The Adoption Process

The Vanderburgh Humane Society strives to find the best homes possible for the animals that are in our care. The VHS does not “sell” pets. They are placed for adoption, and as with any adoption, you become responsible for this pet for the remainder of its life. Pet ownership can be extremely rewarding, but keep in mind that it is a serious responsibility and a commitment that should not be taken lightly. We hope that your adopted animal brings as much joy to you as you will undoubtedly bring to it!

Adoption and Viewing Hours

12:00-6:00 pm CST

*Appointments are no longer required to adopt, but face masks are required.* Please wash & sanitize your hands often while you are in the building (public restrooms and hand sanitizer are available) and maintain 6 feet of distance between other families.

We ask all adopters to fill out a short application. This helps our trained Adoption Counselors ensure that each animal adopted is matched with the most compatible owner. Different animals are better suited for different lifestyles and owner abilities, and our profile helps determine which animals would be the best match for you and your family. We pride ourselves on having an easy and fast adoption process -- adopting a pet should not be complicated!

Save time by filling out a generic adoption application in advance here:
Generic Dog Application  Generic Cat ApplicationGeneric Rabbit Application
Browse available animals here:

Adoptable DogsAdoptable CatsAdoptable RabbitsOther Adoptable Animals

View our adoption fees here:
Adoption Fees & What They Include
Also, view our Cageless Cat Lounge on the Petcube app 24/7 from the comfort of your own home! Find our Petcube Play's live feed by downloading the app, creating a free account, searching "VHScatlounge" and then be sure to follow us. You can even play with the cats using the Petcube Play's built-in laser pointer by turning your phone to landscape!

Not into "technology?" Download a printable PDF of our adoption application below and bring it with you! Applications will be processed in the order received.

Adoption Application


Animal photography donated by VHS volunteers & staff including:

Chelsea Casanova - Stellar Media
Madison Hargett
Wendy Trammel
VHS foster parents

  • How long does the adoption process take?

    It varies. The VHS wants to get your pet home as soon as possible. The time it takes to process an adoption may differ slightly based on the individual animal’s needs. Sometimes animals can leave the same day, or other times they may need to have a medical procedure done within a few days before leaving.

    Keep in mind that the VHS spays or neuters all of our dogs, cats, rabbits, and pigs prior to them going home with their new families. If you select a pet that is not altered yet, it must stay overnight for 1-2 business days to have surgery before going home. This is included in your adoption fee.

    If your new pet is already spayed or neutered, they can potentially go home with you the same day with approved application and payment! Some common holdups during the application process include:

    - verifying pet policies with landlords
    - receiving vet records for your current animals.

    If you can bring copies of your lease/pet policy, and current pets' vet records, it will save time!

  • What do I need to bring with me to adopt?

    The only paperwork required for all adoptions is a valid photo ID and a completed VHS adoption application (see below.) A copy of a lease or pet policy for renters may be requested, along with vet records for any current animals in the home to ensure they are up-to-date on vaccinations and receive regular vet care.

    It is always important to the VHS to ensure that our animals find permanent homes. We encourage adopters to spend as much time as possible with the animal and to consider all that is involved with caring for a dependent pet before making the decision to bring one into your home. Adopters are welcome, and encouraged, to bring in children and other pets to determine compatibility. Our Adoption Counselors are trained to help you find the best match for your family and lifestyle.

    Lastly, be sure to bring an open mind and an open heart! You may fall in love with an animal you least expected once you arrive!

  • Can I adopt from out-of-state?

    Absolutely! Anyone who can come to our facility can adopt, regardless of residency. 

    A few things to keep in mind if you live outside the area:

    Potential adopters must physically visit with their new family member and get to know each other before finalizing the adoption, and a signed contract is required (in person.) Adoptions may not yet be finalized over the phone or online.

    If your new dog, cat, or rabbit is not fixed, they must stay behind to have surgery and be picked up at a later date. This may mean you’ll have to make a couple of trips. We try to get animals fixed ahead of time, but when the Clinic has a heavy public surgery schedule this isn't always possible. The VHS will not send home unaltered animals.

    If for any reason you ever can’t keep your adopted animal, they must be returned to our shelter per the legal adoption contract you will sign at the time of adoption. They cannot be "rehomed" or turned into another agency. They would need to be transported back to our building.