Adoption Process

At All Breed Rescue, we care deeply for our dogs and our adopters. We strive to make the adoption process as straightforward as possible. We take special care to match the right dog with the right adopter to ensure that the entire family can enjoy a lifetime of love and fun. Our adoption process is designed to help ensure that you bring home a dog that fits your lifestyle and that our rescue dogs are placed in safe, stable homes where their needs will be met.

Below is an outline of our adoption process from start to finish. While it may seem like a lot, don’t worry - we’re here to support you every step of the way!


Step 1: Complete an adoption application

The first step is to fill out an adoption application on our website. You must be 21 to submit an adoption application. The application tells us a little bit about you, your lifestyle, and experience with pets so we can help find the right pup for you. It is also intended to get you thinking about what type of dog might be the best fit for you. Applications stay on file for 1 year, so it’s a good idea to submit one at the beginning of your search so your application is approved once you fall in love with a dog. Once you have completed an adoption application, you are welcome to visit the adoptable pups at our shelter – you do not need to wait until your application is approved (see Step 4).


Step 2: Application review

Our staff work hard to review all applications as quickly as possible after they are received. You can help expedite the process by making sure that your application is complete and having your references contact us directly (via phone or email). Some actions we take when reviewing applications include: 

  - Landlord approval: If you rent your home or apartment, we will contact your landlord to confirm that a dog is permitted in the home. We will also ask about any breed or size restrictions. For example, if your landlord says that you’re allowed to have one dog under 40 pounds, we’ll help you find a pup that matches that description.

  - Veterinary reference: If you currently have pets at home, we will contact your veterinarian to confirm whether those pets are spayed/neutered and up to date on vaccinations. This doesn’t apply to farm animals or small pets like gerbils, birds, or fish, but we still like to know what other animals are in and around the home so that we can help you find a dog that will happily coexist with all of them.

  - Personal references: We will contact your two personal references, only one of whom can be a family member, and ask whether they consider you to be a responsible pet owner, with the available time and resources for a new pup.


Most applications are processed within 1-3 days, but it may take longer if we have a high volume of applications.  We will update you on the status of your application via email. Please add to your contacts so the messages don’t end up in your spam folder!

The biggest inhibitor we have found to completing the approval process is lack of personal, landlord or veterinary references. Please help us by following up with yours to ensure we can make the application decision in a timely manner.


Step 3: Check out our available dogs

You can always see a list of our available dogs on our website plus more pictures and videos on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Once you’ve submitted an adoption application, you’re welcome to come visit our available dogs at our shelter in Williston! We’ll talk about what you’re looking for and let you spend some one-on-one time with dogs who might be a good match for you. You can play, snuggle on the couch, or go for a walk together to help determine whether any one pup is the one for you.

Most of our dogs are housed at our shelter in Williston. Some reside in foster homes nearby, so feel free to give us a call if there is anyone in particular you want to meet, and we can confirm whether they are at the shelter or set up time for their foster to bring them here. If a dog is currently living in a foster home it will be indicated on their profile on our website.

We have new dogs arriving just about every week, so if you don’t meet the perfect match on the first visit there’s a good chance we’ll have more pups for you to meet soon! New dogs and puppies are posted on our Facebook page a few days prior to their scheduled arrival. As they are being transported from southern shelters, we often do not have a lot of information until they arrive, but during our intake process we review all of their medical records and conduct an initial behavior assessment. We get to know more about each dog as long as they remain in our care.

** A note about dog breeds ** 

Our database and standard shelter practice requires that we label each dog as a particular breed or breeds. For the majority of shelter dogs, that breed label is a guess based on appearance. We occasionally know one or both parents of our puppies, but even then we cannot make any guarantees about their breed. We encourage all adopters to base their decision on the individual dog’s temperament and fit for their lifestyle rather than on breed label.

Once you have met the dog that you want to bring home, you will have the option of adopting them that day (if your application has been approved) or placing a deposit on the dog. Once you have met a dog that you’d like to bring home, we will hold the dog for up to 3 days with a $150 deposit, allowing time for your application to be processed or for you to puppy-proof your home and pick up supplies. A deposit is non-refundable, unless your adoption application is not approved. If you do place a deposit on a dog but then decide not to adopt them, the deposit will be held on file for one year and can be applied to any dog in our program during that time. The $150 deposit is applied to the total adoption fee at the time of adoption.

** Puppy pick **

New puppies are exciting, and when we have lots of little cuties available we tend to get a lot of interest and want to make sure everyone gets a chance to meet them in an organized manner. Our new puppies (aged 6 months and under) are first made available in a “puppy pick”, which works like this: once we have posted their pictures on our Facebook page, interested adopters may call or stop in to place a deposit for a spot in the puppy pick. Adopters are given the opportunity to meet and choose from all of the available puppies in the order in which their deposit was received. For example, if we have 12 puppies available and you are the first person to call in a deposit, you will be able to meet all 12 puppies together and then decide which one you would like to adopt. The second person to place a deposit will be second in line to choose from the remaining 11 puppies, etc. If you place a deposit for puppy pick but decide not to adopt at that time, your deposit will be held on file and can be applied to any other dog in our program for up to 1 year. 


Step 4: Doggy Meet & Greets (if applicable)

If you currently own a dog, we require a meet and greet to occur between your dog and the dog you'd like to adopt from us. This is to ensure that all dogs get along and are able to share a home together. Please feel free to bring your dog to our facility upon meeting with one of our dogs! Our staff will assist in the introduction whether that be in one of our meet and greet rooms, outside on-leash, or in one of our outdoor fenced-in play yards. 


Step 5: Finalizing the adoption

Once your application is approved and you’ve met the perfect pup, we’ll complete all the paperwork to make it official. We will review the dog’s medical history with you, highlight if your dog has any specific necessities, and complete an adoption agreement that transfers ownership of the dog to you. We provide some basic information about dog care, socialization and training. We’re always happy to answer any questions you have at any time before or after the adoption!


Our adoption fees are as follows:

  - Puppies (up to 6 months old) - $400

  - Adult dogs - $375

  - Senior dogs (7 years and older) - $275

These fees help to cover the cost of rescuing and caring for the dogs in our program. They can be paid via cash, check, credit or debit card. The total adoption amount must be paid in full prior to the dog going home.


10-day post-adoption “trial” period:

We want to make sure that all of our adopters and our dogs are comfortable together. If you have any questions after bringing your new pup home, we encourage you to reach out so that we can help or point you toward professionals who may be able to give you the best possible information. On the other hand, we certainly understand that there may be instances where a dog is just not the right fit. If you’ve brought a new dog home but don’t think it’s going to work out, you have the option of bringing them back to the shelter within 10 days of the adoption, and we’ll refund your adoption fee less the $150 deposit. The $150 deposit can be applied to any other dog in our shelter for up to 1 year. We encourage adopters to use the full 10-day period as dogs take time to settle into new homes and environments to get comfortable.


Step 5: Vet Visit

We strongly recommend that all adopters bring their new pups to the vet as soon as possible. All of our dogs are seen by a veterinarian before arriving at our shelter, are up-to-date on their core vaccinations and given standard preventative care, however, it is a great idea to establish a relationship with a vet (especially if you’re a new dog owner), introduce your dog to them, and discuss your plan for care and any additional vaccinations that might be appropriate for your pup.

All of our dogs, including young puppies, are spayed and neutered prior to arrival at our shelter. *In the few instances where age or health prevented alteration, adopters are required to spay or neuter their dogs as soon as their veterinarian advises that it is safe and appropriate to do so. We will follow up to remind you, and will provide a $75 refund upon confirmation from the vet or receipt of an invoice showing that the dog has been altered.*

We pride ourselves on the level of care given to our dogs and make every effort to ensure that they are healthy before going home with their new families. The nature of rescue and working with live animals is such that we cannot make a 100% guarantee about the health or behavior of any animal. Please be aware that All Breed Rescue is not responsible for any unexpected veterinary expenses after the time of adoption. 


Thank you for choosing to adopt from us! 

- All Breed Rescue