Adoption Procedures (Start Here!)

How To Adopt

Welcome to the Adoption page for Carolina Hearts Aussie Rescue (CHAR). The following adoption guidelines allow us to learn about your family and lifestyle and make an successful match with one of our available Aussie.

We REQUIRE you to read this section in its entirety prior to submitting an application. It covers a variety of topics including basic considerations for screening potential adopters, steps in the process and our adoption fees. Unless noted below, we will make no exceptions to these guidelines.

NOTE: Please review our new policy concerning our adoption territory. We will not refund application fees to applicants who apply out of this territory. It is the applicant’s job to read our procedures thoroughly before submitting an application.

As with any rescue group, our primary goals include health, safety and well-being of the dogs in our program. With the background information you provide during the application process, we begin the search to match you with your new Aussie family member.

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Basic Guidelines and Criteria

  1. All CHAR dogs will be indoor companions. Aussies are highly intelligent and highly social dogs. They are used to being part of “a pack” and should be kept indoors with you and your family. We have also rescued numerous dogs that were neglected and left outside. They come to us for a better life, and we are trying to find them a home as a family member, not as an outdoor “watchdog”. We will not, under any circumstances, adopt to anyone who intends to keep their dog outdoors.
  2. THE PROCESS: Our adoption process intentionally includes several steps and cannot be completed in one day. Expect this process to take 3-4 weeks from the time you submit an application to the time you receive an approval. Once approved, we will begin the matching process (see adoption steps for details)
  3. HOME INSPECTION: We require a home visit for all potential adopters. This is NOT a white glove inspection!! We simply want to meet the members of your family, as well as your current pets so that we can make sure the dog is a good fit for your family. This helps us to avoid returned dogs because there is a personality clash in the household.
  4. WE DO NOT SHIP: While we will gladly accept applications from outside of our immediate operating area, car transport must be arranged between yourself and a CHAR representative. In some rare cases, we may agree to meet you half way or use a professional transport, but if you are wishing to adopt a dog that is located hundreds of miles away, please make sure you are okay driving that distance before applying. We are happy to provide you with information on rescues located closer to your state.
  5. 10-15 Year Commitment: You must be willing to make a 10 to 15 year commitment to the dog. Our dogs have often already had a difficult start to their lives, and our mission is to place our rescues in their Forever Homes. If for an unseen, unavoidable reason you are unable to keep your dog in the future, it must be returned to a CHAR representative.
  6. NOISE: Aussies can be vocal dogs although not all are. Please take your proximity to your neighbors into consideration as they may not be understanding of a new family member who is vocal.
  7. NO GIFTS: We do not adopt out dogs to be given as gifts. CHAR has a rigorous screening process and we intend for the adopter to be the final caregiver for the dog they adopt.
  8. SECURE YARD: We prefer that you have a fenced in yard, however we understand this is not always possible. If this is not an option, we must ensure adopter is committed to multiple daily leash walks in all kinds of weather (snow, heat, ice, pouring rain, etc.). We will look at this requirement on a case by case basis. Your dog MUST be kept on a leash unless it is in a secure area.
  9. RENTAL APPROVAL: If you are living in a rental property, you must provide written proof of landlord approval and payment of any required pet deposit
  10. GROOMING COMMITMENT: Aussies tend to have thick, multi-coat fur. They require weekly brushing, as well as the occasional bathing. You may want to set regular grooming appointments and take this cost into consideration.
  11. VET CARE: All current pets in the household must be spayed/neutered and current on all shots and vaccinations. Veterinarian references are verified as part of our screening process. Our adoption contract as well as our Puppy Adoption Addendum legally binds you to provide the dog with proper veterinary care, including a yearly wellness exam, up-to-date required vaccinations, and emergency care if necessary. You must also agree to keep the dog on monthly heartworm prevention and well as flea treatment. They cannot be put on Heartguard, as this can be fatal to Aussies.
  12. ADOPTION OF PUPPIES: We have a few special rules about adopting puppies from our rescue. Please read our puppy adoption information here as well as our Puppy Adoption Addendum.
  13. We reserve the right to deny an application without explanation.

Adoption Fees

Fees can range from $150 – $350 depending on the age of the dog. Fees are due at the time of adoption.

Where does your adoption fee go?

CHAR has no paid employees; we operate solely off volunteer hours as a non-profit organization. Rest assured, 100% of your adoption fee goes to the care of our dogs. The treatment listed is just the standard of care. Most of our dogs present with existing medical needs. As you compare the standard of care expenses with adoption donation, you will notice the huge deficit. So now, multiply all of that by the number of dogs that we rescue each year and you will quickly understand why your support is vital to our organization.

The adoption fee enables us to recover some of our cost but the care and resources we invest per dog far outweigh what we ask in return. CHAR organizes several fundraising events throughout the year to generate funds to support the organization. Our foster homes are the backbone of the organization, working with each dog in whatever capacity is necessary to become a vital member of your family.


Our adoption fees are as follows:

Puppy (under 6 months) – $350
Teen (6-12 months) – $325
Adult (1 – 5 years) – $300
Adult (6-10 years) – $250
Senior (10+ years) – $150

In special cases, we may lower or waive the adoption fee.

Standard Medical Care Upon arriving at CHAR
Spay or Neuter $100+
Medical Exam: $50
Rabies Vaccine: $20
Heartworm Test: $40
Bordetella: $20
Microchip: $40
Distemper/Parvo: $20
Heartworm Prevention(Monthly)$15
Flea Treatment (Monthly) $20
Collar/Leash/Tag $20
Total: $345+

Adoption Process

After reading and understanding the guidelines, you are ready for the Adoption Process.

Step 1: Application

Please complete the application fully. If you have any questions during completion, please contact us. There is a $10 application fee due at the time you submit your application. This fee is nonrefundable, however it will apply to your adoption fee if and when you adopt a dog from CHAR. We will not waive the application fee, and we will not refund the fee if your application is denied, or you decide to adopt elsewhere (or not at all).

NOTE: Please review our new policy concerning our adoption territory.

Step 2: Application Processing

Your application will be reviewed by one of our reps. They will complete reference checks, vet checks and will typically speak to the applicant at some point during the process. Allow 2-3 weeks to process, depending on our current work load and how long it takes us to reach your references. Please contact all personal references and your vet reference to let them know we will be reaching out to them. The longer it takes us to get in contact with them, the longer your application will take to process. Also, if your pets do not have complete medical records at the vet you provide for a reference, there will be a delay. All pets must be up to date on vaccines, heartworm preventatives, etc.

Step 3: Home Visit

We require a home visit for all potential adopters. Remember, this is NOT a white glove inspection!! We want to meet the members of your family, as well as your current pets so that we can determine what personality would be good fit for your family. The volunteer will take photos of the yard for the file and may bring their own neutral dog to help with the evaluation. This helps us to avoid returned dogs because there is a personality clash in the household. Allow 1-2 weeks depending on your location and your availability.

Step 4: Approval

Once your application has passed all of the checkpoints, you will be notified via e- mail or phone from your adoptions representative. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to deny an applicant for any reason – including but not limited to suspicious or uncomfortable findings during reference checks, omissions or falsifications on an application, negative or rude attitudes from applicants during the application process, etc.

Step 5: The Search

After approval, the adoption committee will encourage you to review the CHAR website and/or Facebook for any dogs you have an interest in. The adoption committee will make suggestions based on both the dogs’ evaluations as well as your own lifestyle.

Step 6: The Meeting

When you’ve located a dog that is of interest to you, you will speak with your rep regarding it. If they feel it is a fit, your application will be forwarded to the foster home for review. The foster home will contact you regarding setting up an official visit. Remember to keep an open mind about the animal. Each dog (like people) has its own personality. Often you will fall in love the moment you see them, but other times it may not be a fit. It is not uncommon to see more than one dog and determine which is a better fit.

Step 7: The Adoption

Either at the initial visit or a few days later, you will inform the foster home that you have made your selection. If the dog is still available, you will coordinate with the foster home for the transition/adoption date. If you decide during your initial meeting that you’ve found your new family member. The foster home can typically handle the paperwork necessary to allow you to take the dog home with you that day.

Step 8: Follow up

Each dog has become a member of the CHAR family. You will receive frequent calls/ e-mails from the foster home during the first month. As both you and the dog adjust, those contacts will become less frequent. However, at any time in the future each foster home and rep will welcome communication from you. We each cherish our collection of Holiday photos with the whole family. It is up to you whether you continue the bond with the foster home.

After you’ve read the adoption procedures and process, you’re ready to apply! You can fill out our online application here.