Adoption Process

Benefits of adopting from NHS, an overview of the process and fees.


All NHS adoptions are done on a first-come, first-served basis, so using our queue system to get in line remotely can pay off!  

The queue system was implemented during the pandemic. You don't have to be here to get in line to see a pet. You don't have to stay here to keep your place in line. You can do everything online until you meet the pet, but you can also drop in and do everything in person.

Want to be ready to adopt whenever you find the right pet? Fill out the proper application below to get pre-approved.

 Dogs      Cats      Critters 

Hours are:  Monday-Friday: Noon to 6 p.m.
                    Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

Starting the adoption process from home

  • Check pets on the website by clicking here.
  • Click the photos to read the pet profiles.
  • Fill out the application (found inside the bio or above on this page) and submit.
  • Once approved, you will receive an email with a link to get in line remotely. The line opens every day, 15 minutes before adoptions open up.
  • The day you wish to come in, click the link to 'get in line.' This can be the same day or when your schedule allows. But know the application does not hold the pet for you -- it just gets you the link to get in line. 
  • Text messaging will tell you an estimate of how long the wait is. 
  • Be sure you are at the building once you reach the front of the line.

Starting the adoption process at NHS

  • Come to the shelter at 8929 Fort Street in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • Walk through the kennels and check out the animals.
  • Turn in your application for approval. 
  • Enter the virtual line -- you are now in the queue and can get texts to tell you when you are next up.
  • You can stay at the shelter or, if there is a wait, you can go elsewhere. Just be sure you are in the building when you reach the front of the line.


How much do adoptions cost?

The adoption fee for pets will be listed inside each particular animal's bio on our website. That does not include the licensing fee.

How old do I have to be to adopt?

Because Nebraska’s legal age to sign a contract is 19, we ask that all adopters are at least 19 years old. Please bring a valid form of ID.

What do you mean by 'virtual' line?

That just means you don't need to physically be at the building if there is a long line! Get some errands done, relax at home, stay at work - whatever you prefer. You just need to be at the building when you reach the front of the line. This has proven to be helpful for adopters not to have to sit and wait during busy days. 

I rent my home/apartment. Can I still adopt?

You need landlord approval for a pet. Please come prepared to show your pet policy, have a signed notification that your landlord approves, or the phone number to call and verify your landlord's requirements. 

What restrictions do the animals have?

We do our best to be as transparent as possible. Please read the animal bios on the website, which will list any restrictions (such as kids, backyards, apartments, other animals, etc.). These restrictions are put in place for the benefit of both the adopters and the animals. We do our best to ensure successful adoptions!

Are the dogs good with cats?

Sometimes it can be hard to know, as there isn't a very good way to test for it that wouldn't add unnecessary stress to both the cat and dog. We use information from previous households to make determinations, but that often isn't readily available. 

What's a critter?

Any adoptable animal that isn't a cat, dog or horse. 

More Information

Foster Adoptions

Pets posted online as residing in Foster Care are not housed at the shelter—but are in private homes. To inquire about, or make an appointment to meet pets in foster care, email and include the animals name and ID number in your inquiry.

Diamonds in the Ruff

These dogs are in quieter kennels in our behavior modification program because they don’t do well in the busy general adoption kennel environment. Diamond Dogs just need a little polish to shine!To inquire or make an appointment to meet these dogs, please start by filling out the Diamond Dog online survey.  A representative will get back with you once the application is filled out.  Please include the animals name and ID number in your inquiry. 

Horse Adoptions

Contact our horse program at 402-444-7800, ext. 2286, or send an email for more information or to set up an appointment. 

Omaha Area PetSmart Cat Adoptions

Keep in mind that adoptions at these locations are with cash or check only.

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NHS is a not for profit 501-C3 organization; EIN: 47-0378997. Copyright © 2022 Nebraska Humane Society. All Rights Reserved.
8929 Fort Street Omaha, Nebraska 68134

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