The Ultimate Guide to Pet Adoption in Columbus, Ohio

Woman in Columbus, Ohio, gently petting a dog through the bars of a shelter cage, symbolizing the bond and hope of pet adoption.

Nestled in the bustling city of Columbus, Ohio, lies a heartwarming opportunity – pet adoption. This guide aims to navigate you through the enriching journey of adopting a pet. As professional dog walkers and pet sitters in Columbus, we’ve witnessed the profound joy and companionship that adopting a pet brings to people. Let’s explore what pet adoption entails, and how you can best prepare to welcome a new furry member into your family.

Adoption vs. Buying: A Choice That Matters

Choosing to adopt a pet in Columbus is a decision that echoes compassion and responsibility. It’s a stand against animal homelessness and the unethical practices of puppy mills. While adopting, you’re not only welcoming a new member into your family but also contributing to a larger cause. Adoption usually includes essential medical treatments like vaccinations and spaying/neutering, making it a more cost-effective option than buying from a breeder.

The Challenges of Pet Adoption

Adopting a pet comes with its set of challenges. Some animals may have behavioral issues or a history of trauma. It’s essential to approach these challenges with patience, understanding, and, if necessary, professional guidance from trainers or behaviorists.

In Columbus, Ohio, The Dog Wizard Columbus offers specialized training that goes beyond basic commands. They focus on integrating lifesaving techniques into your pet’s routine, emphasizing a lifestyle approach rather than mere tricks. Their expertise can be invaluable in helping your new pet adjust and thrive in their new furever home.

Finding the Right Match: Questions & Considerations

The process of finding the right pet is as important as the decision to adopt. Here are some questions and considerations to guide you:

  1. Pet’s History: What is the pet’s background? Knowing their history can help you understand their behavior and needs.
  2. Health Status: What are the current health conditions and medical history of the pet?
  3. Temperament: How does the pet behave around other animals and people? Understanding their temperament helps in determining if they’ll fit into your lifestyle.
  4. Energy Levels: Does the pet’s energy level match your lifestyle? It’s important for your routines and activity levels to align.
  5. Special Needs: Does the pet require any special care or attention?
  6. Compatibility: How does the pet respond to you during your interactions? Chemistry is key.

Remember, adopting a pet is a long-term commitment, and ensuring a good match is crucial for a harmonious relationship. As experienced dog walkers in Columbus, Ohio, we’ve often encountered instances where we felt the human-to-pet match was poorly decided. This is why we highly recommend your decision-making process is a considerate one.

Preparing Your Home for Your New Companion

Welcoming a pet into your home requires thoughtful preparation. Create a comfortable and safe space with a cozy bed and essential supplies. Pet-proof your home to keep your new friend safe, and stock up on necessary items like food and grooming tools. Also, make sure toxic pet foods are out of reach! Establishing a relationship with a local veterinarian in Columbus is crucial for ongoing health care. For those times when you’re away, having a trusted dog walker or pet sitter in Columbus is invaluable.

Inspirational Adoption Stories

To showcase the impact of pet adoption, we interviewed several Columbus residents about their adoption experiences:

Mabel’s New Beginning

Katie A., Columbus local, initially planned to get a Cavapoo from a breeder, but after hearing negative stories about the breeder from a close friend, she was persuaded to consider adoption instead. Abandoning the idea of a Cavapoo, she decided that adopting a rescue pup was the right choice. While browsing the Freedom Tails Ohio Facebook page, she came across the sweet face of Mabel (pictured below).

Despite the overwhelming interest in Mabel, with over a thousand likes and hundreds of applications, she reached out, not overly hopeful. However, a few days later, she received a life-changing phone call, confirming that Mabel would be joining Katie’s family. Katie recalls this moment fondly, emphasizing that this call profoundly changed both her and Mabel’s lives.

Best pet adoption center in Columbus, Ohio
Mabel, follow her on Instagram!

Loti and Kai’s Journey

Alyssa Y., Columbus resident, shares her adoption stories of her cats, Lottie and Kai; and it beautifully illustrates the transformative impact of pet adoption. Kai, who was adopted as a stray kitten, has been a constant companion for Alyssa over the past six years, sharing in her life’s many changes, including three relocations, transitions through three jobs, and the completion of two degree programs.

Lottie joined their family three years ago, rescued from a less-than-ideal living situation where she wasn’t well-liked by the husband in the household. Known endearingly as the “little gummy bear” due to her small size and missing teeth, Lottie’s addition to the family further highlights the profound difference pet adoption can make in the lives of both the pets and their owners.

Best cat shelter in Columbus, Ohio
Lottie & Kai

Best Pet Adoption Centers and Shelters in Columbus, Ohio

There are several outstanding pet adoption centers and shelters in Columbus, Ohio, each with its unique mission and purpose. Our team of experienced dog walkers in Columbus has curated a list of some of the best places in the city, where you can find your next furry friend:

  1. Columbus Humane: Dedicated to advocating for animals in Columbus, Columbus Humane not only provides a safe haven for animals in need but also works tirelessly to prevent animal cruelty. Their mission is to nurture the human-animal bond through adoptions and education.
  2. Franklin County Dog Shelter & Adoption Center: This center focuses on providing shelter and care to stray and homeless dogs in the area, with a strong emphasis on finding loving, permanent homes for all of their canine residents.
  3. Pets Without Parents: As a non-profit, no-kill shelter, Pets Without Parents is dedicated to ensuring the well-being of all pets under their care. Their goal is to place every animal in a secure, loving home.
  4. Rescue Me Ohio: This organization is devoted to rescuing and rehoming pets in need. They work collaboratively with other rescue groups and shelters to increase the adoption rates and improve the lives of pets throughout Ohio.
  5. CHA Animal Shelter: CHA Animal Shelter prides itself on being a safe and caring haven for homeless cats and dogs. They are passionate about providing temporary shelter to animals in need while working diligently to find them permanent loving homes.

Each of these centers and shelters in Columbus plays a vital role in the community, helping countless animals find their furever homes. Whether you’re looking for a new pet or seeking to support animal welfare efforts, these organizations are excellent places to start.

Embracing the Heartwarming Path of Pet Adoption in Columbus, Ohio

Adopting a pet in Columbus marks the beginning of a wonderful adventure brimming with love, unique challenges, and boundless happiness. As seasoned dog walkers and pet sitters in Columbus, we eagerly look forward to being part of your pet’s life journey. Should you require assistance in helping your new pup adjust to their new home, you can count on us to care for them as if they were our own. Keep in mind, by adopting a pet, you’re doing much more than gaining a companion; you’re offering a forever home to a deserving animal.



Hello! Thanks for visiting our blog. I'm the proud owner of Columbus's own Hands N Paws, started in 2018 to bring joy to pet parents. See you in the next post!

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The terms of this agreement are as follows: “Client” refers to you, “Company” refers to us (Hands N Paws), “Team Member” refers to the person from our team providing services for  your pets, and “Team Members” refers to the Hands N Paws team as a whole.


It is important to inform Hands N Paws of any specific emergency instructions or medical conditions related to Client’s pets. This will help ensure the safety and well-being of pets during emergencies.

In case any of Client’s pets need emergency veterinary treatment, Team Member will contact the designated vet on file and/or a local emergency vet. Team Member will also communicate with Client and/or emergency contacts regarding the situation.

Client gives permission to Team Member to transport the pet(s) to a veterinary clinic and/or make treatment decisions (except for euthanasia), especially if it’s a life-threatening emergency and/or Client cannot be immediately reached. Client is responsible for any veterinary fees incurred. 

Client releases Hands N Paws from any liability for any damage or harm to pets or property that occurs beyond the reasonable control of Team Member during the provision of emergency veterinary care. 


To comply with local laws and ordinances, it is required that all pets have the appropriate vaccinations and licenses before Company begins services. For further information on these requirements, please visit the Ohio State Bar Association’s website at Client should also check with his/her veterinarian to determine which vaccinations/shots the pet requires. 

For safety reasons, we encourage all dogs and cats to wear an ID tag or collar that includes name and contact number while Team Member is working with them.


To ensure access to Client’s home during scheduled services, Hands N Paws requires that Client purchases a lockbox and places a spare house key(s) inside of it for Team Member to use. Client can purchase the lockbox on Hands N Paws’ website by clicking Buy Your Lockbox. Once it arrives, the lockbox should be programmed with a unique four-digit code. The lockbox should then be placed on the main door handle or in another secure location, and the lockbox code and location information must be entered in the Client’s account on Precise Petcare.

Alternatively, Client may elect to provide a code for entry via a garage door or electronic keypad and if so, must enter all necessary codes in Precise Petcare. Client is strongly encouraged to purchase a lockbox, however, to ensure that Team Member can access pets at all times during scheduled services, especially in situations where the power goes out or batteries die and Team Member need alternative access to the home.


All Team Members have access to Clients phone number, but are instructed to only use them when necessary or for urgent purposes during services with pets. Hands N Paws prioritizes the privacy and confidentiality of phone numbers as personal information.

All correspondence between Client and Team Member should be centered around Client’s pets and the services provided. If Client has inquiries regarding scheduling, cancellations, app-related matters, or any company-related concerns, these are to be directed to the Company via the office number: (614) 636-6644. The Company’s client support team is available during office hours, Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm. We are closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal Holidays. The Company will make contact with Client outside of office hours should there be any urgent need for communication.


In order to provide the best possible service to pets, it is crucial that Client provides Team Member with detailed and up-to-date information regarding their pets. This information should be accurate, complete, and accessible through the Client’s account in Precise Petcare. Team Members can only work on the basis of the information that is available to them through the Client’s account in Precise Petcare. Likewise, Client acknowledges that the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the information they provide directly impacts the quality of the services delivered. Client, therefore, takes full responsibility for any consequences that arise from inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated account information.


Arrival times for services occur within a two-hour period. Team Members are unable to guarantee exact arrival times due to various factors that may affect scheduling and travel times. To accommodate these considerations, we use time blocks rather than specific times. Client will see this in the dropdown menu when Client selects Arrival Time in the request service form within their Client account.

While Team Members understands that Client may have preferences regarding arrival times, it is essential to acknowledge that Team Members cannot guarantee meeting those specific requests. Flexibility is needed in order for Team Members to accommodate for needs of other Clients on schedule.


For the most up-to-date and detailed descriptions on service offerings, please visit our website at


The following service surcharges may apply under certain conditions:

Last Minute Service: A fee of $15 per service will be charged for bookings made with less than 24 hours’ notice.

Holiday Service: A fee of $20 per service will be applied for services provided on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve.

Additional Pets: Base pricing for services includes up to 2 pets. For each additional pet beyond the initial two, an additional fee of $7 per pet will be added.

*Additional fees may apply, as discussed/negotiated between Company and Client. 


Hands N Paws strives to accommodate as many service requests as possible. However, the approval of service requests is subject to the availability of Team Members. Upon submitting a service request, Client will receive a confirmation or declination email/notification indicating whether Hands N Paws can fulfill the requested work. Sometimes, this may take up to 48 hours or more.

If a service request is declined, we encourage Client to explore alternative options or contact our dedicated client support team for further assistance. Company is here to help and find the best solution for all pet care needs.


To ensure a personalized experience for new Clients, Hands N Paws requires a virtual or in-person Meet N Greet before getting started with pet services. These meetings allow us to connect with and onboard Clients and discuss their pet care needs.

All virtual Meet N Greets are free of charge. All in-person Meet N Greets come at a $50 cost. Meet N Greets are no more than 30 minutes in length.

New Clients can book their Meet N Greet on our website at Existing Clients can book their Meet N Greet in their designated client account in Precise Petcare.


Payment Method: All services with Hands N Paws are to be paid for using a credit or debit card. All major cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover are acceptable. Client can securely add and store card information within their Client account. Adding and keeping a valid credit card on file is a requirement for requesting any services with Hands N Paws.

Ongoing Services: For services scheduled as ongoing, Client will be automatically charged every Friday for the previous 7 days’ worth of completed, canceled, and in-progress services.

Non-Ongoing Services: For services not scheduled as ongoing, a 50% down-payment will be charged on the day the services are accepted and confirmed. An invoice will be sent immediately. Client has until the date of the last confirmed service to manually pay the remaining balance on the invoice. If manual payment is not made, the remaining total will be automatically charged to the card on file on the date of the last service day on that invoice.

Declined Payments: In the event of a declined auto-charge, Client will be promptly notified. After the first declined charge, Client has a 24-hour grace period to rectify the issue. In the case of a second declined attempt, a late fee of 10% of the invoice total (minimum $10) will be added. Client must be attentive to emails regarding overdue notices.

Payment Terms: Hands N Paws will be paid the agreed-upon amount as discussed, with no exceptions, unless our Cancellation Policy (outlined below) applies and the Client receives a refund in the form of an Account Credit(s). In emergency circumstances, a refund may be issued as transferable credit(s) back to the Client’s card.

Additional Fees: Client may be charged additional fees if Team Members are instructed to, or determine the need to, purchase items for the pet(s) while under the care of Hands N Paws. These items may include pet food or treats, litter or cleaning supplies, transportation to the vet, or emergency expenses for the general care of the pet(s). Hands N Paws and/or Team Member will consult with Client before making any purchases, and will retain and share any receipts as proof of purchase.


When Client schedules services with Hands N Paws, the Company has likely turned down other work so as to devote our time to the work requested from said Client.

Client understands and accepts the Company cancellation/refund policy as outlined below:

– 100% refund is issued as Account Credit if cancellation is made at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled service(s).

– 50% refund is issued as Account Credit if cancellation is made at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled service(s).

– NO refund is issued for same-day cancellations/less than 24 hour notice.

PLEASE NOTE: Refunds are NOT transferable. Should Client be eligible to receive an Account Credit (based on terms above), that will be auto-added to his/her account and applied to the very next invoice with us.


Hands N Paws agrees to provide the services stated in this contract in a reliable, caring, and trustworthy manner. In consideration of these services and as an express condition thereof, Client expressly waives and relinquishes any and all claims against Hands N Paws arising out of or relating to the provision of services hereunder, except those arising from gross negligence or willful misconduct on part of Hands N Paws.

Client understands and acknowledges that the environment in which they are requesting Hands N Paws to complete services is reasonably sanitary and safe. If it is determined that home conditions are unsanitary and/or unsafe at any point in the working relationship, Company will make it known to Client. Action will be taken accordingly thereafter.

Additionally, Hands N Paws will not terminate during a period of scheduled service unless Hands N Paws determines, at their sole discretion, that a serious danger exists to the health or safety of Team Members or pets. If such concerns preclude Hands N Paws from providing further care for the pets, Client agrees to pay for their pet to be boarded at a boarding facility or taken under the care of another party until Client returns. All attempts will be made to notify Client and/or emergency contacts regarding such situations.

Client understands and acknowledges that he/she is responsible for letting Hands N Paws know of anyone who has access to their home during the duration of services booked. Client releases and holds Hands N Paws harmless of all loss, expense, and damage caused by any third-parties entering Client’s home at that time.


This contract will take effect upon digital signature by Client (clicking “Agree & Submit” below) and will remain in effect until terminated by either party. Client may make online reservations for additional services at any time during the terms of this contract, as subject to Hands N Paws availability. All scheduled services will be governed by all the terms of this contract.

Client acknowledges that by signing below, he/she is providing written approval for the provision of services by Hands N Paws during any service period scheduled by Client and confirmed by Hands N Paws. Upon service confirmation, Hands N Paws will be authorized to enter Client premises and perform services without additional signed contracts and/or written authorizations.