FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

PLEASE take a few moments to read the following explanation of our adoption policies and the steps that make up the process. You may be surprised to find that adopting an animal is a more involved process than you expected, or that it means you can’t have immediate access to an animal you are interested in. Therefore, it’s important to understand two things: 1) the process is the same for every-one, and 2) it’s not our intent to frustrate you. Rather, everything we do is for the best interests of the animals in our care, and is aimed at giving them the best possible chance of finding a permanent home.

Our website is not meant to be viewed as a catalog. Yes, you may like the look of a particular dog, but that does not necessarily mean that the dog’s personality is a match for your family or lifestyle. Our adoption success rate is quite high and we are quite proud of our program and its standards. This is because our main concern is finding happy endings for the dogs in our program.

HERE ARE THE STEPS YOU’LL GO THROUGH IN THE ADOPTION PROCESS: Before you can adopt any animal, we ask you to complete an adoption application. Our process includes asking questions, asking to see proof of identity and, frequently, asking for veterinary references, particularly when you have other animals at home. This is simply to protect the health of adoption candidates and the pets you already have.

Once all the application has been submitted, it will be reviewed by one of our volunteers. We will contact you to clarify any questions we may have and assist in setting up an appointment at a volunteer’s home or be invited to an adoption event where a knowledgeable member of our volunteer staff will be available to answer questions about behavior, training, veterinary care, how to deal with introductions to current pets, and anything else you can think of.

You will be asked to sign an adoption contract and pay an adoption fee. This fee covers spaying or neutering (unless on a medical / senior waiver), veterinary care, deworming, vaccines, food, and other items your pet has received while in our care.

PLEASE NOTE: We cannot hold animals for anyone. Unfortunately, because of the tremendous demands on our foster homes, all adoptions must be done on a first-come, first-served basis, and the first good, properly-qualified prospective home will get the pet.

LET US REPEAT: We don’t ever mean to be frustrating to or evasive with you. We want you to understand that it’s stressful and upsetting-in fact, downright devastating – for the animals, for our volunteers, and most importantly, for you when adoptions don’t work out and pets have to come back to us. And a bad adoption experience can sour some people on shelter animals — for life. So try to bear with us and be patient. Understand that going through the process the way we do really is the best policy – for all of us.

Our policy is to not adopt more than one puppy per family. You have to wait art least 6 months. 


Our adoption fee is outlined below:

    • Adults over 1 year, $400

    • Puppies/young adults under 1 year old altered $550

    • Puppies or young adults too small / too young for us to alter  (normally under 12-16 weeks or that could not be altered before intake)- the fee is $700 and you have to bring him / her to be spayed or neutered NO LATER than the date stipulated in your contract. 

    • You can have the procedure done at your vet and we reimburse you $150. It must be done no later than THE CONTRCATED TIME or we will not reimburse you. 

    • Again, read your contract because our software automatically disburses the unclaimed funds and we cannot reimburse you after the contracted time. 

    • Many low cost spay/neuter programs are available including Friends of Animals nationwide program. You can visit https://friendsofanimals.org/program/spay-and-neuter-certificates/ to learn about low cost spay/neuter and to find a vet in your area. The adoption fee includes:

  • Health examination(s)

  • Spaying/Neutering up to $150**

  • Wormings (age related)

  • Parvo/Distemper Combo Vaccination (number of vaccinations will be related to age)

  • Rabies Vaccination (If older than 4 months when adopted)

  • Heartworm Disease Test (If older than 9 months when adopted)

  • Flea & Tick Treatment when needed

*** re spaying/neutering: in cases where our vet deems this not feasible or on smaller / younger puppies, we will have you sign a contract to complete this procedure.

All vaccinations and medical care after adoption become the responsibility of the adoptive family.

Please do not text our volunteers with training or medical questions. Contact a training facility or veterinary office. 


If you live in MA the quick answer is NO due to MA Dept of Agriculture restrictions. Sorry.


You have 30 days to return your dog if you feel like it is not a good match. You will not receive a refund. Your adoption fee is a donation to our non-profit organization. 

After 30 days, there is a $75 surrender fee, and still no refund. 

At our discretion, we may offer you a chance to choose another dog by paying only a health certificate fee of $50. For detailed explanation of our policies, please read the adoption contract. 

Please do not text our volunteers with training or medical questions. Contact a training facility or veterinary office. 


Please reach out via email to donations AT allpawsondeck.org or message us on Facebook. We do not take in owner surrenders. All dogs available are posted on the website.