Adopting a Pets Niagara Pet

Pets Niagara aims to match loving little pets with loving homes. We will do our best to be sure that the pet you adopt from us is the right pet for you!

Where can I go to see your adoptable animals?

Meet and greets with our adoptable pets are scheduled once you have completed our preliminary interview and reference checks have been satisfied. Appointment times are coordinated with the foster family or owner, as the case may be, to allow for a time when you, the prospective adopter, the pet's family and our adoption representative can all be present. A place for the meeting will be set once all of these considerations are in place and you will be notified of the location at which to attend.

What veterinarian care has the pet I will be adopting received?

When you adopt a dog, cat or small animal through Pets Niagara you can rest easy knowing that your pet has received the following care:
  • health check by a veterinarian

  • spayed or neutered

  • de-wormed

  • all initial vaccines, including a rabies vaccine

  • flea and tick treatment, as appropriate to the animal and the season

  • microchip (dogs and cats)

What must I do to adopt a pet from you?

To adopt an animal from Pets Niagara you must first fill out the adoption application. Only animals listed in "Adoptable Pets" section of our website can be applied for. If the animal you are interested in is not listed as available, check back often, and apply once the animal has been listed as adoptable.

If a pet is listed as "Not Yet Available" please do not submit an adoption application for that pet, yet. Those applications will not be processed until the pet's status has been changed to "Adoptable".

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that any particular pet for which you are applying is still available for adoption. The pet may have been adopted, or may have applications submitted ahead of yours. We will do our best to help you find the perfect pet if the animal you are interested in is not available. Approved applications will be kept on file. In the case of multiple applications for the same animal, all applications will be processed, and the applicant who best suits the animal's needs will be chosen. Please be patient as it might take some time for our volunteers to process your application.

You must also agree to abide by the all of the terms of and sign Pets Niagara's Adoption Agreement, provide suitable references, and agree to pay a non-refundable adoption fee (see fees below).

What are your adoption fees for pets currently in your care?

The typical fee for adoptions to-date has been $125.00 for each domestic cat with a slight reduction if two or more cats are adopted together.

What are your adoption fees for owner-to-rehome pets?

In cases where Pets Niagara works with pet owners to directly re-home their pets we do not charge an adoption fee to either the pet owner or the adopter. However, the owner will set a reasonable adoption fee that will be charged by him or her directly to the adopter. The typical fee for adoptions to-date has been $40.00 for each domestic cat with a slight reduction if two or more cats are adopted together.

Owners re-homing their dogs and other small pets will set a similarly reasonable adoption fee based upon the species of animal. Adoption fees requested by the owners will be published in our advertising material for those pets.

Are adoption fees refundable?

All adoption fees levied by Pets Niagara directly are non-refundable as they help to supplement the costs of the animal's care while in their time with us. Adoption fees levied by the pet owner may be refundable in certain circumstances.

What does the adoption fee go towards?

Any adoption fee levied by Pets Niagara goes toward offsetting the costs associated with the veterinarian care our pets receive while in our care for services such as spay/neuter surgeries, worming, parasite control, heart worm testing for dogs, providing first routine vaccines, and any emergency care or correction of pre-existing health issues. Adoption fees are also applied toward offsetting costs associated with the keeping and maintenance of the pets while in our care, such as food, toys, transporting and, if required, kennel fees for pets boarded out.

You do not always say if a pet is good with any other type of pet or children. Why is that?

As we do not know everything about the pets before they arrive in our care, we must wait until a pet has been with us for a reasonable time so that we can complete assessments and testing for behaviour around children, people and other pets. As soon as we have completed a personality profile for our pets that information is added to their listing on our website.

If I want to adopt a dog and I don't have a fenced yard, can I still adopt?

The fenced yard requirement will depend on the size, temperament and exercise needs of the dog. You may be able to adopt without a fenced yard if you can indicate how you will accomplish the required exercise and play needs of the pet.

Why don't you have puppies?

Puppies are typically not at risk and are quickly adopted from shelters so the opportunity to have puppies available to us for adoption is quite narrow. Occasionally there are puppies that are surrendered by the owners. Small puppies should actually be fostered for a bit to make them more easily adopted. All of our dogs are spayed and neutered before being adopted out. Dogs need to be at least 6 months old before they can be spayed/neutered. In the case of large breed male dogs it may be that they will have to mature to 8 months before the neuter surgery can be performed.

Can I bring the dog to meet my own pets to see if they get along?

Proper introduction is crucial and this can be done after the application process is complete but before the final adoption and transfer of adoption fee is made.

What if I discover after I complete the adoption and take the pet home that he or she is not a good fit with my family or our home, what are my options?

If you decide to not keep the pet, you must return the pet to the original owner from whom you adopted him or her. Importantly, you must give the original owner three to five business days to secure a proper facility to board the pet can be arranged, and will provide safe and loving care of the pet until it is returned to the original owner.

You will be responsible for the safe transport the pet to the determined location, and will return any/all paperwork and supplies provided with the pet by the original owner, at that time.

What happens if after several months or a year or more later, I discover that I am unable to continue my ownership of the pet?

If at any time in the future you cannot continue to provide proper care for the pet you must return the pet to either Pets Niagara, to the original owner or to the representative that the owner stated in your Adoption Agreement, as the case may be.

You are not permitted to abandon, give away or sell the pet to another person, company, organization, medical research or experimentation group, pound or animal shelter. To be more specific, you must do the following:
  1. Immediately contact Pets Niagara and the original pet owner, as required by your Adoption Agreement.

  2. As the Adopter your Adoption Agreement requires you to return the pet to the original owner or to a person or entity that the original owner has designated to you in writing. That Agreement also requires you to give the original owner up to five days notice prior to returning the pet so that the original owner can secure proper boarding or re-housing of the pet.

  3. If you are unable to keep the pet in your home after the 5 day notice period and if Pets Niagara does not have an available foster home or has been unable to arrange for boarding, you will have to pay to board the pet for an agreed-upon time, to allow the original owner time to actively seek a new home for the pet. Once a new home is found for the pet you must then relinquish the pet to the original owner for transfer to the new owner. (Boarding costs vary between kennels).

  4. If you have a friend or relative that is willing to adopt the pet you must obtain approval in writing from the original owner, whether Pets Niagara or a direct owner, to transfer the ownership of the pet to a friend or relative. Either the original owner or Pets Niagara must approve the new adopter who will also be required to sign an agreement similar to the Adoption Agreement signed by you.

If I'm approved how long does the process take?

Although checking the adoption references, the veterinarian check and home check is begun as soon as possible after we receive your commitment to adopt, receiving responses to some of our enquiries with other individuals and agencies may take several days. In all, the final stamp of approval for you as an adopter may take up to 10 business days, particularly if you are applying close to a weekend or holiday.

Is there such a thing as being pre-approved for an adoption?

Yes. If the process is completed before you actually contemplate adopting from us, the time required to update your references should be minimal.

I have never owned my own pet so will I be disqualified as an adopter as I have no history with a veterinarian?

No, not necessarily. Regarding the vet, please provide the name and number of your intended veterinarian and advise us if you have contacted this doctor to enquiry about services as his or her animal hospital. Also, please include any family history of pet ownership and the name of your parents' veterinarian and we will include a reference check with that animal hospital, as well.

In terms of personal references I'm wondering what sort of information you'd be requesting? Would it be strictly related to my ability to care for a pet?

The personal references are not strictly concerning any previous pet ownership you may have had of a pet. It will, of course, apply if you have had a pet in the past. On the whole, the personal references will help us to determine your level of responsibility, reliability, your home situation, and to verify other information stated on your application. So, don't worry if you haven't owned a pet before. Your current friends, close work colleagues or school classmates will be fine to state as references.

Why have my referred contacts not been contacted by you?

Please contact us to verify that we have received your application and that all information had been filled out. It is often easy to miss adding your contact telephone or email, in which case we would have no way of contacting you to seek the remaining information.

I live in an apartment, can I still apply to adopt from Pets Niagara?

Yes, of course. We will ensure the right pet is chosen for your particular situation, be it a dog, cat or small animal.

I am a renter and I'm a bit concerned about the need for the landlord's phone number as I'm concerned that he or she would take a long time to reply to you. My rental agreement does allow me to have pets on the premises. Would a copy of my rental agreement be sufficient instead of calling my landlord?

Please provide the information requested concerning the contacts details of your landlord. Please also provide us with a copy of your rental agreement.

What are the By-laws on pet ownership and licensing?

Each municipality has different By-laws in place governing the ownership and licensing of pets. So, please check with your particular municipality for that information.

How many pets of any specified species can I have in my house?

Again, each municipality has different By-laws in place governing the number of pets that may be kept in one household. So, please check with your particular municipality for that information.

Are pet foster homes exempted under the By-laws?

Again, each municipality has different By-laws in place governing the number of pets that may be kept in one household. So, please check with your particular municipality for that information. However, most foster homes are treated as a normal single household and do not have special privileges or exemptions from city By-laws.

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