How do I find out what animals are up for adoption?
You can see our animals currently looking for forever homes here. We suggest following us on Instagram and Facebook too, because we often share announcements about new arrivals via social media before officially listing them for adoption. PLEASE NOTE: All of our dogs and cats are in foster homes, NOT at our shelter.
How do I meet a dog or cat that I saw online?
You must first complete an adoption application and be approved to adopt. Then we can set you up with a one-on-one meeting! If you’re sure you want to adopt but don’t know which dog or cat yet, we recommend completing an adoption application now anyway so that we can try to pre-approve you, which speeds up the process once you do see an animal you think may be the one. We welcome you to attend our weekend adoption events to meet random groups of adoptable dogs and puppies. (You don’t need to submit an application just to attend an event.)
Why do you keep your animals in foster homes?
It is much healthier for an animal to be in a home than in a cage while it waits to be adopted, and we can learn much more about the dog or cat’s personality, needs, training level, etc. this way so that we can make as accurate a match as possible when it comes time to find a forever family. (Click here to find out about becoming a foster parent!)
How do I contact you?
First off, please read through our website before you contact us as most of the inquiries we receive are answered on pages like this. If you have questions about the status of your adoption application, please email email@example.com. If you are fostering an animal and need assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For media or donation questions, email email@example.com. For volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org. All other issues, please email email@example.com. Please DO NOT call unless you are inquiring about reptiles or items for sale. Our phone number currently goes to an answering service that we are only able to check a few times a day, and we literally get at least 50 phone calls per day requesting information that can be found on our website.
Where do your animals come from?
Our adoptable dogs and cats come from kill shelters in New York City and Los Angeles as well as from Tennessee. We also work with Global Strays to rescue street dogs from Costa Rica and Nicaragua on occasion. Most of the animals we take in were found stray before they ended up either at a kill shelter or with our partner groups. “Stray” means that someone owned the animal at some point and left it somewhere (like on the side of the road) when they decided they no longer wanted the animal. This kind of abandonment happens for a variety of reasons, the most common of which include: new baby, moving to a place that doesn’t allow pets, no longer has time for the animal, allergies, lost their job.
Why do you rescue dogs from other areas if there are dogs in need in New York?
The euthanasia rates in the non-New York areas from which we rescue animals are much higher than the euthanasia rate here. Our out-of-state rescue does not displace rescue we are doing in New York, it is in addition to the New York dogs that we take in. We want to save as many lives as we can, so we move animals from areas where the euthanasia rate is very high to areas where the demand for those animals is much greater.
What kind of veterinary care do your adoptable dogs and cats come with?
All dogs and cats up for adoption are spayed/neutered; up to date on vaccines; microchipped; tested; treated with defleaing, deworming, and demiting medication as necessary, and often more. The adoption fee sometimes also covers exceptional veterinary treatment that was required upon intake for animals in our Underdogs & Undercats and GrandPaws programs, such as an eye removal or a limb amputation. If the animal adopted is too small at the time of adoption to have been altered or has been temporarily waived from surgery due to a medical condition at the time of adoption, we ensure all adopted animals are altered within six months of adoption. (This is included in the adoption fee.)
What’s the adoption process like?
Pretty straightforward. Here’s the step-by-step:
- You fall for an amazing dog or cat that you either met or saw online.
- You fill out either a dog adoption application or a cat adoption application. (A home check may be required.)
- If your application is approved, we set you up with a time to meet the animal if you haven’t already.
- If you decide to adopt, you finalize the adoption, which entails paying the fee, signing the adoption contract, receiving the medical records and dog license (if applicable), and our favorite part — the adoption photo! Then you head off into happily ever after with your new pet.
What is the adoption fee?
The standard adoption fee for dogs is $450. The fee for seniors (ages 7 and up,) special needs animals, and pit bull mixes is $380. The standard adoption fee for cats is $150. For kittens, the fee is $175, for purebreds the fee is $250, and for seniors (ages 7 and up) the fee is $100. The adoption fee includes spay/neuter surgery; up to date on vaccines; microchipped; tested; defleaing, deworming, and demiting treatment as necessary; and often more.
How long should I expect it to take for my adoption application to be processed?
It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Part of that depends on how many applications we are processing at the time, and part of that depends on how quickly we can reach your references and have home checks done etc. Because we sometimes receive hundreds of applications each week, we are unable to reach out to every applicant upon receipt of the application. If your application is approved, you will hear from us. If you have questions about specific animals or the status of your application, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please have patience when you’re waiting for a response! We receive hundreds of emails each day, and we try as hard as we can to get to all of them in a timely fashion.
Do I have to fill out a separate adoption application for each dog I'm interested in?
Nope, one is fine unless it's been over a year since the last time you submitted an application. If you are already approved to adopt but the dog you were originally interested in was already adopted, just email the Social Tees rep who originally approved you when you see another dog that you might want to meet. If you’re not yet approved, email email@example.com to check on the status.
I live in Vermont (or Indiana or California…), can I still apply to adopt a dog from you and do you ship animals?
You’re welcome to apply to adopt a dog from us, but we rarely adopt out animals farther than New York and the surrounding states. This is because we try to reduce the amount of travel stress that our adoptable animals would have to endure. If you do apply to adopt an animal and you live out of our standard adoption zone, please be prepared to find a local rescue group that will conduct a home check on our behalf, and please also be prepared to come to NYC to meet/adopt the animal if your application is approved. We do not “ship” animals, even if your application has been approved.
How old do you have to be to adopt?
You must be at least 25 years old in order to adopt from us. We do not doubt that you could provide a loving environment, but the number of animals that are given up or rehomed within the first few years after adoption is much higher among adopters who are under age 25 than among adopters who are over 25. Generally, this seems to be because there are more major life changes ahead the younger the applicant — new jobs, roommates, living situations, etc. Our number one priority is each animal's health and wellbeing, so we must be as careful as we can when trying to place animals in homes that will be stable longterm. We are very sorry to disappoint those of you who are younger than 25, but we do encourage you to foster for us in order to "get your dog fix" while helping save lives (as long as you are 21 or older).
I’ve been approved to adopt an animal. What should I have ready when I come to finalize the adoption?
Please bring a valid ID and the adoption fee (cash or money order only). Please also be sure to bring a pet carrier and/or a leash and collar or harness if appropriate.
I filled out the adoption application, but it doesn’t seem to submit properly. What do I do?
Please try updating your browser and submitting the application again, or try using a different web browser.
I’m adopting a puppy! When is it safe to let her out on the ground with other dogs?
It’s safe to let your new puppy on the ground and with other dogs as long as your puppy has had its final round of puppy vaccines, which usually happens between 12 and 16 weeks. If you’re adopting a puppy younger than this, you’ll definitely need to wait until your vet says you're good to go. If you’re adopting a puppy in this age bracket, whether the puppy has had its final round of vaccines will depend on how old the puppy was at the time of the first round of vaccines, which can very depending on how old the puppy was at the time of rescue. We will clarify for you exactly where the puppy stands with vaccines before or at the time of adoption. For puppies that have not yet had their final round of vaccines, you'll want to avoid letting them walk around on the ground in areas that are highly trafficked by other dogs, such as parks, dog runs, and pet stores. Puppy play dates are okay as long as the other dog is up to date on vaccines and not carrying anything contagious.
I heard that you have reptiles up for adoption. Is that true?
Not currently. We used to have reptiles up for adoption but are now reconfiguring our reptile rescue program. Stay tuned for more updates!
If the adoption doesn’t work out for some reason, can I return the animal to you?
Yes. According to the adoption contract you sign, you are legally obligated to inform us if you are no longer able to keep it for any reason at any point after adoption.