PAWS strives to do what is in the best interest of the dogs in our care. This includes doing all we can to ensure that a potential adopter's environment, energy level, knowledge, experience, and commitment are all a match for what's been observed to be the care and leadership needs of each dog we rescue. Our goal is for each dog's adoption to be its last, so we take time to determine whether a particular dog will thrive with a particular person or family.
It can take several days or even weeks to finalize an adoption once we receive this non-binding application. We first review your application and do a veterinary reference check. If you rent, we verify that your landlord or property manager approves of you having a dog. Your application is then forwarded to the volunteer who is fostering the dog you are interested in adopting. The foster will contact you to arrange an initial meeting if you haven't yet met the dog at one of our adoption events.
If after meeting the dog and hearing the foster's observations you are interested in pursuing adoption, we'll schedule two PAWS volunteers to bring the dog to your home at a time when all members of your household can be present. We do our best to ensure that there will be no surprises after adoption by disclosing all known issues and providing all veterinary records. To give puppies and their guardians the best shot at enjoying a great life together we ask adopters of dogs less than 6 months old to commit to attending a puppy class within 30 days of adoption. Should you desire to adopt a dog with a known behavior issue, we may make the adoption contingent upon your agreement to hire a professional behaviorist if you aren't able to sufficiently modify or manage the behavior.
After the home visit, even if everyone agrees that it's a perfect match, we will ask that you contemplate your desire to adopt overnight, taking into consideration that this is a lifelong commitment that will likely require significant time, energy, and financial resources. Should you decide that you're willing and able to make this commitment, we'll schedule a time and place to finalize the adoption. To optimize the transition for both you and the dog, we strongly advise that the adoption be done at such a time that allows for a responsible adult to be continuously available to your new dog for the first 72 hours.
Our adoption fee is $250. PAWS dogs are fully vetted, spayed or neutered, microchipped, licensed, current on all vaccines, heartworm tested, and on monthly heartworm and seasonal flea & tick preventatives. The average cost of these services at a veterinary clinic in the Midwest is over $450.
PAWS Return and Adoption Fee Refund Policy
Our goal is to make every adoption a permanent one that is fulfilling for both you and your dog. We make every effort to ensure an adoption is a great match between the dog and adopter.
Should circumstances arise whereby you feel that your only option is to surrender your dog, PAWS will do its best to assist you in finding your dog a new home. We require that you contact PAWS before giving away, transferring ownership, or surrendering your dog. PAWS retains the option to reacquire your dog if we determine we have the resources to adequately care for, rehabilitate if necessary, and find your dog a new permanent home. If we are able to take your dog in, please understand that it may take several weeks before we can take possession as time may be needed to secure an appropriate volunteer foster home. We will advise you on how to manage any issues short-term in order to keep your dog, humans, other pets, and property safe during this period. Should you be unable to continue to care for your dog in your home, you may choose to board your dog at a reputable boarding or veterinary facility at your expense until a foster home can be secured. If PAWS does not have the resources to adequately care for your dog, we will do our best to assist you in finding an appropriate alternative.
If you have made every reasonable effort to find a way to keep your dog, PAWS' Board of Directors will consider your request to receive a partial refund of up to 50% of the adoption fee if your request is made between 3 and 8 weeks of adoption. PAWS will not reimburse any expenses you incurred after accepting legal guardianship of your dog upon signing our Adoption Contract. Please submit your request via email or postal service, thoroughly detailing the circumstances and steps taken in an attempt to remedy the situation. You will be notified of the Board's decision via email or postal service within 4 weeks.
Should I choose to adopt a dog from Powell Animal Welfare Society (PAWS):
I will affirm to the best of my ability to commit to being the dog's caretaker, leader, and legal guardian for its lifetime. I will be responsible for all aspects of my dog's life, which include providing appropriate nutrition, shelter, healthcare, exercise, training, socialization, enrichment, affection, supervision, and control.
I will agree to make an appointment with a licensed veterinarian within 30 days of adoption for an introductory meeting, and give them my dog's previous vet records provided by PAWS at time of adoption. I also will agree to get a prescription for monthly heartworm preventative to be given year round, and will give my dog flea & tick preventative seasonally. I understand wellness checks should be done annually and vaccinations need to be kept up to date.
I recognize that the joy and benefits of having a canine companion are optimized when a dog's guardian invests sufficient time, energy, and resources, particularly in the first days, weeks, and months, to establish themselves as the dog's trusted and respected leader.
I acknowledge that dogs are a species separate from humans with different means of communication, though like us, are capable of experiencing and expressing a range of emotions and behaviors like calmness, happiness, and joy, as well as over-excitement, anxiety, insecurity, fear, and aggression. I understand dogs may express unwanted and potentially dangerous behaviors that may need to be safely and respectfully addressed and/or managed.
I recognize that there is potential risk and liability in serving as a dog's guardian, and understand that dogs can be destructive to property, and can cause injury and even death to other animals, including humans.
I am aware that every dog has the potential to bite, and that statistically, children under 12 years of age are most at risk. I understand that close adult supervision is always necessary when dogs and children are in each other's presence.
I understand that a dog's guardian is ethically and legally responsible for their dog's actions.
I recognize that dogs are highly social animals that require daily focused attention, exercise, and leadership. I accept that one may need to further develop their canine leadership skills and knowledge of canine body language and behavior management through books, videos, training classes, and consultation with a professional canine behaviorist.
I agree that a dog's guardian should make every reasonable effort to resolve any issue that would prevent them from keeping their dog and providing it a good quality of life.