The Humane Society of Utah knows that you have questions about how to adopt, what to do when you find a stray animal, clinic services, and other programs that we offer. Search below for the answer to these questions and more.










What is the Mission Statement of the Humane Society of Utah?

Dedicated to the elimination of pain, fear, and suffering in all animals.

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What is the Federal Tax ID (EIN)?


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Where is the Humane Society of Utah located?

We are located at 4242 South 300 West (Commerce Drive) in Murray, Utah. For directions, please utilize Google Maps.

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What are the hours of the Adoption Center?

Adoptions: Mon-Sun, 10 – 7

Admissions: Mon-Sun, 11 – 6

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How can I contact someone at the Humane Society of Utah?

Click here for a list of contacts.

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What is the history of your current building?

The Humane Society of Utah was founded in 1960. From 1960 to 1992, we were located at a shelter in what is now West Valley City. In 1989, after several bequests were received by a number of donors, we were able to purchase the land where our current Murray facility resides. Shortly after, the construction of our Murray building from 1990 to 1992 was the result of a very generous bequest from a Utah school teacher named Janice Johnson. To this day, our building is named the Janice Johnson Center for Animals.

Beginning in 2009, a series of large donations were received that allowed the Humane Society of Utah to embark on an ambitious renovation project of our shelter facility. First, a bequest from Ronald and Darlene Boyce resulted in the “Kitty City” and Clinic expansions, and new Administration and Foster Care wings. Shortly after, Robert and Teresa Kay made an extremely generous donation for an expansion to our dog adoption area. After four years of construction, our square footage was doubled.

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How many pets do you place into new homes?

The Humane Society of Utah saves the lives of over 7,000 pets annually—including nearly 6,000 adoptions into new loving homes and many more through transfers to trusted rescue groups to handle special behavior and medical cases, return to owners, and pet retention and shelter diversion services. Our placement rate (also known as “live-release” rate, which includes adoptions, transfers to other humane groups, and reunions with owners) exceeds 90% for all animals.

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What is your “live-release” or placement rate?

Click HERE to view our complete placement statistics calculated in accordance with the National Federation of Humane Societies’ Live-Release Data Matrix.

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Is the Humane Society of Utah a “no-kill” facility?

Although our placement rate exceeds the 90 percent benchmark often used to qualify a shelter as a no-kill, we do not identify as a no-kill organization. There is no universal definition of “no-kill” that is understood by animal welfare professionals and the general public despite the efforts of some groups to create such language. What people often want reassurance on is that HSU never euthanizes animals for reasons of space or time. 

Every animal in our care receives a medical and behavioral evaluation upon admission. Many animals can be placed in our adoption programs immediately. We provide behavior enrichment, medical treatment, and foster care to many others, ensuring that even the most difficult-to-place animals have a chance at adoption. There is no time limit placed on healthy animals in our care. Due to severe or untreatable illnesses or irreparable behavioral issues, we sometimes face the difficult decision to euthanize an animal—but only when we have exhausted all other options. 

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Where do your animals come from?

Pets surrendered by their owners make up the majority of pets received at the Humane Society of Utah. We are legally unable to accept strays and recommend that these animals go to the municipal or county animal control services where the animal was found. Lost pets are more likely to be reunited with their owner if the animal stays in the jurisdiction where it was found.

We also transfer hundreds of pets to the Humane Society of Utah each year from other shelters across Utah and neighboring states through our Transfer Program. We utilize a network of rescue groups and shelters to choose animals that are at risk of being euthanized for medical reasons, time limits, or space constraints. Transferring in a variety of animals not only saves their lives, but it also offers a wider selection to adopters to encourage people to adopt instead of purchasing from a store or breeder.

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Why do you take animals from shelters outside of Utah?

Before beginning our Transfer Program in 2008, the small dog area at the Humane Society of Utah was often empty. Utah families looking for small dogs had no adoption alternatives to breeders or pet stores. Meanwhile, every day, thousands of small breed dogs were being euthanized in shelters outside of Utah. Our Board of Directors and staff realized that there was a lifesaving “supply and demand” answer to both of these problems, and our Transfer Program was born. Since the beginning of this program, the Humane Society of Utah has expanded beyond just small breed dogs and has saved the lives of thousands of dogs, cats, and rabbits of all sizes and breeds by transferring them to our facility and providing needed care. As a priority, we transfer from local Utah animal shelters when they are overcrowded when possible.

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If you’ve found a lost/stray animal

You should report stray animals by phone to your nearest Animal Control agency (either your municipal or county shelter). If the dog or cat is friendly and approachable, you can try to contain the animal to determine if it has an identification tag on with a name, address or phone number of its owner. If no identification tag is present, you can transport the animal to your local animal control services to be scanned for a microchip and held to reunite with the owner.

The Humane Society of Utah does not take in stray pets and requires proof of ownership for surrendered pets. Since owners will be searching for their lost pet in their local area, taking a lost or stray animal to your local animal control services offers owners the best chance of finding their pet.

If you’ve lost a pet

The Humane Society of Utah urges you to visit your local Animal Control services and local veterinary clinics in person since it may be difficult to find a pet based on a verbal description or photo.

Remember to keep checking with other shelters as the stray holding period depends on when the animal was received. Some individuals attempt to find owners on their own before bringing the animal to a shelter. You may also try the Facebook group Utah Lost and Found Pets.

petco love lost

We partner with Petco Love Lost to make reuniting lost pets easier and free by using facial recognition technology to search a national database.  Click HERE to search now. 

We also strongly recommend having your pet microchipped and registered to you as a safe and permanent way to identify your animal. Remember to keep your contact information updated with your pet microchip registration company.

How do I rehome my pet through the Humane Society of Utah?

Visit the Admissions Department page of this website for information about our Coordinated Entry System. We want to do everything possible to help you keep your pet in your home and offer alternatives options through our Pet Retention and Shelter Diversion programs. However, we understand there may be situations when you need to rehome your pet, and we will have an open and honest discussion with you about your options. Our staff is able to provide helpful information on issues that often cause pet owners to surrender their animals, such as behavior problems, training, housing, affordable care, information on other community resources, and much more. Schedule a consultation call to discuss your situation or schedule a pet surrender appointment on our Admissions page. Pet surrenders are accepted by appointment only.

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Could you pick up my pet? I can’t keep it anymore and I don’t have any transportation.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide this service. If you can no longer care for your pet and you cannot bring it to our Admission Department, please find a friend or relative who can bring you and your pet to our facility. All owner-surrendered admissions require proof of ownership through bill of sale, purchase/adoption contract, vet records, license, and microchip. You can also try contacting your local Animal Control agency for assistance. If you are unable to bring your pet to us, you will need to send a signed letter transferring ownership to Utah Humane and granting the person bringing the animal permission to surrender the animal on your behalf along with your proof of ownership and contact information. Pet surrenders are accepted by appointment only through our Admissions page.

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What services do you offer at the Humane Society of Utah Clinics?

Murray Clinic Services

Our in-house low-cost Preventative Clinic in Murray offers vaccinations, spay/neuter surgeries, microchips, heartworm tests (including heartworm preventative medication), dentals, and owner-requested euthanasia of ill and elderly pets.

  • Vaccinations, microchips, and heartworm tests are done on a walk-in basis (no appointment necessary). View Pricing
  • Spay/neuter surgeries are by appointment only. View Pricing
    To schedule an appointment, please contact our clinic at (801) 261-2919 ext. 230
  • Dentals are by appointment only. Find out more about our Dental Services.
  • Owner-requested euthanasia is by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, please contact our clinic at (801) 261-2919 ext. 230

St. George Clinic Services

Our clinic in St. George is offering walk-in or scheduled vaccinations and scheduling spay/neuter appointments for dogs and cats. Find out more about our St. George Clinic here.

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Can the Humane Society of Utah help me if I can’t afford to sterilize my animal?

Spaying and neutering saves lives. Our affordable in-house Clinics offers sterilization surgeries at a highly reduced price. Please visit our Clinic Pricing page for more details. To see if you qualify for additional discounts through our SNIP program, please contact 801-261-2919 extension 253.

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I have an animal that is sick (or has been injured) may I bring it to the Humane Society of Utah Clinic for treatment?

Our Clinic is not a full veterinary hospital and does not provide these services to the public. You will need to take your pet to your own full-service veterinarian or a local after-hours animal emergency center if needed.

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Do you perform end-of-life euthanasia services? Can you euthanize my sick/old animal?

Yes, our licensed veterinarians or certified technicians can perform this service. The only method used is an injection of Sodium Pentobarbital (EBI), which causes death very swiftly and painlessly. If you would like to be with your pet when it is euthanized, you must make an appointment with our Clinic (801) 261-2919 ext. 230. Our Clinic does euthanasia for dogs and cats only. Prices vary by the weight of the animal. Visit our Clinic page for more information.

If you do not want to be with your animal, our Admissions Department can accept the animal for euthanasia Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment only. View more information and schedule an appointment on our Admissions page.

Per our agreement with the No Kill Utah Coalition, our shelter is committed to saving every animal in our care who can be saved. We do not euthanize healthy or treatable pets even at an owner’s request. We only euthanize a pet if:

  • A veterinarian has assessed that there is no chance of recovering an acceptable quality of life, or
  • It would be clearly inhumane or unsafe not to do so immediately, or
  • In cases of irremediable canine aggression when (1) a veterinarian has eliminated medical treatment as a solution; (2) rehabilitation by a specialist in canine behavior has failed; and (3) staff and public safety cannot be reasonably assured, or other management protocols seriously compromise the quality of life.

We reserve the right to refuse euthanasia service if guardianship or a medical/behavioral condition cannot be confirmed. The Humane Society of Utah will not euthanize any healthy or treatable pet.

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How do you decide who is adoptable?

The Humane Society of Utah’s goal is to place all healthy and treatable companion animals that we receive as quickly as possible. Our average length of stay for dogs and cats is four days. Pets placed for adoption at our shelter need to be of sound temperament and good health. Pets with a history of severe aggression who pose a public safety threat, and pets suffering from major medical problems that affect their quality of life are not suitable for our adoption program.

That being said, many animals requiring medical care and surgeries are treated by our Clinic every day. Each year, our veterinarians perform hundreds of surgeries on homeless pets, including limb amputations, lump removals, eye enucleations, dental services, and more. Many animals with behavioral problems receive training and socialization through our Foster Care program, in which a foster family is selected to help the pet become adoptable. Many dogs also undergo substantial assessment activities and training recommendations from our Behavior and Training Department prior to placement for adoption. Lastly, when a dog or cat is deemed unsuitable for our Adoption program, our Transfer program often seeks to place these animals into our network of partner rescue groups.

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How long do you keep animals?

Pets will stay in our Adoption program as long as they remain physically and emotionally healthy. There are no time limits placed on how long an animal is available for adoption at the Humane Society of Utah. We find homes for many dogs and cats in less than one day and work for months to find the perfect home for others.

Additionally, the Humane Society of Utah has many foster families who care for newborn and orphaned kittens and puppies, dogs and cats recuperating from illness or injury, and dogs needing socialization and training. Foster families also receive animals that simply need a break from the stress of staying at the shelter. Foster Care allows the Humane Society of Utah to keep some animals out of the shelter population until they are ready to be placed for adoption and gives us more space for holding adoptable pets. We greatly appreciate these volunteers who open their homes to homeless pets in need every day of the year!

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Do you ever get purebred dogs or cats?

Yes! National data estimates that 25% of shelter animals are purebreds, and this holds true at the Humane Society of Utah. In 2023, we saw an increase in intentionally bred puppies being surrendered, including litters of golden retrievers, German short-haired pointers, springer spaniels, huskies, Australian cattle dogs, and more. If you are interested in a specific breed of dog or cat, check our pet listings to see if one is available, as adopting is lifesaving and less costly. Our Transfer Program also works with purebred dog rescue organizations and can provide suggestions on where to turn for certain breeds.

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Are your adoptable dogs and cats already microchipped?

Yes, all of our dogs, cats, and rabbits are microchipped prior to adoption. The Humane Society of Utah highly recommends that all pet owners microchip and register their dogs, cats, and rabbits and keep their contact information up to date.

Microchips are a safe, permanent way to identify your companion animal. A pet microchip is a small computer chip (about the size of a grain of rice) safely injected under the skin between the animal’s shoulder blades. Having your pet microchipped greatly increases the chances of it being returned to you when lost or misplaced. The Humane Society of Utah also recommends that all dogs and cats should wear an ID tag with a current contact number on it, preferably your mobile number, at all times—but microchips are the best backup for a collar and visible ID tag.

Microchips are not GPS trackers or similar devices—a pet’s geographic location cannot be tracked by a microchip. The chip must be scanned at a veterinary clinic or shelter which will provide the scanner with owner contact information from a computer database. Be sure to keep your contact information up to date with the microchip company so you can be contacted directly if your pet is found and brought to a veterinary clinic or shelter.

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Do you require spaying or neutering of adoptable pets?

The Humane Society of Utah is committed to ending the pet overpopulation problem and considers spaying and neutering the number one solution to the tragic problem of overcrowded shelters and the euthanasia of healthy and treatable pets across America.

Many pets are already spayed or neutered before coming to the Humane Society of Utah. Any dogs, cats, or rabbits that are not yet spayed or neutered are surgically sterilized at our in-house Clinic before being placed in our Adoption program.

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How do I adopt a pet from the Humane Society of Utah?

Information is available on the How to Adopt page.

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Why are your adoption fees different for each animal?

The Humane Society of Utah is a local, independent 501(c)(3) private nonprofit organization that relies on individual donations, grants, and fundraising to operate. We do not receive any federal, state, or government funding. It is typical for progressive shelters to invest an average of $350 per animal, which is more than most adoption fees. Adopting from an animal shelter is a great value for the pet owner considering the shelter has invested in spay/neuter, other necessary surgery, vaccines, a microchip, and often much more.

We use a variable pricing system, and the adoption fee for each animal is dependent on many factors, including age, breed, and health of the individual animal. Our adoption fees help to offset the cost of the evaluation, housing, food, enrichment, training, medical care, and more for the thousands of animals that need our help. We do our best to keep our adoption prices reasonable while generating funding to support our goal of caring for every animal until we can place them in a new loving home.

The adoption fee for each animal is included in their animal profile. You can view the adoption fee for a specific animal by clicking on their profile.

Pay What You Can means that you can pay $5, $25, $50, or whatever you can manage as a donation to the Humane Society of Utah.

Discounted adoption fees apply for select animals who have been at the shelter 14 days or longer or for special promotions.

All dogs, cats, and rabbits include mandatory spay/neuter, microchip, and receive species/age-appropriate initial vaccinations. You will receive a free wellness examination at a participating private veterinarian. If you have any questions regarding the adoption fee of a specific animal, please call our Adoptions Department at (801) 261-2919 ext 227.

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What kind of food do you feed the dogs and cats while they are at the shelter?

We are fortunate to have most of our dry food donated by people in the community (please note that we can only accept donations of unopened bags and cans of food). Because donated dry food consists of many brands, it is mixed in barrels to reduce the shock of a change in diet. Using donated food saves our shelter over $30,000 each year! Of course, monetary donations to help us purchase canned wet food, special formulas of food for animals with allergies or other health problems, and kitten and puppy milk replacement formula, are always appreciated. Click here to make a financial contribution.

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Does the Humane Society of Utah sell animals for scientific experimentation or to rendering plants?

Absolutely not! Under no circumstances are animals from the Humane Society of Utah utilized for experimentation or research, nor are they sold posthumously to rendering plants.

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How does the Humane Society of Utah feel about Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) and breed discrimination?

Breed Specific Legislation—or “BSL” – is the practice of using laws to regulate and restrict dog ownership based solely on the physical appearance of the dog. Our organization feels that a more fitting term for this type of lawmaking is Breed Discriminatory Legislation. Currently, Pit Bull Terriers and Pit Bull Terrier-type dogs are the most common breed to be discriminated against in America. In the past, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Dobermans were often singled out as bad dogs and dangerous breeds just as Pit Bulls are today.

In agreement with the American Bar Association, National Animal Control Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, and all prominent national animal welfare groups, the Humane Society of Utah believes that legislation or ordinances targeting dogs by breed are ineffective and inhumane. Preemptively punishing any type of dog for behavior that it may or may not demonstrate is not protecting the public and is doing a disservice to our canine companions. A much more effective means of protecting the public from dangerous dogs include dog licensing with vaccination requirements, on-leash requirements, and cruelty and neglect laws. Through these alternative methods, some cities, counties, and states are addressing responsible dog ownership and punishing irresponsible dog owners for dangerous behaviors.

The Humane Society of Utah is happy to report that Utah’s legislators prohibited breed discrimination in our state and revoked all existing breed discriminatory ordinances in ten cities on January 1, 2015.

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How can I help and get involved?

The Humane Society of Utah greatly appreciates financial donations, volunteer time, and supplies. We are a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and your donation is tax-deductible as allowed by law. Your financial support helps us maintain and expand the life-saving programs and services we offer to the community. Many of our programs would not exist without the generous donation of time by volunteers who work tirelessly with the animals at the shelter and in foster care. There is a world of opportunity offered to individuals who want to volunteer at the Humane Society of Utah. Finally, to reduce operational expenses, the public is encouraged to donate needed items directly to the shelter.

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How can I volunteer?

Find out about our program on our Volunteer page.

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How can I foster animals?

Find out all about our Foster program, including which animals are currently in need of a foster home, on our Foster page.

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Sometimes the pet photos on your website are blurry. Why?

Photos are always taken upon intake, or the pet’s arrival, at our shelter. However, these intake photos may not be the highest quality nor show the animal very well. The Humane Society of Utah is lucky to have excellent staff and volunteer photographers who utilize a studio room in the shelter for as many pets as possible without causing stress to the pets. Our photographers take portraits of adoptable pets to replace intake photos that may be blurry. Of course, there are times when animals are adopted before our photographer can replace their intake photo with a portrait.

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Does the Humane Society of Utah receive money from my taxes, and how are you different from Animal Control agencies?

The Humane Society of Utah is a local, independent 501(c)(3) private nonprofit organization that does not receive any tax dollars or government funding and is not a branch of any national organization. We are funded solely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, grantors, and foundations in our community. Our goal is to positively impact the lives of 50,000 animals each year through an education-focused adoption process, positive promotion of shelter pets, community-focused pet health, and our many other lifesaving programs and services.

The Humane Society of Utah is not an animal control agency. However, we are the highest intake shelter in Utah, and we handle more homeless pets per year than any other agency in our state.

Generally speaking, your local animal control services agency is charged with protecting you from animals, responding to a dog running at large or barking too much, dealing with vicious dog bites or attacks, licensing your pet, and sheltering your pet if it were lost. Most animal control agencies are also responsible for deceased animals in your yard, road, or neighborhood.

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What is the difference between the Humane Society of Utah and other animal welfare organizations that solicit funds from me through the mail (such as Humane Society of the United States, PETA, American Humane, ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, etc.)?

While all of these organizations work to help all kinds of animals, what sets the Humane Society of Utah apart from the national organizations is that we operate a local, private open-admission shelter that receives and houses animals through a trackable adoption program. The Humane Society of Utah works directly with members of our Utah communities to find homes for homeless pets, advocate for animal welfare legislation, end abuse and neglect, and inform the public about pet care training. Utah Humane handles local companion animal issues while some other national organizations may work with all animals on a national and international level.

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If I make a gift to a national organization, does the Humane Society of Utah receive a portion of my donation?

No, the Humane Society of Utah is a local, independent 501(c)(3) private nonprofit organization that does not receive any tax dollars or government funding. The Humane Society of Utah is not a United Way charity and is not affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, American Humane Association, or PETA, and does not receive any portion of dues or donations paid to national organizations. We are solely funded by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, and foundations.

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