Basic Adoption Information

Thank you for considering adopting a pet from the Whatcom Humane Society. So that we may be assured that the animal you wish to adopt is best suited to you, your home and your lifestyle, and is placed in an environment that is compatible with his/her needs, we ask that you complete an application. Application forms for dogs and cats (Adobe Acrobat PDF files) may be downloaded below.

The application will help us learn more about what you are looking for in a companion animal.

For you to adopt an animal, we need you to:

  • Be sure that you are financially able to provide for the animal’s needs. This includes food, supplies, license and veterinary care.
  • Be certain you have adequate time to spend with your new pet including time for training, exercise and grooming.
  • Have your landlord’s permission to bring an animal onto his/her property.
  • Be at least 18 years of age and have verifiable identification.
  • Have the consent of all adults in your household.
  • Complete an application and discuss it with an adoption counselor.
  • Be willing to bring in your current dog to meet the dog you are interested in adopting.
  • Be willing to bring in your children to meet the animal you are interested in adopting.
  • Understand that WHS adopts animals – does not sell them. WHS reserves the right to postpone or refuse an adoption.

Additional Resources:

Everything You Should Know Before You Bring Home a Dog for the First Time

Tips for the First 30 Days of Dog Adoption

Tips for the First 30 Days of Cat Adoption

Adoption applications submitted for puppies under one year of age are put on file for review only.  Due to the large volume of interest in puppies available for adoption we do not facilitate same day introductions.  Adoption applications for puppies will be collected for a 1-2 week period before being reviewed to find the best possible match based on the individual needs of the puppies that are available. Adoption applications selected to meet with an available puppy will be contacted directly by Whatcom Humane Society adoption counselors and an introduction time will be set up. If you have not been contacted by staff after submitting an adoption application for a puppy, or if you have questions about what stage of the review process a certain puppy is in, please contact the customer service department by calling (360) 733-2080 ext 3001 or e-mailing  All puppies are required to be signed up to attend positive, reward based obedience classes before the adoption can be finalized.

Don’t forget…all animals need to be spayed or neutered PRIOR to leaving the shelter and some of the animals in the kennels you see are still in their stray holding period.  Any stray animal that the shelter receives must be held for a minimum of 3 – 5 days, not counting the day it was received BEFORE he/she can be made available for adoption.

Once your adoption application is completed and approved you will be given the time and date you will be able to pick up your new family member.

Adoption introductions/counsels typically stop one hour prior to closing each night.