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Dog Adoption

Things to consider when adopting a dog and where to adopt a dog in Washington County, Oregon.

Where to adopt a dog in Washington County

Our staff works hard to reunite lost pets with their families. If no owner comes forward, adoptable animals are moved to partner organizations to find new homes. For these reasons, we are not offering pets for adoption at the Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter.

We recommend checking with other area shelters to see if they have animals available for adoption. You can also check Petfinder or chat with friends or family who might know of an animal looking for a home.

Adding a new dog to your family? Be sure to license them!

Before you decide to adopt a dog

Wherever you adopt your new family member from, there are some important things to consider:

Commitment - Dogs can live 10-15 years or longer. Are you and your family prepared to make this commitment to the animal you are adopting?

Lifestyle - Dogs are time consuming. They need exercise and attention every day. Puppies can be especially needy – requiring additional time for training and socialization. It’s important for you to select an animal with a personality, exercise needs, training and socialization requirements, and grooming needs that fit your family's lifestyle.

Behavior – We don’t always know the histories of dogs. Adult dogs may not have been socialized well as puppies. Some dogs go through a phase of chewing, digging, barking or going to the bathroom inside the house while adjusting to their new home. Most behaviors are correctable, but it takes training and commitment from you. Your new pet may have behaviors that require working with a veterinary specialist or behaviors that will need to be managed for their entire life.

Expense/Cost - Veterinary care, food, dog license, collar/harness, leash, beds, toys, food/water dishes, pet sitting/boarding, grooming, and training classes all cost money. Consider how getting a dog will impact your finances.

Health - Even healthy animals can end up with expensive veterinary bills during their lifetimes. Beyond just the cost, consider if your lifestyle will allow you to medicate an animal if needed, provide specialized care for your furry friend as they age, or feed your dog a special diet if necessary. Some animals may already have a medical condition to consider before adopting.

Where you live - If you’re renting, does your property allow dogs? Is there a pet deposit? Is there a limit on size or number of pets? Think about how you’ll exercise a dog and give it potty breaks. Do you have a fenced yard, or will you need to walk your dog every time it needs to go outside?

Other members of your household, including other pets - Do you need a dog that is good with children? Some dogs may be too rambunctious or too shy to be a good pet for a young family. Similarly, if there are adults in your household who have mobility or balance issues, or who don’t have the strength for a dog that pulls, be sure to look for a gentle dog. Also, consider the pets that are currently in the household. Will they enjoy sharing their home or are they better off as the only pet?

Ask yourself if any of your family members are allergic to pets, have a fear of animals, or just don’t enjoy being around them. We recommend that all family members meet a new pet before you decide to adopt.


Washington County Animal Services Location

1901 SE 24th Avenue, Mailstop 53
Hillsboro, Oregon 97123
Tuesday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm