Pet Selection

Finding the “right” pet to join your family is an exciting, but important step. Based upon your preferences, we can find a pet that meets your needs and wants. In addition to deciding upon whether you want to adopt a dog or cat, there are several important details you should consider before visiting the Pet Adoption Center.

Please be aware: Although the Division of Humane Services staff will work with interested adoptees to connect them with the perfect animal, we are unable to guarantee or reserve the availability for any specific animal until an adoption application is completed and the interested individual completes an in-person visit with the animal.

Breed & Appearance

Researching personality traits and physical descriptions of various breeds of dogs and cats will give you an idea as to how your desired pet will behave and grow. Many animals are bred to feature specific traits that are common through all of that type, although it’s important to remember that each one has its own individual characteristics.

Small puppies and kittens will eventually grow into larger dogs and cats, but by recognizing the breed, you’ll have a good idea as to the size and coat of the adult.


Can you devote the time necessary to raising a puppy or kitten, or would it be easier for you to raise an older, more mature dog or cat? Puppies and kittens require extra care to teach proper behavior, to foster development and to burn off excess energy. On the other hand, an adult dog or cat that receives proper care can provide years of companionship and love without these extra hassles.

Family Status

Are you single and living in a one-room apartment or do you have a family with kids and a big backyard? An adult pet may be better than a puppy or kitten for those with infants because they are less excitable and more used to the commotion that young children bring.

If you have another pet in your home already, you’ll need to consider their temperament as well before introducing a new animal.

Pet Personality

Like people, every pet has its own personality, and you should be able to determine this at an early age. Dogs and cats of all ages will bond with loving families once they’ve learned to trust your care, and they’ll typically show their true personality by the time they reach 12 to 18 months of age. Whenever possible, learn the pet’s history to gain a better insight on their temperament and to discover if they may have been mistreated in the past.

Time Availability

Raising a kitten or puppy is similar to raising an infant. Do you or others in your family have the ability to give your new pet adequate play time? Can you devote enough time to teach your dog or cat where not to scratch or dig and to be potty trained? If you and others in your household are away from home for more than 8 hours every day, it might be better to consider a cat - since they are often more independent than a dog.

Activity Level

Are you looking for a pet that can join you for a walk or run through the nearby park or does your ideal pet curl up on your lap for the evening? Certain breeds are more prone to various types of activities, so a little advanced research can go a long way toward finding the perfect pet for you.