Please leave your pets at home to prevent disease transmission and additional stress for both your pet and the pets staying at the Utah Humane Society. If you are adopting an additional pet, we’ll be happy to discuss techniques to help you introduce your new pet to your pets at home in a careful way to set them up for success.

Adoption Process

Step 1: View available pets online.

You can see what animals are currently available for adoption, view their online profile page, and read each pet’s description. Available pet listings update hourly, so if you no longer see an animal on our site, chances are they’ve already found a home!

Step 2: Come meet our animals

Our Adoptions Center is open for visits without an appointment 10 AM – 7 PM, seven days a week.  You’re welcome to bring along the people the pet will be living with but please leave your own pets at home to avoid stressing them out.  Meet and greets at adoption centers don’t tend to be very accurate at predicting how pets will get along in your home, and our Adoptions Counselors can advise you on the best way to introduce new pets to existing pets.

If you find that the pet you originally came to meet isn’t a good fit for your home, we may have others that are.

Read more about our adoption fees. Adopters must be 18 years of age and have a valid photo ID with your current address. Please read our Housing Restrictions section below and verify that you live in a place where the pet will be welcome.

Step 3: Bring your new pet home!

All dogs must leave with a collar and leash, and all cats and small animals must leave in a pet carrier for their safety. You can bring these items with you or purchase them at our facility. All dogs and cats adopted will have a microchip, first set of vaccinations, and be spayed/neutered before they go home.

We recommend bringing your newly adopted pet directly to your home after the adoption process. We do not recommend taking them to a pet store or visiting friends and family until they have had the chance to adjust to their new home. We also counsel adopters to slowly introduce the adopted pet to other pets. We strongly recommend direct supervision when playing outside during their adjustment period.

Preparing to Adopt

Please consider these factors before adopting a pet.

Becoming a pet owner means gaining new financial responsibilities. Consider the initial and ongoing costs plus unexpected additional costs, including but not limited to:

  • Registration/Licensing
  • Collar, leash, or harness
  • Kennel or carrying cage
  • Food dish
  • Scratching post
  • Security deposit
  • Obedience training
  • Boarding/pet sitting
  • Pet insurance
  • Extra veterinary fees for emergency surgical or health issues

Ongoing costs:

  • Annual vet health check
  • Vaccinations
  • Food
  • Grooming
  • Litter
  • Toys and treats

We recommend saving for the unexpected!

Landlord Restrictions

If you lease your home, check with your landlord before adopting to be sure you are allowed to have a pet and can afford any required pet deposits and additional pet rental fees. Pets are sometimes returned because of lease restrictions and/or landlord disapproval. HSU does not conduct landlord checks for you. This can be an expensive lesson since adoption fees are non-refundable. Plus, being returned to the shelter can be a stressful experience for the animal. Also, check to see if there are any breed restrictions for your housing and insurance. Even pet-friendly housing may have restrictions on the breed and age of the pet allowed.

City/County Restrictions

How many pets are you allowed to have at your residence? Most cities and counties have a maximum number of pets that you can keep. All pets must be licensed and registered through your local animal control services. Pet owners must license within 30 days of moving into an area or acquiring the pet. Check out this site by Tracy Thomas to learn more.

Other members of your household should meet the pet before you decide to adopt and approve of you bringing a new pet home. You should also consider:

  • Allergies
  • Fear or discomfort associated with animals
  • Expectations in sharing pet care responsibilities

We recommend that you do not immediately expose your existing pets to a newly adopted pet. Consider how you will manage an isolation period and be sure all existing pets are up to date on vaccinations and other routine health care before bringing a new pet home. 

Facilitating positive pet-to-pet introductions will require some management on your part. Not all pets are instant friends and may require temporary or intermittent separation to ensure a smooth transition. Some pets are happy to share their home within a week or two, others may take a month or longer to adjust. Our adoption counselors will be happy to review steps to properly introduce your new pet to your resident pets. 

Read more helpful tips on our Animal Behavior and Training page.

For safety reasons, all dogs must go home wearing a leash and harness, and all cats must be sent home in a carrier.

All pets making the transition to a new home will need time to adjust to a new family and may require housetraining and behavior training to correct problem behavior. If you aren’t prepared to invest time into teaching your new pet appropriate behavior and helping the animal adjust, you should reconsider adopting a pet at this time. Positive reinforcement-based training is recommended for all newly adopted dogs and puppies. Dogs and cats may live 12 to 15 years or more, and providing them with basic needs (food, water, shelter), medical care, and loving attention is important throughout their life. Your thoughtful consideration, preparation, and commitment will help ensure a happy home for your new pet. 

Additional behavioral resources and tips can be found on our Behavior and Training page.