Pet Adoption Paperwork: What You Have to Know Earlier than Adopting

By Julie Zeilinger
Woman looking at adoption paperwork with dog
Jimena Roquero / Stocksy
Adopting a pet is a heartwarming and rewarding expertise. Whereas the adoption course of for cats, canine, or any different pet could range from one shelter or rescue group to a different, one factor stays constant: You’ll undergo an adoption course of that may virtually actually contain filling out pet adoption paperwork. By understanding the assorted kinds of paperwork and making ready accordingly, you may streamline the adoption course of and get your new member of the family residence as quickly as doable, so right here’s what you could know earlier than adopting a pet.

What’s pet adoption paperwork and why is it vital?

Pet adoption paperwork is a set of paperwork that you’ll want to finish while you undertake a pet from a shelter or rescue group. The paperwork usually contains an adoption utility, an adoption settlement, and veterinary information. In some circumstances, you might also want to offer extra paperwork, akin to proof of residency or a landlord’s permission to have a pet.

This paperwork is vital for quite a few causes. First, it helps be sure that you and your pet are an acceptable match. One of many main targets of pet adoption paperwork is to collect details about the adopter’s dwelling state of affairs, way of life, and preferences to ensure the pet’s wants align with their potential new household.

Pet adoption paperwork additionally usually contains authorized agreements that assist shield everybody concerned within the adoption. For instance, this paperwork usually contains agreements that cowl subjects akin to pet care, medical care, and return insurance policies. It may also define the obligations of each the adopter and the shelter or rescue group.

Lastly, adoption paperwork will often embody the pet’s well being information, together with vaccination historical past and proof of spaying/neutering. This ensures you’re conscious of your new pet’s well being standing and may successfully proceed to look after them.

What are the kinds of pet adoption paperwork?

There are three important kinds of pet adoption paperwork, together with the next:

The Adoption Software

The adoption utility is often the primary doc you’ll full. It asks questions on your dwelling state of affairs, expertise with pets, and the kind of pet you’re searching for. It’s important to be trustworthy and thorough in your responses, as this data helps the shelter or rescue group decide the perfect match for you.

The Adoption Settlement

This legally binding doc outlines the obligations and expectations for each the adopter and the shelter or rescue group. It covers subjects akin to pet care, spaying/neutering necessities, and the method for returning the pet if mandatory.

Proof of Residency

Many adoption companies will ask for proof of residency, akin to a utility invoice or lease settlement. That is to make sure that you reside in a pet-friendly setting and may present an acceptable residence in your new companion.

The size of adoption paperwork varies — some are shorter whereas others are fairly intensive.

How will you put together for adoption paperwork?

Step one you may take to organize for finishing your adoption paperwork is to do a little analysis. Study extra about native animal shelters and rescue organizations, both by visiting their web sites or looking assets like Undertake A Pet.

When you select a corporation from which you’d prefer to undertake, you can begin gathering the entire paperwork and data you’ll want to finish the adoption paperwork. These paperwork would possibly embody proof of residency and any references a shelter or group could wish to contact.

Different data you need to be ready to offer:

  • Your contact data
  • Your veterinarian’s contact data
  • The ages of people that dwell in your house
  • The categories and ages of different animals who at the moment dwell in your house
  • Details about previous animals who’ve lived in your house
  • In case you (or anybody in your house) have allergic reactions
  • What your previous pet dad or mum expertise contains
  • Details about your future pet’s dwelling state of affairs (akin to how lengthy they’ll be alone, the place they’ll sleep, and you probably have a yard)
  • Private references

The place do I get the pet adoption paperwork?

You will get pet adoption paperwork instantly from the shelter or rescue group you intend to undertake from. Most organizations make these paperwork out there both in particular person, on-line, or by contacting their adoption coordinator.

Irrespective of the place you full the paperwork, nevertheless, fastidiously learn and be sure to perceive every doc earlier than signing something. If in case you have questions or considerations, don’t hesitate to ask somebody on the shelter or rescue group for clarification.

Is there a deadline for finishing pet adoption paperwork?

You should definitely ask the shelter or rescue group you’ve determined to undertake from about any particular deadlines for finishing the paperwork, as this could range amongst organizations. Usually, the adoption course of strikes ahead as soon as your utility has been reviewed. Adopting a pet is an enormous dedication however some pets may be adopted rapidly, so it’s vital to be proactive and promptly submit all required supplies.

Further suggestions for navigating pet adoption paperwork

The adoption paperwork course of could appear a bit intimidating at first, however following these steps will help make it as easy as doable. 

  • Be affected person and understanding. The pet adoption course of, together with filling out paperwork and ready for a shelter or rescue to course of it, is likely to be time-consuming. It’s important to do not forget that the shelter or rescue workers are doing their finest to make sure the well-being of the pets of their care. They wish to discover them the perfect houses doable, which might imply taking time to do their due diligence, ask questions, and collect data.
  • Ask questions when you’re undecided about one thing. It’s essential to be trustworthy and clear throughout this course of — each within the solutions you present and you probably have any questions for the shelter or rescue workers. The folks on the receiving finish of your paperwork are there to assist and may present steerage.
  • Be ready to offer extra data or documentation if wanted. Shelters or rescue organizations would possibly request extra data, together with proof of handle, a landlord’s approval, references, or veterinary information for any present pets. Be ready to offer this data to show that you simply’re prepared to go the additional mile to make sure your new pet’s well-being.

FAQ (Folks Additionally Ask):

Are there any charges related to pet adoption paperwork?

There are usually charges related to pet adoption. The precise charges range relying on elements such because the insurance policies of the animal shelter or rescue you select to undertake from, any medical therapies the animal underwent of their care (together with vaccinations and spaying/neutering), any transportation prices, and extra. Basically, these charges assist cowl the prices accrued by the group in caring for the animal and assist them proceed their life-saving work.

What if I lose the adoption paperwork?

In case you lose adoption paperwork, you may contact the animal shelter or rescue from which you adopted their pet; they often maintain information of adoptions and may offer you copies of the mandatory paperwork. It’s important to take care of these information, nevertheless, particularly in case of emergencies, so think about making copies and storing them in a protected place.

What’s a microchip and why is it vital in pet adoption?

A microchip is a small machine that may be implanted in your pet and accommodates a singular identification quantity. It’s often injected underneath the pores and skin between your pet’s shoulder blades and is important for each identification (it’s a everlasting type of identification that enormously will increase the possibilities of reuniting together with your pet in the event that they go lacking) and proof of possession. Many animal shelters and rescue organizations make sure the pets they undertake out are microchipped to supply peace of thoughts to everybody concerned. Your pet adoption paperwork will embody the microchip variety of your pet.


Julie Zeilinger is a NYC-based author and editor whose writing has been revealed in Marie Claire, Vox, HuffPost, Forbes, and different publications. She can be the writer of two books: Faculty 101: A Woman’s Information to Freshman 12 months (2014) and A Little F’d Up: Why Feminism Is Not a Soiled Phrase (2012). She is the mother to Baloo, a two-year-old Bichpoo and foster mother to canine through Badass Animal Rescue.

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