AGSR Dog Adoption: What Potential Adopters Need to Know
Adopting a dog through Arctic German Shepherd Rescue takes a number of steps. Through our experience and the experience of other rescue organizations, we have developed a process which ensures the best forever home for an abused, abandoned or neglected dog. Why all the Rules? Click here.
Please note that due to COVID, some adoption procedures have been modified to accommodate local and state health regulations and to keep both the dogs and potential adopters safe and healthy.
Application: Anyone interested in adopting must fill out an adoption application, which can be downloaded from the website and then emailed or printed and mailed in. This is a typeable pdf form so remember to save the file before printing and/or emailing so you won't lose your typed data. The application fee must accompany the application, which can be paid via check mailed to the address listed on the application or via the Paypal link below. If paying by check, the fee is $20, if by Paypal, the fee is $21 to cover the Paypal processing fee. Please note that this application fee is a non-refundable administrative cost for processing the application and is not a tax deductible donation. Filling out an application helps the rescue determine the best match for your family and for the dog's needs but is not necessarily for any particular dog and does not guarantee an adoption will take place. If approved, your application remains on file until we match you with a dog or until you request to close your application. Email adoption application to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions: The questions we ask permit us to assist you in matching your needs and desires in a dog with the needs of our available dogs. Questions will consist of your living situation, pet history, current pets, type of lifestyle you lead and what you are looking for in a dog. This information is vital to determine which dog would suit you best and to prevent unhappy placements. AGSR carefully screens its applicants by calling references, veterinarians and landlords. We would normally conduct visits of potential adoption homes but due to COVID restrictions, we generally will request photos of the inside and outside of the home in lieu of the visit.
Application Approval: Our goal is to avoid the return of pets to shelters by finding forever homes for them with adopters who are capable of providing the level of care necessary to support the dogs through their entire natural lives. Filling out an application does not guarantee an adoption will take place as we must prevent placing the dogs in an unsafe environment or putting the dogs at risk for an unsuccessful adoption. Adoptions out of the Fairbanks and Anchorage area are possible, but are processed on a case-by-case basis.
If Your Application Is Approved: Once we have reviewed and verified your application data, an adoption coordinator will contact you. An approved application must be on file before you can come out and see or visit with any of our rescue dogs - no exceptions.
If a dog is not available after receiving and approving your application, you will be placed on a waiting list for when a dog matching your needs comes into the rescue. We urge approved applicants to stay in contact with the rescue when a new dog is posted that they may be interested in.
Finding the Right Dog:
After visiting with our dogs, if you are interested in adopting one of our dogs and the rescue believes the dog to be a good fit, we will reserve the pet for you to take the next step in the adoption process. When there are multiple potential adopters with approved applications who are all interested in the same dog, then we will make the best choice for that individual dog. If you are declined for a particular dog, it is not a judgement of you or your good intentions in adopting, but simply that another applicant is better able to meet that dog's needs as many rescue dogs have special medical needs or have suffered from physical and emotional abuse.
The 24/48 Hour Visit: We require a mandatory 24 to 48 hour visit with the dog before adoption can take place to make sure the dog gets along with the family and any other pets in the home. This visit must be done when everyone in the household will be home, which usually is a weekend. This step takes place only when both you and the rescue are 99% sure this is the right dog for you and your family. Out of town potential adopters, which are on a case by case basis, must also have an overnight visit by coming to Fairbanks with all their household members and pets and stay at local lodgings. Due to COVID restrictions, potential adopters are only allowed to visit one dog/puppy and that will take place on the day of the overnight stay unless the dog requires more than one visit. The visit will take place outside, so please dress according to local weather conditions. Regretfully, we cannot do video visits via Facetime,Zoom or similar platforms.
The Final Step: After the 24/48 hour visit, an adoption coordinator will come to your home to discuss the visit and if both you and the adoption coordinator feel comfortable with the arrangement, you will be asked if you would like to adopt the dog. If you say yes, an adoption contract must be signed and the adoption fee will be collected at that time.
AGSR charges an adoption fee of $350. This fee includes health care provided before adoption, including all age-appropriate rabies prior to adoption, spay/neuter procedure, microchip, and pre-adoption heath care for dogs over the age of 1 year as needed. We expect all adopters to make their own vet appointment within 30 days of adoption. For puppies, the fee is the same, but may not include the cost of spaying and neutering depending on their age at the time of adoption. All adopters of puppies are required by contract to have their adopted dog spayed or neutered when age appropriate, typically at 5 months of age. This adoption fee covers pre-adoption vaccinations and an initial vet checkup, however, the adopter is required to schedule a vet appointment within 3 weeks of adoption.
Many people ask why the adoption fee is so expensive, but it really is a fraction of the actual cost of rescuing and caring for the dog. AGSR is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that relies on donations and adoption fees to cover rescue operating expenses. AGSR needs to pay shelter fees, transport fees, vet fees, spay/neuter fees, microchip fees, veterinary care for untreated illnesses and injuries, costs of medicine and supplements and provide food and shelter. We typically spend much more per dog than the amount we charge as our adoption fee.
One Last Visit:
Approximately two weeks after the adoption is finalized, an adoption coordinator may come out to your home, make a phone call or email you for a final follow-up. This follow-up is designed to help with any questions or concerns and also gives the coordinator a chance to know how the dog is adjusting to his/her new life and family.
Keeping in Touch:
Once you adopt a dog from us, we encourage you to keep in touch! Please call us for advice if you are having any problems or have questions. Many times a small problem can be fixed before it becomes a bigger problem. We also love to get emails, letters and photos from people who have adopted a pet from us. Please note we may post any photo(s) we receive on our AGSR Facebook page, newsletter and/or website