Our Adoption Process

We’re so excited that you’re considering adopting from Nashville Humane Association. We’re located at 213 Oceola Ave in West Nashville, near the intersection of White Bridge Road and Charlotte Pike, and are open from 10AM until 5PM TUE through SUN (closed Mondays). We’re also closed every TUE-THUR from 12-1PM for “Quiet Hour.” As a quick heads up, our adoption process takes about an hour, and all adoptions must be finalized on-site at the shelter, so if you’re planning to visit and adopt, be sure to make accommodations for time.

Pets adopted in 2022

Adoption Requirements

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • A picture I.D. showing your present address
  • The knowledge and consent of your landlord (if applicable)
  • Ability to spend time/money necessary to provide training, medical treatment, and proper care for a pet

IMPORTANT: The Nashville Humane Association reserves the right to refuse adoption to anyone. No animal will be adopted to prospective owners who mislead or fail to provide accurate information on the application.

Here’s How It Works

As Nashville’s FAVORITE shelter, we adopt thousands of pets annually. You are able to come and visit and adopt from our facility in the same day. To adopt, from Nashville Humane you must follow our adoption process.

1. View a Pet’s Page to Learn More

Right now you can take a look at every pet that is currently available for adoption. View Adoptable Dogs. View Adoptable Cats. Our Adoption Pages are updated every hour, so the pets you see online are the pets that are currently available for adoption.

2. Come to Nashville Humane

Once you’re ready to start the adoption process or see someone(s) online you’d like to visit, you’ll want to come to the shelter. We’re located at 213 Oceola Avenue, TUE through SUN from 10AM until 5PM (closed Mondays, and closed Tue-Thur 12-1pm for Quiet Hour). If you are planning on adopting, you should plan to budget about an hour of time into your schedule.

3. Visit With Our Pets

If a pet’s location is currently listed on the website as “Available in Foster”, that means they’re currently living in one of our foster homes. If you’d like to learn more, or schedule a meet-and-greet, you’ll just coordinate that through our Pet Services Team by emailing adoption@nashvillehumane.org

Any pet that is currently listed on the website as “Available In Shelter” will be available for you to meet and spend time with when you visit the shelter.

4. Apply for Adoption

After you’ve come to Nashville Humane. Spent time with some pets. Our adoption counselors agree that it’s a good match, then it’s time to finalize that adoption! You’re going to fill out an adoption application in the shelter (or you can fill one out online in advance to save yourself a few minutes at the shelter. Note: completing an application online does not “reserve” a pet for you).

A member of our Pet Services team will review your application. Once you’re approved, then you’ll complete payment of the adoption fee. Review and sign our adoption contract. And you and your new forever best friend will be on your merry way!

Here Are Some Details

All animals in our Adoption Program, while at NHA, receive a spay/neuter surgery, are current on their vaccinations, are micro-chipped, and receive high-quality veterinary care from our team of full-time board-certified veterinary staff.

You can see each pet’s adoption fee listed on their adoption page. Adoption Fees at Nashville Humane normally range from $85-$225 for dogs and puppies, and range from $45 to $175 for cats and kittens.

More than 4,000 animals come through our doors every year. Each has a different story to tell. Some are found as strays while others are surrendered by owners who can no longer care for them. Hundreds are rescued from animal cruelty cases. But no matter how they got here, each and every one is loved, cared for, and attended to. Whether that’s individualized medical treatment, behavioral rehabilitation, or treats, food and shelter. Our adoption fees help offset these costs.

Nashville Humane employs what is called a ‘scalable pricing’ system. That means that most pets fall within our “normal” range, however there are times when NHA will have “outlier” situations. As an example, some special needs or longer stay animals will have reduced adoption fees, or no adoption fee at all. Because cost of stay and care can be expensive at the shelter, we want to encourage an expedited adoption of some pets.

Then there are also certain high-demand animals that have much higher adoption fees. This is a rare occurrence, but it does happen from time-to-time. Because we anticipate these “special” cases will be high-demand adoption animals, the adorable Yorkie puppy, who will be adopted in five minutes, gets to serve an even greater mission. He gets to help offset the cost of care for the senior “bully” breed who will be in our care for months.

Remember, Nashville Humane is an entirely gift-based not-for-profit, and we have to be creative from time-to-time with how we raise funds. We aren’t a government-funded organization. We don’t have a over-arching national organization to support us. We are a small, local shelter, and a scalable adoption fee structure helps us keep our lights on and our doors open.

Ultimately, though, these are all exceptions to the rule. For 99.9% of the animals that are adopted from our shelter, the Adoption Fees at NHA are simply the “normal” fees identified above.

Nashville Humane Association

Adopt Dogs

Nashville Humane Association

Adopt Cats

Adoption FAQ

You can go here to view the animals that are currently available for adoption.

We do not offer online adoptions. You must come to the shelter to complete our adoption process in-person.

We do not offer the ability to reserve or hold pets online. You must come to the shelter to complete our adoption process in-person.

No. Completing the application online simply allows you to save a little time at the shelter by completing some of your paperwork in advance. We do not offer the ability to reserve or hold pets online. We also do not offer online adoptions.

Yes. We are open for visits TUE-SUN 10AM until 5PM. Closed on Mondays.

Yes. We absolutely encourage your current pet to meet your potential new family member. We have spaces within the shelter where your current dog(s) can hang out while you walk the shelter to meet prospective dogs. When you arrive, ask a member of our Pet Services team to assist you. Note: we do not do cat meet and greets. This applies to either for our cat with your pets/dogs, or for your cat meeting with our pets/dogs.

No. If you want to adopt, and the pet is listed online then come to the shelter and begin the process.

No. You can be from anywhere, but you do have to physically be at our Nashville shelter to complete our adoption process. We do not offer online adoptions.  Additionally, adopters are solely responsible for any documentation, health certificates, or check-ups necessary for where they live or for interstate travel. Lastly, for health and safety purposes we are not able to “ship” animals.

Maybe? It just depends on the given day, but obviously some “types” of pets are less common to shelters than others. Your best bet is to watch our Adoption Pages on our website to see real-time updates of our current adoptable census. Also, sometimes we post “coming attractions” on social media (Facebook, Instagram), so it’s a good idea to follow us on social, too!

Also, due to the volume of inquiries and animals we care for at any given time, we do not offer a “contact me list.” Just keep checking back on the site!