The process of adopting a dog

Don’t worry, this isn’t some 42-step program. Adopting a dog is quite a simple process and while each animal shelter will have their take on it, there are a few steps they will all have in common.

09 Jul 2015 By Andrew Clarke Comments

First, you will be required to file an application form.

This step will require your basic information to determine the kind of lifestyle you lead. Some pet adoption agencies might also ask about your experience with pet training, and whether you have a background in caring for dogs.


After the application has been filed, the administrators of the animal shelter will review your application.

If your application is denied the first time, do not lose hope—you just might have missed the terms and conditions tick-box or some other tiny detail. Some shelters and agencies might require you to file another application.

If you are renting your home, the animal shelter will contact your landlord to see if you are allowed to keep pets in the property.

They will also inquire about the policies of pet ownership in your rented property; for example, whether you will be allowed a large or active dog. Sadly, if the landlord confirms that you are not allowed to keep a pet within the property, your application will be denied.


If you have pets living with you at home, some shelters and agencies will need to contact your veterinarian.

This is just to determine if your current pets are healthy, spayed or neutered. Information on your past pets will also come in handy. However, if you have never owned a pet before, most shelters and agencies will skip this part of the process.

Some shelters and agencies might also require personal references to determine if you have a history of being a responsible pet owner.

The number of personal references might differ from one organisation to the other, but just in case, prepare at least three people who can vouch for your history as a pet owner.


There are shelters and agencies that might require a home visit and an interview.

They just want to know if your home is a safe place for a dog. The shelter might also give you suggestions on how to make your home dog-friendly. Refusing to participate in this step of the process might eliminate you as a candidate for dog adoption.

After you have been approved for dog adoption, the shelter or agency typically allows you to meet the available dogs and select from them.

Most shelters and adoption agencies give their applicants a trial period, in order to determine whether the dog and the family can adapt to each other.


Not only do you save money by adopting a dog, you are also saving a life. Don’t let the adopting process put you off, it is a rewarding experience that will benefit your new dog’s life and yours.

09 Jul 2015 By Andrew Clarke Comments

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