Adoption Process

Thank you for considering adoption to add a companion animal to your family!  Our goal is to match you with a companion that is a good fit for your family and lifestyle so it's a win-win for everyone.  As the current pandemic situation unfolds, we are making gradual changes to accommodate more adopters while still maintaining safety protocols here at OAHS. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we navigate this uncharted path together.  

Click to view available animals: 



Small Mammals

The health and safety of our staff and guests is our top priority.   We are currently limiting the number of people allowed in the building at one time so our front doors are locked. Please ring the doorbell and a staff person can assist you. There is a separate process for cat/small mammal adoptions and dog adoptions due to the fact that cats are housed in multiple areas throughout the building and dogs are in a smaller, designated kennel area. 

For those with animals at home: If you have animals of the same species in your home as the one you are applying for, please call your veterinarian to release the veterinary records to OAHS.  Doing so will make the process much faster and more efficient. 

Dog Adoptions (By Appointment Only):

        1. Available dogs can be viewed on our website HERE. If you find a dog you are interested in adopting, the first step is to fill out and submit a DOG ADOPTION APPLICATION* (Applications can also be picked up at the shelter). *Do not worry if you are unsure of the particular dog you list on the application. Our adoption counselors will call to discuss and possibly suggest other dogs. 
        2. Once your application is received and processed (typically within 1-2 business days) a dog adoption counselor will contact you to schedule a time to visit.  
        3. If you have a scheduled appointment please ring the doorbell and a staff member can assist you (our front doors remain locked to control traffic).  We are requesting all prospective adopters to respect 6-foot-social distancing and wear a protective face mask.  If you do not have a mask, OAHS can provide a sterile mask during your visit.

Cat & Small Mammal Adoptions  * As of 10/8/2020 we are CLOSED TO ADOPTERS ON WEDNESDAYS for Cats & Small Mammals

        1. Prospective adopters may stop in anytime between 1 pm and 6 pm Tuesday, Thursday and Friday or 11 am to 3 pm Saturday to view cats or small mammals. Please ring the doorbell when you arrive as the front doors are locked to regulate traffic. 
        2. We will allow a maximum number of 2 adults from the adopting household, along with any children, in our building.  
        3. Prospective adopters will fill out an application once they have talked with an adoption counselor and have visited with the pet they wish to apply for. 
        4. Once the application is processed (typically in 1-2 business days) you will be contacted. If approved, a zoom adoption session will be scheduled and a time to pick up your pet.
        5. No more than 10 prospective cat or small mammals adopters will be allowed in the building at one time. Visitors may have to wait in their car until space is available.
        6. Our front doors will remain locked and prospective adopters will be let in by staff only.  We are requesting all prospective adopters to respect 6-foot-social distancing and wear a protective face mask.  If you do not have a mask, OAHS can provide a sterile mask during your visit.

Because adding a pet to your family is a big responsibility, we ask all adopters be willing to do the following:

        • Talk to an adoptions counselor about your lifestyle and what characteristics you're looking for in a companion.
        • Spend quality time visiting with the pet you are thinking about adopting. 
        • Complete a simple one-page adoption survey.  It can take 1-2 business days to process.  Adoption counselors will contact you if there are any problems or questions. 
        • For dog and rabbit adopters: Participate in a scheduled meet and greet if you have animals in your home and apply for an animal of the same species. A meet-and-greet can help with a comfortable transition for all animals. It is important to schedule the meet and greet ahead of time - please do not bring in your animal without an appointment as we have to be sure we have staff available to oversee the meeting.
        • Meet with an adoption specialist the day you bring your new companion home to review paperwork and sign adoption papers. 

Note: Adoptions are not first-come-first-serve but rather based on matchmaking. Same-day adoptions are typically not possible but if you are located such a distance outside of Oshkosh that makes more than one visit difficult please call 920.424.2128 for options.  OAHS expects animals adopted will live inside the home with their families (exceptions are made for cats in our barn program). 

* We encourage having existing animals in the household of the same species spayed or neutered prior to bringing the new animal home due to hormone-induced behavior issues that may occur. Need to get your animal "fixed?" Ask about our low-cost spay/neuter options  or click here for more information.

Licensing and Vaccination Requirements in the City of Oshkosh:  Pet owners have the responsibility to provide pets a healthy, safe life. The City of Oshkosh has stipulated laws that govern the safety of pets and the safety of its citizens pertaining to potential animal concerns. For more information regarding the laws, licensing, rabies vaccination requirements and fees required by the City of Oshkosh visit their website HERE