Adoption Policies

The information below applies to any dog or cat adopted through A.R.F.-Animal Rescue Foundation.

Adoption Requirements

  • You must be at least 18 years of age with a valid photo ID, have submitted  an A.R.F. online adoption application, and been approved to adopt
  • All animals in your household must be spayed or neutered, current with all vaccinations (including rabies, distemper and bordetella for dogs, and distemper for cats), and dogs must be heartworm tested and on heartworm and flea preventative.
  • You must verify that you are allowed to have pets of the breed and size where you live. Before you are approved, A.R.F. volunteers must speak with your landlord or HOA/condo association representative.
  • All human household members and resident dogs (if adopting another dog) must be in attendance on the day of the adoption to meet the new pet and agree that adoption is a good decision.
  • The A.R.F. representative present and leading the adoption must agree that the pet’s placement with any particular family is in the pet’s best interest.
  • You must be able to commit the time and resources needed to care for the pet. 
  • You must be able to take the pet home on the day of adoption with the appropriate restraint – collar and harness + leash for dogs and puppies, or a carrier for cats and kittens. 
  • You agree to pay the non-refundable adoption donation listed on the pet’s biography. 

Adoption Process

Please see our adoption procedures for more information on what to expect during the adoption process.

The adoption process is one all parties must take seriously.  We work hard to place the right animal in the right home and because of this, the application review process may take up to 5 business days from the time you submit your adoption application.  We do check references. Most of our communication is done via email so please make sure you check your email account frequently and respond quickly.

We cannot consider you for an adoption until we receive a fully completed application. We welcome your questions, but inquiring about an animal is not considered an application. Fortunately for them, our animals move very quickly so submitting a completed adoption application immediately will improve your chances of adopting the pet that you prefer. Submitting an application does not commit you to adopting any animal and does not guarantee adoption, but does get you a head start with the adoption approval process. The final approval determination to adopt a particular animal is made by an A.R.F. representative at the in-person meeting between the entire adoptive family and the pet.

Remember: Approved applicants receive priority at our adoption events.  If you’re scheduled to meet an animal, plan to arrive on time or early.  We cannot hold animals for any reason. If you choose to adopt elsewhere, please let us know so we can focus our efforts on other applications. 

Application Review

A.R.F. strives for the appropriate match of animals and adoptive families based on the known temperament of the animal, as well as the evaluation of potential adopters and the living environment they will be able to offer. 

A.R.F. has the right to approve or deny any adoption application for any reason. This application is used as part of the adoption approval process in order to determine the best home for the animal. Under no circumstances will any animal be resold by an adopter or used in any type of animal fighting activity or as an attack dog, nor shall it be kept with the intention of promoting aggressiveness or for breeding.

Adoption Donations

Any monies paid to A.R.F. are considered a donation to provide care for this and other homeless pets and are NOT REFUNDABLE, but may be tax deductible. Please consult your tax adviser. A.R.F.-Animal Rescue Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Pet Health

A.R.F.-Animal Rescue Foundation makes every effort to ensure that the animal you adopt is healthy. We do this by having each pet examined by a veterinarian prior to adoption. The exam typically includes the de-worming and vaccination of the animal against communicable diseases including: parvovirus, distemper and kennel cough for dogs and puppies and distemper for cats and kittens. All dogs over one year and older are tested for heartworms and undergo treatment if necessary. All cats are tested for FIV and feline leukemia. All pets that meet the minimum age requirement are given a rabies vaccine and certificate; tags can be obtained at your county animal control department by submitting the rabies certificate.

All pets adopted from A.R.F.-Animal Rescue Foundation include the following as part of their adoption fee:

  • Spay/neuter or a certificate for a low-cost spay/neuter when medically recommended
  • Microchip and registration, a permanent identification to reunite lost pets with their owners
  • Initial de-worming and flea and tick treatment
  • Age-appropriate testing for heartworm/FIV-FELV
  • Age-appropriate vaccines
  • Pre-adoption medical exam
  • A certificate for a free healthy pet exam at one of A.R.F.’s participating veterinarians within 7 days of adoption
  • Offer for a no-risk 30 day free trial with Trupanion pet medical insurance

Occasionally, a pet may not show symptoms of an illness until after adoption, as many illnesses have an incubation period of 17-21 days. This is completely unavoidable and occurs not only in shelter/rescue type settings, but also with pet stores, breeders, and any environment where there are a number of animals present at any given time. 

We require that your new pet be re-examined by a vet within 7 days after the adoption. A certificate for a free exam with one of our participating veterinarians is enclosed in your adoption packet. If you choose to visit a non-participating veterinarian, you will be responsible for all medical expenses incurred. 

Pet Alteration – Spay and Neuter Policy

All animals are spayed or neutered before being available for adoption unless there is a medical need to delay. If an animal cannot be spayed or neutered due to medical reasons prior to placement, it will be a condition of adoption that the animal is altered by the date noted on the adoption contract. A coupon for a low-cost alteration at a participating veterinarian is provided as part of the adoption package. A.R.F. does follow up on this requirement and it is the responsibility of the adopter to provide the required documentation. Proof of alteration can be emailed to arf_il_proof@yahoo.com. Failure to comply may result in A.R.F. reclaiming the pet.

Dog Training

Puppies are a large investment of time for a family and in order to ensure the happiness of the puppy and your family, A.R.F. may require that you commit to enrolling the puppy in an obedience course and provide proof that you have completed the course. This requirement will be discussed with you at the time of adoption. Proof of course completion can be emailed to arf_il_proof@yahoo.com.

Owner Surrender or Rehoming

If for any reason an adopter wishes to relinquish an animal or the animal needs to be rehomed, A.R.F. requires that the adopter submits an online surrender request form, and if efforts to keep the pet in its home are not successful, arrangements will be made for the animal to be returned to A.R.F. In addition, A.R.F. may re-claim the adopted animal at any time if it is determined that the adopters have not complied with the requirements of the adoption contract, have mislead A.R.F. at any time during the adoption process, or if the animal is determined to be living in conditions that are detrimental to its well-being.

Questions regarding these policies may be sent to us at through our contact page at any time.