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Adoption Process

The bond between human and animal is behind everything we do. This is what grounds us, inspires us, and pushes us well beyond our walls into more communities. As an adopter, you are bringing all of our work together. It all leads to this the incredible journey you are about to embark on.

As you can imagine, our Adoption Team has been busy. We are currently booking over 60 adoption counselling appointments a week! Check back daily for new appointment openings.Please note, to participate in our adoption process, you will need a device that supports camera and audio use through Microsoft Teams.

How Adoption Works

Toronto Humane Society’s adoption process is set up with one goal in mind: matching the right people with the right animals. We don’t just want to find homes, we want to help build families and further the human-animal bond in our community.

It is for this reason that the process has several steps. It begins with you finding an animal on our website. Then you get set up with an Adoption Counsellor where we get to know a little more about you and what you’re looking for. Once we are at a stage to meet some pets there will be a Meet and Greet, where you’ll get to meet the animal and learn everything there is to know about them. Finally, the Adoption is finalized and your shared journey begins.

Ready to open your doors to an animal in need? Let’s get started!

Step 1 – Adoption Appointment Booking

Once you have found that special animal, you can book an Adoption Counselling Appointment by clicking on the calendar linked below. While booking the appointment, you’ll see a questionnaire that asks for:

  • Your contact information;
  • Your interest;
  • Your lifestyle and expectations;
  • And finally, specific questions about the care needs of the animal you intend to adopt, such as diet, housing,enrichment and socialization, training and veterinary care.

This questionnaire helps us match you with the right animal based on your lifestyle and expectations. It also helps us to identify if there are any aspects of care or behaviour that we can provide more information about.

For more information about the animals in our care, please check their individual profiles. If the animal you’re interested in does not have any photos or a biography, the Adoption Counsellor you speak to will be able to speak with you in more detail and provide more information on the animal during your session.

On hold?

If you see that an animal is “on hold” and their profile is greyed out, this means someone has shown interest in the animal and they are going through the adoption process – YAY!. If for some reason the adoption doesn’t go through, the Adoption Team will move on to the next application. Animals without a hold are all still looking for their forever home.

Need to cancel your appointment? Just click on the cancellation link in your appointment confirmation email.

Adoption Counselling Appointments are released on a rolling calendar day, with new slots opening up every morning for the next 48 hours. These slots often fill up quickly as we are fortunate to have a high number of individuals looking to adopt.

We recommend downloading the applications below and saving your responses for current and future use in advance so that you don’t lose your appointment slot.

Step 2 - Virtual Counselling Session

Once you have registered for an Adoption Counselling Appointment, you will receive an email with a Microsoft Teams Video Meeting Link* – please use this link to access the virtual meeting.

An Adoption Counsellor will meet with you at your chosen appointment time and will conduct the counselling session to learn more about your lifestyle and what you are looking for in a companion.

We will use this time to discuss animal care and training, as well as detailed information about the animal you are interested in. This conversation is a good opportunity to get a sense of whether the animal is a good match for you and to ensure that both you and the animal will be happy together.

You will be asked to provide Government issued photo ID that includes name and address (and a photo of your cage/enclosure for small mammals, birds and reptiles if you are interested in adopting one of these animals) during the call.

Running late?

If you are late to your virtual Adoption Counselling Appointment, we will get in touch with the number you provided on your questionnaire. Please keep in mind that we have a high number of individuals looking to adopt. If 15 minutes have passed, we will have to move onto our next appointment.

If you miss your appointment, you can re-book another appointment.

*Learn how to prepare for your virtual adoption counselling appointment using Microsoft Teams:

Step 3 - Virtual Meet and Greet

What to expect

For now, our Meet and Greets are conducted virtually by a Toronto Humane Society Adoption Counsellor for up to a one hour period. This gives you plenty of time to meet the pet and get to know more about them.

The Meet and Greet will include: a Toronto Humane Society Adoption Counsellor; the animal’s Foster Parent, if the animal is in a Foster home; or, if the animal is at our location, an additional Toronto Humane Society staff member.

Additional questions may include exposure of adopters to COVID-19.

Scheduling a Meet and Greet

Virtual meet and greets are scheduled for a date and time following the initial Adoption Counselling appointment.

Adopters will discuss a date and time for the meet and greet during the adoption counselling session, or may alternatively receive an email notifying them when the video call will be conducted.

We will always attempt to conduct the meet and greet directly after your adoption counseling session, however from time to time, this may be scheduled for a different time or day, depending on foster parent and staff availability.

We will do our best to work with you to find a time that fits your schedule.

Step 4 - Finalizing the Adoption

If everything goes well at the Meet and Greet, and both you and the adoption counsellor feel that the animal is a good match for your home, it is time to finalize the adoption. This will include instructions concerning adoption fees, pick-up times, and continuing care for your new animal companion.

Payment will be done with one of our Pet Support Agents via video call while using our online Toronto Humane Society payment portal. Please note at this time we can only accept credit card payments from Amex, Visa and Mastercard.

Adult Dogs (local) $250*
Adult Dogs (transfer) $400*
Puppies (local and transfer) $500*
Special Needs $100*
Kittens $120*
Cats $60*
Small Domestics See list

* Prices include Tax

Some of the dogs in our care have been transferred in from other organizations and rescue partners. These animals may have a higher adoption fee to help offset the cost of transferring them to us.

Basic Requirements

  • At least one piece of ID provided at the time of adoption must be a non-expired government issued ID containing proof of address (e.g. driver’s license, passport, status card, etc.).
  • All individuals who will reside with—or be in frequent contact with—the adopted animal should be present at the virtual adoption counselling session.
  • If you are adopting a dog or a rabbit and currently have the same species in your home, we ask that you ensure they are present during the virtual consultations and virtual meet and greet so we can conclude they will appropriately get along. This process ensures your new pet will adapt successfully in your home.

Adoption Waiting List

If we have a successful Adoption Counselling Appointment but aren’t able to agree on an animal who is the best match for your home, we will enter your details into our Waiting List for up to 3 weeks.

In the event of a cancellation we will begin calling individuals on our waiting list. Due to the high volume of applicants, we are only able to attempt one call. If you are available and can go through the adoption process, we will use the opportunity to talk to you about a potential animal that would be a good fit.

If you miss our call, or you haven’t been called in 3 weeks, we encourage you to sign back up for another meeting with our adoption agents through the above link.

Thank you for choosing the Toronto Humane Society to help you find your new forever friend.

If you would like to search other places for an animal, please remember to do your research ahead of time and ensure you are choosing a reputable source. Please see the link below for information on how to select an appropriate re-homing agency.

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