Adopting a Puppy


So, you’ve done all your research, you’ve chosen your breed, and now you want a puppy. But, you have decided you don’t want to go through a breeder and would rather adopt a puppy from a rescue group. Wonderful!

While we often get many wonderful purebred or “high mix” adults, puppies are a bit harder to come by in the world of rescue. Usually when puppies need rescue it’s a bad breeder situation, or the “Christmas puppy” issue. And, as you can imagine, when a rescue gets a purebred puppy there is a mad dash of adopters apply to take that puppy home.

Our adoption fee for puppies (6 months and younger) is $350. This fee may be lowered for special needs puppies, however that is entirely at the discretion of the Board. Puppies will be up to date on vaccinations and spayed or neutered, if they are old enough. The financial responsibility of spay/neuter and additional vaccines for puppies adopted prior to the appropriate age for such vetting rests upon the adopter. Puppies will go to homes current on their vaccinations and deworming, however spay/neuter and adult vaccinations may or may not be completed. This is dependent on the age of the puppy and the availability of juvenile spay/neuter in the foster area. Any puppy older than 6 months will be spayed/neutered before adoption – younger than that is not guaranteed. Typically, the younger the puppy, the more vetting required after adoption. If you do not want to have multiple vet visits over the first few months of dog ownership, please consider adopting an older dog. 

Spay/neuter deposit: If you adopt a puppy that is too young to be altered, we will collect a separate deposit in the total of $100. We will not cash this deposit unless you do not have your puppy altered by the date on the adoption contract (typically by five months old). Exceptions may be made in the case that your vet does not spay or neuter until older than five months, or there is a health issue.

As puppies are not always in great supply, Carolina Hearts offers a puppy waiting list for those adopters who specifically want a puppy, and are committed to rescuing one. There are a few rules and qualifications to be eligible for our puppy waiting list:

  1. You must be pre-approved. If you haven’t filled out our adoption application yet, you can do so here.
  2. If you purchase or adopt a puppy during your waiting period, you will no longer be eligible for our waiting list. When the time comes that we have a puppy for your family, we will contact you and confirm that your household is the same as it was when you applied.
  3. Adopters will be contacted in the order of their application date, as interests apply (gender, breed, age, etc.)
  4. You may only adopt one puppy.
  5. Puppies must be enrolled in a professional obedience class, or acceptable equivalent, within 60 days of adoption.

This waiting list is designed to be fair to adopters, as well as reward those adopters who are willing to wait in order to rescue a puppy in need.

Please keep in mind, we often do not know the history or pedigree of the puppies that come into our program. Many times they are dumped by backyard breeders who found them too difficult to sell, or turned in by families who had no clue what type of responsibility a puppy requires. It is also very difficult to tell if a puppy is purebred.