How does it work?

We are so encouraged that the interest in adopting animals from HAWS remains high! Now is a great time to bring a new family member into your home. So, HAWS is now offering VIRTUAL ADOPTIONS for all available small animals, and select cats and dogs!

Instead of coming in to HAWS, please take a look at the pets below in our Pet Showcase. Read their bios, view their pictures and/or watch their videos! Once you find an animal that you believe is the right match for you, the next step is to fill out an adoption application online using the link below. (If you think we have your application on file, please, call us to confirm at 262-542-8851, x0.)

Once we have received and reviewed your application, one of our adoption counselors will contact you to answer your questions and guide you through the next steps. If we do not have a video for the animal of your interest, we will be happy to set up a time for you to interact with the animal virtually!

Once your application has been approved and you are ready to proceed with adoption, we will set up a time for you to come in to HAWS to meet the animal face to face and to finalize the adoption.

YES, now is a GREAT time to #ADOPT4PAWSFROMHAWS! We’ll ‘see’ you soon.

To start the adoption process, complete an application by visiting our shelter or by filing out the Adoption Application Form available below. An adoption counselor will review your application and work one-on-one with you to help ensure the pet you’ve chosen is right for you and that your relationship will be a successful one from the very beginning. You will also spend time interacting with available pets in one of our interview rooms.

Once the adoption is approved, you will be given thorough information about the new pet you have chosen. After an overnight waiting period, your new family member will be ready to begin a wonderful life with you! Oftentimes, we have special adoption promotions running at HAWS. Be sure to ask your Adoption Counselor for details on programs like the Buddy System, seasonal adoption “2-fers” and more.

Post-adoption follow-up and support are also part of our adoption process. Training classes and one-on-one consulting are available – just call the HAWS office to schedule. Trust HAWS as your #1 pet resource throughout the life of your pet. Revised Adoption Guidelines (Rev. June 2012) The goal of HAWS is to find permanent, responsible, loving homes for our animals. Pets are placed as companions into homes where the animals will be thought of as part of the family and housed indoors.

  • All adopters must be 18 years of age or older, should provide verifiable identification and be of sound mind and disposition at the time of adoption. Falsification or misrepresentation of the adoption application may cause an adoption to be denied.
  • All adult residents in the home should be in agreement to add a pet to their household and understand that a child cannot be solely responsible for the care of a pet. It is recommended that all family members meet the pet prior to adoption when possible. While HAWS will occasionally make telephone verifications for consent to adopt, in most cases all members of the household must meet the pet face to face. Surprise or gift adoptions are not done.
  • Certain pets may require a meeting with a trainer prior to adopting.
  • Adopters should maintain a relationship with a community veterinarian, and demonstrate a willingness and ability to meet the social, training, health and exercise requirements of their desired pet.
  • Though we wish to see all pets go to those interested, adoption may be declined if the pet’s needs do not coincide with the lifestyle of the family or individual.
  • As we wish each pet to thrive in their new home, HAWS reserves the right to decline any adoption if it is not demonstrated to be in the best interest of the pet or family.

New companion animals become available for adoption daily, so visit our Pet Showcase on this website or stop by the shelter regularly. Adoptions are based on which home is best suited to the animal.

Fill out your HAWS’ Adoption Application ONLINE and submit here.

Download a PDF of HAWS Adoption Application here and bring it along when you visit.

Adoption Fees

$185    Kittens under 6 months
$90      Cats from 6 months to 3 years old
$45      Cats 3 years and older

$325    Puppies under 6 months
$275    Dogs from 6 months to 6 years old
$87      Dogs 6 years and older

Small Animals:
$85+    Small Parrots, Conures, Quakers (Large Parrots TBD)
$55      Ferrets
$30      Rabbits, Chinchillas, other small mammals
$30      Reptiles, Amphibians
$30      Cockatiels, Lovebirds
$15      Guinea Pigs
$10      Parakeets, Doves
$10      Rats
$6        Finches
$6        Mice, Hamsters, Gerbils
$6        Turtles

DOG ADOPTERS receive a $25 discount certificate good towards either Life Skills for Puppies or Basic Manners 1 training classes with your puppy/dog adoption!
KITTEN ADOPTERS receive a $10 discount certificate good towards our Kitty College with any adoption!
Adoption fees include spay/neuter surgery, an identification microchip (dogs/cats), basic vaccinations, feline leukemia and FIV testing for adult cats, heartworm screening for dogs, and complimentary behavior consultations for the life of your pet!

Ask about our Seniors Adopting Seniors and Veterans discounts!

HAWS accepts cash, checks and credit cards as payment for adoptions.


Selecting Your Companion Animal

As you visit the animals in the shelter or view those available for adoption on our website, you may find several appealing prospects. However, not every animal is compatible with every family’s lifestyle. Please allow our experienced animal caregivers and adoption counselors to help with your selection by providing you information about the animal’s temperament, personality and behavior patterns.

Do You Have a Particular New Best Friend in Mind?
HAWS regularly has a wide variety of animals available for adoption. If you’re looking for a specific breed or species, or have specifications with regard to age, size, etc., please complete a HAWS Adoption Application in advance to expedite the process. We’ll keep your application on file while you continue to watch our website for new arrivals.

New to Pet Ownership or Need Help with your Pets?
Visit our Behavior Department and Classes page to find a class or event that’s right for you or call, 262-542-8851, extension 204, to set up an appointment with one of HAWS’ behavior consultants. We provide an array of topics on our Links and Resources page, and also have educational handouts and species-specific resources available at our shelter’s front desk.

How about Bringing Home a “Fast” Friend?
In partnership with Greyhound Pets of America – Wisconsin (GPA), HAWS invites you to join us the fourth Saturday of each month, from 1–3 pm in the HAWS lobby, when greyhound owners and rescue representatives are available for a meet n’ greet! Ask them all your questions about the “45mph Couch Potato,” learn what it’s like to have one in your home and interact with this “grey” breed. More information on Greyhound Pets of America (GPA) and the greyhound breed are available on the GPA website.

Companions for Heroes

HAWS has been selected as a Wisconsin shelter partner for Companions for Heroes,Companions For Heroes an organization dedicated to alleviating the psychological suffering of our nation’s returning wounded warriors and first responders by facilitating their adoption of shelter animals. Capitalizing on the strong bond between people and animals, last-chance pets are connected with our nation’s heroes, providing a sense of purpose and fulfillment while minimizing stress, depression and feelings of loneliness and isolation through unconditional love and friendship.

“My shelter dog is the sole reason I am here today,” notes C4H founder David Sharpe, a U.S. Air Force veteran who was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression eight years after serving. “My dog has allowed me to grow close relationships with my family and friends. I believe other veterans can benefit from the same type of companionship.”

Those interested in adoption through the program should contact C4H Adoption representative David Jurado at [email protected], or log on to for a qualifying application. They are then sent to HAWS to continue the adoption process with HAWS’ staff member Jessica.

Donate to HAWS Today!

General donations help us provide shelter and care 24/7/365 for lost, abandoned, unwanted or stray companion pets.
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