Photo Credit: ThinkStock

It’s an invaluable first step in pet adoption: choosing a shelter instead of a pet store or breeder. Whether it’s a rambunctious kitten or that old, grandpa dog waiting patiently in the corner of his kennel, these local shelters have everything potential pet owners need in Detroit.

Hours: Daily – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Price: $100 to $250 for dogs and cats/prices vary for exotics
View adoptable pets here

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The Humane Society of Huron Valley offers more than just adoption, with a full-service veterinary clinic on-site, behavioral support for adopters and dog training classes. Adoption fees include vaccinations, sterilization, screening for common diseases and parasites, care and behavior information, and a free follow-up health exam within 10 days of purchase. Potential adopters must be at least 21 years of age with proof of residence, and must submit an adoption application before visiting the animals.

Hours: Tues to Sat – 10:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Price: $200 dogs/$100 cats
View adoptable pets here

Established in 1953, the Michigan Animal Rescue League’s mission is to provide quality care for the animals it takes in, regardless of the length of their stay. The adoption process generally takes a few days and includes an adoption consultation to help determine the best animal for the adopter, a chance to meet and spend time with the available animals, and the opportunity for children and other pets to meet the potential new addition. This helps to ensure the pet is placed in the right loving home for the rest of its life. The adoption fee covers vaccination, testing, sterilization and daily care while the animal is at the shelter.

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs to Sat – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wed -– 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Price: $150 to $275 dogs/$40 to $60 cats
View adoptable pets here

Based in Detroit, the Michigan Humane Society also has facilities in Westland and Rochester Hills. Adoption centers at Metro area PetSmart locations feature daily cat adoptions, and regular dog and rabbit adoption events. Adopters must be at least 18 years of age and must meet with an adoption counselor prior to purchase. Sterilization, vaccinations, a health examination and behavioral assessment are included in the adoption fee, as are a health and behavior reference package, a free Behavior Help Line and online adopter support for health or behavior issues after adoption.

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Hours: Mon and Fri – 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.; Tues to Thurs – 10 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.; select Sat – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Price: Cats and Kittens — $57.50 cats/$114 to $136.50 dogs

The Oakland Pet Adoption Center is the largest shelter in Oakland County, with satellite shelters throughout the Metro-Detroit area. The adoption fee includes vaccinations and sterilization, cat registration and an Oakland County license for dogs more than 4 months old. Adopters must fill out an application before purchasing a pet, and must be 18 years or older. A driver’s license or state I.D. card is required.

Hours: Mon to Sat – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; adoption hours vary
Price: Varies by species, age, breed and adopting agency
View adoptable pets here

PetSmart Charities works with shelters and rescue organizations across the country to connect pets with potential adopters; each PetSmart location works with local shelter and rescue agencies both online and via in-store adoption events. Every agency sets its own adoption requirements and fees, which include a health exam, vaccination and sterilization. Potential adopters may contact their local PetSmart store for information on the local agencies, fees and times the pets are available for adoption.

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Jennifer Walker is a freelance writer living in Detroit. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University. Her work can be found at