To start the adoption process, complete an application by visiting our shelter or by filing out the Adoption Application Form available below. An adoption counselor will review your application and work one-on-one with you to help ensure the pet you've chosen is right for you and that your relationship will be a successful one from the very beginning. You will also spend time interacting with available pets in one of our interview rooms.

Download a HAWS Adoption Application Form here.

Once the adoption is approved, you will be given thorough information about the new pet you have chosen. After an overnight waiting period, your new family member will be ready to begin a wonderful life with you!

Oftentimes, we have special adoption promotions running at HAWS. Be sure to ask your Adoption Counselor for details on programs like the Buddy System, seasonal adoption "2-fers" and more.

Post-adoption follow-up and support are also part of our adoption process. Training classes and one-on-one consulting are available - just call the HAWS office to schedule. Trust HAWS as your #1 pet resource throughout the life of your pet.

Revised Adoption Guidelines (Rev. June 2012)

The goal of HAWS is to find permanent, responsible, loving homes for our animals. Pets are placed as companions into homes where the animals will be thought of as part of the family and housed indoors.
  • All adopters must be 18 years of age or older, should provide verifiable identification and be of sound mind and disposition at the time of adoption. Falsification or misrepresentation of the adoption application may cause an adoption to be denied.
  • All adult residents in the home should be in agreement to add a pet to their household and understand that a child cannot be solely responsible for the care of a pet. It is recommended that all family members meet the pet prior to adoption when possible. While HAWS will occasionally make telephone verifications for consent to adopt, in most cases all members of the household must meet the pet face to face. Surprise or gift adoptions are not done.
  • Certain pets may require a meeting with a trainer prior to adopting.
  • Adopters should maintain a relationship with a community veterinarian, and demonstrate a willingness and ability to meet the social, training, health and exercise requirements of their desired pet.
  • Though we wish to see all pets go to those interested, adoption may be declined if the pet's needs do not coincide with the lifestyle of the family or individual.
  • As we wish each pet to thrive in their new home, HAWS reserves the right to decline any adoption if it is not demonstrated to be in the best interest of the pet or family.
New companion animals become available for adoption daily, so visit our Pet Showcase on this website or stop by the shelter regularly. Adoptions are based on which home is best suited to the animal.

Adoption Fees

  • Cats: Adoptions range from $37 - $150, depending on the age of the animal.
  • Dogs: Adoptions range from $79 - $195, depending on the age of the animal.
  • Small Animals: rabbits, ferrets, birds, reptiles, etc. range from $5 - $75.
The adoption fee includes spay/neuter surgery, an identification microchip,
initial vaccinations, in addition to a feline leukemia test for adult cats or
heart worm test for dogs.

HAWS accepts cash, checks and credit cards as payment for adoptions.

Selecting Your Companion Animal

As you visit the animals in the shelter or view those available for adoption on our website, you may find several appealing prospects. However, not every animal is compatible with every family's lifestyle. Please allow our experienced animal caregivers and adoption counselors to help with your selection by providing you information about the animal's temperament, personality and behavior patterns.

Do You Have a Particular New Best Friend in Mind?

HAWS regularly has a wide variety of animals available for adoption. If you're looking for a specific breed or species, or have specifications with regard to age, size, etc., please complete a HAWS Adoption Application in advance to expedite the process. We'll keep your application on file while you continue to watch our website for new arrivals.

New to Pet Ownership or Need Help with your Pets?

Visit our Behavior Department and Classes page to find a class or event that’s right for you or call 262-542-8851, x204, to set up an appointment with one of HAWS’ behavior consultants. We provide an array of topics on our Links and Resources page, and also have educational handouts and species-specific resources available at our shelter’s front desk.

How about Bringing Home a "Fast" Friend?
In partnership with Greyhound Pets of America - Wisconsin (GPA), HAWS invites you to join us the fourth Saturday of each month, from 1–3 pm in the HAWS lobby, when greyhound owners and rescue representatives are available for a meet 'n greet! Ask them all your questions about the "45mph Couch Potato," learn what it's like to have one in your home and interact with this “greyt” breed.

More information on Greyhound Pets of America (GPA) and the greyhound breed are available on the GPA website.

Companions for Heroes
HAWS has been selected as a Wisconsin shelter partner for Companions for Heroes,
an organization dedicated to alleviating the psychological suffering of our nation’s
returning wounded warriors and first responders by facilitating their adoption of shelter
animals. Capitalizing on the strong bond between people and animals, last-chance pets
are connected with our nation’s heroes, providing a sense of purpose and fulfillment while
minimizing stress, depression and feelings of loneliness and isolation through unconditional
love and friendship.

“My shelter dog is the sole reason I am here today,” notes C4H founder David Sharpe,
a U.S. Air Force veteran who was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
and depression eight years after serving. “My dog has allowed me to grow close
relationships with my family and friends. I believe other veterans can benefit from
the same type of companionship.”

Those interested in adoption through the program should contact C4H Adoption representative David Jurado at, or log on to for a qualifying application. They are then sent to HAWS to continue the adoption process with HAWS' staff member Jessica (262-542-8851, x112).
HAWS Animal Welfare Society Waukesha
Humane Animal Welfare Society Waukesha, Wisconsin

Humane Animal Welfare Society

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DOG ADOPTERS receive a
$25 discount certificate good towards either Life Skills for Puppies or Basic Manners 1
training classes
with your puppy/dog adoption!

KITTEN ADOPTERS receive a $15 discount certificate good towards our Kitty College with any adoption!
Dog Training, WI
©2012 Humane Animal Welfare Society (HAWS) | 701 Northview Road | Waukesha, WI | 53188 | 262-542-8851
Member, Wisconsin Federated Humane Societies, Inc. | Winner of the 2010 Waukesha County Executive Awards: Large Non-Profit of the Year.
HAWS is an animal shelter that offers pet adoption, dog training, kids camps, spay and neuter programs, and humane pet education. Waukesha Wisconsin’s Humane Animal Welfare Society is the Inaugural Winner of the "Chamber's Choice Award" presented in 2008 by the Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Times. HAWS is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization. | License #267280-DS

Watch this great video to learn
How to Adopt a Pet from HAWS!