West Suburban Humane Society

Downers Grove, Illinois

Silent Auction for The Hermitage Cat Shelter!

October 15-31, 2020 | Learn More →

Bid on 99+ awesome prizes, including a South African Photo Safari for Two!

All proceeds benefit needy cats and kittens in Southern Arizona.

About West Suburban Humane Society

West Suburban Humane Society is a volunteer-based, non-profit, animal welfare organization. Founded in 1972, they began life as a lost and found pet referral service providing homeless animals with shelter in volunteer homes. By gathering information and compiling records they aimed to reunite as many lost pets as possible with their worried owners.

As support and demand grew for their services over the years, a permanent shelter was built in West Chicago alongside 3 other satellite shelters in nearby townships.

Over 600 animals are taken in and found new, loving forever families every year. At any one time, the shelter can house up to 25 dogs and 60 cats. Many animals are brought in by the public that have been abandoned, neglected, abused, injured, or orphaned. Others pets come from impound facilities, which may be suffering from overcrowding issues. As the shelter operates with a no-kill policy, there's no time limit on how long any one animal can stay in their care. Every animal will be given the love and medical attention they need before being rehomed. Some animals who have suffered severe trauma or neglect may need to be temporarily placed in caring foster homes until they're ready for adoption.

West Suburban Humane Society also strives to serve and educate the community through educational outreach programs promoting humane animal care.

Contact Info

1901 Ogden Ave
Downers Grove
(630) 960-9600
Website: wshs-dg.org

Hours of Operation

Mon: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tue: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Wed: Closed
Thu: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Fri: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Sat: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Adoption Process

West Suburban Humane Society works hard to match the right pet with the right owner. Their amazing staff is only too happy to assist in the adoption process, which is as follows:

  1. Visit the shelter’s virtual kennel and cattery online to see who might be waiting for you!
  2. Complete an adoption form at the shelter or before your visit to save time.
  3. Once at the shelter, staff will take you to the kennels or cattery to meet all their cuties.
  4. If you see one that steals your heart, you'll be introduced and able to spend some time getting to know each other.
  5. West Suburban Humane Society's staff encourages you to bring the whole family on your visit (four-legged members included) to meet any potential new buddies and be involved in the decision-making process.
  6. If you’d like to proceed with an adoption, a member of the shelter team will work alongside you to make sure you're a good match. It's also possible to place a pet on hold for 24 hours while you think over your decision.
  7. Once the paperwork is completed and the adoption fee is paid, you're ready to start your new life together!

Adoption Fees

Adoption fees at West Suburban Humane Society are as follows:


  • Puppies (up to 1 year old): $300
  • Adults (1-6 years): $200
  • Seniors (7+ years): $125


  • Kittens (up to 1 year old): $150
  • Adults (1-6 years): $85
  • Seniors (7+ years): $35


Through the “Adopt A Buddy” program, when you adopt any kitten or adult cat, you can adopt a second for half the listed fee! This offer is also valid for up to 6 months after the first adoption.

Your adoption fee covers spay/neuter surgery, flea and tick prevention, microchipping and registration, collar with ID tag, and deworming. Dogs will also receive heartworm testing and prevention and DALP-PV and bordetella vaccinations. Cats will receive a FVRCP vaccination, 2F test, and an ear-mite check and treatment (if necessary).

Some dogs will come with a free training session.

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
West Suburban Humane Society
Downers Grove
directly using the contact info above.

Want FREE Stuff?

We give away dog toys, gear, gift cards & more every month!

(And Exclusive Tips We ONLY Share With Subscribers)
No spam!

Check Out The PetLists Dog Adoption Guide!

Other Shelters in


Curious about other shelters? Here's 6 more. You can also browse all
animal shelters in

You can also go back to our listing of all 50 states to find shelters elsewhere in the US.
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.