Adopting a Pet Is About Love, Cuddles, Commitment, Kindness, Responsibility

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 other companion pets 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.

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.”

Many landlords and rental companies may not allow pets, have restrictions or may require an additional pet deposit. Make sure you know what the pet ownership requirements for your rental are before you come to adopt.

Accidents from animals who aren’t yet house-trained or are confused, possible changes to your home and routine, scratched furniture and unexpected medical emergencies are unfortunate, but common aspects of pet ownership.  An adjustment period between your family and your new pet 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 social beings.  Dogs are genetically taught to be part of a pack or group and they want to know they belong and are accepted into the family pack.  Cats, while solitary animals by nature, are able to form very close bonds with people and come to rely on the companionship of humans.  BRHA policy requires that an animal become an integral part of your lives and not left outside full-time or tethered.

Adoption Fees and Special Programs

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 – With approved BRHA Adoption Application

Adult dogs (includes a rabies shot/voucher) – $115
Puppies (up to 12 months, includes rabies shot/voucher) – $125
Adult Cats – $70
Kittens (up to 12 months) – $80
Barn cats – $50
Feral cats No Charge
Rabbits – $15
Guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters – $10
Senior to Senior *see program details below – No Charge

Included with adoption fees:

  • Spay or neuter surgery for dogs and cats
  • Basic vaccinations for dogs and cats
  • Rabies shot/voucher for dogs and puppies
  • De-worming
  • Microchip identification for dogs and cats
  • ID Tag for dogs and cats
  • Adoption information – contract and policy
  • Goodie Bag for your new adopted pet! 

Senior to Senior Program

For the senior members (55+) in our community, adoption fees are waived if you adopt a senior pet age 7 or older with an approved application!  For any of us who have adopted a senior animal, we know the special gift they give. They know they have received a second chance and they love you all the more for it. 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!

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.

When adopting a pet, it’s essential that every member of the household is in agreement concerning bringing in the new family member.  This is especially important when adopting a dog and BRHA requires all household members including canine family members to attend the interview and “Meet & Greet” with the prospective adoptee.

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 a 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.