Adoption Process Breakdown

First, we would like to thank you for your interest in AH Rescue Sanctuary. The following information contains our adoption expectations for those looking to adopt from us. Please read it thoroughly before completing the rest of the Adoption Application.

We are not your typical shelter in that we do not have open hours for people to come see the dogs and cats in our care. We will only schedule meet and greets for those with an approved application on file. Furthermore, we will not bend this rule, and we do not appreciate window shoppers. We will complete vet references and if there is any lapse in vetting or preventative care then you will be denied.

If you are looking for the perfect dog or the perfect cat, then we are not the place for you. We love our animals, but many come to use fractured, sick or defeated. We never give up on them, and they come out stronger in the end. These are also the animals that will show an undying gratitude because they know the rough side of life and cherish the great side. So if you are looking for that perfect pet you painted in your head, then please extend your search elsewhere. We appreciate you thinking of AH Rescue Sanctuary, but we may not be the best fit for you, and that is okay.

At AH Rescue Sanctuary, we set out to adopt our cats and dogs to serious adopters that will provide them a forever home. A pet is a lifetime commitment, and we expect our adopters to fully commit and care for these animals. It is our expectation that adopters will maintain routine vetting, keep animals current on vaccinations and on preventative care. Grooming is expected for animals that require it, and we expect our animals to be indoor pets with limited (only with a fence) or preferably no time unsupervised outdoors.

Our review process does take time. We are a volunteer based rescue, meaning everyone helping AH Rescue Sanctuary is taking time out of their day to help out. It is typical that our review process can take a few days, and then it may take a few more days to schedule a meet and greet. If you are looking for a pet same day or by the next day, then AH Rescue Sanctuary may not be the best fit for your needs.

If you are open to a dog or cat that may not have had the best past but has unlimited love to give and will appreciate the second (or third) chance you give them, then please submit your application, and we would love to meet with you!

About Our Dogs & Cats

We tend to rescue those that would not have a good chance in public shelters. Many come to us fractured, sick or defeated. However, once they know they are safe and loved, we see completely different animals that have an unlimited amount of love to give!

Our dogs come with a new set of Max and Neo Martingale collars, leash, and harness valued at $70. We also have costs of care built into the adoption amount.

Why do you charge an adoption fee? Why shouldn’t I just take this free dog instead?

We have our set adoption fees (ranging $200 – $600) to help cover the costs of that animal while they are in our care. Truth is, it doesn’t come close to covering all the expenses incurred while that animal is with us. The adoption fee helps us with the care of the other animals in our rescue and also allows us to rescue new animals. 

We have heard it before “You charge too much, I can get a free dog from XYZ”. Your free dog will cost you a lot more than you think. 

Cost of a “free” dogNational AverageGenerous pricing
Spay/Neuter through private vet*$196 – $578$250
Vaccinations including Bordetella, DAPP, Bivalent influenza, Leptospirosis, Lyme disease, and Rabies **$212$212
Total cost (not including preventative care, food expenses, training, bedding, toys, leashes, collars, registration tags…)$462

*Spay/Neuter data pulled from Each spay/neuter has many determining factors that result in the overall cost i.e. size, age, sex of animal, location of surgery.

**Vaccination costs pulled from Not all vaccines are required annually. On average vaccines cost between $20 and $75 per shot.

What is included with your adoption fee?

All of our animals are spayed and neutered, current on all vaccinations, kept on monthly flea/tick/heartworm preventatives, and are dewormed. Some of our animals have special medical needs requiring more vet appointments, medication, and therapy. 

We know our animals. We work with our adopters to ensure we find the best fit for their lifestyle and family. We know what will and won’t work for them and we will not put them in a situation that is designed for them to fail. Some people don’t like it when we say no to a certain animal, but we do know our animals best because we have spent hours (or years) getting to know them.

In addition to being fully vetted, you also receive our support throughout the animal’s entire life (and even afterwards should you request it). We are always transparent and will provide full detail on that animal’s history of behavior, personality, health concerns, previous and ongoing health plans for that animal. We will work with you to ensure a smooth transition into your home, and be there if you require any ongoing or new training. You get so much more with our adoption fee than you would with a free dog.

Finding a Forever Home

Our goal is to adopt our cats & dogs to serious adopters. Please know that adoption is a lifetime commitment, and we expect our adopters to fully commit. We believe in forever homes, which is why we are dedicated to this process. Our process is more than adoption, it is about building a relationship between you and us. We take adoption very seriously, and understand that we may not be the best fit for everyone.

Application Review Process

Every animal in our care comes with their own story. Some have had it harder, but where they are all similar is that they came to us because no other rescue felt they could take on their needs and help them bloom into family pets. We at Animal House Sanctuary have a soft spot for those in need the most. We love a challenge and most importantly we love seeing firsthand the change with each individual animal through time, care, and training. Most we welcome into our program need extensive behavior and/or medical care before they are ready for their forever homes.

At AH Rescue Sanctuary, we believe wholeheartedly that owning a family pet is a privilege and even more so a blessing. Animal House Sanctuary screens all applicants to ensure the animals in our care are going to loving, responsible homes. We understand this can be interpreted differently by each individual. For clarification, the following are qualities we are looking for. This is not an all-inclusive list, and we may adjust as needed, with or without notice.

1. A well established relationship with a reliable veterinarian or a plan in place to set one up. We will check vet references for all current and previously owned pets to ensure all pets are seen annually and kept current on all required vaccinations, are spayed/neutered and on monthly preventions for heartworm, flea and tick. We expect the same level of veterinary care that all of our animals receive while in our program, regardless of the animal species. You are required to contact your veterinarian prior to submitting your application, letting them know that we will be calling for a reference. Most veterinarians require approval from the client before releasing information. By submitting an adoption application, you are hereby giving us permission to contact any and all veterinarians you have a relationship with to confirm an established relationship is in place, as well as access the history of that relationship.

2. A healthy, happy, safe and responsible pet owner and home. We will conduct home checks prior to any adoptions. This is a must to ensure all of the needs for the pets can be met. I.e. If a dog requires a secure, physical fence, we will need to confirm one is in place.

3. A plan for feeding quality food based on your pet’s individual needs to help support a healthy and prolonged life.

4. Continued and ongoing training. We believe training, discipline, structure and a consistent routine lead by positive reinforcement not only sets a solid foundation for every dog to succeed in their forever home, but also strengthens that bond between pet and family.

Once your application has been fully reviewed and processed, we will reach out to you regarding a meet and greet and next steps

Key Take Away Points

We do not have open hours for people to come visit our dogs and cats.

Adopter must have an approved application before meeting any of our dogs and cats

Applications will be denied if there is a lapse in vetting and preventative care for current/past dogs and cats

We only adopt our dogs and cats to serious adopters that will provide them a forever home

We expect our adopters to be fully committed to the care of any adopted dogs or cats


As a friendly reminder, we are a 100% all-volunteer program, with no individual benefitting or drawing income from our organization.

We are a multi race culturally ethnic group.

This sets us apart and necessitates a different approach in our operations. As we strive to promptly respond to emails, phone calls, process applications, and arrange meet and greets (with 2 separate meet and greets, including one at the potential adopter’s home), we encounter challenges in accommodating the varying needs of our dogs and prospective adopters. Some cases require additional meet and greet sessions, which we readily try to set up, to ensure successful adoptions.

Our commitment to ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for our adopters and animals prompts us to travel to them, especially when they are unable to come to us due to health or behavior constraints. This is one of the accommodations we are proud to offer.

Furthermore, I personally work 80-plus hours every week. I am the only one to process applications, ensuring the privacy and security of all crucial information provided by potential adopters. This is a top priority for me.

It is true that many people are searching for a furry companion before Christmas, and many believe they have found the perfect match. However, the process is not as simple as it may seem. The personalities of our dogs and the specific needs they require in a home are key factors in determining the best fit for them. We do not believe in temporary homes; we have designated foster homes for that purpose. 

Our ultimate goal is to find forever homes that are a perfect match for our dogs and the potential adopters. This requires patience, understanding, and a positive attitude. If this is something you cannot provide, we encourage you to seek adoption through another agency. This is the system that has proven to be successful for us and the animals in our care. As a result, returns and surrenders are almost nonexistent.

If at any point I have come across as offensive or rude, please know that it was not my intention. My only objective is to find the best possible homes for our animals, and I appreciate your support and understanding in this process.

– Cindy

Applications typically take 1-3 weeks to process and review, before you are notified.