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Am I ready to adopt?

Are you at a point in your life where you are stable in location/housing, employment and/or retirement? Relocation can be traumatic for a pet. And what if you couldn't take your pet with you!

Do you have financial security?
A new pet can be costly and unseen expenses such as vet visits can occur. Some dog breeds require professional grooming.

Do you have the time in your life to enjoy your new pet?
Dogs need daily walks and both cats and dogs need your time and attention.

Are you committed to training?
Proper training and socialization can make the difference between a happy home and a failed adoption. It can even save your pet's life. Just think about the potential consequences of a dog who does not respond to the "stay"or "come" command.

Are you ready to make a commitment of up to 10-20 years to this new best friend?

What do I need to bring when going to the shelter to look?

An open heart:
Check out our adoptable pets on and pick out several that you may be interested in that fit your lifestyle and activity level. Be careful to not judge a pet by its breed and keep an open mind and heart when you visit the shelter.

Ample Time:
Picking out a new best friend can take hours and even multiple visits. Make sure you have plenty of time to carefully weigh this important decision. And remember, this decision is not just whether this is the right pet for you but if yours is the right home for the pet! Shelter staff and DAWG volunteers will work with you to make a good match that will result in a happy forever home.

Landlord Agreement:
Before adopting, the Douglas County Animal Shelter requires a signed statement from your landlord permitting pet ownership. Your lease or rental agreement is not acceptable. The statement must be specific to the pet you wish to adopt, agreeing to breed, size, etc. So discuss pet ownership with your landlord ahead of time.

Your other dog:
If you are considering adopting a second or third dog, a “meet-and-greet” is required at the shelter with your current dog(s) before adopting. This will ensure your new dog is a good match for your existing canines.

Your whole family:
It is always a good idea to have everyone involved in the family when adopting a new pet. This is especially important if you have children or disabled persons in your family. Sometimes we do not know the previous situation of the animals at the shelter, where they came from, who they lived with, etc. It’s best to introduce them to everyone in the family before adoption.

How does the shelter operate?

Each available animal at the shelter has a white card on its kennel. This card tells you the animal’s name, gender, approximate age and breed. It can also provide some basic information on leash walking skills or activity level. For more information on a given animal, feel free to ask the shelter staff or volunteer.

All dogs and cats must be spayed or neutered before leaving the shelter. (Exception: For puppies and kittens who are too young, you will be required to pay the spay/neuter fee in advance and sign an agreement to have the pet fixed as soon as it reaches an appropriate age.) All pets are current on required vaccinations and are also microchipped, courtesy of DAWG, in the event they become separated from you and need to be identified.

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