OUR ADOPTION PROCESS:
1. Please read this page in it's entirety.
2. If you decide to move forward, please complete an application (located at the bottom of this page).
3. We will review the application (this includes reference checking and a home visit by one of our volunteers) as quickly as possible (this can take up to one week for dogs in foster care - the timeframe is dependent upon how many foster applications we need to process for urgent dogs).
4. Within 24 hours of your home visit, we will notify you to let you know if you have been approved or denied.
5. If approved, we will contact you to arrange a date and time for pickup.
(Most of our dogs are fostered in the Philadelphia area but if you are applying for a dog that is being fostered in North Carolina, we will arrange to have the dog transported to you. The dog will be scheduled on the next available transport out of that area. In most places, transport runs every week but in other locations it is every-other week so please be patient--we will do our best to get the dog to you as quickly as possible--the quicker we can move adopted dogs, the quicker we can save the ones who are still in danger of being gassed.)
6. Please note that typically the dogs in foster care are already fully vetted and ready to go to their new home but there may be some exceptions to this due to the availability of spay/neuter appointments with our vet - in that case, you may have to wait an extra day or two while your dog is at the veterinarian office.
7. If you are adopting a dog that is fostered locally, you will arrange a time with the foster parent to finalize your adoption - this typically occurs in a central location, such as PetSmart. If you were adopting a dog that was fostered in North Carolina, you will meet your dog for pick-up at the location we have prearranged with you and the transporter.
8. You must pay the adoption fee in full before we place the dog in your care - you can either put it through paypal or pay with cash, a money order or a certified check at the adoption.
9. Your dog lives happily ever after in your forever home :)
Unless otherwise noted, the adoption fee for each dog is $375. Please understand that we are not selling the dogs--the fee we charge is often minimal in comparisson to what we must spend to ensure the health of these animals. If you obtain a dog for free from a backyard breeder or someone rehoming their dog, you still have to take the dog to the vet and incur the costs yourself--worse, if you buy a dog from a breeder or pet store, you'll pay a large fee for the dog (from $500 to $1000) and still have to vet the dog yourself.
Our adoption fee includes the pull fee from the shelter ($35), an interstate travel certificate ($45-$70) from a veterinarian, a rabies vaccination ($15) and all other necessary vaccinations (such as bordatella, parvovirus, adenovirus, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and distemper) ($20), spay surgery for females (and pain medication) ($120 -$200), neuter surgery for males ($100 - $150), bloodwork and lab fees for heartworm testing ($30-$45), heartworm preventative ($10), flea/tick preventative ($10), medical boarding fees while the dog is vetted ($17 - $24/night for 3 nights), kennel boarding fees while the dog awaits transport ($7 - $20/night for 3 - 14 nights) and transport fees from the shelter/foster to our rescue ($125 per dog). This typically adds up to more than $375 per dog and we use our donations to subsidize this so that we can keep our adoption fees affordable - if you can donate, please help! If you wish to adopt but need to work out a payment plan for your dog, please contact us.
The adoption fee does not include the money we've spent on food, toys, cleaning/medical supplies during the dogs' stay in foster care, the crates needed for transport, the gas money used in transporting the dogs from the shelter to their foster home and back and forth to vet visits, the gas money we use to get back and forth to home visits, the licensing and kennel fees that we need to pay to maintain the organization, the cost of maintaining our website, the office supplies we use weekly, and most costly, any additional medical costs the dog may have incurred beyond the vetting mentioned above (such as kennel cough treatment ($150), grooming ($50), teeth cleaning and extractions($100 - $200), heartworm treatment or parvo treatment--both of which can cost between $500-$2000 per incident), -- all of these costs are paid out-of-pocket by us and our fosters, volunteers and transporters--we rely on our day-jobs and your donations to help subsidize these major expenses. Please donate when you can so that we can continue our efforts.
We don't require a fenced yard to adopt. Like anything else, we feel that fenced yards have good and bad aspects and are not essential for responsible pet guardianship. Fenced yards do allow your dog a place to run, play ball and wrestle--and that's great! However, it isn't the only option. Public parks, sidewalks, dog parks, dog pools, beaches, and hiking trails abound and we strongly recommend taking advantage of them--your dog will thank you! Unfortunately, sometimes when dogs are left unattended in fenced yards, they can be stolen by ill-intentioned people who sell them to research labratories or as dog fighting bait--we have seen this happen too many times in the Philadelphia area. Also, when people have fenced yards they sometimes "let the dog out" instead of taking a brisk 45-minute walk with the dog. We find this unfortunate since a brisk walk provides bonding time for you and the dog and is the type of exercise that every dog (seniors excluded) requires at least once a day to release pent-up energy and be happy.
**The exception to this rule is a dog who is particularly rambunctious or a flight risk--for dogs like this, we do require a fenced yard for their safety and we will clearly note it in their description.
We don't require a specific square-footage house to adopt. We feel that even high-energy, large-breed dogs are happy to live with you in a small space if they are exercised properly. Each dog has unique requirements and if you're willing to accomodate their needs and walk them several times each day, you can live in harmony together. Thunder was a 120lb dog who lived with us for two years in an 800 square foot apartment--we walked him around the college campus next-door to us (approx 2 miles each walk) four times per day, played fetch in a feild with him at night, and took him swimming on weekends--if he could've talked, he would have said that he was more than happy living in our tiny apartment. No matter where you live, there are many options for exercising your dog. Visit www.dogparksusa.com to find a dog park near you! Or visit http://mzjf.com/pools.html to find a dog pool near you!
We do require that your adopted dog becomes part of your family. We will not adopt to people who want "guard dogs" and plan to tie their dogs out or kennel them outside for their entire lives. Dogs are domesticated animals who thrive on human contact and daily family interaction--we make no exceptions to this rule.
We do require all animals to be spayed/neutered prior to adoption. There are no exceptions to this rule. We hope that someday we'll be able to put ourselves out of business and take a vacation -- the only way to do that is to end pet overpopulation. If you want to learn more about this issue, please watch the videos at the bottom of our How You Can Help page.
We do require that you provide a forever home. By this, we mean that you adopt for life.
~ You shouldn't surrender your dog because of a new baby--instead, you should work with a certified dog-trainer during pregnancy to learn how you can properly introduce the two of them when the baby arrives.
~ You shouldn't surrender your dog because you're moving out of town--it's easier on your dog to adjust to your new home 600 miles away with you than it is for him to adjust to a whole new home 2 blocks away with different people. Even if you rent, you can find many pet-friendly housing options with a little research online at sites like www.peoplewithpets.com.
~ You shouldn't surrender your dog because of a new job with longer hours--instead, you should get a family member or hire someone to walk and play with the dog while you're gone and then make sure you give Fido lots of hugs and kisses and long walks and play time when you return. Spending time without you during the day is easier on a dog than spending the rest of their life without you....
~ You shouldn't surrender your dog because he's old and incontinent and you don't want your carpet ruined--instead, you should see your veterinarian for medication that can help with the problem and purchase doggy diapers.
We could go on and on with an enourmous list of excuses for surrendering dogs and our solutions to the problems....but by now, we hope you understand the point we're trying to make. We are asking that you make a commitment to the animal you adopt for his/her entire natural life--whether they live another 2 years or 18 years. AND if, for any reason, the adoption does not work out, then we do require that you to return the dog to Thunder's Angels instead of surrending them to a shelter or rehoming them yourself.
We don't have strict requirements about vaccinations for previous pets. Some rescues will disqualify you from adoption if your pet ever missed a vaccine but we realize that some people make a conscious decision to not vaccinate their older animals for health reasons (the exception to this is rabies, since it's required by law). If your previous animals missed a few shots but you spent $5000 on emergency surgery or took them to weekly chiropractic and acupuncture appointments, we would still consider you a good pet parent. We consider a good working relationship with a veterinarian who recommends you as a responsible guardian to be more important than the technicalities of past medical records--for this reason, we do require a vet reference.
After reading the above requirements, if you're still interested in saving a life through Thunder's Angels Dog Rescue, please fill out the adoption application below. We have included the application on the site as both a Word file and a PDF --both documents are identical, use whichever is easier for you. Once completed, please email the document to firstname.lastname@example.org If you are having trouble with either of the files, please email us and we can copy and paste the questions into an email for you.