What to Expect When Adopting from a Rescue Organization: A Guide for Prospective Pet Owners

If you’re considering adopting a furry family member, adopting from a rescue organization is a wonderful option that saves the life of a homeless animal. Most rescue organizations operate as either non-profit or low-profit organizations, making their priority to save animals and rehome them to loving families. Although purchasing a pet from a pet store or breeder is another option, adoption from a reputable animal rescue is much more rewarding since you’re giving an adoptable animal a second chance.

In general, the adoption process involves filling out an adoption application and an adoption contract. Most rescue organizations will also conduct an adoption interview that will help them determine a good match between you and an adoptable animal. The adoption team may ask questions about your previous pet ownership, your family life, and your experience with pet ownership. You may also be asked to provide personal references and a veterinary reference if you have one. Adoption events may be held from time to time which provide potential adopters the opportunity to meet the rescue dogs, and in some cases, the rescue pups may be available for curbside pickup.

After completing the adoption process, you’ll be the proud pet parent of a rescue pet. Most adoptable animals available from a rescue organization are fully vetted, meaning that they have received all necessary veterinary care, including any medical care for special health or medical issue. However, adult animals may not have had obedience training, and some may have behavior issues which may require the help of a breed-specific rescue or an experienced dog trainer. Additionally, medical records are typically shared with potential adopters and most reputable rescue organizations will disclose any known medical issues. Choosing the perfect match for your family will offer a rewarding experience for the entire family.

The Process of Adopting from a Rescue Organization

Adopting an animal from a rescue organization is a rewarding experience for both the adopter and the animal. Adopting from a rescue organization allows you to provide a loving home to a homeless animal while also saving a life. The process of adopting from a rescue organization may vary from one organization to another, but here are a few general steps to expect:

  1. Find a Rescue Organization: Browse the Internet or visit local animal shelters to locate reputable animal rescue organizations. You can also inquire from friends or family members who have adopted from a rescue organization before.
  2. The Application Process: Once you have found a rescue organization, you will need to complete an adoption application. The application asks about your lifestyle, family life, and previous experiences with pets. The goal is to match you with the perfect furry family member.
  3. Adoption Consultation: The rescue organization’s adoption team will review your application and schedule an interview to discuss your family’s lifestyle and expectations for pet ownership. They may also discuss any medical or behavioral issues related to the adoptable animal and answer any questions you may have.
  4. Meeting the Adoptable Animal: Once you have been approved to adopt, you will get to meet the adoptable animal. The meeting may happen at the adoption center, foster home or a special event. You may also be allowed to bring in your current pet to determine if they get along with the new furry friend.
  5. Medical and Veterinary Care: Before the adoption, the rescue organization will typically provide veterinary care for the animal, including spaying or neutering, vaccinations, and any necessary medical care. If there is a special medical issue, the adoption coordinator will discuss it with you.
  6. Adoption Contract and Fee: After you have decided to adopt the animal, there will be an adoption fee and you will be required to sign a contract. The contract provides details about the animal’s medical record, any medication they take, and behavior issues, as well as the adopter’s responsibilities towards the shelter animal.
  7. Follow-up and Support: A reputable rescue organization will check in with you and the furry friend from time to time, providing post-adoption support, and easing the transition process. Your adoptable animal will likely need time to adjust to their new environment. A reputable rescue organization provides training resources, obedience training, and behavioral support to ensure the perfect match between the adopter and the furry friend.

Adopting a rescue dog from an animal shelter gives you a chance to find a perfect match. Whether you’re looking for an adult animal or a puppy, a mixed breed or a purebred, a reliable rescue organization can help you find your furry friend. Don’t buy a pet from a pet store or puppy mill when adoptable animals need loving homes. Rescue dogs need a forever home, and adopting from a shelter is a great way to support your local community while providing a homeless pet with a loving home.

Remember, 510 N LaSalle St. Adoption Center is just one of the adoption centers where you can give an animal a second chance. Go ahead and find an adoption center near you.

Finding the Right Rescue Organization

Adopting a rescue animal can be a rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. However, finding the right rescue organization can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to the adoption process. When it comes to adopting from a rescue organization, there are a few key things to keep in mind to ensure a successful adoption.

  1. Do Your Research: Before choosing a rescue organization, do some research to ensure it is reputable. Look for reviews online and ask for recommendations from friends or family members who have adopted from a rescue organization before.
  2. Understand the Adoption Process: Every rescue organization has its own adoption process. Some may require a home check, an adoption application, and an adoption fee, while others may only require a simple online application and a curbside pickup of the pet. Understanding the adoption process beforehand can help you better prepare for the commitment ahead.
  3. Consider Medical Needs: Many shelter animals come from difficult backgrounds, and may need medical attention or veterinary care. Be sure to ask if the rescue organization provides any medical care or if you will be responsible for any medical expenses that arise. A reputable rescue organization should provide medical records for each adoptable animal.
  4. Think About Your Lifestyle: Consider your lifestyle when searching for a rescue pet. If you live in a small apartment, a large breed dog may not be suitable for your living space. If you have other animals in your home, be sure to look for a pet that gets along well with other animals.
  5. Know Your Requirements: Each rescue organization has its own adoption philosophy and requirements. Some have strict obedience training policies or may only adopt to individuals who are experienced pet owners. Make sure you know what the rescue organization’s requirements are before beginning the adoption process.

Remember that adopting a rescue pet is not only beneficial to the animal but also to you, the pet parent. By adopting from a reputable rescue organization, you are helping to curb pet overpopulation and giving a needy animal a second chance at life. Take your time, do your research, and trust your instincts to find the perfect match for you and your family.

Preparing Your Home for a New Pet

Adding a new furry family member to the house can be an exciting experience. However, it’s crucial to prepare your home for your new pet’s arrival. Here are some useful tips to help you get started.

1. Secure your house

Before bringing your rescue dog or shelter cat home, secure your house to make it safe and comfortable. Ensure that your fences, windows, and gates are secure, and there are no escape routes for your pet. Keep hazardous substances, sharp objects, and small items out of reach of your pet.

2. Create a comfortable environment

Provide your new pet with a comfortable bed, food, water, and a few toys to help them adjust to their new home. Give them enough space and make sure the temperature of your house is appropriate for their breed. Also, make sure your rescue pet has access to a litter box, scratching post, or a designated potty area.

3. Schedule a vet visit

It’s essential to schedule a vet visit before bringing your new pet home. Your rescue pet may need medical attention, and a vet can perform a basic check-up, update its vaccines, and provide medical care if required. Be sure to ask if your shelter dog or rescue cat has any medical conditions, and if so, take it into account.

4. Plan for medical and vet care

Your rescue pet may need veterinary care from time to time. Be sure to plan for any medical issues that may arise, including regular check-ups, spay or neuter procedures, and other preventive care such as dental check-ups, flea and tick prevention, and vaccinations.

5. Consider obedience training and behavior issues

Many shelter animals, especially shelter dogs, may come with behavior issues or may not have had obedience training. Consider professional obedience training or behavioral counseling to help your furry friend adjust to family life.

6. Review the adoption contract

Before adopting a furry friend, take some time to review the adoption contract. Familiarize yourself with your responsibilities as a pet parent and your potential adoptable animal’s rights. The adoption contract may also specify the adoption fee, medical records, and any other particular issues that you should know.

Adopting a pet from a reputable rescue organization or animal shelter is a rewarding experience that will bring joy to your family. Follow these tips to ensure a smooth transition for you and your new furry friend.

The Adoption Application

After browsing through the adoptable animals on the website of your preferred rescue organization and finding a potential furry family member, the next step is to complete an adoption application.

A reputable rescue organization will take the time to review your application thoroughly, as they want to ensure that each animal is placed in a loving and safe environment. The application process may vary slightly from one adoption center to another, but it generally entails filling out a detailed questionnaire and having an adoption consultation with an experienced adoption counselor.

The application itself will typically request personal information such as your name, contact details, and home address. It will also inquire about your current living situation, such as whether you own or rent your home, and whether you have any other pets. Potential adopters should be honest about their experience with pets and any behavior or medical issues they may have encountered in the past. It’s important for the adoption team to match the right pet with the right person or family, so be as specific as possible about what you’re looking for in a furry friend.

During the adoption consultation, an adoption counselor may ask additional questions about your lifestyle, family life, and reasons for wanting a pet. They may offer advice on integrating a new pet into your home and provide guidance on topics such as vet care, obedience training, and behavior issues.

While there is often an adoption fee associated with adopting a shelter animal, the fee generally covers medical care and spay/neuter services. If a rescue dog has a special health or medical issue, the center may also provide additional support. Some centers offer low-cost spay and neuter clinics and free medical care for a short amount of time after the adoption.

When adopting a rescue pet, it’s important to keep in mind that they may have had a traumatic experience in the past. Many rescue animals thrive in foster homes prior to adoption, as it gives them time to adjust to a home environment and work on any behavior issues. Additionally, rescue animals come in all shapes and sizes, including mixed breeds and purebred puppies rescued from puppy mills or breed-specific rescues.

In conclusion, the adoption application process is an essential step in finding the perfect match for your furry friend. By taking the time to complete the application in full and honestly, and by working with the adoption center, you can ensure that you and your new pet will have a rewarding experience together.

Meeting Your Potential Pet

When adopting a furry family member from a rescue organization, meeting your potential pet is an incredibly important piece of the adoption process. This is the moment where you and your future pet get to know each other and determine if you’re a good match. Here’s what you can expect during the meeting.

The Introduction

During the initial meeting, a member of the adoption team will introduce you to the adoptable animals. They may ask you questions about your lifestyle and the type of pet you’re looking for to help identify the best match for you. Don’t hesitate to communicate your needs and wants – this will help ensure that you find the perfect furry friend for your family.

Spending Time with Your Potential Pet

Once you’ve identified a potential match, you’ll likely be given some one-on-one time with the animal to get to know them better. You may be able to take the animal for walks, play together, and interact with them in a room. While spending time with the animal, assess their behavior, energy level, and personality. Consider asking the adoption team questions about the animal’s medical care, previous owner, and any known medical or behavioral issues. This information will be helpful in determining if this is the right pet for you.

Next Steps

If you feel that a particular animal is the perfect match for your family, the adoption team will provide you with the necessary paperwork to move forward with the adoption process. This may include an adoption application and an adoption contract that lays out the details of the adoption. You may also need to pay an adoption fee, which covers veterinary care, shelter and medical costs, and other expenses.

Medical Care for Your New Pet

Once you’ve completed the adoption process, it’s important to ensure that your new pet receives proper veterinary care. This may include a check-up, vaccines, and spaying or neutering. If your pet has any medical issues that require additional attention, the adoption team will provide you with the necessary information to care for your pet properly.

Final Thoughts

Adopting a pet from a rescue organization can be a rewarding experience. Take your time during the meeting process to identify the right pet for your family. Remember, shelter and rescue animals often need extra love and attention due to their previous experiences, but can make wonderful companions once they are given time to adjust to their new home.

The Adoption Fee and Other Costs

When adopting from a rescue organization, the adoption fee and other costs are an important consideration to keep in mind. These fees help cover the expenses associated with providing veterinary care, shelter, and food for homeless animals.

The adoption fee charged by rescue organizations may vary depending on several factors such as the age, breed, and medical history of the animal. Most organizations have a standard pet adoption fee that ranges from $50 to $300. These fees also depend on the type of animal, with cats often having a lower fee than dogs.

In addition to the adoption fee, there may be other costs associated with the adoption process, such as veterinary care, obedience training, and potential medical issues. Some rescue organizations offer to provide veterinary care for adoptable animals, but others do not. Therefore, it’s essential to obtain a copy of the pet’s medical record from the previous owner or the animal shelter if available.

Adopting a shelter animal that requires veterinary care can also incur extra costs. Common medical issues among shelter dogs and cats include skin conditions, dental issues, and respiratory infections. Some rescue dogs and cats may have a medical issue that requires ongoing treatment, which adds to the overall expense.

Rescue organizations will also consider potential adopters’ ability to provide high-quality vet care and preventive care for the furry family member as well as maintain a good quality of life. They will require pet parents to care for the pet’s health by taking the veterinarian for preventive care, monitoring periods, and treating health issues within the scope of their veterinarian’s directions.

If the rescue animal has not been already in foster care, some organizations may place the animal in foster care before being released to their “forever home”. Through the foster home, potential adopters will have the chance to learn more about the pet, and any special health or behavioral needs, to ensure a perfect match.

Adoption events are great ways to meet adoptable animals in person and talk to adoption team members about the adoption process, fees, and expectations. Before attending an adoption event, it is best to fill out an adoption application or questionnaire to speed up the adoption process and jump-start conversations with the adoption coordinator or experienced adoption counselor.

When adopting, it’s essential to understand that adopting from a reputable rescue organization is significantly different from purchasing a pet from a pet store or a breeder. Often, the pets at the animal rescue organization have previously lived in difficult conditions. They may have experienced medical neglect, physical abuse, or behavioral issues as a result of being raised in a puppy mill or neglected. Potential adopters should understand this and be prepared to provide a loving home and participate in obedience training to help the animal adjust to family life.

Overall, adopting a homeless animal can be a rewarding experience. By considering the adoption fee and other costs associated with adoption, potential adopters can make a responsible decision and provide a deserving animal with a loving, forever home.

Post-Adoption Support and Resources

Congratulations on your adoption! You officially have a new furry family member to love and cherish. But what comes next? Many reputable rescue organizations offer post-adoption support and resources to help make the transition into your new life with your adopted pet smooth and comfortable.

Medical Care

Your animal shelter or rescue organization should provide you with your pet’s complete medical history and any relevant medical records. If your pet has any existing medical issues, it’s a good idea to discuss them with your veterinarian to decide on a course of action. Some rescue organizations offer low-cost veterinary care and free check-ups to ensure your furry friend stays healthy. Even if your pet seems healthy, it’s crucial to take them for regular vet checkups to keep them in peak condition.

Behavioral Issues

Some rescue animals may have experienced traumatic events before adoption, which could lead to behavior issues. Reputable animal shelters or adoption centers will provide you with resources, such as obedience training and consultations with experienced adoption counselors, to help you work through these issues. They can also refer you to breed-specific rescues, which may have specialized knowledge and services.

Post-Adoption Services

Many adoption centers and rescue organizations have programs to help you and your pet after adoption. These services may include:

  • Foster homes or foster parents to take care of pets with medical or other needs
  • Adoption events or campaigns to promote adopting shelter animals
  • Special events, such as curbside pickup or adoption consultations, to make the adoption process smoother
  • Adoption teams that can answer any questions or concerns you may have
  • Low-cost spay/neuter clinics to ensure that your pet is healthy and safe
  • Articulate adoption philosophy to enable pet parents to make the adoption decision

Adoption Contracts and Fees

When adopting a pet, you will have to sign an adoption contract and pay an adoption fee. The fee covers the cost of veterinary checkups, food, and shelter while the animal was at the rescue organization. The adoption contract lays out your responsibilities as a pet parent, such as providing medical care and a safe living environment. Always read the contract in full before signing to ensure that you understand all the terms and conditions.

Adopting a rescue pet can be a rewarding experience, but it does come with responsibilities. Remember to provide your new pet with veterinary care, exercise, proper nutrition, and lots of love. If you encounter any issues in adoption, don’t hesitate to reach out to your animal shelter or rescue organization for support. With patience and dedication, you and your new furry friend can enjoy a long and happy life together.

The Adjustment Period

When you adopt a rescue dog, you bring home a furry family member and create a new dynamic for your household. The adjustment period for a shelter animal can vary based on age, personality, breed, past experiences, and the type of home they’ve been adopted into.

Some rescue dogs need extra time to adjust to their new surroundings, while others feel comfortable right away. During this time, you should be patient, dedicated, and provide a calm and consistent environment to help your new furry friend settle in. Keep in mind that you are essentially helping them transition from living in a shelter or foster home to a new family life.

Here are some things to expect during the adjustment period:

1. Behavioral Issues:

Shelter dogs may have experienced traumatic events or have never been socialized before. They may display behavior issues such as anxiety, aggression, or fear. These types of issues can be managed and corrected by obedience training, behavior modification, and most importantly, love and patience.

2. Medical Needs:

Shelter pets may have pre-existing medical conditions or previous injuries that require veterinary care. It’s important to review your new pet’s medical record and schedule a checkup with your vet to address their needs. Low-cost spay/neuter clinics or breed-specific rescues can help you with the medical issues of your rescue pup at a reasonable price.

3. Time to Adapt:

All dogs need time to get used to their new surroundings, but for shelter pets, the process may take a bit longer. Try to ease your new dog into your routines, giving them plenty of positive reinforcement. A gradual introduction to new experiences, such as meeting other pets and family members, can also help reduce their stress level.

4. Finding the Perfect Match:

When adopting a rescue dog, the adoption team or counselor will help you make the perfect match. They will take your lifestyle, preferences, and previous experience into consideration when looking for the best rescue pet to bring into your home.

5. Follow-Up Support:

After adopting your furry friend, the adoption center or organization will follow up with you. They want to confirm that the pet is making a smooth adjustment in their new home and answer any questions or concerns you may have. You can also approach the adoption team during this time with any issues you may be facing.

Adopting a rescue dog from a reputable animal shelter or rescue organization can be a rewarding experience. Though it will take patience, love, and dedication from the pet parent, the result will be a furry friend that becomes a beloved part of the family. If adoption is something that interests you, please reach out to the local animal protection advocates campaign or government animal control agency to provide a second chance to needy animals.

What to Do If Things Don’t Work Out

Adopting a rescue pet can be a rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. However, sometimes things don’t work out as planned. If you find yourself in a situation where you can no longer care for your adopted pet, there are a few steps you can take to ensure they find a loving home.

First and foremost, if you have a medical or behavior issue with your newly adopted pet, reach out to the adoption center or rescue organization as soon as possible. They will do everything in their power to help resolve any problems and provide the necessary veterinary care or obedience training. If your pet needs medical attention, they may even offer low cost spay/neuter clinics or veterinary care.

If you are unable to keep your pet due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a change in living situation or financial instability, contact the adoption center or rescue organization you adopted from. Many organizations have a clause in their adoption contract that requires you to return the animal to them, rather than surrendering it to a shelter or pet store. In most cases, there is an adoption fee to cover the cost of veterinary care, shelter accommodations, and food while the pet is in the care of the adoption center.

If you are considering surrendering your adopted pet due to a behavior issue that wasn’t identified during the adoption process, be sure to reach out to the adoption team or experienced adoption counselor. They may be able to offer suggestions for obedience training, resources for breed-specific rescues, or even connect you with a foster home that is better equipped to manage the behavior issue.

If you have exhausted all other options and must surrender your adopted pet, make sure you go through reputable animal welfare organizations, such as the ASPCA Adoption Center or a government animal control agency, rather than taking them to a pet store or puppy mill. A reputable rescue organization will ensure that the animal is healthy and that they can find the perfect match for the animal.

In conclusion, finding the perfect furry friend is a fulfilling experience, but pet ownership is a huge responsibility. It’s important to understand that sometimes things don’t work out as planned, but there are still options for your beloved pet. Reach out to the adoption center or rescue organization, be honest about the situation, and work with them to find the best solution possible for the animal. Remember, even though it may be a tough decision, surrendering your adopted pet can ultimately be the best decision for both you and your furry family member if it means finding a safe and loving home.


Adopting a furry friend from a reputable rescue organization can be a rewarding experience, but what can you expect from the adoption process? From the adoption application and interview to the adoption contract, there are several steps involved. However, with the guidance of an experienced adoption team, you can find the perfect match for your family.

One of the first considerations is the adoption fee, which often covers veterinary care and medical issues that the animal may have had in the past. Additionally, the adoption fee may support the ongoing care of other adoptable animals. If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to consider a low cost spay neuter clinic or adoption event where fees may be reduced.

Another factor to consider is the source of your adoptable animal, as rescue animals come from a variety of backgrounds. Some may have come from a previous owner, while others may have been found as homeless animals. Some rescue dogs may have come from puppy mills, whereas others may have been surrendered due to behavioral issues. Regardless of their previous circumstances, shelter pets need love, obedience training, and time to adjust to family life.

When adopting from a rescue organization, expect to work with an adoption coordinator and experienced adoption counselor who can guide you through the adoption process. They can assist you in finding the perfect furry family member who fits your lifestyle and can answer questions you may have about pet ownership.

It’s important to note, that while the adoption process can be thorough, there may be some medical and behavioral issues that arise from time to time. Having access to your pet’s medical record and the support of a veterinarian can help ensure that your furry friend receives the best vet care possible.

Overall, adopting a shelter animal or rescue pet can be a rewarding experience, providing you with a new furry family member and also helping needy animals find homes. With patience, love, and time, your rescue dog or shelter dog can become a cherished member of your family.