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Steps to Adopt

Video Produced by DC London, Inc.
See the adoption process through Gary's eyes!
So you're ready to adopt, that's exciting!

Here's how to find and finalize the adoption of your newest family member at WHS:


If you are planning to take home an animal that day, please bring with you a photo i.d. and anyone with whom you share a home.

  1. Visit one of our adoption centers (located on New York Ave NE and Georgia Ave NW) to see animals who are available for adoption. To see animals who are in foster care, please contact their foster parent(s) to set up a meeting. Their contact information can be found in the animal's bio. All animals in foster care who are available for adoption will be listed by searching for animals in Site: Foster.
  2. Once you find an animal who you would liketo meet, please ask an adoption counselor for assistance in handling the animal.
  3. Did the meet and greet go well? Great! Please complete an adoption questionnaire (versions for download are located below) and submit it in person to an adoption counselor or by emailing adopt@washhumane.org. Questionnaire submissions for any particular animal are accepted on a first come, first serve basis, including those received via email.
  4. If the questionaire is received in person, the adoption counselor will conduct a counseling session, time allowing. If the counseling session cannot be conducted immediately, a future appointment will be scheduled. Anyone who submits a questionnaire via email will be contacted with 24 hours to set up an appointment for a counseling session.
  5. Counseling sessions offer potential adopters the opportunity to ask any questions they may have about the animal they intend to adopt or pet ownership in general. Counselors will also use this as an opportunity to help all potential adopters determine whether the animal they have chosen is the right match for their home and lifestyle.
  6. After collection the adoption fee, the adoption is finalized and the animal can go to his/her new forever home! Pickups scheduled within 24 hours of the counseling session are allowed.
Adoption Fees*:  
Dog: $170 Cat: $85
Rabbit: $45 Guinea pig: $20
Ferret: $35 (non-DC residents only) Other small animals: $10
Small birds: $10 (parakeets, finches, etc) Birds larger than a Budgie: $25

For small animal adoptions (rabbit, guinea pig, etc), please visit our Georgia Avenue location.

*Adoption fee includes spay/neuter, applicable vaccinations, microchip, heartworm test (dogs), FIV/FeLV test (cats). For dogs adopted by people residing in the District of Columbia, an additional $15 is required for purchase of a DC dog license.

All major credit cards and cash accepted. Payment is required at the time of pickup. WHS does not issue refunds of adoption fees and does not exchange animals.
Adoption Questionnaires:

Four dogs revised
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