How to Adopt
Adopt a Pet from the Oregon Humane Society
You’ve found your one-stop shop for all things adoptions at Oregon Humane Society. On this page you will find helpful information regarding what to expect when visiting the shelter and important resources for after you’ve adopted your new friend.
Visiting the Shelter
Sunday – Wednesday 10 am – 7 pm
Thursday – Saturday 10 am – 9 pm
Meeting Pets and Adoptions:
Sunday – Wednesday 10 am – 6:30 pm
Thursday – Saturday 10 am – 8:30 pm
Main Phone Line: (503) 285-7722 (10 am – 6 pm)
Admissions: (503) 285-7722 x 212
Customer Care: (503) 285-7722 x 254
Donations: (503) 802-6793
Due to the high volume of calls, we are unable to provide specific animal information over the phone. Please look at each individual animal profile and come to the shelter to learn more. The best place to view the most up-to-date information is on the OHS website. Third party sites like petfinder.com and adopt-a-pet.com are great resources, but sometimes have outdated information regarding OHS pets.
OHS is a private, nonprofit organization that relies on individual donations, grants and our own fundraising to operate. We do not receive any federal, state or government funding.
Adoption fees help offset some of the costs associated with providing for the animals in our care – this includes housing, food, medical care, enrichment, behavior modification and more. We use variable pricing and the adoption fee for each animal is dependent on many factors including age, breed and health of the individual animal.
Adoption fees range from $55-$600 for dogs and $15 to $200 for cats. The adoption fee for each animal is included in their animal profile. You can view the adoption fee for a specific animal by clicking on their profile.
If you are 60 or better, you are eligible to participate in our Pets for the Elderly program. Each week approximately 10 cats and 10 dogs will be available for adoption for free. For every other dog or cat, you are eligible to receive $50 off the adoption fee. All we ask in return is for a picture of you and your new pet at time of adoption.
We offer same day adoptions. Once you’re at the shelter, you will fill out an OHS Adoption Questionnaire and sign up to meet a pet or two at the front desk. All you need is the name of the animal you’d like to meet. When you fall in love, you can take them home the same day. If you’re not quite ready, you have a few options: you can place a hold or continue your search for the perfect fit.
We offer 24-hour holds for a $15 fee. You must be at the shelter in order to place a hold on an animal. If you adopt the same day you place the hold, we will apply your hold fee toward the adoption. If an animal already has a hold, you can place a non-refundable back-up hold to secure your chance of adoption. Once an animal has two holds, we will remove it from the website and no longer show the animal. We do not offer holds for puppies and kittens less than 6 months of age.
We encourage bringing all individuals that will be in regular contact with the pet; friends, family, children, significant others, your existing dog or dogs that would frequently visit. We do not offer cat-to-cat introductions. For all dog/puppy adoptions, we require you have a leash or crate to take the pet home, so don’t forget to bring yours from home if you already have one.
There are a handful of pets every day that multiple people are interested in meeting. If you find a pet you have your heart set on, we encourage you to arrive at the shelter prior to opening to have the best chance. If you find yourself second, third, fourth, etc. in line for a specific animal, you will be waiting on the showing ahead of you to finish before you will know the outcome of that pet. If the client before you places a hold, you will have the option to still meet and place a back-up hold. Once an animal has two holds, we will no longer show that animal. Keep in mind, we do not place a time limit on how long a person can meet with an animal. This means if you are not first in line the wait can be more than an hour.
When we have more than two puppies in a litter, we will show all puppies at the same time. Clients will choose on a first come first serve basis which puppy they would like to adopt. Puppies less than 6 months old are not eligible for holds.
Understanding Your Pet
Age: The age of an animal is subjective and approximate, but we look at their teeth, body condition and behavior.
Behavior: All animals are assessed by highly trained staff to see how the animal responds to things such as handling, walking on leash and meeting other animals in the shelter. All the information is gathered and offered to potential adopters as tools for education. Since environment plays a significant role in an animal’s behavior, their behavior is subject to change once the animal is in a different environment. OHS staff do their best to find great matches for all of our adopters along with plenty of post adoption support and resources.
Medical: Not all of our animals are seen by a veterinarian. At the time of intake, all animals will be looked over by a technician to inspect their coat and skin, ears, eyes, mouth, teeth and gums and their weight. If there is a concern, a request will be submitted to have a veterinarian look at the animal.
Breed: The breed of an animal is subjective, but our highly trained staff uses their expertise to assign a breed that best fits the animal.
Previous Owner Questionnaire: All owner surrendered animals will have a previous owner questionnaire that will tell you what the previous owner wants you to know about their pet. This will go home with the animal at time of adoption.
Once an animal has received a behavioral evaluation, behavior resources may be applied to the animal’s profile to help you understand your new pet. The following is a list of the potential resources that may be applied. Click on a resource to open its corresponding informational hand out.
OHS works with more than 92 shelter partners across the Northwest, California and reaching as far as Louisiana. Learn more about this program.
Taking Your Pet Home
Introductory period: The shelter can be a stressful place for pets. You may see your new pet’s behavior change over the course of the next few months once you get home. The best thing to do is spend a few days just hanging out at home getting to know each other.
Post-spay/neuter surgery: If your pet was spayed/neutered at OHS, you will want to wait at least 10 days prior to bathing. We use a surgical glue to close the incision and it is important to keep that area clean and dry. If your pet goes out in the rain, pat the area dry with a wash cloth. If you notice any redness or swelling at the incision site, please call OHS medical staff at (503) 285-7722 x 414.
Kennel Cough: All OHS puppies/dogs are vaccinated against kennel cough with the Bordetella vaccine. Vaccinated puppies/dogs can still come down with kennel cough. It is one of the most common shelter illnesses. Symptoms include a dry, hacking/honking cough, yellow-green nasal discharge, ocular discharge, sneezing and lethargy. If you notice the above symptoms, please contact your community veterinarian as it is highly contagious.
Parvovirus/Distemper: Parvovirus and distemper are both gastrointestinal diseases that OHS vaccinates against with the DA2PP vaccine. Symptoms to look out for include vomiting, bloody diarrhea and lethargy. If you notice the above symptoms, please contact your veterinarian immediately. If your pet is diagnosed with parvo or distemper, please call OHS medical staff at (503) 285-7722 x 414.
Upper Respiratory Infection: URI, or upper respiratory infection, in cats is very similar to a common cold in humans. OHS cats/kittens are vaccinated against URI, as well as other diseases, with the FVRCP vaccine. Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, red/runny eyes, fever, sores on tongue/lips/nose, lack of appetite and lethargy. If you notice any of the above symptoms, please contact your community veterinarian.
Panleukopenia: Also known as feline distemper, panleukopenia is a rare but infectious viral disease in cats. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, lack of appetite and sudden death. The disease strikes suddenly and progresses rapidly, so if you see any of the above symptoms, please contact your community veterinarian immediately. If your pet is diagnosed with panleukopenia, please call OHS medical staff at (503) 285-7722 x 414.
Feline Leukemia: Feline Leukemia, also known as FeLV, is a virus that causes a breakdown in a cat’s immune system. We recommend that all newly adopted cats and kittens be tested for FeLV after adoption. Due to the very low instances of FeLV in our community, OHS will not be testing cats prior to adoption. A test is available for a $35 fee prior to adoption.
Rabies: All puppies/dogs and kittens/cats transferred from out-of-state that are at least 4 months of age will be given a rabies vaccine.
Multnomah County Ordinance 13.101 requires all dogs and cats that reside within Multnomah County to be licensed with Multnomah County Animal Services. You are required to license your new pet within 30 days of adoption. Click the link below for information specific to your county.
Medical: If your pet was spayed or neutered at OHS and you have concerns about the surgery site, please call (503) 285-7722 x 414. If it is the weekend, please go see your community veterinarian.
Behavior: If you’re having trouble adjusting your new pet, you can call our 24-hour Behavior Helpline at (503) 416-2983. Someone will call you back within 24-48 hours. You can also participate in an OHS training class. Find a class for your new pet.
Administrative Information: If you are missing any paperwork for your new pet, please contact the Customer Care department at [email protected].
Perks of Adopting from OHS
Veterinary Care: All pets are spayed/neutered, receive initial vaccinations and microchip prior to adoption.
Insurance: For all Oregon residents, you will receive 30 days of free Pet Plan health insurance for any dog or cat. This does not cover pre-existing conditions and works as a reimbursement plan.
Microchip: All pets microchipped at OHS will be implanted with a HomeAgain microchip. Some Second Chance animals will already be microchipped with a different brand, which can be found in your adoption receipt. Click on a link below to register your microchip.
You will find your new pet’s medical information inside the “Receipt” attached in your adoption email. Bring these records, along with your 10-day Health Exam Certificate, to your vet. Click here for the free 10-day Health Exam Certificate.
At time of adoption you will have also received a 14-day VCA Healthy Start Certificate. This can be used at select VCA locations across the Portland-metro area.
OHS also offers a 24-hour Behavior Helpline: (503) 416-2983.
OHS offers a variety of classes to help get you off on the right paw with your new pet.
FAQ for Adopters
The OHS Pet Resource Library covers a wide range of topics from litter box training to curbing leash-reactive behavior. Enter a keyword in the library's search bar and you'll find a clickable link to helpful pet information. You can also click a topic below:
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Please send us a message.