How Adoption Works

Steps to adopting your new pet

family adopts gray kittenNearly every PetSmart® store is home to a PetSmart Charities™ of Canada Adoption Centre that features adoptable cats and dogs. The adoptable pets are from a local animal welfare agency, shelter or rescue who acts as the adoption partner of that PetSmart store, working closely with PetSmart Charities of Canada.  Volunteers and staff from the animal welfare organization visit the stores often to help care for the adoptable pets and speak with potential adopters to help them find the right pet for their family.

Here are some things you can expect during the adoption process at a PetSmart store:

  • An interview. Once you’ve chosen the pet that seems right for your family, you’ll meet with a representative from the local adoption partner. They’ll ask you some questions to confirm the pet is a good match for your home and to ensure you’ll both be happy for many years to come. They may also have valuable information for you about the pet’s personality, medical history and habits.
  • Some paperwork. You’ll fill out an application and pay a reasonable adoption fee, which is determined by each adoption partner. The adoption fee is always a great value because often it ensures your adopted pet has been spayed or neutered, received its first set of vaccinations, veterinarian checked and more.  It's important to allow 30 minutes to up to 2 hours to complete the interview and paperwork process. 
  • Taking your pet home. In many cases, you’ll bring your pet home the very same day. But some adoption partners require a background check and/or home visit to ensure the pet’s long-term safety. Ask your adoption representative about this at the beginning of the process if waiting a few days is not what you had in mind. Another PetSmart store in your area may have a partner that offers same-day adoptions.  

No matter what the process, all of the adoption groups share the same goal: making the best possible matches between people and pets. 


Our lifesaving work across Canada depends on donations from caring pet lovers like you.