At the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA (HBSPCA), pet adoption is a collaborative effort between the staff, animals, and prospective adopter to find the best possible fit for all involved. The process may look different for each person depending on their situation, but the ultimate goal remains the same.

“It’s a mutual journey,” says Heather Ashcroft, HBSPCA adoption coordinator. “We’re coming together to find the best possible fit.”

“A lot of times, especially if someone has never owned a pet before, it’s my job to describe the animals’ personalities and specific needs to ensure an ideal match,” Ashcroft added.

So how can you adopt an animal in Hamilton?

Step 1: Browse. Decide. Email.

All available pets can be found online. You can browse dogs, cats, small animals, and cats that have been specially designated for the Barn Buddies program.

Each animal has a personality profile to help you get to know them better. 

If you see a pet you’re interested in, you can email Heather Ashcroft at hashcroft@hbspca.com. Include the name of the animal in the subject line.

Step 2: Apply

You will receive an application with questions about your or your family’s lifestyle and expectations. This helps the HBSPCA staff determine if you are a good match and which aspects of care or behaviour may require more discussion.

How to adopt a pet in Hamilton

Step 3: Phone Consultation

You will be contacted by an HBSPCA staff member to discuss any known medical and pet behaviour history. 

“This conversation is a good opportunity for you to learn more about the requirements of pet parenting and ensure that both you and the potential new family member will be happy together,” says Ashcroft.

How to adopt a pet in Hamilton

Step 4: Finalize

If the HBSPCA believes you and the animal are a match, the adoption will be completed.

You will receive the pet’s medical and microchip information and a copy of the adoption contract via email. The shelter’s copy of the adoption contract will be available for the adopter to sign at the time of pick up.

When you adopt from the HBSPCA, you benefit from the guidance of experienced adoption staff. 

Your new pet will also come with up-to-date veterinary care and a microchip. 

The HBSPCA also provides a lifetime of post-adoption support.