Standish Humane Society

P.O. Box 634, Duxbury, MA  02331   781-834-4663

We speak for those who cannot speak for themselves

Adoption Policy and Guidelines

Standish has a model adoption program, placing more than 350 cats and kittens annually into carefully screened homes.

Holmes House, Standish’s two-story cat shelter in Duxbury, opened in March 1990. It was named after the late Elizabeth Holmes of Duxbury, founder of SHS and its first president.    Today, a dedicated group of loyal volunteers provide hands-on care for the many cats sheltered at Holmes House. 

Incoming cats initially live in spacious double-tiered cages.  After an adjustment period, they are allowed to socialize in compatible groups in various shelter rooms. All are given much attention, an immaculately clean environment and nutritious meals.  Each cat at Standish’s shelter is examined by a veterinarian, tested for feline leukemia and feline immune deficiency virus, vaccinated for distemper, rabies, and upper-respiratory disease, wormed and sterilized if old enough.  Every cat is also given an application of a topical treatment which kills all fleas within 12 hours, so that the kitty you adopt will be flea-free.  The adoption fee covers only a portion of these expenses.


Standish Humane Society's goal is to find a permanent Forever Home and consistent, personal, loving care for each of our cats for the remainder of its expected life of 15-20 years.  Personal care for a cat involves regular veterinary care, daily socialization and grooming, a proper nutritional program and diligent litter box maintenance.  Under certain circumstances, an approved "back up Forever Home" may be required for the primary adoption to proceed.  The continued health, happiness and safety of the cat are Standish's primary concerns.
Many factors and considerations are involved in our adoption process, which includes an adoption application and telephone interview (and a home visit in certain cases) before a decision is made on the application.  If an application is approved, the applicant is scheduled for an appointment to visit our adoption center.  Please know that adoptions can be denied during or subsequent to the appointment if the Standish Adoption Counselor determines that denial is appropriate.
If you have a child who is under six years of age, we will recommend that you adopt a cat that is six months or older.  This is for the safety of the child and the cat.  Kittens are very delicate and are easily injured, although unintentionally, by inquisitive young children who generally lack coordination and the ability to manage their behavior to interact appropriately with a kitten.
Standish wants to ensure that an applicant adopts the best cat for everyone in the household so that the happiest of endings for the cat and the family results!