Pet Adoption in Toronto

Pet adoption can a wonderful idea for newcomers to Toronto. What better way to explore and connect with your surroundings than with a stroll through the neighborhood next to your eager new puppy? Or maybe you are feeling a little bit lonely and homesick? You can be sure that your feline friend snuggle up for some affection and help cheer you up.

If you’re thinking about pet adoption in Toronto, it’s best to do it through an adoption shelter or adoption shelter partner, rather than purchasing your new furry friend through a breeder or other for-profit venue. By adopting from a shelter, you’re combatting puppy mills and helping to reduce the stray/feral and abandoned population of domestic animals. You’ll also save money (always a plus!)


But before you go jumping into a pet adoption, it’s important to understand all the implications, and to really think about whether or not you are ready to welcome a new pet into your home.  Here’s a list of important factors, from Toronto Animal Services.

  • Thinking about the reasons why you want to adopt a pet will help you decide what kind of animal, and what breed is best for you. For example, do you want a dog who can accompany you on runs, or a pet to play with your kids? Maybe you’re keen on pets that are a little more independent, in which case, how about a cat?
  • It’s important to really ask yourself whether or not you will be able to fully commit to taking care of your new pet, not just for now, but for its entire life – 10 to 20 years in many cases! That’s a lot of time, and it means caring for your animal no matter the circumstances: if you move, get a new job, have children, or say “I do” with that special someone, your pet will always need love, attention and care!
  • Think about time, space and other elements of your lifestyle. Do you travel often for work? Do you have the time and ability to walk a dog (sometimes multiple times a day) or help your cat run off some of that energy with a laser pointer? Do you live in a studio apartment with no backyard that’s (let’s admit it) already a bit cramped? Can you give your new pet the stimulation and companionship they need? These factors could influence whether or not a pet is really right for you, and if it is, what kind is best.
  • No one likes to consider financial restrictions, but animals can be expensive (there’s food, vet visits, identification, pet supplies, and pet sitting costs) so you will need to make sure the financial resources will be available to you during the animal’s lifespan.
  • Do you have experience with animals, and if not, are you willing to get some training? Basic training, especially for dogs will greatly increase your comfort with your new pet, and reduce the chance you’ll want to return it to a shelter.

If  the answers to any of these considerations makes you hesitant, it’s probably not the best time for you to pursue pet adoption in Toronto. But if you still feel confident and eager after considering the implications, the next step is finding your perfect pet! There are plenty of options, from all-dog to all-cat, and mixed shelters, all around Toronto

Here are some of the best places to start your search.

Toronto Animal Services Shelters + Affiliates:


The city of Toronto Animal Services currently has three shelters, which are typically open seven days a week (excluding holidays). There are also a variety of retail partners where you can adopt. These busy and clean shelters take in stray animals, or those in need of care, and provide vaccinations. They prepare them for adoption, spay or neuter them and pair them with loving homes. Here are the locations:

North Toronto: 

  • Toronto North Animal Shelter and Spay Neuter Clinic 416-338-PAWS (7297), 1300 Sheppard Avenue West
  • Pet Valu: 1397 Lawrence Ave West,   416-242-8489
  • PJ’s Pets: 3291 Yonge Street, 416-544-9799
  • Pet Valu: 3555 Don Mills Road, Unit # 8, Skymark Plaza, 416-493-0077

South Toronto: 

  • Pet Social: 11 Fort York Boulevard, 647-748-7387
  • Pet Valu: 339 College Ave., 416-944-0314
  • Pet Smart: 825 Eglinton Ave East, 416-696-0388

West Toronto:

  • Toronto West Animal Shelter: 146 The East Mall, 416-338-PAWS (7297)
  • Pet Valu: 927 The Queensway Avenue,   416-251-3454
  • Pet Valu: 2734 Lake Shore Blvd. West, 416-253-5960
  • Pet Valu: 927 The Queensway Avenue,   416-251-3454
  • Pet Valu: 2734   Lake Shore Blvd. W. 416-253-5960

East Toronto:

  • Toronto East Animal Shelter: 821 Progress Ave.
  • Pet Smart: 2050 Eglinton Avenue East, 416-701-0007

Animal Humane Society:


The Toronto Humane Society is a great option for pet adoption in Toronto. This no-kill shelter has had mission of promoting humane care for all animals winces its conception in 1987. It pairs thousands of animals with loving owners.  They care for cats, dogs and other small pets. Fees are $200 for dogs and $60 for cats, for routine adoptions, and the process starts with a questionnaire, conversation with an adoption councilor and meet and greet with the animals. Hours from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends.  See all the possibilities for your new fury roommate at 11 River Street, and can be contacted at 416-392-2273.

Toronto Cat Rescue:


Here’s one for all the cat lovers out there. Toronto Cat Rescue  depends of volunteers, who foster in-need cats until they find a loving permanent home. The organization is an active solution to the feral cat population in Toronto – there are about 100,000 on the streets! Right now, there are more than 350 cats in adoptive care, which means you’ll have quiet a selection to choose from, and you can see all the available cats online. The adoption fee is $175, which goes towards ensuring all the cats get proper medical attention. Call 416-538-8592, and press 1 to leave a message for adoption.

We wish you the best of luck with your pet adoption in Toronto, and leave you with a few tips on how to prepare your house for your new pet, from the ASPCA.

  • Make your home comfortable! Put warm beds throughout your home, in order to persuade pets from staying off the furniture.
  • It may take a while for your new pet to learn the rules of the home, so don’t leave it unsupervised until it’s got a good handle on things.
  • For cats, discourage pesky clawing of furniture and rugs by putting down some double-sided tape. It won’t hurt your cat, but it’s a good deterrent.
  • It’s okay to use dog crates and gates to secure your new dog in a smaller space, at least until it develops strong house manners.
  • This: for cats, scratching posts are your friend!
  • Ever heard the phrase “this is why we can’t have nice things?” Like it or not, you may want to put away those nice throw pillows, fancy curtains, or any other easily ruinable home decor.
  • Grooming is real! If you want to keep the fur level down, brush your lovely pet’s main. Avoid unwanted scratches on floors by trimming those nails, too!

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Learn more about pets in Canada:


(Photos: Cristian lohan Stefanescu,, Roiz  Roiz, Sneakerdog,


About Camille

I adore Paris, I really do. But who can pass up an exciting opportunity to explore North America? When I enrolled in a Canadian university, I experienced the differences between French culture in France and French culture in Canada. And there really are differences! For one, French Canadians speak French in their own way. The country is so vast and there are lots of opportunities to find a fulfilling career. While some cities feel like a mix of European and North American culture, others have a completely Canadian identity. And don’t get me started on the delicious, hearty food! The country is charming, laid back and full of life. I’m here to help ease your transition to Canadian living, and give you a few of my special insider tips. // J’adore Paris, vraiment, mais qui peut refuser une occasion formidable d’aller explorer l’Amérique du Nord. Lorsque je me suis inscrite dans une université canadienne, j’ai vécu les différences entre la culture française en France et la culture française au Canada et il y a vraiment beaucoup de différences ! Effectivement, les canadiens français parlent français à leur manière. Le pays est si vaste qu’il y a beaucoup d’opportunités pour réaliser une carrière enrichissante. Alors que plusieurs villes sont un mélange de la culture Européenne et Nord Américaine, d’autres sont typiquement canadiennes. Sans parler des mets délicieux et plutôt copieux ! C’est un pays charmant, décontracté et plein de vie. Je suis là pour vous aider à faciliter votre transition vers la vie canadienne et pour vous donner quelques un de mes conseils.