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Adoption Policies & Procedures

Adoption Policies

We require a 24 to 48 hour waiting period before adoptions are finalized. The required Pre-Adoption Information is reviewed and the prospective owners are given time to rethink their commitment, a commitment that may last 10 to 15 years.

Pennsylvania Law now requires all animals adopted from a Humane Society be spayed or neutered before adoptions are complete. Each year over 12 million animals are euthanized in the United States, and another 10 million abandoned animals died from starvation, disease and accidents.

We require a verbal agreement from the landlord if the pet owner is a renter. One of our goals is to work closely with the community and ensure the pet is welcomed in the rental property. We are looking for permanent, established homes for our animals.

We require the pet be an integral part of the family with opportunity to live inside the home. We do not adopt our pets to outside only situations, isolated from family. This policy is designed so the pets adopted from the Society are welcomed and cared for additions to the home. Outside pets often become forgotten and neglected. Our staff spends many hours educating pet owners and offering training to make the transition from shelter pet to house pet.

You are adopting a life, not a gift. The potential owners must select their own pet; the pet that appeals to one might not appeal to another. It is a matter of chemistry like love at first sight.

We require potential owners to be physically and financially able to care for a pet. Pennsylvania law gives all animals the right to food, water, clean and sanitary living conditions, veterinary care and adequate shelter. It is our responsibility to ensure that our pets are provided these basic rights. Pets currently in the home must be spayed/neutered as not to add to pet overpopulation in our community or others.

We reserve the right to decide who adopts from the Paws Along the River Humane Society. The stray and unwanted pets we take in are the responsibility and property of Paws Along the River Humane Society. We take our job seriously. We choose homes based on the needs of each animal.

*Paws Along the River reserves the right to make home visitations by staff before an adoption.

Adoption Procedures

COMPLETE PRE-ADOPTION QUESTIONAIRE - This form is for adoption counselors to help you find the right pet. We may not have what you are looking for today. However, with a completed form we can contact you when we get a pet that meets your specifications.

VISIT WITH OUR PETS - Think about what appeals to you. An adoption counselor MUST and will spend time with you and your family in our get-to-know-you room, or cat room, showing you several different pets. We specialize in knowing our animals. Please trust us to help in choosing your new family member. Take time to know what kind of pet you are making a commitment to. Helpful links: Our Location, Operating Hours, Driving Directions.

PHOTOS -We requires photos of your home inside and out. We are asking for the photos to be of entire rooms not partials. A photo of the kitchen, living room and/or family room and any other areas the pet is permitted. Take a photo of the front of your home and yard from the road and a photo of the back yard from the back of the property. This will allow us to view where the dog or cat will live.

ALL MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY OR PEOPLE LIVING IN THE HOME WILL NEED TO VISIT AND BE INTRODUCED TO THE NEW PET; Prior to an At-Home visit - We will accommodate your time schedule as much as possible. Families with children will be matched carefully and adoptions based on each individual situation. Co-Adopters may be required for alternative family situations.

OUR GOAL IS TO ADOPT ONLY PETS ABLE TO LIVE WITH PEOPLE AND PETS - Adoptions will be done only after any health concerns are addressed and personality tests are complete.

AT TIMES MORE THAN ONE PERSON IS INTERESTED IN ONE PARTICULAR PET - We DO NOT use the first-come serve method of who will adopt. However, the first person completing an information form indicating a particular pet will be given first consideration. OUR FIRST PRIORITY IS TO CHOOSE THE BEST SITUATION OFFERED FOR EACH PET WHENEVER POSSIBLE. We can help you find another match.

WE DO CALL YOUR VETERINARIAN FOR THE CURRENT STATUS OF PAST AND PRESENT PETS. WE ALSO CALL YOUR LANDLORD - You must sign authorization for us to obtain your records. We will be unable to process your form unless this is complete. This gives information on any pets in the home for health concerns. It also gives us a history concerning the care you have provided your pets. RABIES SHOTS AND LICENSE MUST BE CURRENT. We are looking for permanent, established homes for our pets. If you are moving, or have just moved, please return when you and your home are more settled.

WAITING PERIOD OF 24-48 HOURS AFTER A PET IS CHOSEN - This time is also important in our process. We try to eliminate the quick pet-shop decision and give you time to think about the pets you saw. It also, allows our staff time to prepare for the next step, At Home Evaluation. The At Home Evaluation allows you to take the pet home so you can see how he interacts with the family in a new environment. Exceptions: a person or family who has previously adopted or has already filed a Pre-Adoption form waiting for a specific type of pet.

CALL US!! -Because of limited staffing and busy phone lines, we remind you to call us and leave a message if you haven't heard from us.

* Paws Along the River Board of Directors reserves the right to decide where our pets will live and who will adopt them.

Cat/Kitten Adoption: $85 Adoptions include
  • spay/neuter
  • rabies
  • distemper
  • worming
  • vet exam
Dog/Puppy Adoption: $185
Purebred Dogs: $185 & up

Transportation or unknown fees related to adoption are the responsibility of the new owner

Additional Veterinary Services Available: Feline leukemia and Lyme vaccines, Microchip, Dewclaw removal, De-claw and any x-rays requested (Will be billed the amount the veterinarian charges)

Declawing - The cat must be under the age of two and declawing on front paws only will be done, as recommended by our veterinarians. This procedure can be done at the time of spaying and neutering to avoid further surgery and stress on your cat.

ONLINE PARTIAL PRE-ADOPTION FORM - This form contains many of the questions we need to determine if placement of this pet will work. We may need to contact you for further information or more information reguarding some of the answers you enter into this form. To the best of our ability we will contact anyone necessary to make sure this adoption will not fail. If for any reason we beleive this adoption will fail or we have a feeling of hesitation the adoption will be denied. Long distance adoptions that fail are very difficult on everyone involved including the pet. Our normal form is filled out by you at the shelter and gives an adoption counselor a chance to review things with you which means there will probably be many or long phone calls to help us verify this to be a good adoption. Our pets are like our children so we will do our best to make sure they get a good home. Click here for Adoption Form

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