Our Adoption Policy

Adoptions for Rescue

Homes wishing to adopt a rescue dog from OTTAWA Dog Rescue are asked to complete an application form, which can be found HERE or you can send us an e-mail and request an electronic copy.

Adoption Application

Once we’ve received an application, our Adoption Coordinator – Andrea, will review the application as it comes in to ensure that the home is a good fit. We only want the best for both the dog and the adopter, so if we feel that the dog would not thrive or be a good fit for the family, we will be in touch to discuss options.

If the applicants are found to be a good potential match, we will put them in contact with the foster home for a more in depth discussion about the dog. If all goes well and the foster home feels comfortable with the potential applicant, a meet and greet can be arranged between the dog and the applicants and any existing pets.

Once the meet and greet has taken place, and if both the applicant and the foster home/adoption coordinator feel that the home is a good fit, ODR will contact the vet and personal references of the applicant and arrange for a home visit at the applicant’s home.

The home visit is a necessary step, and the ODR volunteer will meet with the entire family at their home and discuss expectations, safety measures, what to expect in a rescue, and what they are looking for in a dog. The volunteer will also verify that they believe the family will commit to a life-long relationship with the adopted dog and can provide a safe and loving home.

All members of the adopting family household should be present at the home visit so an informed decision can be reached by the entire household on the acceptance or rejection of a dog. This would preclude the dog from being unnecessarily uprooted due to a household member’s lack of input.

If the person(s) wish to adopt the dog, they are told there is a potential 24 hour wait period. This allows the adopters time to gather thoughts and supplies and make a permanent, responsible decision. This also allows time for the foster home to contact the Adoption Coordinator and have the adoption contract prepared. The waiting period may be waived at the discretion of the foster home and adoption coordinator.

At the time of adoption, the foster home (or other individual handling the adoption) will review the Adoption Agreement with the new owner. The adoption donation must be made in cash, or by cheque made out to OTTAWA Dog Rescue, at the time of adoption. One copy of the Adoption Agreement should be kept by the adopter. The other copy of the Adoption Agreement is kept by ODR.

The adopted dog’s medical records and papers (if available) will be provided at the time of adoption or mailed (e-mailed) shortly after.

New adopters must have their dog examined by their vet within two weeks of the adoption. In the event of a pre-existing condition, Ottawa Dog Rescue will cover required medical treatment with our vet. Any issues not detected in the first 2 weeks are deemed to be new and Ottawa holds no liability.

New owners are encouraged to contact ODR with any questions or problems. In an effort o make the adoption is successful, we will contact our adopters after 3 weeks and 3 months to see how things are progressing.

Ottawa Dog Rescue will not give the adopting family the name, address or phone number of families relinquishing dogs, nor will it give the relinquishing families the name, address or phone number of the adopting family.
If OTTAWA Dog Rescue learns that an owner has violated the terms and conditions of the Adoption Agreement, the Board of Directors will review the data and make a decision regarding reclaiming the dog.

Because these dogs have already been through so much, we reserve the right to decline a home for any of the reasons listed below, or for any reason we deem important to the well-being of the dog or new home:

  • Applicant indicates a plan to breed the dog.
  • Applicant refuses the spay/neuter contract on a younger dog that cannot be altered within rescue.
  • Applicant misrepresents information on the application.
  • Applicant indicates the dog will be allowed to run free.
  • Applicant’s veterinarian indicates a history of poor care for other animals.
  • Applicant has a history of relinquishing other pets.
  • Applicant will only accept an age or dog personality the Adoption Coordinator feels is unsuited to them (i.e. elderly person who wants a very young dog).
  • Applicant owns other dogs that are not spayed/neutered (depending on reasons)
  • Applicant owns other dogs that are aggressive.
  • Applicant rents a home or apartment and landlord cannot be contacted by OTTAWA Dog Rescue for their approval.
  • Applicant has no fence when it appears the dog would be at risk due to lack of fencing (invisible fence is not an adequate safety measure).
  • Applicant’s home is unkempt and potentially unsafe with clutter or items that can be considered harmful to a dog’s health.

Return of Previously Adopted Dog

Adoption donations are NON-REFUNDABLE, as usually the funds are used immediately to cover vet costs for the dog or to help the next dog that has come into care.

If, through the follow-up process or telephone call from the owner, OTTAWA Dog Rescue is made aware that a dog previously adopted should come back into the program, we will immediately begin the intake process and accept the dog once a suitable foster has been found.

If a dog has been found to have aggressive tendencies, the owner will be asked what steps they wish to take:

  • If possible, OTTAWA Dog Rescue will provide names of qualified animal behaviorists, training facilities or counselors if the owner wishes to attempt to rectify the behavior.
  • If the owner reports that the dog has bitten an individual the owner will be advised we will accept the dog back into the program and if/when the dog is returned, the board will evaluate the dog, and that the dog may be euthanized.

We will not necessarily take a dog back into care for new medical reasons that the owner does not wish to deal with or because they do not wish to have the responsibility of euthanizing the dog.