Adopting a Pet Is About

Falling in love with a pet is easy and pet ownership is very rewarding. Adopting a pet, however, is a big decision. Dogs, cats, and rabbits require a lot of time, money, and commitment. BRHA encourages you to think through your decision before you adopt a companion animal. Our experienced adoption counselors will gladly help you find an animal that's likely to be a good fit for your lifestyle and living arrangements.

Helping Those in Need

Things to Consider When Adopting​

Because you are considering adoption from an animal shelter, we know you are a responsible and caring person. Here are some things to consider before you make that decision to bring a furry friend into your life:

It’s amazing how many people do not ask themselves this simple question. Adopting a pet just because it’s “the thing to do” or the children have been wanting a puppy or kitten can be a mistake. A pet is a long commitment–10, 15, even 20 years and is a member of your family.

Dogs, cats, and other animals require food, water, exercise, care, and companionship every day of every year. Many animals in the shelter are there because their owners didn’t realize how much time it took to care for them.

Please bring your entire family to the shelter to meet your new pet and make sure everyone gets along well. That includes not only children (some pets don’t do well with young children) but your canine family members as well. BRHA can host “pet meets” in our “Meet & Greet Park.”

Pets may not be allowed at many rental communities or they may have restrictions or require an additional pet deposit. Make sure you know what the landlord’s requirements are before you come to adopt.

Accidents from animals who aren’t yet house-trained or are confused, possible adjustments to your home and routine, scratched furniture and unexpected medical emergencies are unfortunate but common aspects of pet ownership. An adjustment period between you and your family and your new friend takes patience and a commitment to gentle reward-based training.

Pets like a predictable routine, and if your routine is changing–perhaps because of a new job, a new house, a new member of the family–waiting until your new routine is settled is wise.

Animal size is not the only variable to think about here. For example, some small dogs such as terriers are very active—they require a great deal of exercise to be calm and often bark at any noise. On the other hand, some big dogs are quite content to lie on a couch all day.

Animals are not solitary beings. They are genetically taught to be part of a pack or group. You are becoming their pack now. They want to know they belong and are accepted into the family pack. When they are required to spend large amounts of time alone or kenneled, they feel banished from their pack; in the pack banished animals don’t survive. The perceived banishment can lead to behavior problems. BRHA policy requires that an animal become an integral part of your lives and not left outside full-time or tethered.

Benefits of Adopting from BRHA Adoption & Care Center​

Meet-and-Greets
When you visit BRHA Adoption Center, you'll find a large selection of animals and experienced, caring staff who can help you make the best choice. You'll have the chance to get to meet pets one-on-one in special areas. We encourage dog owners to bring their current dog for a pet " meet" in our Meet & Greet Park. ​
Medical Attention
To help fight pet overpopulation, every animal adopted from BRHA is spayed or neutered before it goes to a new home. If an animal has special issues or needs, a BRHA behavior expert or medical team member will meet with the adopting family to make sure they understand the animal's needs.
Adoption Fees
The adoption fee for dogs and cats includes an identification microchip, identification tag, initial vaccinations (rabies and FeLV/FIV usually not included), one month of pet insurance, a certificate for a free veterinarian examination and plenty of support and information from the experienced staff at BRHA.
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Adoption Fees

All adoption fees allow us to continue our work to save animals and place them into their ‘forever homes.’  Ongoing expenses for each animal include vaccinations, spaying/neutering, medical staff care, training … and even heat and water bills for the shelter.  Staff provide ongoing supportive care, training, and socialization for animals who don’t always come to us problem free.  They need love, good food, support and yes, play to thrive.  Our staff provides the continuity to keep all programs running including support and coordination for our volunteers.

Adoption fees vary, depending on the type of pet and various special programs; please ask our staff what the fees are for a particular pet you’re considering.

Included with adoption fees:

• Spay or neuter surgery
• Basic vaccinations
• Complimentary Wellness Exam – courtesy of local participating veterinarians **must be made within 10 days of adoption
• De-worming
• Microchip identification
• Adoption information – contract and policy
• Goodie Bag for your new adopted pet!

Senior for a Senior

For the senior members of our community, adoption fees are waived if you adopt a senior pet!

For any of us who have adopted a senior animal, we know the special gift they give. “They know stuff.” It’s like they know they have gotten a second chance and they love you all the more for it. They know what they want and THEY WANT A HOME!

These special animals may have never known a good home or they know exactly what they are missing and want to finish their lives with you! There is no equal to the adoration that can come your way when you adopt a senior pet!

Cat Buddy

Come visit our beautiful felines and you may just find your fur-ever friend! Remember, two cats are better than one. We make it easy with these special offers for adopting a second adult cat or kitten.

Adopt an adult cat and the second cat is free!
Adopt TWO kittens, you save 50% on the second kitten! *Kittens must be 11 months old or younger.

Cats make wonderful pets and studies have found that adopting two cats has many benefits:
Cats who have a playmate tend to be more socially well-adjusted and avoid behavior problems like shyness, biting, hissing, being frightened and hiding in the company of people they don’t know.
If you must work long hours or travel for a couple of days, two or more cats keep each other company and are more tranquil during your absence.
Your cat will remain more playful and youthful into his/her later years with a companion.
The workload to care for two cats is about the same as it is for one cat.

How to Adopt

To adopt a pet at BRHA, you’ll need to fill out an Adoption Application and complete an interview with an adoption specialist. But what’s more important is everything that comes before the application and the interview, namely, finding the best match possible.

1. Find the Right Pet

You'll want to read the pet descriptions listed on our website and think about your lifestyle and what you want in a pet. Photos and descriptions of all cats and kittens, dogs and puppies, and small animals available for adoption on our website are updated constantly. Call us to inquire or visit the shelter. 

Come meet our wonderful pets. You'll want to take this opportunity to ask questions of our adoption counselors, who can offer their experience in helping you find your new best friend.

2. Fill Out an Application

You'll need to complete an Adoption Application, which you can download and fill out before your visit or email the application to BRHAfront@bitterroothumane.org

3. Complete an Interview

You will be interviewed by an BRHA adoption specialist to be sure you are familiar with any special needs the animal might have.  The animal you select may not be available due to previous applications, waiting medical procedures or special needs.