Adoption information - Adopt a pet from Panhandle Animal Shelter

General Adoption Information

When you adopt a pet from Panhandle Animal Shelter, you give that animal a second chance at life and you support programs to help prevent pet overpopulation.

Adopting a pet from the shelter is easy! To adopt a pet, you:
  • Get acquainted with a pet in our play yard or office;
  • Complete an Adoption Questionnaire (be sure to get your landlord’s consent if you are leasing or renting!), pay the fee and enjoy your pet;
  • Obtain the free veterinary exam ASAP or within one week;
  • Pets must be adopted by the prospective owner and be 18 years of age or older (gift certificates are available).

Free veterinary exam:

Included in your adoption fee is a free health exam at a participating veterinary clinic. PAS asks adopters to have this exam performed within three business days to assure you that the pet is healthy at the time of adoption.

All shelter animals have received some vaccinations which are noted on the adoption forms. The free vet exam does not include any additional vaccinations, lab tests, medications or treatment.

If the veterinarian detects signs of health problems, please give some thought to the time and expense that may be required to provide the necessary treatment. You must return the animal to the shelter at once or assume full responsibility for all diagnostic and treatment costs.

If your pet has a common problem such as fleas, earmites or worms that will respond to routine care, you are expected to provide such care at your own expense as a normal responsibility of pet ownership.

The Panhandle Animal Shelter does not give rabies or feline leukemia vaccinations. The shelter cannot conduct any diagnostic tests that may be performed only by licensed veterinarians. The shelter does not have a veterinarian on staff.

Choosing a veterinary clinic: If you have not already established a relationship with a veterinary service in your area, please consult your phone directory. It may be most convenient to schedule the initial exam with a clinic near your home so you can return to the same clinic for future services. Please confirm with them that they are participating in shelter programs for the free health exam. Be sure to take your adoption form with you.

Pet registration and identification:

With your adoption you receive an I.D. tag, and your pet is registered with the shelter. Keep identification on your pet at all times and call the shelter immediately if your pet is lost. Pets wearing I.D. can be returned promptly, saving you considerable expense and days or weeks of anxiety. Lost pets may be left to wander or may be kept by well-meaning citizens who presume the animals are abandoned.

The most likely time for your pet to wander is in its first few days of adjustment to unfamiliar surroundings. The trees, fences and roads that represent obvious boundaries to you are meaningless to your pet. Confine your pet for a period of time until it bonds with you. Spend some time teaching it to recognize and respect its new boundaries.

Provide a comfortable collar for your pet so you won’t be tempted to give in to its protests by removing the collar. Tattoos and microchips are also available, but all animals will accept their collars in time. Outdoor cats need elastic collars or quick-release collars to prevent strangulation from snagging.

Contact the shelter at 208-265-PAWS for a free I.D. tag anytime!

Other Important Pet Info:

Animal control laws: Most counties and their incorporated cities now have animal control laws that require you to restrain your dog. Check with your clerk to see if there may be requirements for licensing, rabies vaccination or means of safe transport for your dog or cat.

If your pet bites someone, you are obligated by law to make a report to a law enforcement agency and/or your public health authorities.

Spaying and neutering: All animals are spayed or neutered prior to leaving the shelter. The Panhandle Animal Shelter receives approximately 2,000 animals each year. We hope you will join us in our commitment to have all adopted animals altered so they will not contribute to the cycle of abuse, neglect and abandonment suffered by unwanted pets.

There are many benefits to having your pet altered. Surgical procedures are routine and your pet will recuperate quickly. Veterinarians will try to accommodate your busy schedule.

Spaying/neutering your pet may prevent or reduce bad habits such as fighting, roaming, marking territory and making unwelcome visits to your neighbors’ pets.

Altering your pet may reduce the chances of contracting serious, sometimes fatal, diseases of the reproductive systems of both males and females.

There is no benefit to a female in having a litter prior to spaying. A spayed female will not attract the unwanted attention of neighboring males and she will never burden you with the expense or inconvenience of an unplanned litter. The admission of so many animals to the shelter is sad testimony to the fact that there are no homes available for the puppies or kittens that an unspayed female may produce.

Male animals do not become fat or lazy because they have been neutered. They do tend to expend less energy in search of a mate, so adjustments to their diet and exercise habits may be necessary. Males become better companions and better neighbors when neutered.

Pets that live in remote areas or are confined to their homes and yards must also be altered. They are capable of escaping when motivated by the lure of a potential mate. Each year, the shelter receives dozens of litters produced by such pets.

Veterinary care
It’s becoming increasingly important to have all pets vaccinated against diseases that are prevalent in this area. Rabies vaccinations are required by law nearly everywhere and others are highly recommended. Even pets that are confined should be protected against disease.

All cats and dogs need to be wormed periodically. Some dewormers are available over-the-counter and others must be obtained from a veterinary clinic.

Preventive measures and proper discipline can help to avoid injuries and diseases that can be expensive to treat. Immediate treatment may preclude complications that could cause inexpensive treatment to escalate into serious and costly problems.

Pet Adjustment
All pets need time to adjust to a new environment. The pet you have adopted has been abandoned or relinquished by its former owner. Adapting to the unfamiliar surroundings and routine of the shelter has been stressful. Only limited information may have been available about your pet’s past health, temperament and habits. Supervise your children and use caution when introducing your pet to other cats and dogs.

Returns and refunds
If evidence of a significant health or temperament problem arises, you may return the animal within two weeks of adoption for a refund of fees or an exchange for a new pet. (Note that the shelter reserves the right to refuse a second adoption when an animal has been returned for exchange.)

Before you think of returning an animal, please allow some time for your pet to adjust to strange people, new routines and unfamiliar surroundings. Most adjustment problems can be resolved with patience.

If you do conclude that you and your pet are incompatible, please return the animal to the shelter. An exception may apply if an animal has bitten someone and may be subject to rabies quarantine or the law prohibits the transfer of ownership during the period of quarantine.

When you need HELP!
Resources can be found online, at pet shops, bookstores and libraries. Veterinarians also offer information and advice, and local obedience classes may be attended. If you have any questions or need advice regarding your new pet, please call the shelter at 208-265-PAWS (7297).

Visit to meet many of our cats and dogs available for adoption.