Grow your family House How to adopt a pet

Dogs, cats, rabbits…oh my!  You can adopt all sorts of furry or feathered friends from our Pet Adoption Center. Our staff and volunteers work with around 1,000 animals each year.  We vaccinate, microchip, spay or neuter, and socialize all the animals in the Adoption Center to prepare them for their forever homes. 

How does the process work?

As fellow animal lovers, you’ll appreciate that our adoption process is designed to ensure pets are placed in appropriate, responsible, and permanent homes.  Our Adoption Counselors use their knowledge of the pets in our care to help match you with a pet that will lead to a happy, successful adoption.

Step One

Browse Available Pets

Learn about the dogs, cats, and other pets available for adoption to see who may be a good fit for your household and lifestyle.

Dog looking up

Step Two

Submit an Application

After you’ve found a pet you’re interested in, submit an application specifying which pet you’d like to meet.

If you already have an application on file (applications are kept for six (6) months) and would like to meet a particular pet, give us a ring at (309) 451-1000 to make an appointment.

Step Three

Have a Meet & Greet

Once your application has been approved and the pet is available, the HSCI staff will call you to schedule your meet and greet.

Appointments are scheduled Tuesdays through Saturdays.  Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred and are given priority.

Applications and Adoption Fees

You can submit your application online or print, complete, and bring a paper application to the Pet Adoption Center.  Adoption applications are also available at the Pet Adoption Center.

Adoption fees are non-refundable, as they provide funds needed to support the animals in our care.


Type of Pet

AgeAdoption Fee
Puppies8 weeks – 6 months$350
Adult dogs7 months – 6 years$350
Senior dogs*7+ years$150
Kittens and ‘non-senior’ cats8 weeks – 6 years$150 
Senior cats7 – 9 years$50 or $75 for two
VIP cats10+ years (or have been a HSCI resident for over a year)$30 or $45 for two
Rabbits – unalteredNA$20
Small birdsNA$15
Parrots and large birds**NASet by management
Guinea pigsNA$15
Hamsters, gerbils, and ratsNA$5 Minimum donation
Other animalsNAEmail or call (309) 451-1000

* Determined by staff based on breed and health  ** Larger than a cockatiel

Returning a pet

While we take great care to match you with the right pet, we realize there are circumstances when you may find the pet you adopted may not be the right fit once you get home. If, at any time, you can no longer keep the pet you adopted, you must return it to the HSCI. Please note relinquishment fees will apply if you owned the pet for more than six months.


HSCI makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee on the health, behavior, age, or temperament of the animal. The HSCI does inquire of known owners as to the history and behavior of the animal, including whether the animal bites; however, the HCSI makes no representation, guarantee or warranty that the animal will not bite.

Apply to adopt a pet

To be considered for an adoption you must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age.
  • Have the knowledge and consent of all adults living in your household.
  • Have a valid ID with your current address.
  • All currently-owned cats and dogs must be spayed/neutered. 
  • All current pets must be up-to-date on required vaccinations (i.e. rabies vaccination).
  • Be in compliance with local animal ordinances in regards to number of pets within a household

Understand that completing this application does not guarantee adoption and that the Humane Society of Central Illinois must approve your application.

Failure to provide all requested information on the form will cause delays in processing your application.