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Adoption Events


  • Follow procedures outlined in Chapter 2, Biosecurity. 

  • Procedures must be in place regarding when an animal may attend an adoption event; i.e., the potential risk of the location must be considered relevant to the health and immunity of the dog. 

  • Animals must be properly housed and restrained to ensure the safety of the public and the animals. 

  • Animals must have age-appropriate vaccination to provide sufficient immunity against disease before being taken to a public event. (Refer also to Chapter 6, Vaccinations.) 


Screening Process


  • Rescue groups must have a screening process in place to determine suitability of potential adopters for a particular animal. 

  • Ideally, all household members, including resident animals (depending on species) should meet the animal to ensure a suitable match.

  • Other animals in the home must be up to date on vaccinations and must be altered, unless adopter can provide medical evidence as to why the present animals are not vaccinated or altered. If another animal of the same species is not altered, then only animals of the same sex should be considered for adoption. 

  • The organization must disclose to the prospective adopter all known behaviour or medical concerns. Every effort should be made to match animals with medical or behavioural issues with the adopter’s capacity for care (i.e., knowledge, experience, resources, etc.).

  • Applicant should own their own home or provide permission from their landlord to have animals living on the property.  

  • Reference checks and/or veterinarian references should be completed on potential adopters.


Adoption Contract 


  • An adoption contract must outline responsibilities and expectations and rights for both the adopter and the organization including medical records (vaccination, parasite control, certificate of spaying), standard of care expected, and return policy. The contract must be reviewed and signed by a representative of the rescue organization and the adoptee, prior to transfer of the animal. 

  • The adoptee must follow the bylaws of their area. 

  • If the animal is too young to be altered (spayed or neutered) at time of adoption, alteration in a timely fashion must be included as a requirement of the contract. 

  • Future financial commitment must be reviewed. 

  • An adoption fee must be charged, unless previously sponsored.

  • The rescue of origin should have first right of refusal if the adopter can no longer care for the adopted animal. 

  • All medical information on the animal should be transferred to the new owner.



  • Rescues must have a follow-up process in place to ensure alterations occur for animals adopted out prior to alteration. 

  • Rescues should be prepared to accept the return or arrange placement of animals from adopters who are no longer able or willing to care for the animal. 




  • Rescues that permit the adoption and removal of animals directly from the adoption event without completion of the adoption screening process.

  • Displaying unhealthy or overly stressed animals at adoptions events including dam and offspring.

  • Organization knowingly placing an animal in a home that is unsuitable for the animal’s medical or behavioural needs. 




“Animal rescue standards of practice.” Animal Welfare Advisory Network of BC. 

Adoption Events
Screening Process
Adoption Contract
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