Shelby Humane Society

Columbiana, Alabama

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About Shelby Humane Society

Shelby Humane Society in Columbiana, Alabama is a non-profit organization founded in 1977 with the mission of rescuing and re-homing the neglected and homeless pets of Shelby County. They provide care to over 5,000 dogs and cats each year and house 200-350 adoptable animals at any given time. This means no matter what kind of dog or cat you’re looking for, there will be one at the shelter that’s a purrfect match!

Not all pets are housed at the shelter as Shelby Humane Society has developed an extensive network of foster homes to care for adoptable animals that need more attention to thrive.

The society has developed two significant service expansions since they were founded:

  • Low-cost spay/neuter program: Through this program, the society works with local veterinarians to provide deeply discounted spay and neuter programs. They provide these services for more than 2,300 pets each year.
  • SafePet: Assists human survivors of domestic violence by partnering with organizations that provide emergency shelter. They’ve created a network of veterinarians and volunteers to care for animals while women and children find the support they need at no cost to families until they're reunited with their pets.

Considering adoption from Shelby Humane Society? Read below for more info on their adoption process and fees.

Contact Info

381 McDow Rd
(205) 669-3916

Hours of Operation

Tue - Fri: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sat - Sun: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Mon: Closed

Adoption Process

Adopting a pet from Shelby Humane Society is a straightforward process.

  1. Complete an adoption application and submit it for review.
  2. Bring all family members, including children, to meet the new pet. If you’re adopting a dog, bring your current dog(s), too.
  3. Spend time with an adoption counselor to discuss the responsibility of owning a pet and making it a lifetime commitment. Use this time to talk about the behavioral and medical history of the animal you'll be adopting and to ask any questions you may have.
  4. Once you’re approved to adopt, pay the adoption fee and complete any remaining paperwork.
  5. Finally! It's time to head home for endless hours of playtime with your new best friend.

Adoption Fees

Adoption fees at Shelby Humane Society are as follows:


  • Puppies (up to 6 months): $120
  • Adults (6+ months): $85


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

Your adoption fee covers spay/neuter, all age-appropriate vaccinations, microchipping, deworming, a free wellness exam, and heartworm testing and prevention for all dogs 6+ months old.

These medical services cost Shelby Humane Society roughly $350 per animal, much less than your adoption fee, so any additional donation you’d like to give is greatly appreciated, though in no way required or expected.

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
Shelby 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.