Dogs for Adoption

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Everything you need to know to adopt a dog or puppy.

So you've decided to adopt a dog - go you! Welcome to the dogs for adoption section, the perfect place to start your dog adoption search. We've partnered with Petfinder to bring you the largest listing of adoptable dogs on the web.

Shelters and Rescue Organizations

Post your adoptable dogs on Dogster!

Talk About Adoption

Why Rescues Have so Many Rules

Placing dogs with people is complex, and I think we in the shelter/rescue world are ALWAYS struggling to find that balance - wanting to place as many animals as possible, which allows more lives to be saved/ less time having to be spent in a kennel at a shelter by any particular dog. yet not wanting to place dogs (or people for that matter) in a precarious situation by making a bad match. For our shelter, we basically try to be flexible and everything's more dependent on the situation than on written rules or policies. We generally err on the side of "yes" than "no" to an adoption, if it's "on the fence." It goes without saying, perhaps, but we WANT all the dogs to get adopted, and every adoption is a celebration! Because we are flexible though, that means a lot more work up front in terms of interviewing/talking to the adopters, since we don't just have a checklist to go by. For example, in the case of an older person, we might have asked about her physical abilities to walk the dog etc. and then tried to match her up with a dog that she'd be able to control. Of course you'd already thought that all through when you went to adopt a dog for her, but you'd be surprised that some people don't think about things like that. So all we can do is talk to people and see where they're coming from and try to get the best outcome.

Dawn T., owner of a Beagle mix

How to Go About Adopting a Dog

The adoption process would depend upon where you wish to get a dog from. A shelter? A rescue group? From an individual? From the dogs listed on this website? Or do you wish to purchase a dog from a breeder? 1. If from a shelter: Usually you can choose a dog and must fill out a form, as well an answer a few questions. There is a fee ranging from $50 to $200 or perhaps a bit more. The shelter in my area charges $80 for a young dog. Some shelters have something of a first come first serve policy. 2. If from a rescue group: From what I understand, they have a more rigorous adoption process than a shelter. You must fill out a questionnaire, and you are less likely to get the dog you want since they have only a handful of dogs and a bunch of people wanting them. Plus, I believe the homes are usually chosen by who would provide the best home rather than first come first served. 3. From an individual: Depends. Some have terms, some do not. Many individuals advertise the dogs they are "getting rid of" in the newspaper. 4. From the dogs listed on this website: For the adoptable dogs you click on "contact the guardian about adopting this dog" and go from there. No one on Dogster is allowed to SELL their dogs, so unless the dog is listed as part of a shelter or rescue group, it should not cost you anything to adopt any particular dog off of here. 5. If purchasing from a breeder: A good breeder won't sell to just anyone. They want the best for their dogs. They will have a contract having, among many other things, a spay/neuter agreement and that if you cannot keep the dog to return it to them. When looking for a breeder to buy from, it's important to do your research as to what to look for in a breeder.

Tiffany C., owner of a German Shepherd

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