Frequently Asked Questions

This is where you will find most answers. If there should still be any questions left, don't hesitate to contact us.


  • 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.

  • Where are you located?

    A: We are located 1 Binnington Court, which is just off Dalton Avenue, west of Sir John A. MacDonald Blvd.

  • How much does it cost to adopt a pet?

    A: For a list of our adoption fees, please click here.

  • How do I adopt a pet from you?

    A: For adoption information please click here.

  • How many pets do you place in new homes?

    A: Every day animals at the Kingston Humane Society find new homes. For the most up-to-date information on adoption statistics, view our most recent annual report

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Do you 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.

  • Are dogs and cats sprayed 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 is committed to ensuring all dogs, cats, and rabbits are spayed or neutered prior to adoption unless an animal has been deemed medically ineligible for surgery as per a Veterinarian.

  • 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. KHS staff reserves the right to deline any surrender based on a number of factors including but not exclusive to: current capacity, animal behaviour, the presence or suspected presence of infectious disease in an animal. 


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • I've lost my pet. What do I do?


    • 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.
    • Make a lost pet report in person or by phone. *Please note it is your responsibility to come to the shelter and look for your animal, our staff are unable to do a “Lost Pet Tour” if you are not present. 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.


  • 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.

  • 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.


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!


  • What is a no-kill shelter and a no-kill community?

    A: A: The no-kill philosophy has become very prevalent, and it is important that we all understand what this means for us as a community partner. The Kingston Humane Society operates on no-kill principles, meaning that no animal is ever euthanized for space, time, or convenience. Humane euthanasia is a last resort for only for those animals that cannot be treated or rehabilitated due to an irreparable medical or behavioural condition.

    When shelters and communities follow no-kill principles, every animal is recognized as an individual with a life worth saving. There are no quotas to be met or set number of animals to be killed or saved.

    According to Best Friends Animal Society, one of the worldwide leading animal shelters, a 90% save rate for the animals entering a shelter is the benchmark for measuring lifesaving progress. Typically, the number of pets who are suffering from irreparable medical or behavioral issues that compromise their quality of life and prevent them from being rehomed is not more than 10% of all pets entering shelters.

    While the 90% benchmark offers a meaningful, consistent way to gauge progress, it is neither a floor nor a ceiling. For some shelters who operate similarly to KHS and offer neonatal kitten programs and compassionate end-of-life services for residents with pets in under-resourced communities, the benchmark may be slightly below 90%. Regardless, the goal for our shelter, and for any shelter operating on no-kill principles, is to make a clear commitment to lifesaving and transparency.

    From Best Friends Animal Society

  • What does operation on "no-kill" principles actually mean for the animals at the KHS?

    A: Operating on no-kill principles means that our experienced medical and behavioural teams assess every animal on intake to determine a treatment plan moving forward. We will treat every condition that we can feasibly treat with our resources and expertise. If we cannot meet an animal’s medical or behavioural needs, we reach out to our extensive network of shelter partners and rescue organizations who specialize in certain conditions. Humane euthanasia is only considered if we cannot rehabilitate the animal, nor connect with another expert organization with the access and means to save that individual animal’s life.

  • Is KHS a no-kill facility or an open-adminssion 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.

  • 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 rare cases, humane euthanasia.

  • 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 animal 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.