We hope this FAQ page helps answer your questions. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for, please contact us and a Kingston Humane Society staff member will respond to your inquiry.
- What are your adoption hours?
- Where are you located?
- How much does it cost to adopt a pet?
- How do I adopt a pet from you?
- How many pets do you place in new homes?
- Where do your animals come from?
- What is the adoption process like?
- How do you decide who is adoptable?
- How long do you keep animals?
- Do you ever get purebred dogs or cats?
- Are dogs and cats spayed or neutered prior to adoption?
- How do I surrender an animal to you for adoption?
- What is an “open-admission” shelter versus a “no-kill” shelter?
- Is KHS a no-kill facility or an open-admission facility?
- What is the difference between you and the OSPCA?
- What kind of food do you feed the dogs and cats at the shelter?
- Can you recommend a veterinarian for me to see?
- How do I report animal neglect or cruelty?
- I found an animal in my neighbourhood. What should I do?
- I’ve lost my pet. What do I do?
- Do you sell animals for scientific experimentation?
- Does the KHS accept donations of used pet supplies and toys for the shelter animals?
- Does KHS screen animals for admission?
- Does KHS euthanize animals because of time or space constraints?
- How is the KHS funded? Where does the money come from?
- If I make a gift to a national or provincial animal welfare organization, do you receive a portion of my donation?
- How can I help?
- How do you recruit volunteers?
- Are dog walkers a different ‘breed’ of volunteer?
- Do volunteers do more than one thing?
Q: What are your adoption hours?
A: Shelter adoption hours are:
Monday to Friday – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Q: Where are you located?
A: We are located 1 Binnington Court, which is just off Dalton Avenue, west of Sir John A. MacDonald Blvd.
Q: How much does it cost to adopt a pet?
A: For a list of our adoption fees, please click here.
Q: How do I adopt a pet from you?
A: For adoption information please click here.
Q: How many pets do you place in new homes?
A: Every day animals at the Kingston Humane Society find new homes. In 2016, the Society found homes for 1217 cats, dogs and small domestic pets. We are proud of our efforts and are committed to placing as many adoptable animals into new, loving homes as possible.
Q: Where do your animals come from?
A: Unclaimed lost or stray animals, and pets surrendered by their owners make up the majority of the animals received at the KHS. During the spring and summer months as well we see a great many feline and some canine litters born to pregnant animals that have entered our care.
Q: What’s the adoption process like?
A: As your local humane society, we have a responsibility to place animals in suitable environments that will promote loving bonds between adopters and their pets. Through our adoption process, we will help you find that perfect pet, the one that fulfills your expectations, and suits your lifestyle. A customer care staff member will guide you to ensure that the adoption experience will prove positive for both you and your new companion animal. The long-term well-being of the animals in our care is our main concern; therefore, not all adoption requests may be successful. As part of the process potential adopters are asked to complete a questionnaire which includes a request for personal and veterinary references. This questionnaire will supply the customer care staff member with information about you, your lifestyle, and the type of pet you are looking for.
Q: How do you decide who is adoptable?
A: Our goal is to place as many of the pets received at our shelter (and not reclaimed by an owner) as possible. This can be quite a challenge because, as an open shelter, we accept all companion animals brought to us regardless of their health or temperament. Pets placed for adoption need to be of sound temperament and good health. Pets with a history of severe aggression or that show signs that they are likely to be dangerous in a variety of settings are not suitable for our adoption program. Our team of animal health professionals ensure every medical option is explored in order to save an ill or injured animal. When possible we utilize rescue groups to rehabilitate or work with animals that may not otherwise be considered adoptable and not suited to our general adoption program.
Q: How long do you keep animals?
A: We keep all healthy, adoptable animals as long as it takes to find them a new home. For some animals this can mean living at the shelter for six weeks or more until the right home is available. The length of stay for animals varies. The KHS has many foster families who care for newborns, pregnant cats, and recuperating dogs until they are ready to be placed up for adoption.
Q: Do you ever get purebred dogs or cats?
A: We do get singlebreed dogs and cats of all ages; however they tend to be adopted very quickly. Due to limited resources, we unfortunately cannot notify potential adopters when particular breeds come into the shelter. If you are interested in a specific breed or type of pet, we recommend you regularly view the profiles of animals currently available for adoption on our website or visit the shelter.
Q: Are dogs and cats spayed or neutered prior to adoption?
A: We are committed to ending pet overpopulation and consider spaying and neutering an essential step in addressing this tragic problem. The KHS’s main goal is to spay or neuter as many shelter cats and dogs as possible, prior to putting them up for adoption. However, the occasional animal is not suitable for surgery prior to adoption, such as young puppies or kittens, or when, in the case of peak breeding season, the number of cats entering our shelter exceeds our resources to spay or neuter each one prior to adoption. Adopters of animals not already sterilized agree, by signing their adoption contract, to have their animal spayed or neutered within 60 days of adoption or by eight months of age (whichever occurs last), by a veterinarian of the adopter’s choice. The KHS provides a veterinary voucher upon adoption of any unaltered animal to assist with the cost of the surgery. This voucher enables the adopter to receive a reduction in the cost at their vet’s office and the discount is then paid to the vet by the KHS.[Back to top]
Q: How do I surrender an animal to you?
A: Giving up your animal is a difficult process, both for the pet and the owner. Prior to making the decision to surrender a pet to the KHS, it is very important that pet owners understand the terms and conditions of the surrender agreement so that they are fully aware of their options and the possible outcomes.
When an animal is surrendered, he or she becomes the sole responsibility and property of the KHS. Any decisions regarding the animal are made at the discretion of the KHS and no guarantees can be made regarding the circumstances of adoption, veterinary care, treatment of subsequent illness or injury, or the future disposition of the animal up to and including humane euthanasia.
We understand that an owner’s decision to surrender a pet has been made after careful consideration and for good reasons. Upon signed agreement at the time of surrender, an owner acknowledges that the surrender is permanent and that the animal will not be returned to them in the future.
Animals may be surrendered to the shelter by appointment for a fee. If an appointment has not been made, the surrender fee is higher but the pet will still be accepted.[Back to top]
Services & Animal Care
Q: What’s the difference between you and the OSPCA?
A: The Ontario SPCA (OSPCA) is the provincial body responsible for the administration of the Ontario SPCA Act. This Act gives humane societies the authority to investigate animal cruelty. The Kingston Humane Society is an affiliate of the OSPCA. This affiliation gives our inspector the authority under the act to investigate cases of animal cruelty. Both organizations are registered charities. The Kingston Humane Society is a dues-paying affiliate of the OSPCA.
Q: What kind of food do you feed the dogs and cats at the shelter?
A: We are fortunate to be a part of Royal Canin’s Shelter Program which donates a portion of the food needed for our animals. When recommended by veterinary staff, we do purchase special diets for animals with health issues or other special needs.
Q: Can you recommend a veterinarian for me to see?
A: The Kingston area is fortunate to have a large community of dedicated veterinary professionals. Please consult the Yellow Pages for a veterinarian to best suit your location and needs.
Q: How do I report animal neglect or cruelty?
A: To report a suspected situation involving an animal that may be abused or neglected, and in distress, please contact 310-SPCA (7722).[Back to top]
Q: I found an animal in my neighbourhood. What should I do?
A: If you have found an animal, you cannot simply keep it. There may be a distraught family looking for the found pet! You can notify us that you have found an animal by calling 613-546-1291. As well, advertise in the free ‘found’ section of the newspaper, put up posters in your neighbourhood and bring the animal to our shelter or a veterinary clinic to scan for a microchip implant. If you are unable to meet the needs of the animal while you search for an owner or have no luck locating the owner, please bring the animal to the shelter or contact animal control for your municipality.[Back to top]
Q: I’ve lost my pet. What do I do?
A: – Visit the shelter to look for your pet. It is the responsibility of the pet owner to visit the shelter and search the found reports.
– Advise the KHS. Enquire if your pet has been surrendered or reported found. Make a lost pet report in person or by phone. Please note that reports expire after one week and must be renewed by the owner.
– Make “Lost” posters for the neighbourhood, which include a photograph and post extensively.
– Place ads in local papers.
– Call vet clinics in your area. Ask if you can leave a poster.
– Contact your local animal control unit.
Q: Do you sell animals for scientific experimentation?
A: Under no circumstances does the Kingston Humane Society ever give or sell an animal for research.
Q: Does the KHS accept donations of used pet supplies and toys for the shelter animals?
A: Thank you! Please refer to our Wish List for currently needed items. Items donated that are not on this list may be used for fundraising purposes, foster homes or re-donated to other community organizations.[Back to top]
Q: How is the KHS funded? Where does the money come from?
A: The Kingston Humane Society is a non-profit charitable animal welfare organization supported solely by public and corporate charitable donations, memberships, grants, bequests, fundraising campaigns and fees for service.
Q: If I make a gift to a national or provincial animal welfare organization, do you receive a portion of my donation?
A: No. The KHS is a non-profit independent organization funded by the voluntary donations of individuals and businesses in this community. Funding for the KHS’s services and programs is received in the form of cash donations, bequests, trusts, and fees.
Q: How can I help?
A: Let us count the ways! The KHS greatly appreciates donations of cash, time, expertise and items. The Kingston Humane Society is a registered charity and as such your donation is tax-deductible as allowed by law. Your financial support helps us maintain and even expand the programs and services we offer to the community. Please visit our donations page to learn more about giving to the KHS. Additionally, there are many ways you can volunteer to assist animals. Please visit the volunteer page of this website for more information on the various ways you can make a difference in the lives of the animals.[Back to top]
Q: How do you recruit volunteers?
A: Before people call or e-mail the volunteer department, we require them to have an idea of what they would like to do at the KHS. We have specific jobs listed on our website, such as fostering, office support and data entry, special events, and dog walking, and are always looking for people with experience to fill these roles.
Q: Are dog walkers a different ‘breed’ of volunteer?
A: In a way, yes. Dog walkers must have experience with dogs or be comfortable with dogs and willing to learn some basics. Walking shelter dogs is not like walking the dog next door, and our walkers must be prepared to deal with all sorts of doggie personalities when they agree to walk for us. Dog walkers are also required in the winter so volunteers must like very hot and very cold weather.
Q: Do volunteers do more than one thing?
A: Absolutely. We have volunteers who help in the office, walk dogs, or participate in events and cuddle cats. There are also many opportunities to volunteer that do not require coming to the shelter! Many of our volunteers try a variety of roles before finding the niche that best fits them in terms of skills, schedule and comfort. Give yourself some time to settle in and sort things out, and don’t hesitate to ask questions!
Q: Is the Kingston Humane Society’s annual general meeting open to the public?
A: Yes. The KHS AGM is open to the public. Notices are published in the local paper, in our newsletter and online.
Q: Why does the KHS provide proxy forms for its annual general meeting?
A: A proxy vote allows another person to vote on a member’s behalf, with his/her permission, and the KHS provides proxy forms to all members so that those who are unable to attend the meeting in person may exercise his/her vote. Members should exercise extreme caution when handing over their proxy vote, and be sure to inform the designate how he/she wants his/her vote expressed. For more information on KHS membership, please visit our Membership page.
Q: What is an “open-admission” shelter versus a “no-kill” shelter?
A: An “open-admission” shelter means one simple thing: We do not refuse animals based on having poor health, age, unlikely re-homing ability, or because an owner wants to prove a dignified end of life. As an open-admission shelter, KHS accepts all companion animals from their jurisdiction. A true “no-kill” facility (also known as a “limited-admissions” shelter) is one where animals may be kept alive at any cost, regardless of quality of life, and no animal is euthanized, regardless of health, mental well-being, or temperament. In reality, a no-kill shelter must turn animals away.
By admitting only highly adoptable animals, organizations can easily claim they are no-kill. The animals typically turned away are health-compromised and have behavioral challenges. These challenge may mean that they are too dangerous to be rehabilitated and are a risk to public safety. Animals who do not meet their limited restrictions often end up in open shelters, such as KHS. In actuality, some organizations who claim to be no-kill do humanely euthanize animals.
Q: Is KHS a no-kill facility or an open-admission facility?
A: The KHS has an open-admission mandate, allowing us to help thousands of animals in our community who would have nowhere to go otherwise. All animals are assessed for health, mental well-being, and temperament on intake to determine any treatment plan and best outcomes which may include adoptions, foster, rescue, or unfortunately, humane euthanasia. The KHS believes that an animals at end of life deserves the utmost respect and compassion. At times, being compassionate means humane euthanasia surrounded by caring staff.
The KHS does not believe that a shelter environment is a suitable home for animals who are sick, in pain, a public safety risk, or feral. We knowing living in a shelter environment for extended periods of time causes emotional distress in animals. We consider physical health, emotional well-being, and public safety when consulting with a veterinarian prior to humane euthanasia.
Q: Does KHS screen animals for admission?
A: No. With our open-admission mandate, the KHS accepts all companion animals brought into the facility from our jurisdiction, regardless of health or temperament. Our goal is to provide temporary shelter, alleviate pain or distress, and find homes for those who have no owner. Upon entry, each animal is assessed by animal care professionals and a plan of care is developed with the best interests of the animal, organization, and community in mind. We carefully determine a course of action, which may include adoption, foster care, veterinary care, transfer to another organization or rescue, or in some cases, humane euthanasia.
Q: Does KHS euthanize animals because of time or space constraints?
A: At the KHS we are proud to state that every single healthy and adoptable animal is able to stay at the shelter until they are adopted. The KHS does not euthanize any animals simply because of space or time limitations. We recognize that each animals is unique and we attempt to meet each animal’s needs for a healthy environment, which includes enrichment programs, foster care outside of the shelter, transfers to other organizations or rescues, and adoption opportunities at one of our community satellite adoption centres.