How to Adopt a Dog

Thank you for considering adopting a rescue dog! Here are the steps you’ll need to take to adopt a dog from APA!

Step one: Find the right dog

Browse our dogs online or come to our of our shelter locations to meet our dogs. If the dog’s page indicates that it is in foster, contact us at email hidden; JavaScript is required and we will put you in touch with the foster home.

We want to help you find the perfect dog for you. We will encourage you to spend a lot of time with your potential new pet and require that you spend at least 30 minutes with a pet before filling out an application.

Step two: Adopt a dog


  • You must spend at least 30 minutes with the dog you want to adopt.
  • You must fill out our application and meet with an adoption counselor.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must live in the Austin area. (We may adopt to surrounding Texas cities/counties if the dog is altered, heartworm negative, and not in need of ongoing behavior training.)
  • You must show a picture ID with your current address. If this isn’t available, we will accept a picture ID with a current utility bill.
  • An APA!-conducted “meet and greet” with current household dogs is generally required for all adult dogs.

Our adoption fee varies per dog, depending upon age, breed, and medical/behavioral conditions.  The price is listed on each dog’s online profile. This fee includes:

  • spay or neuter surgery
  • heartworm test on dogs over 6 months
  • first or more vaccinations
  • first or more deworming treatment
  • microchip
  • personality evaluation
  • Note: sometimes adoption fees will be higher if a puppy/dog had a lot of medical costs.

Accepted forms of payment include cash, credit/debit card, or money order payable to Austin Pets Alive!  We’re sorry; we do not accept personal checks (except for surgery deposits).

Step three: Follow the post-adoption instructions

  • Within 2 days of adoption, you will receive an email from us with your new dog’s medical records and microchip information.  If you do not receive this email, please contact us at email hidden; JavaScript is required.
  • Ensure that your dog’s microchip has been updated with your correct information by going online to Home Again or 24Petwatch.
  • Take your new dog to the vet within 14 days and fax or mail a copy of proof of vet visit within 21 days of adoption:
    1-866-760-9101 (Fax)
    P.O. Box 6247
    Austin, TX 78762 (Mailing address)
  • We will contact you within 90 days of your adoption to ensure your newly adopted pet is working out in your new home. Please respond to our inquiries within 24 hours.
  • If you need any help, please call us at 512-961-6519 (google voice-mail) or email us at email hidden; JavaScript is required.
  • If you need behavior help with your new dog, please email us at email hidden; JavaScript is required.  We strongly encourage training for all dogs and owners. We have trainers on staff to help with special issues and can recommend basic, low-cost trainers in the Austin area.

Congratulations on your new addition to your family!