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We’re delighted that you want to adopt a dog! Here are some things you should know about adopting from us:

  • You must be 21 or older and financially able to take on the expense of owning and caring for a dog. If you are not yet 21, your spouse or parent can apply to be the dog's legal owner on your behalf.
  • If you adopt a puppy less than six months old, the puppy will not be spayed or neutered. You will be responsible for having this done at the appropriate time, as required by our adoption agreement.
  • Our adoption fees help defray the cost of veterinary care given to your dog prior to adoption, which can include (but isn't limited to) vaccinations, heartworm testing (dogs 6 months and older), heartworm/flea/tick preventatives, fecal testing, deworming, pre-surgical blood panels and spay/neuter surgery (dogs 6 months and older).
  • The adoption fee is refundable if you return a dog to us within two weeks of adoption, but we would appreciate your making it a tax-deductible donation in the event of a return. If you return a dog after the two-week "trial" period, the adoption fee will be retained as a donation.
  • We also welcome donations in addition to our adoption fee, as our fees rarely completely cover our costs for getting a dog ready for adoption. Donations help us feed and care for other dogs, as well as the dog you adopt.

Our Adoption Process

Step 1:  We review your application

Our application allows us to gather some basic information about you, your home, your lifestyle, and what you are looking for in a canine companion. The application also asks for references.

  • Personal references should not be related to you in any way, nor be anyone who has any stake in your approval such as a spouse or domestic partner. It's most helpful if the personal references you provide have seen you interact with your pets (if you have any).
  • We require a vet reference for any current pets you own or are responsible for, as well as any that died or were rehomed within the last three years. If you use mobile vaccine clinics, please provide these records to your primary vet or be prepared to email scanned copies of vaccination records to us.

Step 2:  We call your references

Once we receive your application, we call your personal and veterinary references. To avoid delays, please let your references know we will be calling and that they have your permission to speak with us.

Step 3:  We interview you by phone

Following a check of your references, a Save the Strays volunteer will interview you by telephone. We use this phone call to ask any follow-up questions we may have, tell you a little more about the dog in which you are interested and answer any questions you have for us. Occasionally, we may request a home visit or ask you to email photos of your house or yard. Once this is complete, we make a decision about your application, usually within 3 to 4 days.

We cannot guarantee that you will be able to adopt the dog for which you submitted an application. Occasionally, we have multiple applications for a particular dog; or sometimes the dog you want to adopt is not a good fit for your family situation – for example, if the dog isn’t suitable for small children or good with other dogs or cats. We do our best to ensure that each of our dogs and their adopters are a good match, so that the dog becomes a lifelong family member.

Ready to apply? Click here for our online adoption application.