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Adoption Criteria 

A Friend for Life

If you’re looking for a wonderful life-long companion, then you’ve come to the right place!

CPHS has many animals of every shape and size to choose from.  During the animal’s stay, the shelter staff and volunteers provide many enriching activities, such as walks, outings, behavior training and socialization.


Step 1: Before You Adopt

Make sure everyone in your family understands the commitment of owning a pet. Make sure you are financially able to care for a pet. Additionally, if you rent, check with your landlord to ensure pets are allowed where you live.


Step 2: Complete an Adoption Application

All potential adopters must complete an adoption application before they are permitted to visit with an animal. This can be done onsite or online prior to visiting. Applications are available here.

Open application, complete online and save to your computer as a PDF file.

Follow instructions in Step 4 for sending to us.


Step 4: Finding the Right Pet

Browse our available pets online here or on our Facebook page.  Add the name of the animal you are interested in adopting to your application. You are welcome to come down and browse through our animals onsite. 

Please note that we try to give as much information as possible about our animals likes and dislikes from the behaviors we see here at the shelter.   Please check to see if the pet has restrictions that apply to your home in their bio. 

Please keep in mind that as a rule we cannot hold animals for anyone.


Step 3: Submit Your Application

After completing your application please send by: 

Email: for dogs or for cats to 


(814) 942-8505

Mail to:

Central PA Humane Society
1837 East Pleasant Valley Blvd, Altoona, PA 16602

Staff will contact you for any requirements needing completing on  your application and let you now we are open for walk-ins.  

After you have completed your visit your application will be reviewed by an Adoption Counselor.  You will be contacted with a decision as to approval or not. 

Note: There is a $5.00, non-refundable application fee 


Step 5: Welcoming Your New Pet

Please keep in mind that there is no such thing as the “Perfect Pet.” Any adopted animal will require training, patience and ample time to adjust to their new home.  


Shelter animals need time to decompress and understand that they are in a home.  Do not expect the perfect pet straight away.  Allow your new family member a minimum of two weeks to start to feel at home.


We are always here to help if you need some additional guidance or assistance.

COVID-19 Adoption Packages 

  • Be Prepared
    Accidents can happen, so it is best to be prepared. No matter how safe you might think your pet is, there could be an unforeseen circumstance that might cause your pet to get lost. It is best to plan ahead. Always have a fairly current photograph of your pet that you could use on a flyer. Also be sure your dog or cat wears an identification tag at all times as well as a pet license and rabies tag. It is also helpful to have your pet microchipped.
  • Take Action
    Take action immediately. Search your home and yard carefully. Look under bushes and every area that would be a hiding place for your pet. Walk the neighborhood, especially the route you normally walk your dog. Call your pet and make familiar sounds your pet is used to hearing. Drive around the neighborhood. If you do not find your dog or cat within a reasonable time after canvassing the neighborhood, make flyers to put around the neighborhood. Alert your neighbors, shelters, mailman, and delivery persons that your pet is missing. Give the flyers to walkers, joggers, people with dogs, the newspaper delivery person, or anyone you see regularly in your neighborhood. The more people you alert means more people will be on the lookout for your dog or cat. Call and visit the local shelters daily to look for your pet. Facebook is a helpful tool for getting the word out about your lost pet. Search for groups in your geographical area and send them a picture and description of the last place your pet was seen. Let them know if your pet is nervous and what precautions should be taken if someone finds your pet.
  • Making Flyers
    Use bright colored or fluorescent paper for high visibility. The flyer should note if the pet is a LOST DOG or LOST CAT. You should also put the words CALL IF SIGHTED on the flyer. Some pets will not come up to total strangers and it is important to get that sighting so you know your dog or cat is still safe. Give a description of the pet and telephone numbers where you can be reached. It is good to leave a home number and a cell phone number. If possible, have someone stay at your home to monitor the phone or give a phone number for a friend or family member who can answer the calls for you. You should put the flyers in plastic protective sleeves to protect them from the weather. It is best to have the opening of the sleeve at the bottom so that rain will not get in the sleeve. Be sure to staple the bottom or, if you use tape to attach the flyer, be sure and tape the bottom so the flyer cannot slip out.
  • Posting Flyers
    You need to start posting flyers in the immediate neighborhood first and gradually cover a 3-mile radius. You should post at every stop sign/pole that leads in and out of your neighborhood. If you see people while you are putting up the flyers, hand them one and ask them to be on the lookout for your pet. Dogs usually circle within a 3-mile radius of where they were first lost. If you do get a call of a sighting, respond as soon as possible and try to get as much information as possible. Ask which direction the animal was traveling and if it was walking along the road, sidewalk, or going through yards. Most pets will take the easy route. They will not travel through high brush unless chased. If you go to the scene where the dog or cat was last spotted, concentrate on that area for a while and talk with people that are outside. Just because your pet was spotted in one location does not mean it will stay there. If you don’t have any success seeing the pet, expand your search radius further. Be sure and put up flyers at places that people frequent such as shopping centers, schools, playgrounds, bus stops, veterinary offices, and pet stores.
  • Important Times to Search for your Pet
    Pets that are lost seem to travel at dusk and dawn. Be sure and walk or drive around the area during those time periods. Most animals will be exhausted and rest during other parts of the day.
  • Set Up a Trap
    If your dog or cat has been spotted regularly you can set up a humane trap to try and capture him. Your pet will be getting hungry if it has been out on its own. It is good to use a smelly food to bait the trap. We recommend braunschweiger, liverwurst, or fish. Also you can use other foods to attract the pet. Put pieces of the meat as a trail leading into the trap with the bulk of it at the back of the trap. Place an article of worn clothing in the trap for a familiar scent. Be sure to monitor the trap, as some animals will try to get out and could harm themselves in the process. Monitor it at least hourly or sit off in a distance to observe.
  • Things To Do at Home
    Leave a bowl of food outside your home and any familiar item of your pet’s with a scent that might lure him back home.
  • Dont Give Up
    Visit your local shelters often; keep an eye on their Facebook pages, as they tend to post pictures of strays in an attempt to reunite them with their owners. Check with rescues in your area. Check if your pet has been killed along the highway by calling city, state, or county departments of transportation to see if they have any information. Run lost ads in your local papers. Replace any flyers that might come down. Change colors of the paper you use to alert people that your pet is still missing. Never give up.
  • Use Caution if Someone says they Found your Pet
    Never give out all the identifying features of your pet. This way you can ask whoever finds the pet to describe the pet to you. If someone calls and claims they have your pet, have them meet you at a public location if you cannot take along a family member or a friend.
  • When you Find your Pet
    When you do find your pet, stand still and call your pet to come in a calm voice. Use words that will make your pet want to come to you, like “come and get the treat.” It is also good to sit on the ground when calling for your pet. He will feel less threatened if you are sitting on the ground. You can also make whimpering sounds to make the pet curious to come to you. Do not chase after your pet, as he might think you are playing a game. Be patient and coax him to you. Most importantly, stay calm. We wish you the best in finding your lost pet.


The Path to a Forever Home

At CPHS, we want all the animals in our care to find them a forever home. However, we have to make sure that forever home includes an adopter who is that animal’s perfect match. Adoption applications are not approved on a first-come, first-serve basis; instead, we are committed to finding adopters who not only click with our animals but are able to meet our adoption criteria.

CPHS Standards for Adoption

Animals are available for adoption to residents living within the adoption area of the Central PA Humane Society, including Blair, Bedford, Huntingdon, Cambria, Somerset, Centre and Clearfield counties. All persons living in household are required to be involved in the selection of the pet. If the adopter is living at home with parents, parents must be present at the time of adoption.



Verbal permission of the landlord is required for persons living on rental property.


Animals will be placed with adults of legal age, to be kept as indoor, household pets. They are not to serve as guard dogs, hunters, or mousers.


Owners are required to provide each companion animal with adequate food, water, shelter, space, exercise, veterinary care, and humane treatment. Cruelty and/or neglect shall be deemed to exist if this animal is: (a) inadequately maintained for health (current vaccines and rabies inoculations, food, water, housing, and minimal physical grooming); (b) repetitively running at large creating a public health, welfare, and safety problem; (c) physically harmed in any way

No animal will be adopted as a gift for another person.



According to Pennsylvania Dog Laws, all dogs must be kept under control and not to be allowed to run at large. Because chained dogs are at higher risk of being stolen, a fenced yard is recommended. This provision can be waived at the discretion of the Humane Society staff.


Cats will not be declawed. Humane alternatives to scratching or clawing will be implemented (e.g., Soft Paws, scratchers, trimming nails). Any questions about implementing humane alternatives to declawing? Please contact us.


No animal will be adopted to persons having an extensive history of losing, giving away, selling, or having animals injured or killed by moving vehicles.


Animals that are known to have exhibited vicious tendencies or other serious behavioral disorders are not available for adoption.

Benefits of Adopting

Open Your Heart

Every day, people just like you open their hearts and homes to our loving shelter animals. Rescuing or adopting a homeless cat, dog, or critter is truly a selfless act that gives a pet the chance to enjoy a happy, fulfilling life.

Your new pet will thank you with loyalty, companionship and unconditional love.

Benefits of Adopting

Adopting a pet is one of the most rewarding things you can do for you and the pet. From emotional benefits to physical benefits, pets can impact our lives in tremendous ways. In addition, there are many other benefits when you choose to adopt a shelter pet.

A Large Selection

The Central PA Humane Society has lovable dogs and cats of all shapes, sizes and ages. Your chances of finding a wonderful companion who matches your lifestyle and family are excellent!


About 25% of shelter dogs are purebred. The rest make up the best selection anywhere of unique, one-of-a-kind mixed breeds. Mixed breed dogs are often healthier, longer-lived, more intelligent, and have a more stable temperament than purebreds.

Shelter Animals Make Great Pets

Many pets end up in shelters because of circumstances beyond their control. They’re victims of a death, illness, divorce, a new baby, or a move that didn’t include them. A second-hand pet in no way means second-rate.


Most of our shelter residents are healthy, affectionate animals. Many have already lived with a human family and have the basic training, socialization, and cooperative skills they need to become part of your household.

The staff at CPHS can give you great insight into a pet’s personality. We evaluate each dog’s behavior upon arrival and become familiar with their disposition. This valuable information helps us make optimal matches between homes and pets, and helps you make you the most appropriate adoption decision.

You Can Save Lives

One of the most rewarding aspects of adopting a shelter dog is the simple fact that you’re saving a life and giving a deserving animal a new home. It feels great to help an animal in need, and after living in a shelter, your new pet will be especially appreciative of the wonderful life you’re going to give him.


But that’s not all.  Your adoption fee will benefit other animals, too. By adopting an animal, you will support the Central PA Humane Society and help us to continue caring for many homeless pets in our Blair County community.

Save Money

Another advantage to adopting is that shelter animals are a real bargain! An adoption fee is much lower than the cost of buying a dog from a pet store or breeder.


Our adoption packages include spaying or neutering, so you won’t have to pay for the cost of surgery. Our pets are given a physical exam, vaccinations, and are dewormed.  We also include microchipping to help you locate a lost pet.

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