Save an animal, gain a friend. Adopt.

Adopt a Pet today. Visit Worcester Animal Rescue League in Central MA and find a lifelong companion.Worcester Animal Rescue League is committed to making adoption a success for both the adopter and the animal.Your safety and the safety, happiness and well-being of our shelter animals are our top priority. WARL reserves the right to deny adoption to anyone for any reason at any time.

When you are ready to adopt, you will receive your adoption folder, where we’ve enclosed tips, tricks and solutions to the most common issues people face with new pets. Feel free to call the shelter at 508-853-0030 or email us with any questions!

WARL Adoption Fees

  • Kittens under 1 year of age: $165
  • Cats between 1 to 7 years of age: $125
  • Cats over 10 years of age: $50
  • Puppies under 1 year of age: $350
  • Dogs between 1 to 7 years of age: $225
  • Dogs over 10 years of age: $100

WARL also has a Senior for Senior Program (click the link to learn more). The adoption fee is waived for a senior citizen adopting an animal over 10 years old.

*What's Included in the Fees?

Adoption Fees are non-refundable; they are the cost of caring for an animal in our shelter. Adoption Fees include these estimated costs:

  • Spaying and neutering: $200
  • Dogs are microchipped: $25
  • Cats are tested for leukemia and FIV: $50
  • Dogs are tested for heartworm: $50
  • Age appropriate vaccines: $50
  • Fecal testing for parasites: $20
  • Deworming for parasites: $20
  • Dogs receive a collar and leash: $25
  • Cats receive a cat carrier: $10
  • Veterinary exam(s) while at the shelter: $50

Average cost for cat: $500
Average cost for dog: $510

Included in the adoption fee is a free 30-day trial of Shelter Care pet insurance. You can decide at the end of a month if you wish to continue the insurance.

In addition to the above costs, there is the daily cost of feeding and housing an animal from a period of weeks to months. Also many animals come to our shelter ill or injured. Treatment can easily add hundreds of dollars to the average cost of care.

*Occasionally there are discounted rates for adult animals that have been in the shelter for many months or for bonded pairs that must be adopted together.

WARL Adoption Hours

Noon to 4:00p.m. Daily

Adoptions are typically a same-day process unless the adopter places a 24-hour hold* on the pet. You can expedite the adoption process by bringing your lease, and landlord’s phone number (if applicable) when you come to the shelter. If you own the property, you may be asked to bring in a mortgage statement as proof of home ownership.

It’s crucial that you bring all family members or roommates to meet the animal at the shelter. If you’re adopting another dog, bring your current dog to the shelter to meet the possible new one.

*What is 24-Hour Hold?

You can put a 24-hour hold on an animal while you round up family members, roommates or just to make arrangements to take the animal home. You have to request the hold in person; you can’t do it over the phone. If you adopt the animal, the $25 hold fee is deducted from the adoption fee. If you decide against adopting that animal, the fee will not be returned. Click here for complete details for a 24-hour hold.

Adopt Responsibly

Before adopting, please consider your choice to do so carefully*.

Allergies, moving, even the way the animal looks; these are all things to think about when you make the decision to adopt. While we truly appreciate the thought and care behind adopting a shelter animal, we want to make sure you’ve thought everything through to prevent the animal from being moved around too many times if the adoption falls through.

*Things you should consider before adopting.

The primary reasons animals are returned to the shelter are the adopter didn’t realize how much care and time the animal needed, the adopter (or a family member) was allergic to the animal, or the adopter changed residence and moved some place they could not take the animal.

  • Are you prepared to care for an animal for 15 years? This is the average lifespan of a dog or cat if you adopt them young.
  • Moving: If you’re going to move in the near future, it may not be the best time to adopt an animal. Wait till you are settled in your new place. Pets often get lost or escape during the chaos of moving.
  • The costs of veterinary care: Pets have to see a veterinarian at least once a year for a physical exam and vaccination updates. Many medical issues can be treated easily and relatively inexpensively if caught quickly. There are also veterinary emergencies such as injury or illness. Our pets can’t drive themselves to a veterinarian. They need you to do that when they’re in pain. So be honest with yourself — can you afford several hundred dollars a year to care for an animal?

Shelter Prejudices

Animals at WARL undergo behavioral evaluations, spay/neuter, vaccinations and medical exams before they are approved for adoption. All are unique, wonderful animals just waiting for someone to give them a home. Still, there is prejudice against shelter animals. There’s nothing “wrong” with a shelter pet except the human decisions that made the animal homeless.

Within the shelter population, there are animals that suffer from additional prejudice.

Pit bulls aren’t even recognized as a breed by all official dog associations. It’s a shame they can’t sue for defamation of character. Pit bulls are essentially big mutts with goofy grins and wagging tails who love people. Don’t walk by them without a second glance. Pit bulls are intelligent, loyal, playful dogs.

Adult black cats and black dogs are skipped over for more colorful animals. Special needs animals are bypassed for ‘perfect’ pets. Don’t let prejudices or pre-conceived ideas about an animal prevent your from noticing a wonderful, delightful pet that will give you love and joy.

Falling in love with an animal at first sight is easy, and with any relationship it will take work. Tell us about your lifestyle and what your want in a pet and let WARL’s experienced staff help you choose the best pet for you.

(When you see one of these Arrows arrow-down click on it to read more information!)