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Adoption FAQ

We’ve paraphrased the most common questions we receive about our adoption process.

Why do I have to submit an application?
We’ve developed the application as a tool to help ensure lifelong relationships between compatible pets and people. We want to do more than simply rehome the animals we rescue. We want them to be loved and cherished family members.

What are your adoption fees?
Adoption fees vary depending on the animal. In most cases, cats are $75-$125 and dogs are $150-$300. Please see Adoption Fees for more information.

If there are so many animals, why not give them away for free?
Charging a modest fee helps reassure us that an adopter is serious in their commitment. It also indicates that the person is able and willing to financially provide for the pet’s needs. And finally, adoption fees are necessary for us to continue our work. Without reimbursement for some of our costs, we could not continue our work. Without reimbursement for some of our costs, we could not continue to operate.

We usually have much more invested in our animals than the adoption fee covers. When you consider the cost of spaying/neutering; vaccinations; worming; heartworm and FeLV/FIV tests; microchipping; and addressing medical needs, the adoption fee is often less than if you were to acquire a “free” dog and then pay vetting costs directly. We also incur other, incidental, expenses such as food, litter, collars, harnesses, leashes, travel costs, etc.

Why can I adopt from a shelter for much less?
Municipal animal shelters often receive supplemental funding, while we must cover our own costs. Adopting from a private rescue offers advantages over a municipal shelter: because the pets live in foster homes, we can better assess their behavior in a home setting. The foster family can tell you more about a particular pet’s personality than a kennel attendant. In foster homes, the pets also receive basic training and medical needs are more likely to be known and addressed.

However, unlike private rescues, municipal shelters are unable to choose which animals they accept and cannot turn away animals when they’re full. For these reasons, animals in shelters are often in grave danger of euthanasia, so we always encourage and support shelter adoptions.

I was not selected for the pet of my choice. Why not?
We attempt to match each pet with the most suitable applicant. The actual question/comment we received was, “Why didn’t I get this dog? If I don’t get her, I’m going to a pet store and buy a puppy.” The dog in question was a former puppy mill dog that had lived her entire life in an outdoor wire cage. She was terrified of humans and needed special attention in a quiet environment. We had multiple applicants for the dog and selected a retired couple who had experience with puppy mill survivors. The woman who questioned our choice worked long hours, traveled frequently, had young children, and specifically stated she wanted a dog that was good with children. It just wasn’t the best match. While we regret that she expressed intent to purchase a dog from a pet store, we will not be threatened into making a decision that’s not in an animal’s best interest.

My application was denied, but the pet is still available. Why?
We want to stress that this does not mean we feel you wouldn’t be a great choice for another animal. We just don’t feel that particular pet would be well suited for your home.

We received this question in reference to two beagles in our program. The family who applied to adopt them expressly stated, “We have 3 children that would love to play with these beagles!” The dogs were badly abused and after more than two months, their foster family still couldn’t approach them without them trying to run away. They were walked in a fenced area, even when leashed, because if they were ever to get loose, we’d never catch them. The family wanting to adopt did not have a fenced yard (which we do not require for all dogs) and we were concerned that a child could accidentally let them loose outside. We also feel they would be a great disappointment for children who want a dog to play with.

Our greatest ambition is for successful adoptions. We don’t want to further traumatize the dogs – and disappoint the family – by placing them in an environment that’s not well suited for them.

Do you guarantee the health or temperament of the animal I’m adopting?
While we make a good faith effort to identify and address health issues and accurately assess the temperaments of all animals in our care, we do not make any guarantees as to their health or temperament.

Will you take the animal back and are adoption fees refundable?
While we encourage adopters to give their new pet time to adjust and to make an honest effort at working through any problems that may arise, we realize that sometimes things don’t work out. In the event this adoption is unsuccessful, we will always accept the pet back into our program. Because the adoption fees are often used to rescue the next animal, they are not refundable.

If you have other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.