Ready to add a dog
or cat to your family?
Here are your next steps.

Adoption Process

Ready to adopt a friend from us?

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to COVID-19, we are doing adoptions by appointment ONLY. To set up an appointment, you must first fill out an adoption application below.  Once you have filled out an application, you will receive an automated response verifying we received your application.  If you do not receive an email verifying your application submission, please fill out the form again.  Once you have submitted an application, one of our adoption counselors will reach out to you to review your application, and if approved, to set up an appointment.  If you have any questions  you can reach a counselor at the front desk by emailing or by calling 901-937-3900. Thank you!

At the Humane Society, we recognize that pets, like people, are individuals with unique needs and personalities. We have designed an adoption process that strives to make sure each owner and pet we match enjoy a long and rewarding relationship.

If you are considering adopting, you will be required to complete an adoption application and undergo a screening process. This determines that the pet is a good match for you, your home and your lifestyle. We also discuss the details of your situation with you in depth. For example, if you rent, we would need to know that your landlord approves of pet ownership. If you have children and pets in your family, we’ll make sure the adopted pet is compatible.

Dog Adoption Application

Cat Adoption Application

In processing your application, we want to make sure that you have:

  • An appropriate home for a pet (if renting, an agreeable landlord)
  • Conditions that match the pet’s requirements
  • A lifestyle that allows you to provide adequate attention and exercise (time commitment varies by breed)
  • Financial resources to feed and care for your pet (expenses vary by breed)
  • A realistic understanding of the demands of pet ownership which can differ greatly based on the animals age and the breed selected

The Humane Society reserves the right to deny any adoption application for any reason. Applicants must show a current valid ID and are subject to a background check.

**Disclaimer: For your application to be considered, you do have to visit our location.**

Adoption costs

Our adoption fees follow:

  • Puppies under 12 months old: $150
  • Small-breed dogs: $150
  • Designer dogs*: $250
  • Other dogs: $100
  • Cats: $100
  • Dogs/cats 7 years and up: 25% off

(Dogs require an additional $6 fee for the purchase of a rabies tag.)


The adoption fee includes:

  • Spay/neuter surgery
  • Rabies vaccination
  • Age appropriate vaccines
  • De-worming treatments
  • Heartworm testing (adult dogs only), FIV/Leukemia testing (cats only)
  • Microchip for permanent identification
  • Humane Society ID tag
  • Follow up communication with our Adoption Counselors to make sure your new pet is adjusting well


Why adopt from us?

Adopt, don’t shop! There are thousands of homeless animals in our community and even nationwide and worldwide. They deserve homes, and they deserve to know love, comfort and family. And you deserve to know the joy and unconditional love that comes with a rescue dog or cat.

You can depend on our staff to responsibly screen our animals for sound health and temperament. When we receive an animal, our staff works to collect a thorough history of that pet. Staff and volunteers try to learn as much as they can about each pet’s behavior, training, temperament and any special needs.

Do not be discouraged if, when you first visit the Humane Society, there are no animals of the breed or type you want. The Humane Society receives new animals every week. Before choosing your pet, you can even speak with an adoption counselor about whether your choice of a particular type or breed will be best for you.

Our support services, including adoption counseling and follow-up behavior counseling, are a major perk of adopting from us. Plus, our adoption fees are much less than the purchase price at a pet store or breeder, and it includes your pet being vaccinated, de-wormed, microchipped and spayed or neutered if it comes from us.

If you are serious about adopting a dog or cat, talk to us first. We are a great place to start. Check out our adoption-ready pets online.


*The Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County defines designer dog as:

  • A purebred dog that comes to us with papers.
  • A dog that is purposefully cross-bred to produce desirable traits.
  • A dog of a highly sought after breed that is not as commonly found in a shelter environment.

Have you considered becoming a foster family?

Foster families play a critical role in our shelter. They provide homes and lifesaving care for puppies, kittens, dogs and cats awaiting adoption that can’t stay in the shelter environment. Right now, we urgently need foster parents willing to bottle feed motherless puppies and kittens. If you’re willing to foster any animals from the Humane Society, apply today.

Apply to be a foster family.

Latest Videos

See some of the recent work we've done here at the Humane Society.