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How To Adopt A Pet from the ASPCA Adoption Center

How many references do adopters need?

Right now we require two references from each adopter. However, we will soon be using the ASPCA’s Meet Your Match™ program, which scientifically evaluates an animal’s behavior and matches him or her to an adopter’s personality and lifestyle preferences. Once we’ve fully transferred over to this program, we’ll guide you in finding your pet and will no longer require references.

Once I’ve decided on which pet to adopt, when can I take him home?

If your dog or cat is ready for adoption, you can take him home the same day your application is approved.

Can I put a pet on hold?

We do offer a hold service for pets, but only for unavailable dogs. If you meet a pet in the shelter who still needs to be neutered, for example, you may put down a $75 nonrefundable deposit. (The deposit will be refunded only in those cases where the adoption is not a suitable match.)

How long does it take to adopt a pet?

Adopting a pet can take as little as a few hours, provided you bring the materials required to complete an application. The ASPCA provides same-day adoptions for both cats and dogs.

What is the adoption process at the ASPCA?

When you arrive at the shelter, the Adoptions staff will ask you to complete a short Canine-ality™ or Feline-ality™ Assessment to identify what sort of dog or cat will best suit your lifestyle. For example, after work, do you love to go for long jogs or do you prefer to plop down in front of the tube? Depending on your response, we could match you with a dog who’s been identified as a “Go-Getter” or a “Couch Potato.”

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