When you adopt a shelter pet, you save two lives—the pet you adopt and the pet who takes the space your new pet just vacated. HSSC has been a no-kill facility since 2009, which means that no animal is ever euthanized to make space for another. Every animal in our facility is getting a second chance for a happy life.
Falling in love with a pet is easy. Adopting a pet, however, is a big decision. Dogs and cats require a lot of time, money, and commitment. HSSC encourages you to think through your decision before you adopt a companion animal. When you visit HSSC to adopt, our experienced Adoption Counselors and Matchmakers will help you find the pet that’s likely to be a good fit for your lifestyle and living arrangements.
All potential adopters are required to fill out an Adoption Questionnaire. To save time, you may download and fill out the Adoption Questionnaire (PDF) in advance. Please read the Adoption FAQ below for other helpful information.
Special thanks to our Foundation Partner, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County for their lifesaving support.
**COVID-19: HSSC is open to the public for normal adoption hours. As of June 1, appointments are required to view or adopt a cat or dog. Please call 941.955.4131 to make an appointment. Face masks are required, per Sarasota City Ordinance.**
The adoption fees we collect help us provide food, shelter, important medical care, and treatment for the animals.
|Adoption Fees for Dogs|
|Puppies (up to 6 months)||$150|
|Adult Dogs (6 months to 7 years)||$85|
|Senior Dogs (7 years and older)||$55|
|Heartworm Treated Adult Dogs||$135|
|Heartworm Treated Senior Dogs||$105|
|Adoption Fees for Cats|
|Kittens (up to 6 months)||$85|
|Adult Cats (6 months to 7 years)||$65|
|Senior Cats (7 years and older)||$25|
HSSC accepts cash and credit card.
Plan to spend at least an hour at HSSC to complete the adoption process.
Our website has real-time listings of available dogs and cats. If an animal is not on the website, it has either been adopted or has been made temporarily unavailable. If you like to see which animals have been adopted, we post adoption photos on our Facebook page also.
Once you’ve met the pet you wish to adopt, we are happy to place a 24-hour hold on this pet if you are unable to adopt that day. The hold fee is $10 for adult pets. Holds cannot be placed on pets under 6 months. The hold fee is not refundable and does not go towards the adoption fee. If the adoption is not completed, the hold fee will be considered a donation to HSSC.
Generally, HSSC does not allow potential adopters to take an animal home on a trial basis. Only HSSC volunteers are permitted to take animals out of the shelter for fostering, staycations, and excursions.
However, some long-term residents have been approved for a Slumber Party, which is a form of “fostering with intent.”
How an animal acts in the shelter may be different from how the animal acts in a home. That cowering dog or frightened cat may turn out to be the most affectionate or playful animal you’ve ever owned. The shelter can be very scary and stressful for animals, and lots of great animals get overlooked simply because they don’t show well in the kennels. They need a change of scenery, so they can show their true, wonderful selves, and that’s why HSSC is excited to offer the option to have a “slumber party” with our long-term residents.
Your slumber party is an extended trial period where one of our long-term animals stays at your home for 3-30 days—the length is up to you. HSSC will provide all the animal’s food, medications, and necessities. You provide a safe home and lots of TLC. You are not adopting the animal at this point, so there’s no obligation on your part. During the sleepover, you may contact HSSC at any time with questions or concerns, or just to let us know how it’s going.
Should you fall in love with your guest pet, you simply return to HSSC, complete the adoption, and live happily ever after. Should you decide that the animal is not right for you, you just bring him or her back to HSSC. Because you did not officially adopt, there’s no surrender fee. And you can rest easy knowing that your feedback about the animal’s in-home behavior will be very helpful to us as we continue to look for the best home for that animal.
Eligible animals will have a “Slumber Party” card on their kennels. Ask your Adoption Counselor or Matchmaker for details.
HSSC does not maintain a waiting list because we have no way to guarantee what animals will be available or when. We encourage those looking to adopt to regularly visit our available dogs and cats pages. Keep an open mind, too. We regularly see adopters fall in love with animals they never considered until they visited the shelter. Our Adoption Counselors and Matchmakers are excellent at helping your find the dog or cat who is right for you.
Due to COVID-19 and ongoing construction, visitors cannot just browse our available animals. Appointments are required to view or adopt a cat or dog. Please call 941.955.4131 to make an appointment.
Anyone viewing animals will be required to fill out the Adoption Questionnaire PDF before doing so. If you do not end up adopting that day, you can keep your completed questionnaire to save time on your next visit.
There is always an adjustment period with a new pet, especially if you have other pets in the home. HSSC can help you manage the adjustment. Several handouts are available in the Adoption Center and in our Pet Health & Safety section.
If you have any questions, issues, or concerns about your pet once you get home, please contact us. Your Adoption Counselor can ease the transition and can refer you to our K-9 Behavior Coordinators or Feline Specialist.
Make sure to schedule any follow-up appointments, including your complimentary first exam at the Animal Clinic of the Humane Society of Sarasota County. Your exam expires 30 days from adoption, and there may be a 1-2 week wait, so we recommend you make your appointment soon after adoption. Call 941.364.3605 to schedule your appointment.
If an adopted animal turns out to not be a good fit, the animal may be returned to HSSC within 30 days of adoption, space permitting. There is no fee to return, but the original adoption fee will not be refunded.
After 30 days, animals must go through the surrender process at HSSC. Acceptance is not guaranteed. Learn more about Pet Surrender.
All returns and surrenders are by appointment only.
Read the Adoption Returns Policy (PDF).