Dakin Humane Society

Springfield, Massachusetts

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About Dakin Humane Society

Dakin Humane Society in Springfield, Massachusetts was founded in 1969 and is one of the most-recognized non-profits in the Pioneer Valley and is a national leader in animal welfare. A community-supported organization, they provide shelter, medical care, spay/neuter services, and behavioral rehabilitation for more than 20,000 animals and people each year.

Dakine Humane Society has two locations:

  • Springfield Adoption and Education Center: 171 Union Street, Springfield, MA 01105
  • Leverett Adoption Center: 163 Montague Road, Leverett, MA 01054

Dakin Humane Society doesn’t receive any government funding and isn’t funded or operated by any national humane organization. They rely solely on contributions from individuals who care about animals to enable them to bring their services to their local community.

They also depend on the dedication of nearly 600 volunteers who work alongside the shelter's staff to help care for animals, deliver programs, and govern the organization.

Thinking about adopting a lucky pet from Dakin Humane Society? Keep reading below for more information on their adoption process and fees.

Contact Info

171 Union St
(413) 781-4000

Hours of Operation

Mon: Closed
Tue - Sun: 12:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Adoption Process

Dakin Humane Society has a variety of animals waiting to meet you. Here’s their adoption process:

  1. Get your adoption journey started by visiting an adoption location or browsing available animals online.
  2. Some animals have notes saying “in a foster home.” They’re ready for adoption but are better-suited waiting in a home instead of a busy adoption center. Contact the Dakin Humane Society to set up an appointment to meet these fostered animals. They'll be even happier in your home!
  3. At the adoption center, narrow down your list to just one or two animals. (This might be the hardest part!)
  4. Talk with an adoption counselor to learn about the animals you’re interested in and decide whether they'll be a good match for your home and lifestyle.
  5. If you’re thinking about adopting a new dog, Dakin Humane Society recommends bringing in all members of your family to be sure everyone gets along (including any dogs!).
  6. For the safety of your furry new friend, bring a collar and leash for dogs or a cat carrier for cats.
  7. Once you’ve found your new best friend, complete the required paperwork and pay the adoption fee.
  8. Bring your new furry friend home!

Adoption Fees

Dakin Humane Society has variable adoption pricing to allow them to provide top-quality care for all animals. Having higher adoption fees for more desirable animals enables the organization to care for other animals in need of lifesaving medical and behavioral intervention.

For that reason, use the adoption fees below as guidelines:


  • Puppies (up to 6 months): $650
  • Adults (6+ months): $475


  • Kittens (up to 6 months): $350 for 1, $600 for 2
  • Adults (6+ months): $150-$225

Your dog or cat adoption fee covers spay/neuter surgery, microchipping, age-appropriate vaccinations, a free examination at a participating veterinary office, a 30-day gift of free pet insurance (available only upon request), and lifelong support from the society's behavioral experts.

Small Critters

  • Rabbits (spayed/neutered): $75 (bonded pairs are 2 for the price of 1)
  • Guinea pigs: $35 for 1, $55 for 2
  • Hamsters: $17
  • Gerbils: $15 for 1, $25 for 2
  • Ferrets: $125 for 1, $180 for 2
  • Mice: $10 for 1, $15 for 2
  • Rats: $12 for 1, $20 for 2
  • Degus: $50 (groups to go home together are $85)
  • Chinchillas: $150 for 1, $235 for 2


  • Parakeets: $25 for 1, $45 for 2
  • Finches: $15 for 1, $25 for 2
  • Lovebirds: $75 for 1, $120 for 2
  • Cockatiels: $100 for 1, $165 for 2
  • Doves: $10 for 1, $15 for 2
  • Other birds: Please inquire

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, below you'll find some nice-to-know info that applies to nearly every animal shelter, humane society, and rescue.

But first...

Do You Have Everything Your New Shelter Pet Needs?

Check out the Checklist, now →

Give your new best friend the life and love they deserve.

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.

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
Dakin 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.