To adopt a pet at OHS, you'll need to fill out an adoption questionnaire and complete an interview with an adoption specialist. What's more important, though, is everything that comes before the application and the interview; namely, finding the best match possible for you.
More about finding the right pet and how the adoption process works at OHS:
Finding the Right Pet
- Visit the Find Your Match section and and learn about the fit between your lifestyle and your pet's needs.
- Read the pet descriptions on this website with these lifestyle considerations in mind. Photos and descriptions of all cats and kittens, dogs and puppies, and small animals available for adoption on our website are updated continuously.
- Visit the shelter and meet our wonderful pets. While here, ask questions of our adoption counselors, who can offer their experience to help you find your new best friend.
What it Means to Adopt
OHS Adoption Procedures
- Visitors can meet one-on-one with pets in our "get acquainted" rooms. We encourage the whole family to visit the shelter and meet the prospective new member of the family.
- If you have a dog, we encourage you to bring him/her to OHS to meet the dog you are considering adopting. A "pet meet" between canines is a good way to see if your dog will get along with a new addition to the family (sorry, but you will need to leave the family dog or the family cat at home when meeting a cat available for adoption).
- To meet one of the animals in foster care, contact the Foster Care Department via email or call (503) 285-7722 to set up an appointment.
- Complete an adoption questionnaire. You can download, print, and fill this out before coming to the shelter if you like. We cannot accept faxed or emailed questionnaires at this time, however.
- You will be interviewed by an OHS adoption specialist to be sure you are familiar with any special needs the animal might have.
- We have a variable adoption fee policy based on an animal's age, breed, temperament, behavioral issues, and physical condition. Learn more here.
- Arrange for safe transportation of your new pet from the shelter to your home.
- If transporting a dog via an automobile, it is preferred that the pet travel inside a secure crate that is tied down or anchored with a seat belt inside the cab.
- If the pet will be transported in the back of a pickup truck, the same guidelines apply: pet is in a secure crate anchored with tie-downs or inside a truck canopy. OHS provides crate rental services when needed - ask any staff member for details.
- It is not recommended that you transport a newly-adopted animal by bicycle from OHS. A shelter animal is already stressed and an animal's instinct when frightened is to escape and run. Road noise and traffic in the immediate vicinity of OHS are a major consideration in this situation. OHS wants to ensure the safety of adopted animals, as well as that of the adopters themselves. See below for alternative transport options
- If you need to transport an animal home via bicycle, the decision to allow this will be based on the security of the animal during the trip.
- A cargo bike or a bike with trailer can be approved if there is an adequate lip on the trailer/container (lip = at least half as tall as the hard plastic pet carrier); the trailer or carrier is securely fastened to the bicycle; and the carrier container is made of a hard material secured with proper tie-down materials. Tie-downs are preferred to bungee cords as bungees can come unfastened unexpectedly.
- A blanket to muffle noise is also recommend to drape over the crate before securing for travel.
- Length of trip is also a consideration. The longer the trip, the more time the animal has to become stressed and find a means of escape. Tie-downs can loosen and become less secure during a long or rough ride.
- Your bike setup will be inspected by a member of our leadership team to ensure safety before the adoption is complete.
- Have questions or want more details? Please visit the shelter or call (503) 285-7722 for more information.
Benefits of Adopting from OHS
When you visit OHS, you'll find the largest selection of animals in the area and experienced, caring staff who can help you find a great match. You can meet pets one-on-one before adopting. We encourage people to bring your current dog(s) for a "pet meet" at OHS prior to adopting.
To help fight pet overpopulation, every animal adopted from OHS is spayed or neutered before it goes to a new home. If an animal has a special needs, an OHS behavior expert or medical team member will meet with the adopting family to make sure they understand the animal's needs.
The adoption fee for dogs and cats includes:
- An identification microchip, collar and identification tag
- Initial vaccinations (rabies and FeLV/FIV usually not included)
- A certificate for a free veterinarian examination
- Plenty of support and information from the experienced staff at OHS
- 30 days of free insurance from Petplan. The policy provides $1,000 of coverage for accidents, illnesses, surgery, prescription medications and more. Ask an OHS staffer for full details when you are adopting.
- Each adopted pet is enrolled for one year in the HomeAgain national pet recovery program. In addition to an embedded identifying microchip that can be scanned by veterinarians and shelters, the program includes a 24-hour medical hot line, access to lost pet specialists, travel assistance to return pets who are lost far from home, and more.
Caring for Your New Pet: Adoption Booklets
Among the benefits of adopting from OHS are these informational guides to your new pet. Inside, find tips and resources about preparing your home, introducing the pet to family and other pets, behavior and training, and much more.