Thank you for choosing to adopt from the Humane Society of Utah, and congratulations on your new pet!

Here are some things to keep in mind after your adoption:

  • Future vaccinations are available on a walk-in basis at our Clinic at a 10% discount for the pet you adopted from HSU.
  • If you have any questions about your pet’s behavior or training, contact us!
  • We’d love for you to stay in touch! Join our Utah Humane Society Adopted Pets group on Facebook and share photos, videos, and stories with our staff, volunteers, and other adopters. 
  • Download a helpful educational infographic:

For your pet’s health, please follow these steps.

  1. We recommend that you keep your newly adopted pet isolated from other pets until your veterinarian confirms its health. Make sure your pets at home are also vaccinated. We are unable to treat resident pets that have been exposed to illness from your newly adopted pet.
  2. Visit one of our Participating Veterinary Clinics for a free wellness check within ten (10) days after adoption. We encourage you to develop an early relationship with your local veterinarian. The free wellness exam does not include costs for vaccinations, medications, or testing.
  3. If your pet has a medical emergency, please contact your nearest veterinary hospital. If the animal is taken to a private veterinarian, the Utah Humane Society will not reimburse any expenses. 
  4. Schedule an appointment with a Humane Society of Utah shelter vet* if your adopted pet shows any signs or symptoms of illness within ten (10) days after adoption. Call 801-261-2919 ext. 227 to schedule an appointment.

 * Humane Society of Utah is limited in the treatment capabilities we can offer since we are not a full-service veterinary hospital.  Wellness exams and vaccinations are NOT offered by our shelter vet during an appointment.  
** It is not the intent of the Humane Society of Utah to adopt out an animal with any illness or unknown pre-existing condition. Any conditions before or at the time of adoption are noted in the medical history sent home with the adopter. All dogs and cats are sterilized, vaccinated, microchipped, and given anti-parasitics while at the shelter. Adopter agrees to complete the vaccination series and assumes responsibility for the cost of the remaining vaccinations which may be done on a walk-in basis at the Humane Society of Utah Clinic or a private veterinarian. The Humane Society of Utah is not responsible for illnesses or injuries beyond our control that arise after adoption. Please be aware that some diseases may be present in the community at any time, and animals that are harboring these diseases may be admitted to the shelter. Some diseases do not manifest signs or symptoms for up to ten (10) days after exposure, and some pre-existing conditions are not tested for before adoption. Read the additional information about Common Canine and Feline Illnesses below. If a condition cannot be treated at the Humane Society of Utah, you may return the animal for a full refund of the adoption fee or take it to a private veterinarian at your expense. 

The most common disease that does not show symptoms in the early stages is parvovirus, which can be fatal if not treated as soon as symptoms are noticed. If you suspect that the dog you have adopted from the Humane Society of Utah may have parvovirus within ten (10) days after adoption, notify the Humane Society of Utah immediately and return to see one of our shelter veterinarians during available hours in the Adoption Center (not the Clinic) as soon as possible, or take the animal to a private veterinarian to be treated at your expense.

Symptoms of parvovirus: 

  • Severe, bloody diarrhea 
  • Lethargy   
  • Vomiting   
  • Sluggish Appetite   
  • High Fever
  • Severe weight loss

Canine infectious tracheobronchitis, or kennel cough, is another common disease in dogs. The infection can spread rapidly in a shelter environment. The Humane Society of Utah screens animals before adoption, however, it is difficult to eradicate kennel cough, and symptoms may not appear for up to ten days after exposure. Symptoms of kennel cough may include: 

  • Persistent, nonproductive cough   
  • Runny Nose   
  • Sneezing
  • Eye discharge

Feline Panleukopenia virus (FPV), also commonly referred to as feline distemper, is a highly contagious and life-threatening viral disease in the cat population. Kittens are especially susceptible to feline distemper because their immune systems are often underdeveloped and cannot fight off the infection. Symptoms of feline distemper usually appear within ten days after exposure to the virus and may include: 

  • High Fever   
  • Lethargy   
  • Loss of appetite   
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea/bloody diarrhea 
  • Abdominal pain

There are several conditions that may cause a cat to sneeze. Sneezing that lasts more than two days is probably due to a viral upper respiratory infection (URI) of the nose, throat, trachea, and eyes. If left untreated, secondary infections may occur resulting in malnutrition, dehydration, and possibly death. Symptoms of URI include: 

  • Sneezing   
  • Runny or stuffy nose   
  • Coughing   
  • Nasal discharge   
  • Eye discharge
  • Decrease in appetite