Same day pet adoption?

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Topic: Same day pet adoption?

General Discussion January 4, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Same day pet adoption?

What is the norm when it comes to pet adoptions – do any area agencies permit same-day adoptions, or do most have extensive application and home visit processes that may last a while?   This is my first experience with pet adoption, and one agency’s lengthy adoption process and disorganization already left a bad taste in my mouth.  I figure a same-day process leaves less opportunity for mix-ups, but I’m not sure how common that is.

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When I went to the Washington Humane Society on New York Ave, I was able to adopt a cat then and there.  But make sure to read their steps for adoption first ( – I brought along a copy of my lease (along with an addendum from the landlord verifying that I had permission to have a cat) and a completed adoption form.  They didn’t actually sit me down for an interview or anything, just chatted informally with me briefly.
You can also prepare by looking online at the cats and dogs they currently have at the shelter – but I’m not sure how frequently they update the database, and it’s really not the same as in-person interaction.
Best of luck finding a new friend!


I had a similar experience as Claire, but with Lost Dog Rescue.  They have a web site and also do a lot of adoption events around the region.  I came prepared with the required documents, had a quick interview, and walked out with my dog that day.  One good thing about them is that many of the pets are fostered in homes so the fosters can give you a lot of first hand information about the dog. 
Best thing I ever did, she’s the joy of my life.  Good luck!

Most of the “rescues” as opposed to shelters require that you have a home visit, an application, and usually an interview. The reason they aren’t really “same day” adoptions is because they go through a process to make sure the home is a right fit for the animal, and the animal is the right fit for the home to avoid any of the adopted dogs/cats from being returned/surrendered. I think its worth going through a reputable rescue if you don’t go through the humane society because you know the pets have had their proper vaccinations and medically are cleared. Lucky Dog Animal Rescue and Homeward Trails have many pets on their website and I’ve had great experiences with both. You could probably check craigslist for people trying to surrender their pets, but for many reasons I wouldn’t recommend that. 

Good question! Thanks for the answers!

I can also vouch for Lost Dog rescue.  We adopted our most recent furry friend from them and it was a pretty easy and quick process – although intimidating to see how many people came to the adoption event for the puppies.  It can be a little competitive!  We came with our paperwork complete, which helped speed things along, and we left with our new pup within an hour!

I too can vouch for Lost Dog rescue.  We adopted our dog Lola from them and it was quick and easy.  We showed up to the adoption event prepared with all our paperwork and required documents.  But, it can definitely be competitive.  We saw Lola’s picutre on their website and knew we wanted her but were surprised by how many others showed up interested in her.  Luckily, things worked out for us and we took Lola home that day.  I also second Megan’s comment regarding their use of fosters.  Lola’s foster was able to tell us all kinds of things to help make Lola’s transition a smooth and easy one.

I adopted two cats, one from the Maryland SPCA and one from the Washington Animal Rescue League.  Ater spending time getting to know the boys, it took a little more than an hour for me to complete the paperwork and interview with an adoption counselor.  At the SPCA, I took Hank home with me right after the interview.  WARL held onto Niles for a couple of days since I was traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.  In both cases, the process went smoothly.


I adopted a cat from Madison Greene Shelter, who holds adoption fairs at the PetSmart at Potomac Yards on the weekends. All I had to do was fill out a form, pay the fee, and then take the little guy home. I also adopted a cat from Homeward Trails, but they required a home visit and the woman who was fostering the cat at the time (who did the home visit) was not only quite attached to the cat, but very off-putting in trying to talk me out of taking the cat (I assume so she could keep her). No dice- I passed the test and she dropped the cat off a week later. Quite a hassle, but the cat was worth it.

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