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Pets Return Home

Cottonwood, AZ

Our Mission

Pets Return Home is a nonprofit organization providing canine behavior modification, training and convalescence support to municipal shelters, animal rescue organizations, and the Verde Valley community. Our mission: Save lives, enrich welfare and build adoptability of homeless animals, drives our every action.

Our behavior team, led by Mark Happe has over 30 years of canine behavior & training development. Our medical team is led by Mark Happe WFR with Kellie Shamrell DVM as our advising veterinarian. Our kennel & grounds management is led by Nora Laube. Our team has extensive knowledge and hands-on experience working with hundreds of dogs with behavior, training or medical needs.

We are located near Clarkdale, AZ on a four-acre ranch bordering national forest, a canyon and the Verde River. Many of the dogs “free-range” on the fenced four-acre parcel. We have a 400 square foot (sq. ft.) medical clinic, six fenced play yards totaling over 4000 sq. ft., a 3000 sq. ft. agility/work yard and a 2100 sq. ft. kennel facility with ten 100 sq. ft. luxury kennels.

The location and facility layout enable dogs to socialize, exercise, overcome fears, build confidence & trust and earn adoptable status.

We welcome adopters, volunteers and visitors by appointment and are supported primarily through donations.

Adoption Policy


Our Adoption Process:

It is our goal to find a family best suited for the dog and vice-versa.

1. Identify the dog or puppy you are interested in via online, adoption event, or by visiting our facility.
2. Complete an application for the dog you are interested in taking home:
3. Once submitted your application will be reviewed, references checked and a home check scheduled.
4. We will send you a link to our online scheduling portal for you to make an appointment to come see us.
5. If you have other dogs we may ask you to bring them to the ranch to meet your potential new family member. ALL VISITS ARE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.
6. Upon an approved home check you will come to the facility, complete an adoption agreement and take your new family companion home.

When you submit an application, please note:
- Any missing information in your application will delay the processing of your application.
- Processing normally takes less than a week from the time your application has been received and you have selected an animal, to the point at which you will sign the contract and receive your pup or dog.
- When submitting your application, please make sure you can be available to sign the adoption agreement and to accept your new pet.

- As a first step in processing your application, you will be interviewed by one of our adoption counselors. This is the time for you to ask any questions that you may have about the organization, our processes or our dogs.
- The interview will take place at an adoption event, our ranch or over the phone.
- All interviewed applicants are then sent to the review committee for approval.

- Home-checks are assigned to a volunteer in your area. The volunteer will contact you to arrange for a mutually agreeable time to do your home-check.
- The home check may take place before the adoption or post-adoption depending upon the circumstances. Home checks are generally performed by an adoption counselor before the dog is transferred to the new adoptive family.
- At adoption events, we may allow a dog to go home with the adoptive family based upon the adoption application, personal interview by an adoption counselor and the agreement to do a home check at a time convenient for all parties. This gives time for the adoptive family to get used to the dog and determine if the fit is a good one.
- We have the right, per the adoption agreement to remove a dog from a home should the home environment be deemed unhealthy for a dog.

Vet Check:
- If you own or have owned a companion animal we will contact your veterinarian for a reference check. Please make sure to contact your veterinarian to give authorization for us to speak to them.

Adoption Agreement Signing:
- Once your interview, home-check, and vet check have been completed and the review committee has approved your application, you will be contacted by phone or email to give you final instructions for your agreement signing.
-We do not guarantee the health of any of our dogs for adoption. Any time you adopt an animal, you should take him to a licensed veterinarian as soon as possible. Your dog is healthy to the best of our knowledge and experience.

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