Adoption Procedures

It is your responsibility to carefully review these guidelines and criteria before submitting an application. If you lack the patience to review them thoroughly, you lack the patience for a herding dog.

Step 1: Preliminary Application

Due to the extremely high volume of applications and inquiries our team receives each month, we established a pre-screening process as a method to prevent wasting not only our time, but also yours. This preliminary application helps us make sure that you meet our very basic criteria, before requiring you to fill out a full application.

Step 2: Application

Once the adoption committee has reviewed your preliminary application and confirmed that you meet our basic criteria, you will be sent a link to the full adoption application. Please complete the application entirely – any missing information will cause delays on our end, and therefore extend the amount of time it takes to process your application. If you have any questions during completion, you may 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). Finally, while there is an option to include which dogs you are interested in, applications are not processed for specific dogs. All applications are processed on their independent merits, and if you provide a specific dog’s name in your application, it will only be considered after you are approved. NOTE: Please review our new policy concerning our adoption territory.

Step 2: Application Processing

Once received, your application will be reviewed by our adoption committee. The committee will send your application to one of our volunteers, who will then complete your veterinarian and personal reference checks. 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, and altered.

Step 3: Home Visit

After your vet and personal references have been successfully contacted, the adoption committee will assign a local volunteer in your area to perform a home visit. We require a home visit for all potential adopters. Remember, this is NOT a white glove inspection!! The purpose of this visit is to ensure that the information on the application matches what exists at your home. 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. Home visits are not for discussing available dogs or matchmaking, and our volunteers will not provide any “inside” information on dogs.

Step 4: Approval

Once your application has passed all of the checkpoints, you will be notified (via email) that your application has been approved. 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. It is in your best interests to treat our team with kindness and respect, if you wish to adopt a dog from us.

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.

If there is a currently available dog you are interested in, and you meet the basic criteria for that dog, the adoption committee will send your full application, reference check report, and home visit report to the dog’s foster parent. We give our foster parents final say in the placement of their foster dogs. If the foster parent thinks you are a good potential match for their dog, they will reach out to you to discuss and schedule a possible meet & greet. IMPORTANT: It is entirely possible that, even if you meet the basic criteria for a dog, the foster parent may decide that your family is not a good fit. If this occurs, do not take offense – many of our dogs require specific types of homes, and if it is decided that yours is not the right home, it’s a decision being made in the best interests of the dog and your family. We will not roll the dice and gamble when it comes to placing dogs in the right homes.

If there is not a currently available dog that you are interested in, no worries! Approved adoption applications are “good” for a year after approval. Once you have an approved application on file with us, you may contact the adoption committee about any available dogs in the future that your family is interested in. Our adoption committee will make every effort to reach out to approved adopters if a dog enters the program that may be a fit, but due to the volume of applications, we cannot promise to initiate contact each time. You should keep an eye on our website and Facebook, and reach out if you are interested in a dog.

Step 6: The Meeting

If the foster parents feels you are a fit, they 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, but keep in mind that we will not hold dogs while adopters deliberate between multiple options. All adopters are required to travel to the foster home’s location to meet the dog they are interested in. No exceptions, even for adopters that have been given an exemption from our territory restrictions.

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. We understand that many adopters travel a few hours or more to visit dogs, therefore we do not expect you to make multiple trips. Adopters do, however, have to travel to meet dogs at their foster home location – our fosters will not bring the dog to you.

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. You are, however, required to notify CHAR immediately if you dog is lost, or if your dog passes away. In the event of missing dogs, we will utilize every resource available to us to help you find your lost dog.