Division of Animal Care & Control

What to Expect When Adopting

Consider Your Best Fit

Think about your routine and lifestyle, and what activities you would like to do with a new dog. What are you prepared to handle, age- and energy-wise? Younger dogs tend to be much more active and may need more training than a mature dog, for example.

Our adoption counselors are always happy to make recommendations based on what you’re looking for in a dog.

Is everyone in the home ready for a new family member? Visit www.tinyurl.com/meetacitydog to schedule that meet!

The Meeting

When you arrive at the kennel, you will be greeted by an adoption counselor (AC) who will assist you through your Meet and Greet.

Your AC will give you some information on the dogs and discuss your lifestyle and what you are looking for in a new pet. Then, the AC will bring dogs out for you to meet! Please be advised that, except during inclement weather, adoption appointments are done outdoors.

We bring dogs outside of their cages for meets as this gives them a chance to show their actual personalities removed from the stressful kennel environment. You’ll be able to interact with prospective dogs to make sure that you feel a connection and that it is a good fit.

If you fall in love right away, great! But otherwise, you can meet multiple dogs until you find a match. Your AC will be happy to make suggestions based on what you are looking for. Your AC will share information we have learned about the dog and some important information on setting up your new dog for success. They will also be able to answer any questions you have.

Who to Bring

We ask that the whole family be able to attend the meet. It is important to make sure everyone who will be living with the dog is comfortable with them - and vice versa! This includes children and resident dogs. If you need an exception, please reach out in advance.

You’re welcome to make multiple visits; some people like to come without their children or resident dog first, narrow the list of potential dogs down, and come back with the rest of the family at a later date. If you decide to schedule multiple meets, please be aware that the dog may be adopted by someone else in the interim. Due to the high population of dogs in the kennel, we cannot hold dogs.

If you have a resident dog(s) at home, we’ll ask you to bring him/her to the meet. We usually conduct dog-to-dog meets starting with an on-leash tandem walk, so please be sure your dog is wearing a non-retractable leash and a flat collar or harness.

We do dog-to-dog meetings outdoors, so if your pet is stressed out by the kennel environment, they can stay outside or wait in the car at first.

What to Bring

You will need a valid Driver’s License or other government-issued photo ID to complete your adoption paperwork. The adoption fee is $61. Payment can be made with either cash or card.

Your new dog will have a collar to wear home. You’re encouraged to bring a leash for your new dog, but we can provide one if needed.

Setting Up the House

It is best to have your home set up and ready for your dog before they come home, so the transition can be as smooth as possible.

Consider: where will the dog be allowed to go at first? Where will you put the dog’s bowls, crate, toys, etc.? How will you create boundaries as the dog is learning its routine - do you need to purchase a baby gate, for example? If you have pets at home, how will you separate them from resident pets at first?

Here is a list of recommended items to have before your dog comes home:

  • Dog food
  • Treats (help with training)
  • Food and water bowls
  • Poop bags
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Chew toys
  • Leash and harness
  • Collar (an initial collar is provided upon adoption)
  • Crate
  • Dog bed

Don’t assume the dog will know not to chew shoes or raid the trash can. These things are understandably tempting to a dog, and they might not know any better. Management is the best solution as your dog is learning the rules!

Transport Home

Especially if there is another dog coming to the meeting, it’s important to consider the drive home. Two or more dogs who have just met should not be loose in the car together.

You may want to take two separate trips, drive in separate vehicles, or you could bring a crate to physically keep the dogs separate in the car (one up front and one in the back seat without a physical divider is not enough.)

Remember that some dogs at the kennel may not have a lot of experience in cars and may be nervous at first. You may want to get a hammock or doggy seatbelt to make the ride home safe.