So you’ve made the decision to get a pet – congratulations! It’s always an exciting moment to bring a new member into the family household. Nowadays, there’s a lot to consider when you’re getting a new pet: What can we afford? What kind of pet do we want? Do we buy from a breeder? Do we adopt? The list goes on and on.

As someone with four cats and one dog (all adopted), there are many reasons I would suggest adopting as opposed to buying from a breeder. For one, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper to adopt. The average cost of a purebred dog can range anywhere from $500.00-$3000.00 and more, depending on the kind of dog you’re searching for. On the other hand, the average cost of adopting a pup from Mississauga Animal Services is $120.88- $261.90, which includes all taxes, a first year license, and more! You’ll also find that older cats and dogs will already be trained and spayed/neutered, making them great for first-time and experienced pet owners alike.

Most importantly, you’re saving a life when you adopt! Shelters are already overflowing with animals and have very little funding in order to take care of them. While all of the shelters listed below have a strict no-kill policy, some animals must be turned away due to over-crowding or a lack of available foster homes willing to take them in.

So where can you adopt, you ask? Here’s a list of Mississauga’s many places to find and rescue a furry friend today!

Mississauga Animal Services (735 Central Pkwy West)

We had a great experience adopting our fourth cat, Frankie, at Mississauga Animal Services, but this shelter isn’t just limited to felines; they have dogs and other small pets like guinea pigs and bunnies, too! During visiting hours (Monday-Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.), hopeful pet parents can get a feel for the animals by taking them out and playing with them before making the choice to take them home (and even if you aren’t looking to take anyone home just yet, this is a great excuse to cuddle some adorable animals and destress at the same time).

Once you’ve picked out your newest family member, the adoption process is pretty simple; just inform the staff at the front counter that you’re looking to adopt, and they’ll walk you through the whole process. The employees we spoke with were really friendly and knowledgeable, and were more than happy to answer any and all of our questions.

In most cases, you can take your new family member home right away. It’s important to note that adoption services close one hour prior to the shelter closing, so make sure to get there before 5 p.m. on a weekday and 4 p.m. on a Saturday to ensure same-day adoption. All animals are micro-chipped, dewormed, and given their first set of vaccinations before going to their new home.  This, as well as taxes, are all included in the adoption fees listed below.

Adoption Fees

Dogs — $120.88 – $261.90

Cats — $20.00 – $193.36

Small Pets — $7.02 – $140.28

Mississauga Animal Services are always accepting donations, so visit their website to learn about their most-needed items and what you can do to help! http://www.mississauga.ca/portal/residents/animal-services-donate

Not looking to adopt just yet? Learn how to volunteer/foster a pet here! http://www.mississauga.ca/portal/residents/volunteer-foster-a-pet

Mississauga Humane Society

As the Mississauga Humane Society does not have a shelter or paid staff, they rely on foster homes to house their animals; this means that you will have to contact the foster parents directly in order to visit a potential pet. You can find their contact information, along with the adoption fee in each animal’s description on their website, here: http://mississaugahumanesociety.com/adoption/dogs/.

Looking to browse through some cats in person? Check out the list below to see the Humane Society’s cat adoption locations in Mississauga!

Dundas East Animal Hospital – 966 Dundas St. (Tomken) – 905-803-8400

Pet Valu – 3077 Mavis Rd. (Dundas St.) – 905-306-0909

Pet Valu – 195 Lakeshore Rd. (Hurontario) – 905-274-8774

Global Pet Foods – 1170 Burnhamthorpe Rd. (Creditview) – 905-501-0411

The average cost of a dog from the Humane Society ranges from $250.00 – $398.00. Depending on their age, cats range from roughly $190.00- $350.00. The adoption fee covers microchipping, a check-up, vaccinations, and the cost to neuter/spay your animal.

As the Mississauga Humane Society is not granted funding from the government, the city, or the SPCA, they rely solely on in-kind donations, adoption fees, and fundraisers. If you wish to foster or donate, whether it be money or your time, visit http://mississaugahumanesociety.com/you-can-help/!

 Abbey Cat Adoptions

Similar to the Mississauga Humane Society, Abbey Cat Adoptions is a registered charity and does not have a shelter; therefore, Abbey cats are located in foster homes all over the GTA.

Unlike the Humane Society, an adoption councillor will be with you every step of the way. Abbey Cat Adoptions want the best care possible for their cats, so the adoption process involves an interview to determine that the cat/kitten you’re interested in will be going to a suitable, loving home. If all goes smoothly, the charity will arrange an appointment to meet your new furry friend at their foster home, at which time you can decide if they’re the cat for you!

Looking for an exotic cat? Their website has a whole section for rare and exotic felines, so no need to go to a breeder to get the specific pet you want. If you have questions or want to find out pricing, give them a call at 416-284-2140 and an adoption councillor will be glad to assist you.

Visit their website here https://abbeycats.org/ if you wish to donate, foster, adopt, or to find out more about this wonderful charity!

 Petsmart (5800 McLaughlin Rd)

It’s almost impossible for me to just walk by the adoption centre at Petsmart without taking a peek at all those furry faces in the window – and in most cases you can adopt one of those furry faces in under two hours!

All Petsmart animals come from local adoption partners, rescues, and shelters, so once you’ve chosen a pet you’d like to take home, a local adoption partner representative will give you an interview to ensure it’s the right fit for both parties. Afterwards, you’ll fill out an application and pay an adoption fee that includes the spaying/neutering of your pet, their vaccinations, a veterinarian check-up, and more.

The great thing about adopting at Petsmart? One-stop shopping! All you could ever need to bring your new family member home is right at your fingertips!

Find out more about adopting at Petsmart here https://www.petsmartcharities.ca/adopt-a-pet.