Start Adoption Process


While Houndhaven does not have a lot of strict rules, we do have policies that we follow when approving adoptive homes.  The goal of these policies is to help the dogs find homes that are right for them.  Applicants may be perfectly nice people and have a perfectly nice home, but it may not be the right home for the dog.  Please remember that our job is to find the right home for the dog, NOT to find the right dog for an applicant.

  1. We require an EXCELLENT veterinarian reference showing a history of annual visits to the vet for shots, exams, tests, etc. for all pets (including cats).  We also require evidence that all dogs have been kept on year round heartworm prevention and that the veterinarian’s suggestions for care have been followed.  We look for homes where the animal’s medical needs are treated as seriously as the medical needs of their owners.  We are very strict about this requirement. Because past behavior is our best predictor of future behavior, we evaluate first time pet owners on a case by case basis.
  2. We require an adequate setting for the dog.  What is adequate varies from dog to dog.  Some dogs may not do well in an apartment, some may need a fenced yard, some may need someone at home during most of the day, etc.  We do our best to find the right fit.  No one is served well if we place the dog in the wrong setting.
  3. We require a substantial commitment to the dog.  If an applicant has given away multiple animals or has given away any animal for an insufficient reason, we are unlikely to approve the application.  We want our dogs to be members of the family, and family members are not given away.
  4. We require that all dogs be indoor dogs.  They want to be near their family and will become lonely, bored and destructive if cast outside.  Our contract gives us the right to come on the adopting party’s property to verify this.
  5. We carefully scrutinize applications from families with children under the age of 6 because that is when most serious dog bites occur.  We do not want anyone to be injured, and we don’t want to have to euthanize a dog for a mistake in judgment.  Such applications will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
  6. We believe that the only solution to the pet overpopulation problem is spaying and neutering.  Therefore, we look for families who share this philosophy and spay and neuter their pets.
  7. We try to match our dogs and puppies with homes that will stimulate them and have a similar energy level.  We also want our dogs and puppies to be able to spend their entire lives with their new owners. So, as a rule of thumb, if the dog or puppy is likely to outlive you then it is unlikely that your application will be approved.
  8. We have an ongoing relationship with our adopting parties, so we look for families with whom we find it easy to work.  We reserve the right to refuse adoption to anyone for any reason at any time.

“Beginning June 1, 2019, Houndhaven will begin charging a $25 nonrefundable application fee.  This fee will be credited toward the adoption fee if the application results in a completed adoption within four months of payment of the fee.  If the applicant is approved for adoption but doesn’t get the dog of their choosing, the application fee will be applied to subsequent applications within a four month period.”

Please note:

If a dog was brought to the shelter as a stray, we adhere to the following policy regarding returning the dog to a party claiming to own it.  We have the following policy regarding stray intakes:

The owner of such dog may reclaim by:
1. emailing within 5 days of the date the dog came to Houndhaven,
2. identifying the dog accurately,
3. providing proof of ownership,
4. promptly arranging a mutually agreed upon time to pickup the dog,
5. coming to pick up the dog at the scheduled time, and
6. signing a form acknowledging ownership and indemnifying Houndhaven in the event another party claims ownership.