Donate Adopt an Animal FAQs

What is happening to the Adopt an Animal Program?

The Adopt an Animal program has been discontinued, effective December 31, 2018. As of January 1, 2019, there will not be an option to Adopt an Animal.

Incentives for current Adopt parents will remain the same through your adoption expiration date. For example: Those who Adopted an Animal in June 2018 will be eligible for benefits and events through June 2019. If you adopt an animal in November 2018, you will be eligible for benefits and events through November 2019.

Why are you discontinuing the Adopt an Animal program?

This decision was difficult to make. We recognize this has been a core program of the Zoo Society for many years, and we appreciate your support. As a nonprofit, the Zoo Society aims to maximize the impact of every donation. The Adopt an Animal program has historically included many costs, including administrative time, postage, printing, event expenses and plush animals. By eliminating this program we will be able to direct more of your money to the ZooFund, our annual fund that helps the animals you love in Cleveland and in the wild.

What are my options to donate or support an animal now?

The money raised by Adopt an Animal went into the Zoo Society’s operating fund to support the Zoo. There are still ways to donate and support every great aspect about your Zoo:

  • Give a donation to the ZooFund, the Cleveland Zoological Society’s annual fund campaign.
  • You can donate in honor or memory of someone and the donation goes to ZooFund. Honor and memorial gifts can be made online, or by speaking to a development officer. Call (216) 661-6500 x3323 to discuss.
  • Join us in the ZooKeepers Circle program to receive a membership to the Zoo and The RainForest in addition to recognition, events and other benefits. The ZooKeepers Circle program offers giving levels ranging from $300 to $10,000, which can be paid in full or in monthly installments.

I only care about receiving the plush and adopting an animal. Where can I go to do that now?

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has two gift shops that sell plush – one in the Zoo’s Welcome Plaza and one in The RainForest. They are open year-round, and additional gift shops around the Zoo are open seasonally. The gift shops also accept phone orders so you do not have to make a trip to the Zoo to purchase a plush. Their number is (216) 661-7603. Zoo Society members – general memberships and ZooKeepers Circle members - receive a 10% discount at all Zoo gift shops.

If I am a current Adopt Parent, what are my options when it is time to renew?

The most important thing to understand is that your incentives as an Adopt parent will remain the same through your current adoption expiration date. To continue to have access to events and lectures and make an impactful donation, you have a number of options available when it is time to renew your gift. The Zoo Society provides multiple ways and opportunities for donors of all levels to support the Zoo:

  • Give a donation to the ZooFund, the Cleveland Zoological Society’s annual fund campaign. Honor and memorial gifts for loved ones can be made to the ZooFund.
  • Join us in the ZooKeepers Circle program to receive a membership to the Zoo and The RainForest in addition to recognition, events and other benefits. The ZooKeepers Circle program offers giving levels ranging from $300 to $10,000, which can be paid in full or in monthly installments. 

What are my options if I give adoptions as gifts?

Through our ZooFund, you can give a gift in honor or in memory of someone. For that special occasion or special person in your life, you can give a donation and they will receive a letter acknowledging that someone has given a donation to the Cleveland Zoo Society in their name/honor/memory.

What are my benefits as a ZooKeepers Circle member?

Donors that join ZooKeepers Circle at the $300, $500, $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 or $10,000 level receive free admission to the Zoo and The RainForest for one year, four free guests on each visit, discounted admission to more than 150 other zoos, and a subscription to Z Magazine. In addition to these incentives, based on your giving level you will receive invitations to participate in programs and events connected with our mission. ZooFriends Night, an event for Adopt parents, is included at all levels.

What if I make a gift to ZooFund?

We are grateful for your generosity and will provide you with an acknowledgement letter for your records, invitations to special events based on your donation amount, and recognition on our donor sign if your gift meets the $1,000 and above threshold. If you are interested in receiving admission to the Zoo and The RainForest, please donate to the ZooKeepers Circle program.


Where does my money go?

Gifts made to ZooFund and ZooKeeepers Circle are unrestricted, and therefore provide general operating support for your Zoo. This annual support helps sustain excellence in animal care, education, conservation and guest experience. Each year the Zoo Society provides $2 million to the Zoo for general operating support.

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