You are here: Home > Adopt Me > Adoption Process

Adopting a Dog from Us

Dogs in our Shelter were strays from throughout Cuyahoga County. Because of this we do not know what kind of home environment they were living in (i.e. with kids, other dogs or other cats), nor do we know if they are house trained. Everything we know about them is based on our observations while they are here with us in our Shelter.

It’s very hard to tell with certainty whether or not a dog will be good with kids, cats or another dog. If you have kids in the home or another dog, we do require that they be present for a meet and greet with the dog you are considering for adoption.

When it comes to house-training even the dogs that are house-trained will have accidents in the Shelter environment. This is a by-product of the dogs being in an unfamiliar place with irregular potty-break schedules.

Adoption Considerations

Adopting a dog is a lifetime commitment. The cost of food, toys, veterinary care, grooming and other items can easily reach $400 or more per year.

Many dogs in our Shelter are untrained. You must be prepared for house-training, and dealing with normal behavior problems such as chewing, barking, digging, etc. Please be sure that you have considered the financial and emotional commitment required in owning a dog.

Adoption Process

Ohio law stipulates that all strays must be held for a minimum of 72 hours before they can be adopted. If you are interested in adopting a dog that is still in this hold period, we can place your name as a choice for that dog. We will only accept up to two choices per dog. If you are a choice for a dog you will have the opportunity to adopt the dog during a designated time frame on the day the dog becomes available for adoption. If you cannot make that date and time frame, you will forfeit your choice on the dog, and the dog will be available for the second choice listed, or available for general adoption. We will not hold a dog for anyone. All dogs are adopted and/or choiced on a first come first adopt basis.

We strongly encourage you to stop down and pay us a visit, as we have many more dogs in our care than are listed on the website. You may visit with our dogs during our normal business hours* of:
Tues-Wednesday-Saturdays 10:30am-4:00pm
Thursday-Fridays 10:30am-4:00pm
Sundays 12:00pm-4:00pm
Mondays CLOSED (except to purchase a dog license or look for a lost dog).
*The adoption desk closes and dogs must be back in the kennels 15 minutes before closing.

Remember that before adopting, you must:
  1. Be 18 years of age or older.
  2. Have identification showing your current address.
  3. Have landlord permission to own a dog if you are a tenant.
  4. Children under the age of 9 years living in the household must meet with the dog.
  5. Require a meet and greet with dogs residing in the residence.*

* We do not require meet and greets with other pets. We are a dog only facility and can not speak to how dogs will get along with other animals (cats, rabbits, birds). You are welcome to bring in other pets for a meet and greet as long as they remain crated if you would like.

Adoption Questionnaire

Before you can spend time with a dog, there is a brief questionnaire that you will need to fill out. Our staff will review these questions with you in order to help you decide which dog is the right fit for you, your family, and your lifestyle. This information is confidential and will be used only to assist our staff in determining the best possible placement. Please spend the time necessary to make the best possible decision for you AND the dog you may adopt.

Adoption Fees

The cost to adopt a dog is $95 for adult dogs and $170* for puppies under five months of age. This includes:
  • DHLP, Parvo Vaccination, Rabies Vaccination, and Bordatella
  • Heartworm test for age appropriate dogs
  • Spay/Neuter surgery
  • Microchip
  • A Cuyahoga County current year dog license

Dogs are treated for roundworm if indicated. Every attempt is made to bathe and groom dogs while they are housed in our Shelter. Although dogs receive initial vaccinations from us, please make an appointment to see your veterinarian within 7 to 10 days after you take your new dog home for a complete and thorough physical examination, and to continue with vaccinations as necessary.

*All our dogs are altered before going home, but for those dogs that cannot have the surgery upon adoption, (very young dogs under 5 months of age or dogs that may have some health concerns), an additional spay/neuter deposit is required before you take your new dog home.

When the dog is returned to the Shelter for the surgery, (or upon proof that the surgery has been done at your own veterinarian), a Cuyahoga County refund check will be mailed. Refunds typically take 6-8 weeks.