Adoption Procedure

Thank you for your interest in adopting from the Lakeland Animal Shelter. We have many wonderful animals that are looking for new homes. Happy endings happen all the time here at the Lakeland Animal Shelter and we would love for you and your family to be part of it. Before you begin the process of adopting a new animal companion, take some time to think about the commitment you are making and ask yourself if this is the right time for you to adopt. Any animal - dog, cat, rabbit, rat or parakeet - requires your time and attention. They all need some level of training, handling, and socialization. Make sure you know the needs of a particular type of animal and decide if you will be able to care for the animal for its entire life. Remember, the average lifespan for many animals can be 12-14 years or more.

Adopting an Animal from the Lakeland Animal Shelter

Please visit us during our normal center hours (weekdays noon-6pm, Saturday 11am to 4pm). You will have the opportunity to walk through our adoption rooms to view animals available for adoption. We recommend bringing all family members who reside in the home where the new companion animal may be adopted. This will help ensure that all family members agree and are comfortable with the animal.

Everything we know about the animals in our care will be written down on cards hanging on their kennel. Our staff and volunteers interact with the animals daily and are able to provide additional information regarding their disposition, energy level, training status, etc. Be sure to look on both sides of all paperwork. Each animal that is available has been health and temperament evaluated, which should assist you in your decision making.

Once you have determined that you are interested in adopting, you will need to complete the specific Adopter Profile for the type of pet you want, which will help us and yourself understand your wants and needs with regard to adopting and caring for a new companion animal. You may also download and bring a completed copy of the Adopter Profile in with you when you visit our shelter or submit the profile online. Select the appropriate form below: 

The Lakeland Animal Shelter will keep your completed Adopter Profile on file for a period of six months. After which time, we will need for you to complete a new profile. We also ask that you make amendments or complete a new profile as your situation changes (e.g. new family member, change of address, etc.)

An adoption counselor will review your completed profile with you at the front desk and help you determine whether or not a particular animal that you are interested in is appropriate for your situation or if there is another animal that might be appropriate. If the animal seems to be a perfect fit for your lifestyle, the adoption counselor will arrange for you to socialize with the animal in a private room or in one of the play yards.

If after socializing with the animal you are interested in proceeding with the adoption, you will be asked to schedule a time to return to complete the adoption and pick up the animal. Please note: there is a 24 hour waiting period once an adopter profile has been completed. This means that an animal would not go home on the same day that an adopter profile has been submitted. This 24 hour period is designed to allow the adopter time to reflect upon the responsibility associated with adopting and animal and ensure that it is a commitment that they are willing to make.

Click here to see a list of our current adoption fees. All adoption fees include a basic veterinary examination, pet tag and collar, vaccinations, microchip and spay or neuter surgery, if necessary.

Once your companion animal is home with you, please know that it will take some time for your new friend to adjust to their new lifestyle. And, don’t worry…you’re not alone. The Lakeland Animal Shelter is here to help and has a lot of valuable information on a variety of behavior issues, as well as information on transitioning a new pet into your home. Please contact the Behavior Department by email or at (262) 723-1000 and a staff member will be happy to assist you.

P.S. Once everyone is settled in, we would love for you to send us a picture of your new friend in your home!