane Society is spayed or neutered before being adopted.
A: Our website is updated regularly and you can check the “Adopt A Pet” section to view the current animals available for adoption. This section allows you to search under dogs, cats, rabbits, small mammals, birds, reptiles and animals with special needs. If you click on an animal you are interested in, it will bring up information about that particular animal, including his/her name, age, size, sex, colour, breed, adoption price and a short personality description.
Q: Do you provide cremation or burial services for animals?
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