Baypath Humane Society | A Hopkinton MA Rescue

Black lab mix dog in a down command ready to learn at In Stride

Ready to welcome a new furry family member into your home? Baypath Humane Society in Hopkinton MA is a wonderful rescue that will match you with the perfect dog or cat.

Baypath Humane Society History

Over 40 years ago, before there was a shelter, the local dog officer would pick up the stray dogs in the area. After a required five-day hold, the unclaimed dogs were sold to laboratories for experiments. Back then there were no leash laws, no spay and neuter programs, and no town facilities for strays. The dog officer did the best they could to find homes for the dogs. But, they were limited in what they could do without a physical shelter.

Brindle and white puppy at Baypath Humane Society

In 1977, the animal control officer work with local citizens and the Hopkin Board of Selectmen to address these concerns. It started with people taking strays into their homes and eventually became what we now know as Baypath Humane Society of Hopkinton, Inc. Their current facility was volunteer-built. It houses 18 dog kennels and 20 cat cages. Baypath also works with foster homes to provide care to cats and dogs, especially those who would not do well in a shelter environment.

Today Baypath Humane Society continues its work with Animal Control Officers. They have worked with animal control officers from more than 25 cities and towns in Massachusetts to help take in strays and abandoned animals.

Baypath Humane Society Adoption and Rehoming Programs

Baypath Humane Society of Hopkinton MA has a plethora of programs and services. There are four programs potential adopters should know about. These are specific to the rehoming and adoption of cats and dogs: the Barn Cat Program, the Shadow Cat Program, the Last Litter Program, and their Rehoming Program.

Barn Cat Program

Do you love cats? Do you have a safe and warm barn or barn-like structure? The Barn Cat Program at Baypath Humane Society is designed for cats that are not candidates for a traditional adoption into a home. Often kittens or cats that have lived outside for too long do not adapt to indoor life. This is where the Barn Cat Program comes in. Baypath Human Society will determine if a cat best fits into this program after a thorough assessment process by their trained and experienced staff. Barn cat candidates range from feral to friendly and thrive in an outdoor environment.

As an organization dedicated to animal welfare, Baypath spays/neuters all barn cats to help fight overpopulation. Barn cats are also microchipped and vaccinated before adoption.

Shadow Cat Program

Do you love cats but don’t have a lot of time? Maybe you have a cat and think your fur-baby would like a friend. Shadow Cats are usually found as kittens in a hoarding situation or living outside.

While barn cats prefer to be outdoors, shadow cats do better indoors in the right home. These cats are shy or scared and need homes that understand and respect that the cat needs its own space. These cats are not cuddle-bugs but rather hardly seen. Hidden in the shadows. They generally didn’t receive enough human interaction during critical developmental times, so they do not like to be handled by humans. Shadow Cats prefer the companionship of other cats and make great companions to resident cats.

Shadow cats do best in homes with one to two adults and no children. In most cases, they must live with another cat. It is possible to share a home with a dog(s) if the dog is cat savvy. Some shadow cats love dogs and have found them just as comforting as they do cats.

Last Litter Program

Gray and white puppy for adoption at Baypath Humane Society with its littermates

The Last Litter Program offers free spay surgeries for any female cat or dog whose puppies or kittens are surrendered to the shelter. Baypath Humane Society will work with you to ensure the puppies and kittens are weaned and of adoption age (at least 8-10 weeks) before being removed from their mother. Baypath will then tend to their medical and behavioral needs including continuing critical socialization.

Spay and neuter programs have been documented to reduce the euthanasia rates of homeless cats and dogs. Spaying and neutering aren’t just helpful in reducing unwanted litters. Getting your pet spayed or neutered reduces sexual and territorial behaviors such as aggression, urine marking, and roaming. It also reduces some cancers related to the reproductive systems. Because spaying and neutering are so important Baypath Humane Society in Hopkinton MA does not charge any fee for the Last Litter Program.

Rehoming Program

It is a sad reality that no matter how well we plan to ensure our pets stay with us their whole lives, things can happen that are out of our control. Deciding to rehome your fur baby can be devastating. Baypath Human Society understands how difficult it is to give up your pet and encourages alternatives before surrendering. Get great advice related to moving, allergies, a new baby coming home, and behavioral concerns here!

If you must surrender your pet Baypath will work with you. One great option is the Home to Home Program. The Home to Home Program may be a possibility for your pet. This program is for pets with medical or behavioral barriers to a successful stay in a shelter environment.

With the Home to Home Program, Baypath Humane Society promotes the pet for adoption, arranges the meet and greets, provides needed supplies, provides training and behavioral support, and potentially some medical support. Once the pet is adopted, it goes straight from its current home to its new home without having to stay at the shelter! Baypath staff will review the pet’s history and needs before selection for this program. Rather than the Home to Home Program, a foster home may be found for the pet. This keeps the pet out of the shelter environment too.

Other Programs and Services

Black adoptable dog at Baypath Humane society laying on a trail looking right.

There are many other programs at Baypath in Hopkinton. Some of these programs focus on outreach and education; the Community Support, Outreach, and Education, the Baypath Educates, the Humane Lecture Series, and the Outreach Program. These four programs help to teach the community about Baypath’s mission and ways they can help. They also educate on the importance of animal health and welfare.

Check out more about all Baypath’s services here!

Adoption Process at Baypath Humane Society

Now that you know about all the great adoption and rehoming programs, let’s talk about how you can adopt one of the amazing cats or dogs at Baypath Humane Society, Inc. in Hopkinton MA.


First and foremost are the adoption requirements:

Brown and White female dog for adoption at Baypath
  • Be at least 21 years of age.
  • Verify that you are allowed to have a pet of the breed and size where you currently live. You will need to submit verification to the shelter.
  • Verify that everyone in your household is on board for a new pet.
  • Verify that the animals in your household are up to date on vaccines. You will need to supply your vet’s information to the shelter as a reference.
  • Be able to spend the time and resources necessary to provide the training, medical treatment, and proper care for your new pet.
  • Resident dogs will have to go to the shelter for the meet and greet.


If you meet these requirements, check out their adoptable cats and dogs. Read through the biographies to see if they may be a good fit for you.

Before you move forward with filling out the adoption questionnaire, Kathy from Outreach at Baypath would like you to think about how much time you can truly spend with your pet, the monthly, yearly, and lifetime financial costs of pet ownership, and how much a pet can tie you down from doing certain activities that you would normally do. If you have thought through all these things, fill out the questionnaire located on their bio page. Interested in more than one animal? Notate your questionnaire. After Baypath receives your questionnaire, a staff member will be in touch with you for a matchmaking call.

Getting Matched

It’s not first come first served with Baypath. They put the needs of the animals first. After the call, Baypath Humane Society staff will consider you and other families who inquired about that same animal. If you are not a match, they will continue working with you to find the perfect match. The shelter will schedule an appointment with you to come and meet the dog or cat in person.

Black and tan fluffy dog at Baypath

Taking Home Your New Family Member

Congratulations! You can go home with your new fur baby that day! Need to run out and grab a kennel or other necessary items for your new pet? Baypath will accept a non-refundable deposit to hold that animal for 24 hours.

This whole process is pretty quick! Usually about 2-3 days but it can be as quick as the same day.

After you Bring your Pet Home

I asked Kathy what her best advice for new pet parents is. She responded, “To go slow. All too often people are understandably excited to get a new pet and want to have people come over to visit with them and meet them, but the pet needs time to adapt to the new home, rules, people, smells, sounds, etc.”

Black dog laying and chewing on a stick at Baypath Humane Society

Baypath Humane Society uses the 3/3/3 rule with adopted animals. This stands for the first 3 days, 3 weeks, and 3 months after bringing home your new fur baby.

3 Days

The first three days can be scary for some. They may want to be alone time or may not eat or drink much. Others could be less shy but really, they are like teenagers testing all their boundaries. These pets are figuring out what you will let them get away with.

3 Weeks

After three weeks the animal starts to settle in, begins to feel more comfortable, and starts to realize this might be a long-term situation. At this point, they have figured out their environment and their true personality will begin to show. This is where behavior issues may start to arise if they weren’t the type to test you right from the start. Stay consistent in your routine and training.

3 Months

Around the three-month mark, your pet is now completely comfortable in its new home. They have been bonding and building trust with you. New pets now feel a sense of security and routine. These are guidelines. All animals have their own histories, their own personalities, and will take their own time to open.

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