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  • Are appointments required to come in?
    No appointments required to come in and take a look at our animals or adopt!
  • What do I need to bring with me to adopt?
    We recommend bringing everyone that lives in your home to come and adopt so we can ensure your new animal gets along with everyone!
  • What if I already have other pets in the home?
    Please mention other pets in your household when talking to our adoption counselors. A meet & greet with a potential dog is recommended with your current dog in the home but not required.
  • How old do I need to be to adopt?
    In order to adopt, you must be 18 years old.
  • What do I do if it's not working out with my new pet?
    We understand that sometimes it's just not a good fit. Returns are by appointment only and must be scheduled through our intake coordinator. Learn more about surrenders and returns.
  • Can I foster an animal first before adopting?
    Foster to adopt is done on a case by case basis. You'll need to talk about your options with staff when you visit the shelter. Please note that fostering to adopt at GCHS is typically only done with special circumstance cases and is not guaranteed.
  • What's the best way to find out more information?
    Have a question that hasn't been answered here? The best way to get more information is by calling us at 361-225-0845​. We are open 7 days a week from 11am-6pm Monday through Saturday and 12pm-5pm on Sunday. Our front office staff will be more than happy to assist you!
  • What kind of food donations do you accept?
    We accept any unopened dog or cat food. It can be any brand, size, or type. We use food donations to stock our outreach pantry - this allows us to provide food to families with pets who are in need. This is especially important now due to COVID-19. For safety and sanitary reasons, we are unable to accept opened bags of food or food in unmarked bags (such as Ziplocks, trash bags, or plastic shopping bags).
  • How can I bring in items for donation?
    You can bring donations to our location (3118 Cabaniss Parkway) during our regular business hours. There is a donation bin right inside the front door for drop-offs. If you'd like to donate larger items, please email If we decide to accept the donation, we may be able to schedule a pick-up.
  • If I make a gift in honor of someone else, can you send an acknowledgement to their family?
    Of course! When filling out the donation form, leave the name and address (or email) of the recipient as well as the person that the gift is in honor of and any other pertinent details. You will also receive correspondence as a record of your gift.
  • What are donations used for?
    Most donations go towards our annual fund - this fund is used for the regular expenses that allow us to stay open and continue our mission. Occasionally, we will request donations for specific causes (intensive surgeries, heartworm treatments, facility improvements, etc). If you donate to one of these campaigns, 100% of your donation will be used for that cause.
  • What donations are not accepted?
    We DO NOT accept bed sheets, pillows, chair/couch cushions, opened or expired food and treats, rawhide or similar treats/chews, stuffed pet beds, litter boxes or litter scoopers, E-collars, shock collars, or prong collars, and retractable leashes.
  • Can I designate my gift for a specific purpose?
    If you would like to designate your gift to a specific cause please email to discuss your interests.
  • I'm interested in including GCHS in my estate planning, how do I get started?
    That's great to hear! Planned giving makes a significant impact in the longevity of our organization. We always recommend sitting down with your attorney or financial planner but feel free to reach out to us to discuss how your legacy gift will benefit GCHS. Learn more about planned giving.
  • I have another question that isn't answered here.
    For more information on donations, please contact
  • How old do I have to be to volunteer?
    All volunteers must be at least 9 years of age. Volunteers age 9 to 12 must always be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Volunteers 12-13 must be accompanied by a parent for 15 hours before volunteering independently. Volunteers aged 14 and up can volunteer independently.
  • Can I volunteer with a group?
    We do allow groups to volunteer together, but you must email to confirm. We can only accommodate groups of 10 or less. Whether it's one-time or recurring, we can help create a group volunteer program that's right for you.
  • How do I sign up for volunteer shifts?
    We use a system called Better Impact for our online scheduling. You will receive information on how to use this system when you sign up. For more information please email
  • Can I choose the animal I want to foster?
    Because we typically only foster out bottle babies and other special case animals, we are not able to guarantee a grant request. However, when an opportunity to foster arises, you can decide if that is an animal you are interested in fostering or not. For more information please email
  • What will be provided when I bring an animal home to foster?
    We provide everything you will need to foster when you come to pick up the animal. For dogs, this usually includes a travel crate, a kennel, puppy pads, food, bowls, a lead/leash, blankets, and toys. For cats, you will typically receive a travel crate, food, bowls, and toys. Applicable medications will also be included. The Volunteer Coordinator will ensure you have everything you need so be sure to communicate if you run out of food or need anything additional.
  • Are there any other ways I can get involved?
    Fostering and volunteering are the primary ways to get involved with our organization but we are always open to new ideas! Please contact to see what other options may be available.
  • I have a different question.
    For all other questions, please email
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