Our Adoption Process

Our Adoption Process

At Stray from the Heart, we are fully committed to the well-being of every Stray we rescue. Our primary goal is to provide the right amount of medical care, emotional rehabilitation and love needed to help every Stray find and succeed in his or her forever home. The cornerstone of this success is our thorough adoption process.

How Do I Adopt a Dog?

Stray from the Heart has a 5-step adoption process, starting with our Adoption Application. Once we receive an application, our team will gauge the compatibility of the prospective owner(s) with our Strays. Once we have selected the best suited family, we will check your references and make a home visit to ensure it is safe and properly prepared for our Stray’s arrival. To finalize the adoption, you will need to pay the adoption fee and sign an Adoption Contract, acknowledging that Stray from the Heart may periodically follow-up to see how our Stray is doing in your home.

Why Is the Dog I Want to Adopt No Longer Available?

Our team strives to provide an accurate list of Adoptable Dogs on our website; however, we may not have up-to-the-minute information about recently adopted Strays. The best thing to do is follow-up with our adoption counselors on a consistent basis. Since we receive new Strays every day, chances are we will rescue another lovable dog who will meet your specific needs.

How Can I Meet Your Dogs?

Stray from the Heart does not have a physical shelter. Every dog we rescue is cared for by a foster parent or boarding facility – sometimes outside of New York. Once you submit an application, our adoption counselors can coordinate a time for you to meet the Stray, unless he or she is part of our international rescue and adoption program. Since our international rescues are fostered in Ecuador and Puerto Rico, you will need to feel comfortable with adopting sight unseen based on our experience and ability to match your personality and needs to the right dog. Stray from the Heart will provide all of the necessary information needed to make this important decision.

Why Do I Need to Answer the Questions in Your Adoption Application?

Our Adoption Application is designed to match the personalities and needs of our Strays with their forever family. Stray from the Heart asks a number of questions to make sure prospective applicants have thoroughly considered all aspects of caring for their future canine companion.

Why Do I Need to Be 21 or Older to Adopt or Foster a Dog?

Our Adoption and Foster Contracts can only be legally enforced against adults age 21 or older. For the protection of our dogs, you will need to provide proof of age and address (e.g., a valid driver’s license or letter from your employer).

How Long Is Your Adoption Process?

The amount of time it takes to finalize an adoption depends on a number of factors, such as the thoroughness of the application, accessibility of the new home and availability of references. Some adoptions take as little as five business days to finalize.

What Is Your Adoption Fee?

Stray from the Heart charges a non-refundable adoption fee of $200 to $400, depending on the costs incurred to rescue, rehabilitate and place the Stray.

Will You Call My References?

Yes. We require at least two references (excluding relatives) who can attest to your character and ability to care for a dog.

What Should I Expect during a Home Visit?

Our adoption counselors are required to visit your home before and after an adoption to check its suitability and safety. For example, are there lots of small objects, exposed cords and houseplants available for your dog to chew? We will also make observations about our Stray’s interaction with you and your family, especially children and other pets. We want to make sure that adequately prepared and will work with you to make sure your new canine companion is safe and happy.

Why Do I Need to Sign an Adoption Contract?

Stray from the Heart requires every person who adopts one of our dogs to carefully review and sign an Adoption Contract. The most important aspects of this agreement are that the dog is kept as an indoor house pet, treated with love, given proper food, water and veterinary care, and returned immediately to Stray from the Heart if you can no longer care for him or her.

What if I Can’t Keep the Dog I Adopted?

While we hope this never happens, Stray from the Heart will take the dog back, no questions asked. Our first priority is the well-being of our Strays, and we are committed to their life-long care.

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