- How do I adopt a pet?
- What instructions do I need to follow post-adoption?
- Can I take my new pet home the same day?
- Has my new pet already been vaccinated?
- Has my new pet already been spayed/neutered?
- Can I get a new pet before he/she is spayed/neutered?
- What if a dog I am interested in is Heartworm Positive?
- What is your return policy?
- Can I get my adoption donation refunded if my new pet doesn’t work out?
- I found a pet that I want to adopt but am not sure if he/she will work out in my home with my other pets. Can I do a trial adoption?
- What do I do with my new pet if he/she gets sick after I adopt him/her?
- What if I’m having problems with the pet I adopted from APA! and need help?
How do I adopt a pet? What instructions to I need to follow post-adoption?
Can I take my new pet home the same day?
In most cases, yes. We actually prefer for you to take your new pet home so that he/she can start being part of your family. If you know you are in the market for a pet, it is a good idea to have some things ready for your new pet such as bedding, food, bowls, and toys. That way, when you fall in love with the right one, you will be ready.
Has my new pet already been vaccinated?
Yes, your new pet will be current on all vaccinations at the time of adoption. From there, you will be responsible for keeping the dog or cat up-to-date on vaccines.
Has my new pet already been spayed/neutered?
Yes, every pet in our program is spayed or neutered prior to adoption. There are rare circumstances that do not fit this general rule and those are described in the following question.
Can I get a new pet before he/she is spayed/neutered?
In most cases, no. If a cat or dog is in a foster home, you will “pre-adopt” that animal through the foster team and the animal will remain in foster until surgery. You will be notified of the surgery date and may pick up your “pre-adopted” animal from surgery on that date. If the fostered animal cannot be spayed or neutered in a timely fashion due to medical concerns, you may leave a $100 deposit and take the animal home on a “pre-adoption” basis under the condition that once the animal’s health has improved, you will have the animal spayed or neutered at Austin Pets Alive! If a cat or dog residing in the shelter has not yet been spayed or neutered for any reason, you may leave a $100 deposit and take the animal home on a “pre-adoption” basis under the condition that once the animal can be altered and a surgery spot has opened, you will have the animal spayed or neutered at Austin Pets Alive! When you return to have your cat or dog spayed or neutered, your deposit will be refunded. If you fail to make your scheduled appointment and do not communicate with Austin Pets Alive! why your “pre-adopted” pet has not been altered, you may lose your deposit.
What if a dog I am interested in is heartworm positive?
You may have fallen in love with a dog that is heartworm positive. The good news is, we can treat your new found love at our APA! clinic. Here’s how: you adopt the dog. Then, one of our veterinarians will evaluate the dog before beginning treatment (This appointment can be scheduled during the adoption process). Your dog will come in to the APA! clinic for treatment, at which time you will be advised on how to care for your dog following treatment.
Several heartworm positive dogs at APA! have already had their heartworm treatment paid for (which means the adoption fee will be waived). If the heartworm treatment has not been sponsored, standard adoption fees will apply (but treatment is free).
What is your return policy?
Can I get my adoption donation refunded if my new pet doesn’t work out?
I found a pet that I want to adopt but am not sure if he/she will work out in my home with my other pets. Can I do a trial adoption?
We do trial adoptions in certain situations, usually just for our adult pets. If you are interested in a trial adoption, speak with an adoption counselor at an event or the main APA! location about your situation. You will be required to do all of the adoption paperwork and pay the adoption fee, but your contract will have a stipulation that entitles you to a full refund if you return the pet to us within a certain time-frame. You may also consider coordinating a meet and greet with your current pet at one of our locations under the guidance of an APA! staff member. Talk to an adoption counselor to coordinate this meet and greet.
We usually don’t do trial adoptions with puppies or kittens. Young animals will almost always get along well with the other pets in the home. We would prefer that an adopter be 100% ready and committed to that puppy/kitten before adopting. If you have concerns about raising a young pet, please talk to an adoption counselor. You might discover that one of our older dogs or cats will be a better fit for your lifestyle since they are usually much less work than a puppy or kitten.
What do I do with my new pet if he/she gets sick after I adopt him/her?
Every pet leaves our care with health insurance from 24PetWatch. You can use the insurance at any vet clinic (you have to file all the paperwork). It will cover your pet for 30 days and up to $750 per incident (after a $75 deductible).
Please read your insurance information carefully and be sure to activate it. Many of our pets have just come out of the shelter, where they could have caught something. While all of our pets are under the supervision of a vet, there are diseases which tests cannot catch until the pet is showing symptoms.
This pet insurance only covers problems that have come up after adoption; it does not cover pre-existing conditions. The coverage begins 48 hours after adoption. Click here for all details about the pet insurance.
If your pet becomes ill within 7-10 days of adoption, please contact us so that we can help you find low-cost solutions.
What if I’m having problems with the pet I adopted from APA! and need help?
We try to set the right expectations about anything we know about the pet before you adopt (dogs/puppies need training and possibly housebreaking, separation anxiety is possible in dogs abandoned at shelters, puppies tend to cry the first few days, dogs/puppies need regular exercise to be good dogs, etc.) but if you are experiencing a problem, we want to help you fix it.
We have dog and cat behavior staff that are willing to help with any behavioral issues and veterinarians that can offer advice on what to do with medical problems. We also send home every pet with 30 days of free health insurance that comes in handy should a medical problem develop after adoption. We want every adoption to be successful.