Adoption Process

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You can view animals for adoption anytime during our business hours; you do not need an appointment.

*Please note, if you would like to see a dog outside of its kennel, please return to the lobby area and complete the pre-screening questionnaire with our customer service staff.  All visitors 18 years of age entering the kennel area must show a State-issued photo ID; anyone under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

Qualifications/Requirements to adopt include:

  • Up-to-date rabies vaccinations and county rabies tags of any other cats and dogs you already own

    • Please note that we honor out of county ordinances regarding rabies vaccinations and registration for the county you reside in.

  • Little or no animal-related complaints on file

  • History of being a responsible pet owner (regular rabies vaccinations and compliance with animal ordinances)

  • Proof of housing (will be verified online, by phone or in person):

    • Proof of home ownership (mortgage statement, closing papers, or property tax bill reflecting your name as the owner)

    • Copy of lease

    • Paid deposit receipt

    • Notarized letter from landlord

  • State-issued photo ID

  • Must be at least 18 years old

  • We adopt to out of county or out of state residents; however, you must come to the shelter in person. We do not ship or transport animals to adopters.

As part of your adoption fee, all cats and dogs adopted from Winnebago County Animal Services are spayed or neutered before going to a new home. Cats or dogs that have already been sterilized can go home the same day of adoption. If an animal requires spay or neuter surgery, it will remain at the shelter until the next scheduled day of surgeries.

Winnebago County Animal Services will also implant a Microchip in your new pet as a permanent form of identification implanted between the pet’s shoulders.

Other services included in the adoption fee:

  • Age appropriate vaccinations

  • Flea and tick preventative

  • Worming, heartworm test (dogs 6 months and older)

  • Parvovirus test (puppies under 6 months)

  • Bag of food to get started

Once the adoption application is final, we will explain the contract and policies and give you a copy of your pet’s medical records for any procedures completed by Winnebago County Animal Services. The adoption paperwork includes an exam card, the adoption contract, medical history, microchip certificate, and rabies certificate.

If your new pet becomes ill within two weeks of adoption, please contact Winnebago County Animal Services immediately.

You may download, print, and complete the adoption application before coming to the shelter. Bringing a completed application along with the necessary requirements above may speed up the adoption process for you.

Feel free to come to the shelter in person to fill out an application!  You can also download the application and fax it to us at 815-319-4101 or drop it back off at the shelter.  

ID Your Cat or Dog!

Use a rabies tag, microchip, or an ID tag with your name and current phone number.

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Want to adopt a particular breed of dog or cat? Click to contact us!

Winnebago County Animal Services
4517 North Main Street
Rockford, IL 61103
P: 815-319-4100
F: 815-319-4101

Shelter Hours:
Monday: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM,
1:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday-Friday: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM,
1:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday: CLOSED
*Please note, all adoptions end 30 minutes prior to closing.

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