The CHS endeavours to ensure that all animals, having met the criteria of the Calgary Humane Society Adoptability Guidelines, are placed in loving, caring, stable and lifelong homes suited to the animal. It is of the utmost concern to the CHS that the physical, emotional and behavioral needs of the animal are met in their new homes. Since the animals do not have the ability to choose their owners, we must act in their best interests. The CHS or its representatives assist adopters with the selection of a companion animal suitable to their lifestyles. All potential adopters must complete a formal matching process (“Lifestyle Survey”), which also gives the CHS an opportunity to educate potential adopters on responsible pet ownership. All adopters must sign the Animal Adoption Contract and abide by the conditions therein. The Calgary Humane Society reserves the right to refuse an adoption.
Procedures and General Adoption Criteria:
- In accordance with the Animal Adoption Contract, all healthy male and female dogs, cats or rabbits will be sterilized before leaving the Calgary Humane Society. Our mandate respecting sterilization is in place to help improve the general health and well-being of the animal, and to make a positive impact on the community’s pet overpopulation problem. If a potential adopter has an unaltered animal at home, the reason the animal is unaltered is an important factor that must be considered before that person would be permitted to adopt an animal from the CHS.
- All dogs, cats and rabbits adopted, and spayed or neutered through the CHS, must be tattooed at the time of surgery. Dogs and cats will also be microchipped providing an additional form of identification.
- The CHS does not permit animals to be adopted as gifts. Instead, we encourage people to purchase gift certificates so that the potential adopter can choose their own animal.
- Potential adopters must be at least 18 years of age.
- We will not adopt an animal to anyone exhibiting signs of intoxication (alcohol or other substance) at the time of the adoption.
- Potential adopters must not have a documented history of neglect or abuse of animals. As well, potential adopters must not exhibit intolerance of or aggressiveness toward the animal or express unreasonable expectations of the animal being considered for adoption.
- Potential adopters must provide proof of current address. No animal will be adopted to a residence where pets are not permitted. At the time of adoption, potential adopters who rent may be required to provide proof from the landlord that pets are permitted in the residence (Confirmation may be requested in the following forms: copy of lease agreement, written permission from the landlord, or confirmation by telephone or facsimile).
- People who have returned an adopted animal to the CHS may not be permitted to adopt another animal from the CHS.
- The CHS believes that cats, for their general health and safety, should be kept indoors and should not be permitted outdoors except when they can be safely supervised. (See Number 20 re: Municipal By-Law Compliance).
- In accordance with the Animal Adoption Contract, cats will not be subjected to unnecessary cosmetic surgery including, but not limited to, de-clawing, without the express written approval of the Calgary Humane Society. The CHS does not condone de-clawing as this surgery involves the amputation of part of each toe and is not necessary in most cases. The CHS does not condone tendonectomy surgery, the surgical cutting of tendons. Potential adopters interested in a de-clawed cat should, if possible, select a cat that is already de-clawed. Our staff should be consulted so that additional information can be provided on clawing behaviour modification. Every attempt should be made to modify clawing behaviour in cats before a request is made of the CHS to provide written approval for de-clawing to be completed.
- In accordance with the Animal Adoption Contract, dogs will not be subjected to unnecessary cosmetic surgery including, but not limited to, ear cropping, tail docking or de-barking, without the express written approval of the Calgary Humane Society. As well, every attempt should be made to modify barking behaviour before a request is made of the CHS to provide written approval for de-barking to be completed. Our staff should be consulted so that additional information can be provided on barking behaviour modification.
- The CHS believes that a dog’s breed, coat, body type and general temperament must be considered when selecting both indoor and outdoor areas where the animal will be housed. (See Number 20 re: Municipal By-Law Compliance).
- The CHS believes that rabbits should not be adopted to homes where the rabbit will be kept solely outdoors. Adopters are required to provide suitable housing, care and companionship and ensure that the rabbit, if kept primarily outdoors, is brought indoors during extreme weather conditions. Our staff can provide information on indoor and outdoor housing options.
- If mandatory classes have been recommended by CHS Behaviour Staff as essential for a dog's successful integration into the adopted family, payment for such classes must be made at the time of adoption. Adoption Counsellors will notify adopters if classes are recommended or required for dogs.
- Many exotic species (generally defined as animals other than cats and dogs) require highly specialized care and housing. Potential adopters must demonstrate that they possess sufficient knowledge to provide appropriate care for the species under consideration.
- Responsible pet ownership includes proper adult supervision of children when with animals. The CHS may discourage or refuse the adoption of certain animals, breeds of animals, or animals of certain temperaments to families with young children.
- All adult household members, related or unrelated, must be informed and must consent to the adoption of a companion animal from the CHS. Members of the household will, with regard to dog adoptions, be required to come to the CHS to meet the prospective new companion animal. In the case of dog adoptions, where the potential adopter has a current dog in the household, the current dog will also be required to come to the CHS to meet the prospective new dog.
- For the safety of CHS animals, proof of vaccination history of other animals owned by the potential adopter may be required before the person may adopt another companion animal or have that animal visit here at the CHS.
- The CHS does not provide refunds for adopted animals that are returned to the CHS.
- The City of Calgary has a number of By-Laws pertaining to the control of dogs and cats. Other municipalities may have similar By-Laws. Potential adopters must be familiar with local By-Laws and other legal responsibilities and must be prepared to abide by these regulations.
- Final approval of an adoption is at the sole discretion of the Calgary Humane Society representatives. Questions or comments regarding this Policy, or any of the Policies of the Calgary Humane Society, may be directed in writing to the CHS Executive Director.