top of page
Instagram Post 1080x1080 px (1)_edited_e

You know what dog you
want to adopt...
What's next?


Follow rescues and
shelters on
social media!

While every shelter and rescue organization operates a little differently, below is what you can generally expect from the adoption process...

         Shelter Adoptions

Visit the shelter or their website and complete an application.  The shelter will contact you for an appointment to determine if you and the dog you're looking to adopt are a good fit.  Shelters typically post their policies and guidelines on their website.  For example, one of AHS Newark's policies is "we are very careful in our adoptions of small and/or young kittens and puppies to families with children under five years of age or homes where there may be many children of young ages."  


           Rescue Group Adoptions

It's important to note that rescues are staffed by volunteers who have jobs, families, etc, and therefore, may take a day or more to respond to an application or email.  One rescue volunteer said " some dogs get a TON of applications, and it takes a long time to go through and process them.  It takes a much longer time than expected!" Some rescues may be overwhelmed with applications at different times and cannot always respond to every application or email- don't take this personally!  



Applications can typically be found on the rescue's website.   Complete an online application for the dog that you're interested in adopting. Some rescues will even let you complete an application before you've found a dog you'd like to adopt so that you can be approved and ready to go with no delays when the right dog comes along. 

What rescues want to know about you

The purpose of an application and possible home visit is to ensure that the dog you would like to adopt and you/your family are a good fit and a more likely positive and successful outcome.  

*this is a comprehensive, but not exhaustive, list of questions that rescues typically ask

1. Your living situation (*because of  Covid, many rescues are currently doing virtual home visits)

  • Do you rent or own?

    • If you rent, are pets allowed? (they will most likely require a copy of your lease or a letter from your landlord)​

2. Have you properly cared for previous or current pets? (prior/current vet contact info)

3. Friends or family members who can provide insight into the environment in which the dog would be adopted (contact information for friends or family who can speak to this)

4. Do you have a fenced-in yard? ... some dogs, because of size or escape artist skills, require a fenced in yard

5. For how long are you out of the home each day? ... if it's for a signicant period of time, the rescue will want to know what your plan is to have your dog let out, exercised, etc

6. Do you have small children? Have they had any prior interaction with dogs?...some rescues will not adopt dogs over a certain size to homes with small children

7. How will your dog get exercise? (fenced in yard, frequent walks)... some dog breeds need a lot of physical exercise (looking at you, Husky!)

8. If anything were to happen where you would not longer be able to care for your dog, who would care for it?

     If a rescue decides the dog you've chosen isn't a good fit based on the dog's size/personality and/or your responses to the abovementioned questions, that's ok, not every dog and family are a good fit for each other.  You want to make sure that you're setting yourself and your new family member up to be successful! 


Supplies you may need ready for brining home your new family member: 

1. Martingale collar or harness (they make it less likely that your dog will slip/back out of their collar)
2. ID tag for harness/collar
3. Non-retractable leash
4. Crate
5. Bed
6. Chew toys 
7. Treats for positive reinforcement can read more about what you can do ahead of time to prepare for bringing your dog home here

bottom of page