Helping Animals Since 1977

Frequently Asked Questions About Adoption

Often we receive multiple applications for one dog. We prioritize visits with the best match family.

Because our dogs are living in our volunteers' homes, out of fairness to not only the foster homes themselves, but also to the dogs that may have multiple families interested in them, we require all interested adopters to complete our adoption application first.

Having every interested person coming to the home of our volunteers to meet our dogs is just not feasible. You can however come to an adoption event and meet our dogs there.

We provide veterinary care above and beyond what a shelter will be able to provide.

The sad reality is that we often get the unwanted, unvetted and uncared for animals. Many adult dogs come to us in need of medical care. Veterinary costs for the special cases can run into thousands of dollars. Younger, healthier dogs may not have quite the same needs as the older dogs do but they too must be examined, vaccinated, dewormed, and altered prior to adoption. The adoption fee only partially covers these costs. Donations from the public are very limited. We offset the difference through our fundraising efforts.

Our Dog Adoption Fee is $375.
Our Cat Adoption Fee varies between $50 to $125.

Cash and cheques are accepted.

All fees must be paid in full on Adoption Day. Because a pet can require unexpected veterinary care, it is important that adopters are able to pay for these expenses as they happen.

You can send a cheque made out to "Animalert" and receive a tax receipt (for donations over $10) in the mail.

Animalert
PO Box 24042
London, ON
N6H 5C4

Did you know that you can also donate online through CanadaHelps.org.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

We respect the time you've taken to fill it out so we try to do it as quickly as possible. However, we are all volunteers so we appreciate your patience with us. Sometimes we receive several applications on the same pets and many applications come in when we post information on new pets.

On average it takes 2-5 business days.

Information from your application, viewing of the pet and your home visit is reviewed by Animalert. The approval or denial of any application is not the responsibility of the foster home or the person conducting the home visit.

We are not a pound with kennels and so all of our pets are cared for in foster homes.

There are many reasons that this is one of the best possible ways to add a pet to your family. The aniaml is exposed to real life which is noisy, demanding and interactive. The result is a well socialized pet who has been exposed to kids and other animals, who has been loved and shown that life can be wonderful, who has been taught at least basic manners.

Also, the foster family gets to know the pet in many environments and is able to give you a very realistic description of the pet's strengths and weaknesses. Because our goal is to place each animal in a permanent home, we will NOT sugar coat anything we come to know - and we go to great lengths to know as much as possible. Surprises are no good for you or for the animal and are the number one reason pet adoptions break down.

To see the animal at its most natural and normal state, you need to see it in its normal environment. By visiting in the Foster home, you will see how the pet interacts with the foster family, how it greets strangers, how it interacts with your pet on its 'home turf' and how your pet interacts with the new animal. When viewings happen away from the foster home, the animal is distracted by the new sites and smells and may not interested in meeting new people.

In rare exceptions, we will arrange a viewing away from the foster home, but because of the above reasons, it really is in the aniaml's and your best interest to see him or her when they are feeling 'at home'.

The number one priority is to ensure the safety of every pet in our care. The second priority is to ensure all adoptions are permanent.

There are many preventable reasons that pets are surrendered, re-homed or lost. New eyes can often see potential dangers for the animal or inconvenience for the family.

Home visits are not a judgement of decorating or housekeeping - they are for safety of the pet and of the family's belongings in order to ensure that a happy, forever match is made.

The sad reality is that there are dogs all over North America (and the world) who are homeless and seeking new forever families.

While we attempt to look after our local dogs first, some States have extremely high rates of euthanasia (some over 90%) in their shelters due to the sheer volume of dogs they receive on yearly basis. When a dog's status in a shelter becomes urgent (e.g., they are at risk of being euthanized due to space restrictions), we will step in when able and help out.

Many of these dogs are wonderful, sweet, well-behaved and would not have a chance at adoption unless they were brought to Canada. A wonderful, dedicated network of volunteers across the U.S. and Canada drive these dogs every weekend across the border and get them to their receiving rescues. It is a long journey for some, but we feel that every dog, no matter where they were born, should be given a chance at finding a loving forever family.

To get involved in these transports, or to learn more about how you can help a dog get into Canada and into a rescue, contact us.

No. Due to liability reasons we cannot do this.

We will not consider a home with an unaltered dog or cat. Our policy is that all cats and dogs should be altered for many reasons. Unless there is a medical reason your pet cannot be altered.

Yes Please! No sense adopting a dog who isn't a good match with your current dog.

No. We will not fly or transport an animal to his/her new home. If your application is approved to adopt, you must make the drive to both view and to pick up the pet in person.

It is important to have a health care plan arranged before you bring your pet home. A vet check can be important in determining whether or not an applicant is a responsible pet owner.

No. There are people who adopt from us who live on country properties, in suburban areas, and in condominiums who do not have fenced in yards. Of course, there are always some dogs that must have a fenced in yard (especially "runners" or "bolters").

No. We are aware of the risks to dogs with this type of fencing. For example, dogs who get outside of the fence can be fearful of coming back over the fence line.

Yes! If, after extensive training, education and communication with us, an adopted dog does not work out in your home, or you are unable to care for the dog, it must be returned to us. You will be asked to sign a contract stating that you will return the dog to us should you be unable to keep or care for the dog.

We take public safety very seriously!

Our dogs are observed in many situations and environments, which means we ensure the dog is as safe for adoption as possible. As well, because our dogs are fostered in real homes they are well socialized before we allow them to be adopted. We spend a great deal of time and effort in matching dogs with an appropriate home and ensuring dog and human have met more than once.

We cannot guarantee that a dog will never bite, however we make every effort to ensure that the dog is a good candidate for adoption and is temperamentally sound.

Yes. Due to the sheer number of stray/lost dogs we see at shelters and pounds, we feel it is very important that each and every dog be microchipped at time of adoption. If your dog becomes lost, you have a much greater chance of getting your beloved pet home if he/she is microchipped. The microchip is included in the adoption fee.

If you have room in your home, you might consider fostering for us!

Our foster homes go through the same screening process that our adopters go through and then we match you up with a foster dog that is suitable to your home, lifestyle and family. You are responsible for providing love, shelter and patience while the dog is in your care and we cover all food and veterinary expenses until the dog is adopted.

Please see our Foster an Animal and Foster FAQ pages for more information.

Surrendering a pet is a big decision.

Please visit our Surrender Your Petpage for more information on how Animalert might be able to help.