FAQs | Humane Society Waterville Area | Waterville, ME

Why adopt a pet from the shelter?

Adopting saves lives and money! Shelter pets cost less than ones from pet stores and breeders. All our pets are spayed/neutered, and fully vetted.

What does “fully vetted” mean?

HSWA pets are current on the core vaccinations recommended by veterinarians, as well as other medical tests and treatments. (see listing below)

How much does it cost to adopt a cat, dog or pocket pet from HSWA? *

Dog adoption fees, which include: spay/neuter surgery, initial dog/puppy distemper, kennel cough, a rabies vaccine for dogs over 6 mo., de-worming, flea treatment, microchipping, lab tests on adult dogs for Heartworm, Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis, and are as follows:

Puppies, 8 weeks-11 months: $299
Young Dogs, 1-3 years: $249
Adult Dogs, 4-7 years: $199
Elder Dogs, 8+ years: $99

Cat adoption fees include: spay/neuter surgery, initial distemper vaccine for cats/kittens, a rabies vaccine for cats over 6 mo., lab tests for FIV and FeLV on adult cats over 6 mo., de-worming, and flea treatment, and are as follows:

Kittens, 8 weeks-6 months: $149 ($249 for two)
Older Kittens, 7 months-1 year: $125 ($199 for two)
Young Cats, 1-2 years: $99 ($149 for two)
Adult Cats, 3-7 years: $75 ($125 for two)
Elder Cats, 8+ years: $25

“Special needs” or “under-socialized” cats may be fee waived; donations are appreciated.

Microchips for cats/kittens are available for an additional: $10

Pocket Pet adoption fees are as follows:

Rabbits: $20
Guinea Pigs: $15
Hamsters: $10
Chinchillas: $49
Rats: $10 (for pets only)
Ferrets: $49
Mice: $5 (for pets only)

Special discounts are available on some harder to place pets.

An additional adoption donation may be requested for highly adoptable pets called “Scholarship Pets,” which helps to fund our harder to place animals as they typically wait longer for homes or require extensive medical treatments. Thank you for understanding.

* note: adoption fees are subject to change without notice.


What pets do you have for adoption?

HSWA adopts out companion pets. We have cats, dogs and pocket pets. Pocket pets can be ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, rats, hamsters and mice, and sometimes domestic farm pets such as chickens, goats or ducks.

Do you offer discounted adoption fees?

We occasionally run promotions. Our first priority is to place our animals in the best homes as affordably as possible. We charge adoption fees in order to provide all the shelter animals the necessary care each one needs and deserves to begin a good start in a new home. We also solicit donations from patrons to help offset the rising cost of medical and routine vet care.

Do you put animals on hold?

HSWA does not typically hold an animal for later adoption. If you put an application in on a shelter pet and cannot take it the same day, unless there are extenuating circumstances and a “hold” is approved by shelter management, the animal will remain available for other adopters to view and adopt until it is officially adopted by a qualified applicant. We review applicants on a first come first considered basis.

What is my new pet’s background history?

We will share as much information as we know about an animal; unfortunately, sometimes when an animal is surrendered to HSWA, we are unable to obtain many details about his or her past. Many animals are brought to us as a stray by a citizen or ACO (Animal Control Officer) so we have no information. Often times we have to rely on what our staff observes in the shelter setting or behavioral tests.

What is a “meet and greet”?

If you are considering adding another dog to your household, HSWA encourages you to bring in any dog currently living in your home to meet the shelter dog before adoption. We also encourage you to bring in any dog with which your new dog may be spending long periods of time.

What does it cost to own a pet?

ASPCA has a breakdown of cost of their website www.aspca.org/adopt/pet-care-costs. All HSWA shelter animals are already spayed/neutered before adoption.

What should I feed my new pet? What is he or she used to eating at the shelter?

Our animals receive canned/wet and dry food as we receive them from donations. We recommend that dogs and cats at their new homes are fed a food that has meat(s) listed as the primary ingredients and does not include a filler, like corn or a grains. Our pocket pets are fed species-specific pellets, vegetables and other treats.

Does my new pet come with a microchip?

An animal with a microchip is more likely to be returned to its family than one without a microchip. HSWA does microchip our dogs, and cats can be microchipped for $10 at the time of adoption. Microchips can also be provided post adoption or to the general public for $25.

Why do you recommend Pet Health Insurance?

Pet Health Insurance helps to avoid out of pocket expenses if your pet should become sick or injured. HSWA has teamed up with 24Pet Watch Pet Insurance to offer you and your new pet a free first month of pet health insurance with your adoption. Please see their website for more information. https://www.24petwatch.com/US/Pet_Insurance/About_Pet_Insurance.aspx

Why does my pet need to see the vet within 7 days of adoption?

HSWA asks that you take your new pet to meet your vet within 7 days of adoption. We want to make sure your veterinarian, your new pet, and you are able to develop a relationship and have baseline data on the health and condition of your pet immediately after adoption. This allows both you and your vet to be familiar with your pet and a better ability to diagnose and treat should your animal become hurt or ill. Staff make every effort to ensure adoptable animals are in good medical health, and will inform adopters about all conditions of which we are aware, but sometimes something could be missed, or may not present until an animal is out of the shelter.  An adopter is responsible for illness once the pet leaves the shelter. We highly recommend considering pet insurance and it is available at the time of adoption through a third party and reputable agency. Please ask an associate at the time of adoption.

Where can I take my new pet for veterinary care?

See our list of area veterinarians.

What do I do if my new pet becomes sick or injured after adoption?

If you think your pet is sick or injured, contact your veterinarian immediately. If it is an emergency, contact an emergency clinic or area veterinarians.

Where can I get animal behavioral help?

We recommend consulting a dog trainer for behavioral advice. HSWA works with two professional dog trainers, Patrick Lavallee and Breanna Norris. Patrick’s website is https://bck9training.com/, and Breanna’s info site is: https://www.facebook.com/canineinsights/

Contact us at 873-2430 to inquiry about our on-going classes and individual sessions, or any other questions.