Adoption Process Explained

Our goal is to place homeless dogs into loving homes and families

We take special care to match the right home with the right dog, ensuring a lifetime of love for both the pet and the adopter. To ensure the best matches are made, we have a process that has been proven effective in determining the best homes for our animals. Our adoption process may seem time consuming or unnecessarily complicated, but please understand that we have our dogs’ best interests at heart. We strive to find the best homes possible for our dogs, as well as find the right dog for the applicants and their lifestyle.

Step 1 – Fill out an Adoption Application

The first step is to fill out an adoption application. This application will tell us about the applicant and their lifestyle, training beliefs and background with animals.

Step 2 – Application Preliminary Review

Our application review volunteers will initially screen the application to determine if all necessary information was provided. If not the applicant will be contacted to either fill out another application or provide additional information.

Step 3 – Landlord Approval Verified

If it is determined that the applicant rents their home, the property’s landlord will be contacted to make sure the applicant has approval to have a dog in the home. We also ask about any breed or size limitations.

If the landlord does not allow for a dog in the home, the application will be denied at this point in the process.

Step 4 – Veterinary References Contacted

Our volunteers will contact the veterinary reference(s) provided in the application to determine if all the applicant’s current pets are spayed/neutered and up to date on vaccinations. If the applicant doesn’t have any current pets, we will ask about the veterinary care that the applicant’s previous pets received. If the applicant has never owned a pet, this step is skipped.


If the veterinary reference(s) cannot verify the spay/neuter and vaccination status of current or previous pets, processing of the application will be stopped until the applicant can provide this information.

Step 5 – Personal References Contacted

Our volunteers will contact the three personal references provided and ask them questions in regards to whether they consider the applicant to be a responsible pet owner. This is the portion of the process that can take the most amount of time. It is helpful if the applicant contacts their references and ask them to return our calls in a timely manner.


If our reference checking volunteers have any major concerns about adopting a dog to an applicant, based on communication with the references, the application may be denied at this point in the process.

Step 6 – Home Visit and Applicant Interview

Our organization requires home visits to determine that the dog will be living in a safe environment. This is an informal chance for us to get to know the applicant’s family, lifestyle, and home environment.  This is also an opportunity to determine which dog(s) in our program might be the best fit. The home visit volunteer will do a short walk-through of the applicant’s home and yard to ensure its safety and to advise on any areas of concern. All household members must be present for the home visit.


If our home visit volunteers have any major concerns about the home environment, or if the applicant refuses a home visit, the application will be denied at this point in the process.


Distance can be a factor in whether or not the required home visit can be completed. We are a 100% volunteer run organization and it’s not always possible to find a volunteer to travel for an in-person visit.  We do alternatively have virtual visits available specifically for visits outside our immediate area. Virtual visits may not always be appropriate and are used at our discretion. We will let you know ASAP if your application needs to be denied due to concerns around completing a home visit.

Step 7 – Meeting between Approved Applicant & Available Dogs

Our organization does not have a shelter where the dogs can be visited. Our dogs are in foster homes. We do NOT arrange meetings between interested individuals and our fosters until an applicant has been approved via this adoption process.


Once an applicant has been approved, a volunteer (usually the foster) will contact them about scheduling a time to meet the dog(s) they are interested in. This meeting may occur at the applicant’s home, the foster’s residence, or another agreed upon location at the discretion of the foster.


Approved adopters are NOT guaranteed a particular dog.

Our main goal is to find a home that will be a good fit for each dog. Our Adoption Coordinator works closely with our foster homes to determine if an approved application can meet the specific needs of the dog in which they are interested.   The first approved application that is appropriate for the dog’s needs will have the first opportunity to meet the dog.

If the volunteer involved in the meeting with the applicant and the dog, does not feel the home is a good fit for the dog, that applicant may be denied adoption of that particular dog but may still be allowed to adopt another dog.

Some dogs receive multiple applications and we will not hold dogs or allow extended time frames for the potential adopters to decide whether they want to move forward with an adoption.  We can set up multiple meets with or discuss options, but we will want to avoid any delays for the best interest of the dog and for other potential adopters.

Step 8 – Adoption

If the applicant has decided upon a dog to adopt, the applicant is required to sign an adoption contract and to provide payment of the adoption donation fee and spay/neuter deposit if necessary.  At that time the adopter becomes the owner of the dog. If needed, our organization can provide a kennel/crate, food/water bowls, leash and collar to use for two weeks. We may also provide a small supply of dog food that will allow the adopter to transition the dogs diet to another food.


We have a two week refund period meaning if you decide the dog is not a good fit for your family and you return him/her within the two week refund period we will return your adoption donation to you. The adoption fee will be deposited upon receipt and refunded only if the adopted dog is returned within the two week refund period (or any prior agreed upon extension of the refund period).


If at any time you are having issues with the dog, please call our hotline 701-205-0190 or email your contact person and inform us. A volunteer will be in touch with you asap.

Step 9 – Notification of Spay/Neuter & Return of Deposit

If, at the time of adoption, the dog was not already spayed/neutered, the adopter would have been required to agree to spay/neuter the dog and provide us a deposit fee. Our adoption contract requires all dogs to be spayed/neutered within 1 month of adoption or when age appropriate. Adopters are asked to notify us when the surgery is scheduled and at what vet clinic it is being done. Our volunteers will verify that the dog has been spayed/neutered. Once this has been verified, the deposit check will be returned to the adopter. If the dog fails to get spayed/neutered, as outlined in the adoption contract signed, our organization will take appropriate measures to take back the dog.

Step 10 – Optional Post Adoption Follow-up Visit

Our adoption contract contains a clause that allows one of our volunteers or a representative the ability to perform a follow-up visit. We may require such a visit if we feel that the terms of the adoption contract are not being met. 4 Luv of Dog Rescue is committed to the life, health and well being of every dog we place for the remainder of that dog’s life. Should the adoption not work out or if the dog needs to be rehomed, we require, by contract, that the dog be returned to us. Adopters should contact us asap by calling our hotline 701-205-0190.

Please understand that our organization is completely run by unpaid volunteers, who dedicate their free time to help the dogs. If your references are unavailable, it will delay the process, since those must be checked before moving forward. The entire adoption process takes time; we are unwilling to sacrifice being thorough when the dog’s future is at stake. We thank you for your time and patience throughout our adoption process.