Cascades Humane Society

Jackson, Michigan

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About Cascades Humane Society

Cascades Humane Society's mission is to unite vulnerable animals in need with people who care and are able to help them. They're committed to ensuring every adorable dog and cat find their forever home. As a non-profit public charity, they're dependent on the generosity of the community. They hold a number of annual events to help them generate the much-needed funds required to keep saving animals' lives.

They have a rich history dating back to the 1920s when Virginia Lavender began saving stray, abused, and lost animals. She used her own money to provide them with the treatment they needed before placing them with families. Following her example, brother and sister duo Kenneth and Edith Dunning (along with other community members), incorporated the Animal Welfare League of Jackson. After closing down in 1980 due to funding shortages and operational challenges, a certificate of assumed name was filed and Cascades Humane Society was born.

In 1984, Dr. Pat Gorczyca began providing the shelter with free and low-cost veterinarian services through Blackman Animal Clinic. He later became a Cascades Humane Society board member and helped them boost their funding when a friend of his, Doris Upp, bequeathed her entire estate to the shelter.

In 1996, Peter Weatherwax, a philanthropist, rented office space to the shelter for just $100 per month. He had the intention to donate the land they were renting to them and donate the cost of building a new facility, but, sadly passed before the plans were completed. That same year, the shelter also evolved from a membership funded organization to a director-run one, and four years later they held their first cabinet meeting. After forming the Cascades Humane Auxiliary, they raised more than $1.6 million and built a brand new shelter and adoption center that was officially opened on the December 7, 2003.

Contact Info

1515 Carmen Dr
(517) 787-7387

Hours of Operation

Mon: Closed
Tue - Sat: 12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Sun: Closed

Adoption Process

To adopt a dog or cat from Cascades Humane Society, you must be at least 18 years old, be able to present the vaccination records of all your current pets, and have your landlord's permission to keep a pet (renters only).

To encourage responsible decision-making, the shelter allows 24-hour holds to be placed on pets. Once you're ready to proceed, the $25 holding fee will be deducted from your adoption fee. You can also complete a self-evaluation quiz on their website to help you decide if it's the right time for you to adopt a pet.

To get started, you can either complete an online adoption form or download a printable form.

Adoption Fees

Adoption fees at Cascades Humane Society are as follows:


  • Puppies (up to 6 months): $199
  • Adults (6+ months): $150
  • Seniors: $110


  • Kittens (up to 6 months): $80
  • Adults (6+ months): $60
  • Seniors: $35

Coveted dog and cat breeds may carry higher adoption fees.

Your adoption fee covers spay/neuter surgery, age-appropriate vaccinations, deworming, tick and flea treatments, a free wellness exam at a participating veterinarian, one month free pet insurance, and an ID tag. Dogs are tested for heartworm and cats for feline leukemia and FIV/FeLV. All dogs will be microchipped and cats that are spayed or neutered at the shelter will also be microchipped.

Adoption Process & Fees

Our writing team is hard at work researching this shelter's adoption process and fees, so this page will be updated soon!

In the meantime, here's some nice-to-know info that applies to nearly every animal shelter, humane society, and rescue.

Why Rescue A Shelter Dog?

Because shelter dogs are full of love!

Is it because they know you saved them and love you harder for it?

I can't say for certain, but yes.

Jokes aside, there are three things all shelter dogs need to thrive in their new home:

  1. Love
  2. Patient
  3. Training

Older shelter dogs, generally 1+ years old, may have experienced a lot of trauma, which often results in one of 8 common behavioral issues:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Aggression toward people & pets
  3. Resource guarding
  4. Destructive behavior
  5. Housetraining regression
  6. Poor social skills
  7. Leash reactivity & barrier-related aggression
  8. Constant whining

These issues are correctable! Your dog isn't broken, they're just damaged. You can fix them with enough love, patience, and a good training plan.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, finding good dog trainers can be hard. Like everything else, dog training is moving only. but there are great online dog trainers that are proven to work and can help get your new pup on the right path.

Animal Shelter vs Humane Society vs Rescue: What's the Difference?

You can learn a lot about an animal welfare organization just by looking at their name.

Animal Shelters

  • Most Animal Shelters are city or county-run organizations, often operated by the local Animal Control department, that manage strays and handle owner surrenders.
  • They usually have kennel facilities you can visit to adopt animals, and they usually have less stringent adoption requirements, lower adoption fees, and same-day adoptions (because their goal is to get animals out of the shelter).
  • Unfortunately, they usually know very little about each animal, including their true personalities and any behavioral problems.

Humane Societies

  • Most Humane Societies are non-profit organizations, many of which are no-kill shelters.
  • Some (but not all) are affiliated with The Humane Society of the United States.
  • They exist to improve animal welfare in the local community and often partner with city or county-run Animal Shelters that often euthanize animals due to capacity restraints.
  • They usually have kennel facilities, sometimes at multiple locations, and usually offer other services to the community such as low-cost spay/neuter clinics, community education programs, and more.
  • They may also have some animals in foster care.
  • There's a lot of variation in process and fees among Humane Societies, but they usually have really good websites that detail everything for you.


  • Most Rescues are foster-based organizations that don't have physical facilities.
  • They usually have websites and contact emails, but not all of them have phone numbers.
  • Because they don't have a physical facility, you need to view animals in their foster network online, usually on their website but sometimes on their member pages on either PetFinder or Adopt-a-Pet.
  • If you see an animal you'd like to meet, contact the rescue using the process listed on their website or via email. They'll help you through the application process and set up a time for you to meet the animal at the foster's home.
  • Adopting from a rescue generally is the most expensive option here and takes the longest, but you get an animal that's been cared for in a loving home environment and their foster can tell you a lot about their personality.

6 Tips to Improve Your Adoption Experience

Adoption processes vary drastically from organization to organization, but here are some general tips that apply in most instances. Note that we'll use the term "shelters" here for simplicity but it includes all types of rescue organizations.

  1. See an animal online that you'd like to meet? Call the shelter before your visit to make sure the animal is still available. This especially applies for puppies, which are adopted out quickly.
  2. Usually, you'll need to get some paperwork in order: a photo ID, vaccination/medical records for any pets you currently have, possibly your vet's contact info and a couple of personal references, and (for renters) proof you're allowed to have a pet (copy of your lease or your landlord's contact info).
  3. If you need to provide contact info for your vet, let your vet know ahead of time. Otherwise, they may not release your information.
  4. Many shelters require your current dogs to meet adoptive dogs. Your current dogs need to be up-to-date on vaccinations.
  5. Some shelters require you to schedule a home visit to ensure a suitable living environment for the new animal.
  6. Adoption fees may seem excessive, but they're actually amazing values. Truthfully, caring for a pet is expensive. Most adoption fees include required medical care to get the animal ready for their new home including (but not limited to) spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, general vet exams, flea/tick treatment, deworming, heartworm testing/treatment for dogs, and feline leukemia and feline AIDS testing/treatment for cats. In general, your adoption fee is less than the cost of this care, so you're saving money in addition to your new animal's life!

If you have any questions about adopting an animal (what you'll need, what to expect, etc.) feel free to contact the PetLists team!

For more information about what's included in your adoption fee, or any other questions about the adoption process, reach out to
Cascades Humane Society
directly using the contact info above.

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All information on this page is accurate and up-to-date to the best of our knowledge. If you spot an error, please contact us using our contact form.
Note: Hours of operation and other information on this page are subject to change during the COVID-19 pandemic.