The first step in adopting your new best friend is to come visit the animals at the Humane Society or at one of our off-site adoption events. Once at the shelter, you can ask to do a Playtime with the pet(s) that interest you. A staff member or volunteer will be happy to answer any questions you have about our adoptable pets.

After you complete a Playtime with the pet you’d like to adopt please fill out and turn in an adoption application. A HOLD will be placed on the animal for you once an application has been turned in and a playtime has been done. It takes our office 24-48 hours to process your application. If you do not hear from us after 48 hours please give us a call to check the status of your application. Applications turned in on the weekend or during a holiday week may take longer to process.

If you live outside of the Michiana area and are interested in adopting one of the pets we have listed online but it may take several hours to drive to us, please contact our office on details about placing a HOLD on the animal.

Approved Adoption Applications

Once your application has been processed and approved an Adoption Specialist will contact you to set up an adoption appointment for you to pick up your new pet. You must have an APPOINTMENT to pick up your new pet. If you are adopting a new dog and you currently own a dog, the Adoption Specialist will schedule a Meet-n-Greet appointment with you. During the Meet-n-Greet we will introduce our shelter pet to your resident dog(s) at the Humane Society to see if they will be a good match.

All animals must be transported home in a safe and legal manner. Bring a collar and leash or a secure pet carrier. We have cardboard cat carriers for sale at the shelter.

During the adoption appointment you will sign the adoption placement agreement, receive copies of the animal’s vaccinations and other medical procedures and pay the adoption fee. We accept cash and credit. Personal checks will not be accepted.

Your new pet is spayed or neutered, microchip, current on appropriate vaccinations, heartworm disease tested (canines), FIV/Felv tested (felines). You will also receive an adoption kit and copies of the adoption contract and the pet’s medical records.

Most pocket pet and farm animals are not spayed/neutered.


Purple Collar Club Dogs

Kittens (under 1 year old)

Cats (1-7 years old)

Cats (8+ years old)
$Waived Fee/Donation Only

Adopt the first cat for the adoption fee listed above and the second adoption fee will be waived. This adoption deal is only valid for cats going home together the same day. Other restrictions may apply.

Pocket Pets
$5.00 Gerbils
$5.00 Guinea Pigs
$5.00 Hamsters
$10.00 unaltered/$20.00 altered Rabbits
$5.00 Rats
$Varies Birds

Before adopting a Pocket Pet, you will be asked to provide proof of an appropriate cage.This can be a picture of the cage or you can bring it to your adoption appointment. Most Pocket Pets are not spayed or neutered, micro-chipped or vaccinated.

Purple Collar Club

Often times we are the half-way home for wayward pets. Some of our adoptable pets may be seniors or have special medical needs that require extra care. These special needs and senior pets will become a member of our Purple Collar Club that offers reduced adoption fees to encourage adoptions.

Working Cat Program

Our Working Cat program places healthy cats that aren’t suitable as pets in environments where they can flourish, working alongside humans to control rat and mice populations. Working cats can be placed successfully in barns, construction companies, police stations and other businesses looking for inexpensive and effective rodent control.

The Working Cat program offers a safe home and better life to cats that wouldn’t otherwise be candidates for adoption, including:

  • Cats who are inconsistent with using the litter box and would do well in an indoor/outdoor environment
  • Cats who react negatively to routine handling by people and would not do well as a house cat

Working cats are often most successful when adopted in groups of two or three. Adopters must agree to provide:

  • A warm, safe shelter like a barn or shop to keep the cat protected from the elements
  • Food and clean water every day
  • Future medical care if needed
  • A way to keep the cats contained for 2-3 weeks to acclimate to new surroundings

If you or somebody you know are interested in this life-saving program, contact one of our Adoption Specialists at (574) 255-4726 ext 0.

What does it cost to adopt a working cat?

We suggest a $25 donation for working cats, but there is no required adoption fee. These are cats that previously would not have made it to adoption, so we are very happy to see them go to a home. The suggested donation helps us cover the cost of spaying/neutering, microchipping and vaccinating the working cat prior to adoption.

What kind of care do working cats receive at HSSJC?

Working cats receive the same care as cats in our other adoption programs. They are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and FIV/Felv tested. In most cases they will have their ear tipped to indicate they have been sterilized.

Why must working cats must be confined for the first 2-3 weeks?

Cats need time to adjust to new surroundings and do better if introduced to smaller more confined spaces first. Confining your working cat for 2-3 weeks will help it become comfortable with its new home. Cats allowed to roam immediately may not realize that they will have food and shelter and may never return.

To ensure the cat remains confined, make sure its shelter has no escape routes, including holes in siding or open windows. If the cat’s shelter has escape routes, use a large dog kennel to contain the cat. Make sure that the cat is given food and water daily and a litter box.

You can allow the cat to explore the property after 2-3 weeks of confinement. Ideally, you should release the cat when the weather is clear (no rain or snow) so that it can explore in comfort. If the cat was housed in a crate, leave the crate in the area for at least a week. Continue to leave food and water out for the cat. If the cat is primarily indoors or in a barn, consider using a litter box to contain waste.

Introducing Your New Cat/Kitten to Their Home

Whether you have chosen to adopt a cat or a kitten, it is VERY important to do a proper introduction on their arrival to their new home.  The following are a few tips to make the transition from shelter life to home life easier for your new feline and your family.


It is important to take things slowly and is best to restrict your new feline to one room away from other pets in the home.  Be sure to interact with them and provide them the necessities; food, water, litterbox and a soft place to lay.  How long your cat should be restricted depends on their personality but they will typically let you know when they’re ready to explore the rest of their new home.  Doing this ensures they know the location of their new litterbox and gets them used to the new smells and noises of their home.


Keeping your cats’ nails trimmed will be of     great benefit to you and your furniture!

If you’d like our Cattery Attendant to show you how to use cat nail clippers, please ask.  Cardboard scratchers are another inexpensive way to curb scratching and cats love them!  We do not recommend declawing.  Before considering declawing please visit the following resources:

American Veterinary Medical Association

Best Friends

Humane Society of the United States


Cats instinctively look for a safe place to go to the bathroom in which they can cover their urine and feces.  The most important thing to do is keep the litter box clean!  Litter boxes are recommended to be scooped at least once a day.  Place litter boxes in low traffic, quiet areas.  The rule of thumb for number of litter boxes is to have one box for each cat in the home, plus one.


  • Food & Water Bowls – Stainless steel or ceramic are recommended as plastic can harbor dangerous bacteria.
  • Collar – Breakaway (safety collars) should be the only type of collar you put on your new cat.
  • Grooming Tools – The length of your new cat’s hair depends on the type of brush or comb. Nail clippers are also an important grooming tool.
  • Litter Box & Litter Scoop – A high-sided litter box with a lid is recommended. It is important to have one litter box for each cat in the home plus one additional.  Exp, 2 cats in the home should have 3 litter boxes.
  • Litter – Clumping litter is easy to scoop and has less dust.
  • Carrier – There are many types of carriers but as long as it’s secure any carrier will work for taking your pet to the veterinarian.
  • Food/Treats – Always discuss how much food you should feed your cat with your veterinarian.
  • Toys – Interactive toys to keep your new cat entertained are great for their health.
  • Scratching Post – Cats need a place to scratch and to help prevent scratching on furniture it is important to provide them an alternative.
  • Veterinarian – Make sure to find a veterinarian you trust and feel comfortable discussing your new cat’s health with.


Visit our adoption partners at one of these locations to see additional adoption pets.

You may see our adoptable felines at Petsmart once a month from Monday-Sunday during business hours at 4540 Grape Rd., Mishawaka IN.