Step 1: Determine the pet that is best for your lifestyle.
Browse through the helpful topics at the left and determine what type of pet will best suit your lifestyle. Since your new pet will be with you for many years, this is an important commitment that should not be rushed into!

Step 2: Gather the required forms of identification.

Step 3: Select your pet!
All animals are available to be seen at Chesapeake Square and Harbour View PetSmart. (Or you can click here or look below to see their featured pets!) Once you select your pet, Suffolk Humane Society will process your adoption.

Step 4: See your veterinarian.
Your new pet will want to meet her new veterinarian! During your first vet visit, your veterinarian will help you with a host of questions including integrating your new pet with your existing pets and family members, what type of food to choose, and to get a more in depth view of your pet's health and age- or breed-related needs

100,000 homeless pets are put to death each year in Virginia. A staggering number...

Healthy, well-adjusted puppies, kittens, cats, and dogs, including purebreds and "designer dogs", are among those put to death. The shelters cannot support and save the large number of accidental litters, strays, and family pets that are brought to the shelter doors every day.

Adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue can reduce this number.


The adoptable dogs in animal shelters are not damaged material, nor are they vicious or "bad" - they are lovable, healthy dogs who are looking for the gift of life - and they are the products of unlucky circumstances. Some of these pets originally belonged to people who weren't ready for the responsibility of pet ownership. Other adoptable pets arrived at the shelter because their owners couldn't keep them any longer, perhaps because of divorce, or moving, or family tragedy. Still others are strays that wandered away from often-neglectful homes. All of them need homes, and owners with big hearts and the right attitudes.

If you're ready to add a pet to your family, visit your local shelters and get to know the wonderful pets who need a second chance. Suffolk's shelter is the Animal Control shelter. You can also do some homework first by checking out the pictures of available shelter pets at There are more than 250,000 pets listed on the Petfinder site, and you can narrow your search by city, state, breed, and numerous other factors. View the pictures of the adoptable animals at Suffolk Animal Care Center by clicking here.

Adoption Application for Dogs

Purebreds are Possible

If your heart is set on a purebred, you should know that 25%-30% of adoptable pets in shelters are purebred. Start your search at the shelters for the purebred you're looking for - and check back often - strays and family pets come in to shelters daily.

Your next best option for a purebred dog or cat is to contact a breed rescue group. Click here for a sampling of the rescue groups in the Tidewater area. Otherwise, simply do a Google search for the breed and add the word "rescue" and your state. This works for "designer dogs", too. For instance, if you're looking for a "labradoodle", do a search for "poodle rescue" or "labrador rescue". Or call us at (757) 538-3030 - we have a list of breed rescue groups. Rescue groups will undoubtedly have the purebred pet you want.

Find a Responsible Breeder

And finally, if you have exhausted your search for a particular dog and have decided to buy a dog from a breeder, please be sure you are going to a responsible breeder. Responsible breeders do NOT sell their dogs to pet stores and they will require that you return the dog to them at any time in the dog's life if you cannot continue caring for it. Responsible breeders have the dogs' interest in mind, not making a "sale". Click here to learn how to find a good breeder.

Beware that pet store puppies may come from breeders who operate puppy mills. These puppy mill puppies are often the products of inbreeding and can have medical issues unknown to you until you own the puppy. Additionally, the mothers of these pups are kept in deplorable conditions and are made to breed repeatedly until they can no longer produce a litter, and then they are disposed of. The result is thousands upon thousands of puppies churned out each year for sale at pet stores, over the Internet, and through newspaper ads.

If you are unable to visit the breeder's facility and see where the mother dog lives and breeds, or where the dogs are kept, please go back to searching your area shelter. Puppy mills will continue to operate until people stop buying their dogs. When people stop buying dogs at pet stores or over the Internet, the number of homeless animals that are put to death in Virginia will decrease.

Make Adoption Your First Option

We urge you to visit your local shelter or rescue, where you are likely to find dozens of healthy, loveable animals - including purebreds - just waiting for that special home - yours.

Be patient in your search for your new family member. Pets are a life-long commitment and deserve serious consideration.