Adoption Information

Find out how to adopt a pet quick & easy
  • Adoption Process


    You are welcome to visit the shelter and view the pets available for adoption anytime during regular adoption hours (Saturday 11-2pm & Sunday 1-3pm) or by appointment during the week. It is encouraged to complete our online adoption application before visiting if traveling a distance. PAWS does not approve applications done at the shelter on the same day because references need to be called. You may also view our online animal database at your convenience.  When visiting the shelter please be patient as sometimes there are many visitors.  Feel free to view the available animals and learn about them individually.  On the door of each animal’s enclosure is a card bearing the pet’s breed, approximate age, sex, neuter status, personality and any special medical needs.


    Once you have found an animal that you are interested in adopting, a PAWS volunteer will let you interact with it typically one-on-one. It is important that everyone in the household interact with the animal before the adoption is finalized. If adopting a dog and you have other dogs at home, we sometimes will have them meet before finalizing an adoption.


    If you are adopting a cat, you should bring a carrier to transport it home. It is suggested that dog adopters bring a crate or an adult who can restrain the dog in the car on the way home. You should also bring a suitable collar and leash. 


    PAWS sometimes allows home visits for up to 14 days, if an application is approved, to ensure the new pet is a good match in your home before finalizing an adoption. While we want to find homes for the animals, we do not want you to feel any pressure to adopt.  If you decide that you are not prepared to meet the needs of the animal you intended to adopt, you are doing the best thing  you can do by canceling the adoption before you take the animal home.
    Sometimes it can take several weeks for animals to get accustomed to their new owners and other pets. Our return policy states you may notify PAWS within 14 days for a full refund. Adoption fees will not be refunded past that time frame.

  • Adoption Requirements


    You must be at least 19 years of age. You will be asked to complete an adoption application.  Please do not try to adopt in a hurry.  We reserve the right to refuse any adoption. If there are multiple applications on the same animal, PAWS does not give preference to the first applicant. The applicant with the best matched home for the individual animal is our priority.


    • First and foremost, we are looking for permanent, responsible homes for these animals. Thousands of animals die each year because irresponsible owners neglect them, let them breed or just decide they no longer want their animals. Please consider the time and money required to own a pet. It’s a lifetime commitment and nothing less can be acceptable.
    • All animals leaving the shelter must be spayed or neutered in accordance with Iowa State Law. Adopters must sign a legally binding contract stating that spaying or neutering will be done within the timeframe decided by the PAWS Humane Society.  Failure to have the pet spayed or neutered can result in confiscation of the pet and possible prosecution. PAWS will cover the cost of the spay/neuter if adopting a young kitten or puppy, only if the surgery is scheduled at our partnering veterinarian clinic. 
    • If you rent or lease your house or apartment, we require written or verbal approval from your landlord before you adopt a pet. We will not adopt an animal to a person or family who is either in the process of moving or is planning to move in the near future.
    • Animals are placed as pets or companions only. We expect dogs to be allowed inside the house to be part of the family. Large dogs may be left for part of the day in a suitable fenced yard or secure kennel but not chained or tethered for long periods of time. Occasionally we place certain cats on approved farms/acreages if the cats is not well suited as a house cat. We require adequate shelter and daily food/water be provided. PAWS strongly discourages cat adopters from declawing. We encourage adopters to read and research the negative consequences of declawing and to consider more humane alternatives. 
    • No animal will be adopted that will be kept strictly outside without adequate housing.
    • We do not adopt animals as gifts or presents.
    • If you are interest in a large dog (over 40 pounds), we suggest a fenced-in yard where the animal cannot get off your property. It is the law in the State of Iowa that your dog must be confined on a leash at all times.
    • We do not suggest young puppies or kittens for a family with very young children or in a situation where all family members are gone for long periods each day.
    • If you are no longer able care for your pet, we ask that you contact PAWS. We can not guarantee we will have space for the animal to be returned. We encourage people to find solutions to be able to keep the pet or find a family/friend to care for the animal. PAWS is allowed to follow up on all adoptions. If there are concerns, a home visit will be done to check on the well-being of the animal.
    • We reserve the right to refuse any adoption. 
  • Adoption Fees

    Cats: $50.00 – $95.00
    Dogs: $100.00 – $150.00

    Included in our fees are two distemper, worming, and rabies shots as well as spay or neuter, microchip, and flea/tick prevention. All cats are triple tested and dogs administered the canine bordetella vaccine. If an animal has not had any of the above performed, and the adopting family wants to take them to their own vet, the fee is negotiated on a case by case basis.

    If you are interested in sponsoring an animal, please contact us.

  • Fostering a pet


    Many dogs and cats that come through the shelter can greatly benefit from being in a foster home while they wait for their forever family.  Please download and print our foster application below or stop at the shelter to complete a paper application in person OR email to or mail to:

    PAWS Humane Society
    P.O. Box 651
    Charles City, IA 50616

    Animals that are in need of fostering include:

    • Kittens that need to be bottle fed

    • Cats with FELV/FIV viruses (only cat household)

    • Cats or Dogs with anxiety being in the cage

    • Cats or Dogs on special medication

    • Senior Cats or Dogs

    • Shy cats or dogs that need socialized and more people contact to be more confident

    • Pregnant/nursing cats or dogs with kittens/puppies

    • Cats or dogs with special needs

  • Paperwork / Application


    You may complete an online adoption application, download and print off an application and then email, mail or deliver in person or complete a paper application at the shelter.

    After you have completed the adoption application, a volunteer will review it with you.  During this time the volunteer will talk with you about the care that individual pet requires.  The volunteer may ask you additional questions about your home and lifestyle in order to help him or her determine whether or not to approve the adoption.

    After the PAWS volunteer has reviewed the application, called the references and talked to you, the decision will be made if you are a well matched home for the animal. Sometimes alternate animals are suggested that may be a better match for your family/home environment. PAWS does not have to specify reasons if an application is not approved. Sometimes applications are “pending” if certain conditions need to be met (such as animals in the home need to be updated on vaccinations).


    If you think you’re ready for your new furry friend, please download and print the adoption or foster application below or scroll down to complete and submit or online adoption application that will be sent directly to PAWS for review:

    Download the ADOPTION Application

    Download the FOSTER Application

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