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Canine Lifeline

PO Box 25742
Garfield Heights, OH 44125

Adoption Policy

Thank you for your interest in adopting a dog from Canine Lifeline!

Where do our dogs come from? Most of our dogs are strays who were saved from euthanasia at county dog shelters due to shelter overcrowding or treatable medical conditions. We have no history on these dogs and can’t guarantee how they will behave in an adopter’s home with respect to house-training, separation anxiety, barking, and interaction with children, cats, or guests among other things. Because of this unknown history and the fact that we have no foster homes with young children, we do not feel comfortable placing any of our dogs in a home with children younger than 7 years of age.

How do prospective adopters meet our dogs? We seek the best possible match for each dog based on the dog’s specific needs and the adopter’s requirements. To that end, an online application must be submitted and approved before you can adopt a dog from Canine Lifeline. We don’t do same day adoptions at our adoption events unless the prospective adopter has an approved application on file with us. Once your application is approved, we can then schedule a meet and greet. At that time, you will have a chance to visit with the dog to see if you think s/he is what you are looking for in a canine companion. If both the prospective adopter and Canine Lifeline feel that the dog is a good match, we will then move forward with the adoption paperwork. We cannot hold dogs beyond the date of the meet and greet so the prospective adopter must be ready to adopt/bring a dog home at that time if s/he is a good match.

Adopters must commit to a two-week adjustment period: As part of the adoption process, you must commit to a two-week adjustment period. This period is intended to give you and the dog time to acclimate to a new routine. Going into a new environment can be intimidating for a dog and it takes time for him or her to feel comfortable in a new home. All of our dogs are in foster homes with other dogs so we can’t predict how any of them would do in a home as an only dog with respect to separation anxiety and excessive barking. Prior to bringing a dog home, an adopter should give much thought to how s/he would deal with those issues should they arise and have a plan in place to address them, i.e. doggie daycare, midday dog walker, etc, to increase the likelihood of a successful transition. All adopters must be able to give the dog time to adjust and commit to the full two-week period before adopting a dog. Adopters must also be willing to work through basic obedience issues such as house-training, leash walking, chewing, etc. We are here to offer advice during the transition period. At the end of the two-week adjustment period, if the dog is not a good match, the dog may be returned to Canine Lifeline for a refund of 1/2 of the adoption fee. No refunds are given if the dog is returned before the end of the two-week adjustment period or once the adoption has been finalized. The adoption fee is payable in cash at the time the adoption paperwork is filled out. Please note that any dog who is marked as “PENDING” on our website has been adopted and is in the two-week adjustment period in his or her new home.

Heartworm deposit required for first time dog owners: Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes so all dogs are at risk of contracting this deadly disease. Our dogs are on monthly heartworm preventative year-round and our adopters must sign a contract agreeing to continue this practice along with regular testing. In addition to the adoption fee, first time dog owners will be required to submit a $100 heartworm deposit. The $100 deposit is fully refundable after the adopter has taken the dog to a qualified veterinary clinic for a general health check and purchased at least a 6-month supply of heartworm preventative. This must be done within two weeks after the adoption is finalized. A refund check will be mailed to the adopter after confirmation of the vet visit and heartworm preventative purchase.

Canine Lifeline is an all-volunteer organization. We do our best to respond to inquiries within 72 hours of receipt. Applications received over the weekend may not be addressed until the following week as we are usually busy with meet and greets/adoptions. We correspond via email so please make sure you check your email daily. Please note that our response may not come from a Canine Lifeline email account. Replies are often made directly by the foster parent from his or her personal email account. If you don’t see a reply within the 72-hour time frame, please double check your spam folder. If you find nothing there, please send an email inquiry to:

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