Adoption Process

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


COVID-19 update

We are committed to continuing our adoptions, but we want to keep everyone safe.

We are not open for general viewing and are now accepting online applications only for animals at NHS. Animals will be shown by appointment only following submission and review of your application.  

**The exception: Cats at PetSmart locations do not need an online appointment and are available at the stores during their business hours. 

Dog/ Cat/ Critter Adopters:

1. Check out our adopt pages for available pets.

2. Click the photos to pull up a pet's profile to see if he or she might be a good match for your family. Note up to three that you would like to meet including their names and i-d numbers.

3. Fill out an application which is located at the bottom of each pet's profile. You can list up to three dogs, or two cats, or critters that you'd like to meet at one time (each pet does not need a separate application filled out).

4. Submit your application--you should receive a brief confirmation on your screen that it has been sent. 

5. Once your application is accepted you will be emailed a link to get in line. All of our adoptions (excluding Diamond Dog Adoptions) are now same day adoptions! So, the day you are ready to adopt, you’ll click the link in the email to get in the “virtual” line to meet with an adoption counselor and your choices. *Our adoptions are on a first come first served basis and your choice could be adopted by someone ahead of you in line. Therefore, you should sign up as quickly as you can.

6. On weekdays sign up for the line opens at 11:30 a.m. and closes at 6:00 p.m. On weekends sign up starts at 9:30 a.m. and closes at 4:00 p.m. Again, you can only get in line for the current day.

7.Once in line you will receive text updates regarding your status in line and the approximate wait time.

8. You must physically be at the shelter when you reach the front of the line.

9. Everyone entering NHS must wear a mask. 

10. To keep crowds down, please limit your visit to your immediate family.

11. If cats are fee-waived, adopters in Omaha and Sarpy county will still need to pay applicable licensing fees.

Adoption Hours

  • Monday- Friday: Noon to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday- Sunday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Beginning 3/28/2020 Adoptions are being done by appointment only to help control the spread of COVID-19

Benefits of Adopting from NHS 

All dogs have the following services:

  • Parvo/Distemper/Kennel Cough vaccinations on intake
  • Puppies get appropriate boosters 
  • Heartworm test for dogs 6 months and older 
  • Flea and tick preventative
  • Spay/neuter 
  • Microchip

All cats have the following services: 

  • FVRCP Vaccinations on intake
  • Kittens get appropriate boosters
  • Feline Leukemia Test for adult cats 
  • Rabies Vaccination for cats 6 months and older
  • Flea and tick preventative 
  • Spay/neuter 
  • Microchip 

We also work to make the animals as comfortable as possible by bathing and grooming and offering needed medical treatments.

Please note that not all health issues are readily apparent. We appreciate your understanding that you are partnering with us to help fully rehabilitate and offer these deserving animals a second chance. 

The adoption process 

General Drop-in Adoptions: This process has been updated to *appointment only* during the COVID-19 Crisis.
Please see above for updated adoption procedures. 

  1. Come to the shelter to check out the animals. You’ll want to meet a pet in person before taking him or her home.
  2. Because Nebraska’s legal age to sign a contract is 19, we ask that all adopters are at least 19 years old.
  3. Please bring a valid form of identification.
  4. Once you see an animal you’d like to meet, fill out an adoption survey and hand it in at customer service. The forms are located on the inside front wall of the lobby. 
  5. Once your survey is checked, you will be put into the que (virtual line). You are then free to stay, or,  if you have a mobile phone, you can leave and wait for texted updates. You will need to be back at the shelter when you are next in line. All adopters see animals on a first-come, first-served basis.
  6. The counselor will give you any information we have about the animal, including any medical records, previous owner information and reports from dog walkers and cat companions regarding the pet’s personality.
  7. This is a big decision—so allow yourself some time to meet and get to know your potential new pet.
  8. If you fall in love, you can leave with the pet the same day! 
  9. Adoption hours are noon to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. We respectfully ask that you submit your adoption survey one hour before we close. 
  10. If you rent your home/apartment you must have landlord approval for 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. 

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.

Adoption Fees

Cats and Kittens:

  • Kittens 0 to 5 months: $150
  • Kittens 6 months to 1 year, 11 months: $100
  • Cats 2 years to 5 years, 11 months: $75
  • Cats 6 years and older: $35 (free to people age 60 or older)
  • All cats/kittens remain 2 for the price of 1 with the adopt fee being that of the higher priced cat or kitten.
  • Cats adopted from area PetSmarts are processed differently than other store transactions--so we cannot take credit cards at these locations. Please bring cash or checks for PetSmart adoptions.
  • Please Note: Cat Adoption Prices are subject to change or vary from what is listed here. To know the adoption fee of a specific cat please click on their photos on the available cat page to see their adoption fee.

Dogs and Puppies:

  • Puppies 2 to 6 months start at $350
  • Puppies 7 months to 1 year start at $225
  • Dogs 2 years to 7 years, 11 months start at $185
  • Dogs 8 years and older start at $125
  • HIPP dogs start at $325. HIPP pets are dogs and cats who are in high demand, may be purebred and whose price at a pet store might be $700 or more. The higher fees go to help other pets who wait months to find homes.

Other Pets:

  • Mice: $2
  • Rats, hamsters, gerbils: $5
  • Small birds (diamond doves, finches, parakeets), aquatic turtles, small lizards (anole/skink), frogs and toads: $15
  • Guinea pigs: $15
  • Potbelly pigs: $50
  • Rabbits: $20
  • Geckos: $25
  • Love birds, large doves, corn snakes: $30
  • Canaries, cockatiels, bearded dragons, pythons, boas, box turtles, tortoises, iguanas: $40
  • Ferrets, chinchillas: $50
  • Conures, quakers: $100
  • African grays, cockatoos and amazons: $300

You Can Help Save A Life

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