Home / Adoption and Rehoming / Adopt / Adoption Process

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.

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.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto Humane Society has been operating solely through virtual adoptions. We will be opening for onsite adoptions Tuesday, September 14th while maintaining some virtual appointment availability. Please note there may be a higher than normal attendance and a reduced building capacity to follow Covid-19 safety protocols that may cause delays. Please refer to the process noted below to ensure we are able to serve you as best we can.

Monday – Friday 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Saturday – Sunday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

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

Virtual Adoptions

If you are interested in signing up for a virtual adoption counselling session, please visit the following link to learn about how the process works:

Onsite Adoptions

Please be sure to view our available animals through the adoptions section of our website prior to visiting.

Some of our animals will be at Toronto Humane Society’s shelter facility, while some will be staying in the homes of our dedicated foster parents – please be sure to have a look at this on each animal’s profile. We will conduct adoptions onsite or virtually for all animals, regardless of location, however for the animals in our foster homes, you will be invited to meet your animal virtually.

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. 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.

Step 1 – Finding The Perfect Match

Visitors will be served on a first-come first-serve basis. You will be asked to check-in at the front door and will be permitted entry based on current capacity. When you check-in, please be prepared to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination status to enter the facility.*

*To help promote the health and safety of everyone entering the facility, all individuals must be fully vaccinated with two Covid-19 vaccines. Individuals can provide proof of immunization by downloading or printing their vaccine receipt from the provincial booking portal, or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900.

Once you enter Toronto Humane Society, one of our adoption agents will introduce themselves and help start your journey in finding a new pet for your home. You can browse our adoptable animal rooms and choose a few that pull on your heartstrings, or ask our adoption team to help find a suitable match based on your particular circumstances.

Step 2 – Adoption Conversation

Once we’ve narrowed down which pet might be best for you, we will sit down and review your lifestyle, living situation, and expectations to ensure it’s a great match for both the pet and for you. 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 and provide you with a chance to ask any questions you may have.

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 meeting.

Step 3 – Meet and Greet

If the animal you’ve matched with is located at Toronto Humane Society facility, we will conduct a meet and greet in person, immediately following your adoption conversation.

If the animal you’ve matched with is located in one of Toronto Humane Society’s foster homes, we will conduct the counselling session virtually and this may be scheduled a day or two afterwards.

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. 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*
Small DomesticsSee 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.).
  • Proof of vaccination to enter Toronto Humane Society’s facility. To help promote the health and safety of everyone entering the facility, all individuals must be fully vaccinated with two Covid-19 vaccines. Individuals can provide proof of immunization by downloading or printing their vaccine receipt from the provincial booking portal, or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900.
  • All individuals who will reside with—or be in frequent contact with—the adopted animal should be present at the 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.


How many people are allowed in at the same time?

We will be allowing groups inside according to available adoption agents – if we have 5 on staff, we will likely allow between 5-7 groups in the building.

Will we be allowed to walk around freely, or will we be limited to only viewing the specific animals we predetermined we’re interested in?

The public will be allowed to walk around and view the available animals for adoption. If we are very busy and have a queue of adopters, you may not be able to access the facility, and viewing for non-adoption purposes will be limited based on volume of visitors.

How many animals will be onsite vs in foster homes? If an animal is in foster, would a virtual appointment be recommended over an in person?

The number of animals onsite and in foster homes fluctuate daily. You can adopt an animal that is onsite or in a foster home using the virtual adoption system or in-person.

What would happen if two people are interested in the same animal, but one person books virtually and the other person goes onsite?

Our adoption process, virtually or onsite, works on a first come first serve basis – this has not changed. Because we anticipate that onsite adoptions will move quickly, in this scenario, the onsite adopter may be able to put a hold on the animal first.

Are virtual adoption appointments still available?

Virtual adoption appointments are still open but are limited due to the increase of in-person adoptions.

Why do we have to show proof of vaccination to enter the building?

Vaccines provide the best protection against Covid-19 and the Delta variant. This policy has been put in place to help protect our staff, volunteers, and the public.

What about those with medical conditions or kids under 11 who can’t get the vaccine?

Individuals who cannot receive the vaccine due to medical exemptions will be permitted entry with a doctor’s note until recognized medical exemptions can be integrated as part of a digital vaccine certificate. Children who are 11 years of age and younger and unable to be vaccinated will also be exempted from these requirements.

If you still have a question, please email our adoption team at adoption@torontohumanesociety.com