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Photo of Kingston, a shelter dog

Adoption Procedures

If you are certain that you are willing and able to devote yourself to providing a loving, permanent home for one of our furry friends, please get your whole family together and visit our shelter. Take your time and visit with several of our pets. If you have found yourself completely in love with one of the pets, an adoption counselor will help you complete an adoption application.

When you meet with your adoption counselor, you will need to provide the following:

  • Proof of current vaccinations, spay/neuter and licensing of the other pets in your household.
  • If you are a renter, a copy of your lease including the name and address of the landlord.
  • If you are a homeowner, please bring proof of home ownership.

If you have dogs at home, we require a meet and greet with the shelter animal you are interested in. However, for the safety of your pet and the shelter animals, please be sure to bring all of your pet's vaccination records with you to the meet and greet.

If you are traveling from a distance (at least an hour away) and are looking to adopt a specific animal, we suggest that you call to submit an application over the phone. Once you have been pre-approved over the phone, AFA is willing to hold the animal for an hour or so (in order for you to travel from your home to AFA immediately after pre-approval). Final approval for the adoption is granted after a successful meet and greet.

Out of State Adoption:
Please note that the approval process for an out of state adopter at this time of the year can take up to one week. Once the approval process is complete, an adopter is able to submit an adoption application on a specific dog or cat. AFA takes great pride in matching people and pets and invests much time and energy to make sure that the adoption is going to be one that lasts a lifetime.

We don't ever mean to be frustrating to or evasive with potential adopters. It is stressful and upsetting - in fact, downright devastating - for the animals, for our staff, and most importantly, for you when adoptions don't work out and pets have to come back to us. And a bad adoption experience can sour some people on dogs or cats - or on shelter animals - for life. We ask for patience when adopting... after 30 years in the business of rescuing and placing animals, we feel that we have a very good screening and placement policy. Going through the process the way we do really is the best policy - for all of us, but most importantly the animal.

You may be surprised to find that adopting an animal is a more involved process than you expected, or that it means you can't have immediate access to an animal you are interested in. But it is important to understand, 1. The process is the same for everyone and, 2. It's not our intention to frustrate you. Rather, everything we do is for the best interests of the animals in our care, and is aimed at giving them the best possible chance of finding a permanent home.