How to Adopt
Are you ready to adopt your new best friend?
PLEASE READ: Due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, we will not be holding walk-in adoption hours until further notice. To adopt a cat or dog, please fill out an application online and one of our adoption coordinators will be in touch to schedule an individual appointment for you to visit the shelter and meet the animals.
At Heartland Animal Shelter, we strive to find great matches between people and pets. Adoption applications are considered with the best interests of the animal in mind and should not be construed as any type of reflection upon the applicant. Heartland Animal Shelter reserves the right to refuse an adoption at any time. Thank you for considering adoption of a companion animal!
Requirements to Adopt:
- 21 years of age or older with a valid government issued ID
- Renters will be required to provide a current lease agreement stating that the species and/or breed of animal you are interested in adopting is permitted. In lieu of a lease, the landlord’s name and phone number may be given to shelter staff.
- Condo owners may be required to provide the condo association’s contact information.
- If you currently or have previously owned a pet, you must provide veterinary records showing that your pet is current on vaccinations and/or the name and telephone number of your current or previous veterinarian as a reference.
- All members of the household must visit with an animal before it can be adopted. This may be done during different visits to the shelter, but all members must come to meet a particular animal before it can go home. If you are adopting a dog and have one or more at home, we must do at least one “meet and greet” at the shelter. Your current dog(s) must be up to date on vaccinations; there is always a risk when exposed to a shelter environment.
- All animals are spayed/neutered, dewormed, current on vaccinations for their age and microchipped prior to adoption. If an animal has not been spayed/neutered or received its vaccinations at the time of adoption, the shelter may hold the animal until these services are performed. The decision of whether or not to send an animal home is at the discretion of Heartland Animal Shelter. Decisions will be made based on the animal’s best interest.
- Adopters must live in Illinois or a neighboring state, not to exceed 100 miles from Heartland Animal Shelter.
- Please note: Kittens under five months of age must be adopted in pairs.
Steps to Adopt:
Please visit the shelter to meet all the wonderful adoptable pets. You may also see a pet online, but make time to come visit the pet in person before so you get a better feel for the pet’s personality. Once your heart is set on a furry friend you can start the adoption application process online for the dog or cat.
- On the application, if you do not have a veterinarian as a reference, please bring or list the phone numbers of two personal references. These references should not be relatives.
- Completely fill out a dog or cat adoption application online or feel free to complete in person with the assistance of an Adoption Counselor at our facility.
- Due to the follow-up and review we do on adoption applications, do not do same-day adoptions. Adoption approval may take up to 72 hours.
- Once approved for adoption, we will arrange a date and time with you to finalize the adoption and pick up your newly adopted companion animal.
- Please note we reserve the right to deny adoption.
On the Day of Adoption:
- Please allow a minimum of 45 minutes to finalize the adoption process in order to review all necessary paperwork and instructions for your newest family member.
- Payment is made at the time you come to pick up your pet. Please note that we can only accept cash or credit cards.
- Please bring your driver’s license or government issued ID
- When picking up your pet it may take up to one hour. Please do not bring family members on the day of pick up. One person is all that is needed when picking up the pet.
- If you are adopting a dog, please bring a carrier and/or leash, buckle collar, and harness (we recommend the Freedom No-Pull Harness) with you to pick up your pet.
- If you are adopting a cat, you will be required to bring a carrier.
- Animals are not deemed adopted until all paperwork has been processed, fees paid, the animal is released and the spay/neuter is complete.
Note: fees are subject to change per shelter management
- Puppies (8 weeks) to 6 months: $400
- 6 months to 8 years: $250-300
- 8 years and up: $150
- Kittens up to 6 months: $125
- Pair of kittens: $200
- 6 months to 8 years: $100
- 8 years and up: $75
Adoption fees cover: Vaccinations for the pet’s age, deworming, heartworm test (dogs over 6 months), FeLV test (cats), FIV test (cats and kittens six months and older) microchip, spay/neuter and includes a free veterinary exam at one of our veterinary partners within two weeks after adoption. All animals are spayed or neutered before adoption.
Please know that when you adopt an animal from the Heartland Animal Shelter, you are not “buying” that animal rather you are paying for all of the time, effort, medical care, and behavioral evaluation that is given to that animal so that he/she can become a healthy, happy family member. Puppies and kittens especially require lots of attention from early socializing to foster family care to frequent vaccinations. There’s no such thing as a “free pet.” Medical procedures performed by the animal shelter would cost well over $300 at an animal hospital.
Heartland Animal Shelter is a no-kill shelter and a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. We depend on your donations in order to rescue more pets from ill fate as well care for our current pets.
Adoption fees are based on the cost to administer shots, vaccinations, medications, microchips and spay and neuter rescued pets. We can only help our current pets and future pets when additional donations are made. As a private shelter, Heartland operates with income provided by adoption fees and donations from the public. We receive no government funding.