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Adoption Contract Sample

Delaware Valley Bichon Rescue
Adoption Contract:

This agreement is made this _____ day of __________ , 20__, by and between Delaware Valley Bichon Rescue, hereinafter referred to as "rescuer," and ____________________, hereinafter referred to as the "adopter." The adopter hereby understands, promises, and agrees that in receipt of this dog to forever release, discharge and covenant to hold harmless rescuer and by other person, firm, or organization charged or chargeable with responsibility or liability, their heirs, administrators, executors, successors, and assigns from any and all claims, damages, and costs, expenses, loss of services, actions and causes of action belonging to the said adopter, arising out of any act or occurrence from the present time and particularity on account of the adoption of:

Date of Birth/Approximate Age:
Breed: bichon

hereinafter referred to as "this dog" or the "dog."

The adopter hereby declares that no representations about the nature of the adopted dog, nor any representations regarding the nature and extent of legal liability or of financial responsibility have induced the adopter to sign this contract. In consideration of a donation in the amount of $________, the adopter acknowledges the provisions as defined:


The donation is not a fee or sale price, but a request to defer or reimburse rescuer for any and all medical expenses, or any other expenses incurred by the dog or rescuer to consider the dog for adoption, as well as to offset expenses incurred by the rescue for future dogs. All dogs come spayed/neutered, updated on vaccinations and heartworm tested. The donation is given in consideration of these and other future expenses. Reimbursement of the donation will be given (minus a $25.00 consideration for transportation & other costs associated w/adoption) if the dog is returned in the same general health & overall condition within 30 days from date noted on this agreement. After the initial 30 days, the dog will be returned to the rescuer if the adopter can no longer keep the dog for any reason, but no refund will be given.

Collars and Tags

The dog will not wear a pinch (cleat), choker collar or any similar article around the neck for ANY purpose. The dog shall at all times be required to wear a traditional nylon collar with AT LEAST the rabies tag, rescue identification tag, and municipal license. Other forms of identification can be worn at adoptive family's discretion. The dog will ALWAYS be restrained w/a leash or within a fenced yard. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Transfer of Ownership

The dog shall not be sold, given to, or adopted to anyone else, nor shall there be any transfer of ownership to any firm, corporation, or organization of other homeless animals, such as another rescue facility, or research facility. The dog adopted from rescuer must be returned to rescuer if for any reason the adopter can no longer keep it. Violation of this agreement will result in court costs and attorney fees payable by the adopter if necessary for rescuer to redeem the dog.


The adopter promises that under no circumstances will the dog be trained to develop a dual personality, as defined: no protection, attack, schutzhund, or guard dog training is permitted. The dog will not be encouraged to show any aggressive or agitated behavior. The dog will be a family member only and only participate in good citizen, basic obedience or therapy dog training. The dog will not be maintained as property or for the purpose of being a deterrent due to size, appearance, or display and encouragement of territorial behavior.


The dog shall reside indoors, in the adopter's home, and live as a family member and companion only. The dog will not be kept outdoors during the adopter's working hours, or at any other time left alone outdoors while the adopter is not at home. The dog may be confined to a room such as a bedroom or kitchen or any other room of adequate size and protected from the elements of weather. The adopter is not to expose the dog to harmful objects, poisons, or other living creatures that may endanger the dog's life. The dog may not be crated for any period of time. If it is necessary to confine the dog while the adopters are away from the home, he will be confined to a room of adequate size inside the house as necessary, such as a kitchen or bedroom. An outside shelter such as a dog house is NOT acceptable as residence but can be used only when needed in extreme heat, cold, or rain when the dog is let out into the yard for short periods of time and only when the adopter is at home.

Health Program

The dog shall remain on heartworm preventative indefinitely throughout the entire lifespan of the dog for AT LEAST six months of every calendar year (or more often as recommended by the veterinarian of record). Rescuer reserves the right to verify with the adopter's veterinarian that the heartworm preventative has been purchased and that the dog has a yearly or bi-yearly blood test for this purpose. The dog shall also have yearly booster shots of DHLPP (distemper). Rescuer reserves the right to check with the veterinarian at anytime to verify that all the basic health requirements are being done. Renewal of rabies vaccine is required by law and therefore by the terms of this contract.

Important Notice: Temperament

Rescuer makes no explicit or implicit guarantees in reference to the health and/or temperament of the dog. The dog is adopted "as is" and the adopter assumes all responsibility for treatment of any and all existing conditions or any other conditions of physical or temperament changes that may occur. Rescuer will provide the dog with the basic vaccines and heartworm test before adoption if the age and current health of the dog permits. Rescuer will also spay/neuter the dog prior to adoption. While the rescuer makes every effort to place only healthy animals, the rescuer cannot guarantee the health of any animal and shall not be held responsible for any medical expenses which may be incurred, hereby expressly excluding any implied or express warranties of merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose, including, without limitation, any warranties regarding health, temperament or whether the animal is housebroken.

Remedy for non-compliance

It is agreed that rescuer shall retain superior title in said animal limited to and for the express purpose of assuring the animal's well-being and only exercise its superior claim in the event it appears to rescuer that the proper and humane care as specified in the above adoption provisions is not being afforded said animal, in which case the animal may be taken through a claim and delivery proceeding. The adopter further agrees that if there is any breach or default of the terms of this contract, and the dog must be redeemed through a claim and delivery service, that the adopter will be held liable for all court costs and fees for the adopter's attorney and for rescuer's attorney. This has been read to the adopter and explained to the adopter. The adopter has read this, understands and agrees to this and is signing this contract.

Cosmetic and other Surgeries

Unless directed by a licensed veterinarian for reasons related to the health and welfare of the dog, cosmetic surgery will not be performed under any circumstances, including but not limited to tail docking or ear cropping. In addition, no surgeries will be performed for behaviors that may be deemed a nuisance by the adopter - such as debarking a dog who barks excessively. This is NOT permitted under the terms of this contract. The dog shall undergo surgical procedures ONLY when those procedures are necessary for health reasons, such as to remove bladder stones.


The dog will not ride in the back of a pickup truck under any circumstances including those such as in a cage/kennel, or tied. The dog shall not remain in any vehicle in extreme heat or cold, with windows up or down, or unattended for any amount of time.

Adequate Fencing

The adopter agrees that the definition of an adequate fence is a fence that encloses a yard or a large pen, larger than the outdoor kennels. An adequate fence is one that prevents the dog within to go out of the area by jumping, digging, or exiting through gates not properly secured. The fence will prevent any other animal from entering the property the dog lives on and will be secure enough to prevent intruders or small children from easily gaining entry. In the event an electric fence is used to confine dog to a particular area of the property, the dog will be properly trained prior to use, the fence will be maintained on a regular basis to guarantee effectiveness, and the dog will NOT be left outside unsupervised, since an electric fence does not prevent other animals or intruders from entering the yard. A kennel environment is not acceptable for housing, safety, or the emotional well being of the dog. If the dog should be able to jump over, or dig under the fence it is no longer an adequate fence and must be repaired by raising it to six(6) feet or sealing any and all weak spots immediately. The decision on whether a home is adequately fenced will be made by rescuer, not by the adopter. While the fence is not serving the purpose the adopter shall not leave the dog unattended in the yard at any time.

Rescuer's Reservation of Rights

Rescuer reserves the right to follow up on this adoption to inspect the animal and where the animal is kept for the sole purpose of determining compliance with the terms of the within contract by making a personal visit to the premises of the adopter at anytime during the entire lifespan of the dog. If the terms and conditions of this contract are not upheld by the adopter and/or any misrepresentations have been made to by the adopter, rescuer reserves the right to terminate this contract and the adopters will agree to allow a representative of rescuer to reclaim the dog without notice or refund. Rescuer's reservation of rights also includes not adopting a dog into an area or environment that may endanger the life of the dog, which includes relocating with the dog after the adoption agreement. If the dog becomes lost, seriously injured, and/or permanently disfigured, or for any reason the dog dies the rescuer must be notified immediately.

Adopter's Acknowledgment of Terms

I hereby acknowledge receipt of the above described animal and therefore agree to the following terms:

  • The dog is not to be outside without the benefit of a fenced yard or least to restrain him/her.
  • The dog will not be chained to a doghouse or chained outside to any type of object or outbuilding.
  • The dog is not to live in a garage, doghouse, or any type of outbuilding.
  • Shelter from weather must be provided for the dog at any time that the dog is outside if the weather is extreme heat, extreme cold, or any other weather conditions that may endanger the health of the dog.
  • The dog will not be crated but instead will be confined to an area of the home, only if necessary and while the adopter is away from home.
  • While the adopter is at home, the dog is not to remain solely in one room, not to be confined to a room, and must have free roam of the house as a family member.
  • The dog is not to be left with small children at anytime when unattended by an adult.
  • The adopter must provide rescuer with the name of the veterinarian the dog is going to and notify rescuer if there is a change.
  • The dog must remain on heartworm preventative six months or more per calendar year.
  • The dog shall not be trained, encouraged, nor misrepresented for the purpose of protection, aggression, or any aggravated display of behavior.
  • The dog is to have adequate food, water and shelter at all times.
  • The adopter shall refrain from physical abuse of the animal and from otherwise treating the animal in an inhumane manner.

Change of Address and Notification

The adopter agrees to notify the rescuer no more than ten(10) days prior to change of address, change of environment that will affect the dog, or any incident involving animal control and/or complaints arising from said ownership of the dog.

Costs of Enforcement

Should it become necessary for rescuer to take action to recover an adopted dog or otherwise enforce the provisions of the adoption contract agreement, the undersigned adopter(s) will be responsible for all court costs and all attorney fees representing either the adopter or rescuer.


This is a confidential agreement between the adopter and the rescuer.

Right of Ownership

The dog adopted from rescue is "sole property" of rescue and has been surrendered as such by private owners or animal facilities that have signed a statement agreeing that the above mentioned dog is not owned property of any other person, firm or organization. Rescuer shall not be held liable, charged, or chargeable for any misrepresentations unknown to this rescuer.

Signed This _____ day of __________ ,20__

Adopter Signature(s):_____________________________________________

Adopter Name:

Adopter's Address:


State/zip code:

Home Phone:

Work Phone:

E-mail address:

Rescuer's Signature(s): ____________________________________________

Rescue Agency: Delaware Valley Bichon Rescue
Rescue Address: 711 Chapel Road
City: Cinnaminson
State: Zip Code: NJ 08077
Home Phone: 856-829-7615
Rescue Phone: same
fax: 775-637-4324

Provisional Items: