AS OF JANUARY 1, 2021, DHA has officially merged our Adoption Application with our Find a Friend Forms! We are no longer be accepting submission to our Find a Friend Forms and will instead be referring only to our Adoption Applications where the same questions have already been entered as of 12/24/20 and will be referred to as our Find a Friend Program. This has been done to simply our adoption process and amplify our matchmaking, especially when animals have multiple applications. Anyone currently on our Find a Friend Waiting Lists WILL be notified and will have their form selections combined with their applications if submitted. Thank you for your understanding!


We are excited to help you find your new friend for life! All animals are spayed/neutered, given age-appropriate vaccines, microchipped, and examined by a veterinarian prior to adoption.

  • Step 1: Find out what you’re looking for! Browse our Cats & Dogs to see which pets are available for adoption and where they are located.
  • Step 2: Since we are operating by appointment only, you will need to submit an animal-specific adoption application before we can schedule you for a meet.
  • If you are looking for a particular age, size, breed, look, personality, etc. and have submitted solely for our Find a Friend Program, we will only contact you if/when we have a possible match.
  • Step 3: If you are a match, we will reach out to you so we can make arrangements to meet and take home from there (typically within 72 hours or sooner of applying)!
  • Step 4: Delaware residents must purchase a dog license if interested in adopting a dog. Learn more hereOut-of-state adopters will need to purchase a license separately, if required.
  • Step 5: Complete your adoption and bring your new pet home! Please note: A collar and leash are required to bring your new dog or puppy home (a harness/carrier may also be requested for specific dogs; retractable leashes are not permitted). An appropriate carrier is required to take your new cat or kitten home.

Note: Our animals have been finding homes quicker than ever, so it is advised you read our Adoption Prerequisites below prior to submitting an application. Thank you for your understanding!


To keep our community safe and healthy, we are proceeding with adoptions by appointment only. We will function more like a foster-based rescue in that most of our activities will occur by email or phone. Meets will be limited to approved applicants only. We understand many of you are eager to adopt, however please allow us time to process your application and reach out when we are able. Note we are receiving multiple inquiries on animals and are doing our best to respond in a timely fashion. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. Stay safe and well!

Submitting an Application

Adoption applications are required to be animal specific or marked as Find a Friend. We welcome adopters who rent or live in apartments/condos, however it is advised to review pet policies prior to adopting. Faxed or emailed applications will not be accepted at this time. To be considered, all applications must be submitted online.

Once submitted and processed, your application will be reviewed to ensure that both the animal and the adopter are the best match for each other. We will discuss the individual pet’s personality and needs, your lifestyle and home environment, and your plan to acclimate the new pet to your home. If we find the pet you’ve chosen is not the right match, we will do our best to help you find a better match. If you have submitted a Find a Friend form, we will only contact you if/when we have a possible match to offer.

Since applications are not guaranteed to result in adoption, we encourage you to apply for an animal you are interested in even if he/she has already received one or more applications. If the animal you applied for is adopted by someone else, you will be advised.

If all above qualifications are met and all parties are in agreement of adopting the selected new pet, we can move on to completing the adoption and purchase of the dog license (if applicable)! If you cannot take the animal home at the time you submit your application, please understand we have the ability to move forward with other potential adopters should they apply (unless a hold fee is paid). Payment is due at the time of adoption unless the pet has a noted reduced or waived fee. We absolutely appreciate additional donations to continue our lifesaving work!

Here are a few things you should know about adopting a cat or dog from our animal shelter and adoption:

A Little FYI

  • DHA is a no kill animal care and adoption center. We do not euthanize to make room for more animals. Our intake policy is based on a behavioral and health evaluation of each animal, which must be scheduled in advance for owner-surrendered pets.
  • DHA has approximately 40 dogs and 100 cats available for adoption at any given time. You can view our Cats & Dogs here.
  • Though these options are currently on hold, we also typically place one or more adoptable animals at local area satellite adoption centers and have frequent off-site adoption events.
  • All pets available for adoption are spayed and neutered, given age-appropriate vaccinations, microchipped, examined by a veterinarian, socialized/exercised daily, and loved!
  • Our trained staff will be happy to help you find the best pet match for your family.
  • We encourage you to review our adoption process and submit an application as soon as you are ready to adopt to have your best chance at consideration.
  • Adoption fees vary based on type of pet and age. Discounts are available for senior citizens, veterans and military service members, and adopters of special needs animals.
  • Out-of-state adopters are welcome.
  • Though currently on hold, we encourage positive reinforcement dog training classes to help set you and your pet up for success.
  • We have an extensive Adopter Resource Library online with great information for new pet owners.
  • We’re proud of our adoption Success Stories!

Stay in Touch!

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any remaining questions or concerns, or if you experience any post-adoption issues. We also encourage you to submit your adoption Success Stories, tag us on social media when you post photos of your DHA alumni, or attend one of our virtual events. We love to know how our alumni are doing in their new homes!

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Delaware Humane Association