Caroline County Humane Society

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Adopting

Application Form Links: | Dog | Cat | Barn Cat | Small Animal |
or Dog Application Online |

 

Our Adoption Philosophy

Happy FamilyAt CCHS, we strongly believe that all shelter animals deserve the best possible forever homes. We go to great lengths to ensure that happens. It is unimaginable what some animals have gone through to get to us. Some of the animals have been picked up as frightened strays wearing no collars, tags or other ID; some were rescued from a chained existence with no water, food or shelter to protect them from the elements. Some have been rescued from abusive or neglectful situations. We are also the recipients of "disposable" pets, the dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and hamsters whose owners "just don't want them anymore."

Domesticated pets are companion animals that require love, attention, care and daily interaction with their human families. They are social animals. It's not enough that they're fed and given a place to sleep--if they're penned outside all day, they don't have that important chance to interact with their human family. If they're allowed to run free, they're in danger of being hit by a car and injured, or they become exposed to life-threatening risks an in-house pet never faces. Responsible pet owners know these things, use appropriate discretion, and safeguard their pets accordingly.

BunnyAnd that's why we at CCHS are so thorough when adopting out our shelter animals. Like our counterparts across the country, we have an adoption policy. The best programs are those designed to ensure the animals are placed with a responsible person, one prepared for a lifelong commitment, so as to avoid the kinds of problems that may have caused the animals to be brought to our shelter in the first place.

An important part of this policy is to match the lifestyle and needs of the adopter with the individual cat or dog. Our pets are companion animals first and foremost--they are not barnyard mousers (unless it is a cat that has been placed in our BARN CAT program); they are not used exclusively for hunting or guarding. If the screening process occasionally seems overly strict, try to remember that the shelter's first priority is to protect the animal's best interests.
      
For the welfare of the shelter animals, we act as their protectors, to ensure that they next home for each of our "orphans" is one they'll continue to enjoy throughout their lifetime. And even after you've already adopted a pet, we're always available--to answer any pet-related questions, to help with behavioral problems, or to assist you in choosing a veterinarian   or boarding kennel.

Our goal, simply, is to give all our animals that second chance for a happy, permanent forever home.


To read more about whether or not you are ready to adopt or to learn more about adopting adult dogs or cats, please visit our page with more information about adopting.


How to Adopt

The first step is to send us an Adoption Application. You may complete an online Dog Adoption Application or download and print a Cat Application, Dog Application, or Small Animal Application which can be mailed, faxed (410-820-1110), or brought to our shelter. This process lets us learn about you and which animal may be the best candidate for your situation. Application review usually takes several days, which not only gives you a chance to think over your decision, but also enables us to verify the information you provided to us.

If you see an animal on our site that you wish to adopt, feel free to call or email us to be sure that this particular animal is still available. Visiting the shelter is also encouraged.

Our Program

  • Hank on Izzy's lapYou must be 21 to adopt an animal from CCHS.  We ask for photo ID to verify this, if necessary. This can be waived on a case by case basis. 
  • If you rent, you will need to provide a copy of your lease that shows that animals are allowed in your rental unit.
  • All members of the family or household must agree to the adoption.
  • Adopting as a “gift” is a strongly discouraged!  The exception would be, of course, a parent adopting for a child.
  • Once approved, you will sign a legally binding contract providing for the lifetime welfare of the animal you are adopting.
  • Depending on the dog or puppy or situation, we may require that you attend obedience classes with your new pet.
  • If at any time for any reason you are no longer able to care for the animal you are adopting, you must agree to return him or her to CCHS.
  • In certain situations, and with certain breeds of dogs, we will require a home visit prior to approving an application. If a CCHS volunteer cannot do this, we ask volunteers with organizations in your area to complete a home visit for us.

Adoption Fees:

Dogs & puppies: $95
(plus $3 license fee for Caroline County residents only)
Cats: Free
Kittens: Free

Barn Cat Program: Two cats: Free  

Our adoption fee includes:

  • All animals will be spayed or neutered PRIOR to adoption.  Working with our vets and rescue group Grateful Paws, Inc., we are able to spay and neuter puppies and kittens as young as 8 weeks in many cases.
  • All animals will be up to date on all age appropriate vaccinations.  This includes: DH(L)PP and bordetella for dogs/puppies; FVRCP for cats/kittens, rabies vaccination(depending on age).
  • All animals are wormed with pyrantel or panacur, based on age or species
  • All dogs and puppies over age 5 months are tested for heartworm, lyme and ehrlichia and started on heartworm preventative.
  • If positive for lyme or ehrlichia, dogs/puppies are put on a three week course of appropriate antibiotics
  • All cats and kittens are tested for feline leukemia and FIV
  • Flea/tick treatment and preventative
  • All animals are microchipped

How “FREE” is that “Free to Good Home” dog or cat? We have compiled a comparison chart based upon the fees that vets charge for the same services that we provide for our very reasonable adoption fee. 
 

Barn Cat Placement Program

The Caroline County Humane Society is pleased to announce their Barn Cat Placement Program. We are looking for cat lovers who have a barn or other secure outdoor structure that are interested in adopting cats that are not suitable for life inside of a house or are unhappy living inside.

Read the details of this new program on our Barn Cat Information page.

If you would like more information or would like to discuss the possibility of adoption in more detail, please call CCHS at 410-820-1600.    You may also email us: . with any questions or to hear about the cats currently available in our Barn Cat Program.


Caroline County Humane Society, 407 West Bell Street, Ridgely, MD 21660  410-820-1600