"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." - Anatole France

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Adoption Requirements:

Please call our office at 574-848-4225 to schedule an appointment or for more information.
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  • You must be eighteen (18) years of age or older.
  • Have knowledge and consent of all adults living in the household (All household members must meet and agree on the pet).
  • Be able and willing to spend the time and money necessary to provide training, medical treatment and proper care for the pet.
  • We do require that ALL animals adopted from the Humane Society be spayed/neutered, receive proper veterinary care (including vaccinations), be properly licensed and adhere to all laws and ordinances.
  • If at any time your adopted pet is not being kept in accordance with our adoption policies, we reserve the right to reclaim the animal.
  • We reserve the right to approve or refuse an adoption to anyone.

How much does it cost?

  • Dogs and puppies $170
  • Cats and kittens $80
  • Ferrets, snakes and Iguana’s $50
  • Rabbits & Guinea Pigs $15
  • Birds $25 with cage
  • Hamsters, Gerbils & Rats $5



Understand your adoption fee includes:

  • Your new pets initial vaccines and deworming, feline leukemia testing (cats only), heartworm testing (dogs over 6 months), microchip, grooming, deworming, and the 1st month heartworm preventative (dogs). All cats and dogs will be spayed or neutered.
  • We offer several types of discounts:
  • Seniors 60 years old or older receive 50% off their adoption fee.
  • Active Military and Veterans receive 25% off their adoption fee.
  • Anyone who adopts is offered a 2 for 1 discount. Adopt 1, get another for free.
  • Regal Residents Program – Adoption fees waived on our mature pets.


I’m ready! How do I get started?

The first step in the process is to fill out an adoption application. Your application will be good until the end of the current year. Once the application is approved, you can adopt any of the animals we have available.

Frequently Asked Questions
How do I go about adopting a pet?

It’s simple!  First step is to fill out the adoption application.  If you currently own other dogs, cats or ferrets, we will also need a vet release form completed to confirm that your animals are up to date on their rabies vaccinations per state law.  Once this is done, it will take approximately 24 hours to process the application.  While your application is being processed, you can place a temporary hold on the animal you like.  Holds are good for 24 hours and we accept up to 1 hold per species.

Is there a waiting period?

Yes.  It takes approximately 24 hours to approve your application. If you have a pet currently, we will call your vet’s office to make sure your pet is up-to-date on its rabies vaccinations. Staff will contact you after the application is processed. Approved applicants will be asked to schedule an appointment to adopt your new pet. However, if you are adopting a dog and currently own a dog, a “meet and greet with the dogs” will be scheduled to ensure your animals are compatible prior to finalizing an adoption. Applications are kept on file for the calendar year.

I already have a dog at home. Can I bring him to meet the dog that I want to adopt?

Once you have successfully completed the adoption application process, yes, we schedule “meet and greets” prior to finalizing any adoption.  We require this as part of the adoption process to ensure that your dog or dogs and the shelter dog will be compatible.  We want a healthy and happy blending of the animals.  Incompatibility can create unnecessary and unhealthy stress on the animals.

We’ll also ask that all the family members come and meet the animal, too.  There are rare instances where a dog just doesn’t like someone in the family possibly due to a past experience with another man or woman or child in their life history.

Do you require fenced in yards in order to adopt?

No.  However, we want to ensure that the adoptive family will provide proper exercise, ensure the animal has a safe area in which to run and play, and spend quality time with their animal.

Can we keep our adopted dog or cat outside?

Currently, most of our animals are to be adopted as inside pets.  When providing outside time for an animal, we ask that the owner be with the animal or provide a safe location where the animal can be left to exercise with minimal supervision.  Animals should not be left for prolonged periods of time outside without food, water or shelter nor should they be tethered for extended periods of time.

Outside adoptions may be considered based on the breed of the dog or cat and special needs of the dog or cat.  A home inspection may be required to determine the suitability of an outside adoption.

Can you call me when you receive the type of pet I am looking for?

Unfortunately, no, we are unable to do this due to the volumes of calls we get on a daily basis. However, the Humane Society’s website is a “live” website which means as soon as an animal is moved up for adoption, it will be listed on the site.  And, if the animal is adopted, it will be removed from the site as soon as it is adopted.  This gives you a quick and up-to-date listing of all of the great animals available.  Check out the website at www.elkharthumanesociety/adopt

Do you have a spay and neuter program?

Due to the availability of low cost spay/neuter clinics and a state wide initiative, we no longer offer a spay/neuter program. There are two area low cost spay/neuter clinics – one in South Bend, Indiana (ABC Clinic) and one in Fort Wayne (Hope for Animals). Additionally, there is a State wide program (SNAP) in which any local veterinarian can sign up to participate to help expand low cost spay neuter options.  It is sponsored by fees generated through sales of a pet friendly license plate that is offered through the Department of Motor Vehicles.  All of these options may be researched online.

Do you spay and neuter all of the shelter adoptable animals?

Yes.  The shelter has a veterinarian on staff and a clinic with surgical capacity is located in the facility

Because the shelter admits almost 6,000 animals a year, the clinic is not available for outside public use.