How to Adopt a Pet from AWS

Thank you for choosing the Animal Welfare Society as a place to adopt a pet! We thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to update our Adoption Center and adoption process to adhere to social distancing protocols and practices. At this time, we ask for your flexibility as processes and policies can be subject to change.

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Adoptions are by Appointment

In our effort to promote social distancing, all adoptions are by appointment and the Adoption Center remains closed to casual visitors. If you are seriously interested in adopting a pet, you must call to make an appointment. For dogs, we encourage you to have a specific dog in mind that you’d like to meet though you will have the opportunity to meet other dogs as well. For cats, we understand that folks may want to meet several cats to get to know them before making a decision. That will be possible during your appointment. We ask that you only make an appointment if you are seriously interested in adopting. 

Adoption appointments can be made by calling (207) 985-3244 ext. 125 between the hours of 11 am – 3 pm and you must speak to a staff member directly. If no one picks up, please do not leave a voicemail as that will not guarantee an appointment. Understand that we have a limited number of appointment times each day, as to promote social distancing. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to find our pets home and keep our community safe at the same time.

As always, adoptions are first come, first serve, meaning the person who calls first gets their choice of available appointment times and thus his/her choice of animals to meet and adopt. We are not able to extend holds on any animals at this time, so we ask interested adopters to make their adoption decision during their appointment and be prepared to take their new pet home with them.

Please note: our adoption pages are REAL TIME, so as soon as an animal is adopted, it will “disappear” from the website.

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Adoption Process

Our population changes on a daily basis as new pets come in and resident pets are adopted. For a real-time listing of pets available for adoption, visit our dog, cat or small animal adoption pages. While we do post photos of animals (particularly puppies) going up for adoption a few days in advance, we clearly indicate with their photo online the date he/she will be available for adoption. Animals cannot be reserved or put on hold in advance of their adoption availability date.

Our adoption counselors spend considerable about of time with the animals each day, so they are always happy to share information and stories. Don’t be shy – please ask any and all questions that come to mind, before, during and after the adoption process. We are here to help and will gladly answer all of your questions. The best way to ask your questions is to call during the hours of 11 am – 3 pm daily.

1. Think Ahead

It is helpful to know for certain that pets are welcomed where you live before you adopt. Think about applicable local ordinances, homeowner’s and/or renter’s insurance policies, rental agreements, parental consent, approval from roommate(s), etc. We encourage adopters to make sure they have the right set up, inside and out, for the pet they would like to bring home. Some pets need a fenced in yard, other pets do best as the only pet, etc. Each animal’s housing needs are unique, as are the rules or regulations that might govern your home and the jurisdiction in which you live.

2. Adoption Questionnaire

This simple and straightforward questionnaire is our preliminary way of getting to know you.  By answering questions about your expectations, interests, experiences, lifestyle and family dynamics, our adoption counselors can be best prepared to provide information about the pets you may be interested in and help you find the best match for you and your family.

You can download and complete the adoption questionnaire in advance (and email it to us) or bring it with you to your adoption appointment.

3. Adoption Appointment

For dogs, we encourage you to have a specific dog in mind that you’d like to meet though you will have the opportunity to meet other dogs as well. For cats, we understand that folks may want to meet several cats to get to know them before making a decision. That will be possible during your appointment. We ask that you only make an appointment if you are seriously interested in adopting. 

We want you to find the pet that is right for you, your family and your lifestyle. Visiting with the animals you’re interested in is the opportunity to get to know their unique personalities and needs and there will be sufficient time to do so at your adoption appointment. While it is not mandatory, we encourage you to get the whole family on board. While we have to limit the number of people who can enter the Adoption Center (due to social distancing requirements), we have an extensive property, including several exercise pens and a courtyard, where you as a family can spend quality time together and get to know your new pet. With dogs for adoption, you can even take a walk together, perhaps along one of our many trails. For fellow canine family members, dog-to-dog introductions are handled on a case-by-case basis. We will work with you to determine if an introduction is in the best interest of your resident dog and your prospective new dog. You do not have to bring your resident dog with you when you stop by to meet available dogs. A meet-and-greet can be arranged once the adoption process is started.

4. Adoption Fees

Adoption fees are listed on each individual animal’s web profile and on a card on/near their kennel or space in the Adoption Center. Our adoption fees include the extensive care each and every animal receives at AWS, including shelter, daily enrichment and veterinary care. Learn more about AWS adoption fees and the benefits they include. Fees vary from species to species and depend on the animal’s age, breed and size.

5. Taking your Pet Home

With social distancing in place, you should be prepared to take your new pet home with you when you leave your appointment.

We will continue to work with you throughout the adoption process, as you decide upon the pet that is just right for you. However, please keep in mind that pet adoptions are on a first come, first served basis, particularly for highly sought-after pets. Kittens and puppies for adoption are considered highly-sought after and often go home the very day they become available.

If you make an appointment and find out the pet isn’t right for you, or you need more time to think about it, you are not obligated to take the pet home. However, keep in mind that we are unable to place a hold, especially if it’s a highly-sought after pet. If you do find the right pet for you at your adoption appointment, we ask that you plan to take your new pet home with you then. We sell carriers, leashes and collars in our Adoption Center, or you can bring your own.

Adoption questions? Contact us.

We are proud participants in the Million Cat Challenge. Click here to visit their site for more information.

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