Adoption Process

1) Inquire on the pet that interests you

2) One of our volunteers will contact you to answer any questions you may have and to set up a meet and greet. Don’t forget that WHARF is all volunteer run and it may take a couple days to get back to you. If no one contacts you that pet may be pending adoption.

3) Meet with a WHARF volunteer to get a face to face meeting with your potential new pet. Your volunteer will ask you questions to determine if you and the pet are a good match for each other. We tell you everything we know about the pet but remember that this pet may be recovering from emotional or physical issues and it may be hard to see the ‘real’ pet at the time they are in care. Sometimes dogs are low energy if they are very thin when they come into care. Once they are feeling better they may be a high energy pet. We can’t always predict but we disclose as much as we can because we want this to be a forever relationship.

4) When WHARF decides that you and the pet are a good match we will have you sign the adoption contract, pay the adoption fee and pick up your new family member.

How do we match people and pets?

– What is your energy level? Some dogs need someone who is on the go! We want to match a busy dog with a busy person!
– How much are you home? Some pets are anxious when the owner leaves. Will they be alone all day and destroy your home? Will they be happy to be outside on a farm and chill out with other pets?
– Who is in your family? Do you have other pets? Do you have young children? We need to make sure that this pet is a good match for your existing pets and kids. Some pets aren’t great with other pets or children so we want to find them a home where they are going to thrive!
– Do you have the time to put into training and care? Some pets are ready to go! They already know where to go to the bathroom, how to walk on a leash and are good to chill out in a crate or a special spot in your home. Other pets need more time and energy. They may need house training, litter box training or behavior training. We want to make sure that you are going into the adoption process knowing what it will take to help this pet be the best possible fit for your family. If you have a busy schedule then you may appreciate a pet who is older and will has less needs.

What happens medically before I adopt:

Many people wonder if we guarantee the health of our animals. We can not. Here is some information on what happens with your pet before adoption.

We create a medical history. This will tell you when your pet was vaccinated and de-wormed. Often this is when they first come into care. We do this at the rescue so we use our own paper form. The stickers from the vaccine vials are on this paper.

For puppies they have a second vaccination about a month later, and a third about a month after that. Typically the adopter will handle the 3rd vaccination as we adopt out after the second vaccine. For puppies you will need to get a rabies shot when your vet says they are old enough.

For adult dogs they are vaccinated on intake. They are typically given a rabies shot as well. Rabies shots are always done at a vet clinic. You can get a copy of the rabies vaccine certificate from the vet clinic, if needed. If we have this we provide it for you.

For kittens we vaccinate on intake and one month later. They do not need a 3rd shot like puppies. We typically have kittens long enough to do both shots, however in some cases the adopter may be responsible for the second vaccination (or booster).

For cats we vaccinate on intake. You will vaccinate a year later for their annual check up.

We de-worm our animals with Strongid when they are small and for adult dogs and cats we de-worm with Drontal (dogs) Milbemax (cats) which are much more comprehensive de-wormers. De-worming is an ongoing process you can talk to your vet about. It is not just once, and never again. We sometimes use topical de-wormers or anti-parasitics, which we would note on your record.

We do not vaccinate against Bordatella (dogs), we do not do dental cleaning, only emergent dental care when suggested by the vet. We do not do x-rays, blood work or any other vet work unless recommended by our vet clinic. Animals are given a basic check up to ensure they are ready for sedation/anesthetic and a spay or neuter surgery. Any other medical issues that arise are at your own risk. This is something that can be challenging for people as it is tough to adopt a pet, and have it fall ill. We address everything the vet recommends but just like a medical doctor, they can not detect all issues from a basic exam. When switching food or even from the nerves of being in a new home you can expect your new pet to have loose stool. After adoption Kennel cough (dogs) or Upper Respiratory (cats) issues may come up. Animals can break with an illness after adoption due to stress.

Before you adopt…

Are you prepared for a 12 – 15 year commitment?

Are you financially stable?

Do you understand how to care for a pet’s basic needs?

Are you able to exercise the dog every single day?

Do you have enough time during the day to spend with the dog?

What happens if you move?

Are you ready for your home to be a little dirty or damaged?

Will you work with the pet’s anxiety and aggression issues? Barking?

Is your yard secure?

Does the whole family support the decision to adopt a pet?

Apply to Adopt