Pet Harbor Rescue, P.O. Box 73, Bowling Green, VA 22427

(703) 583-HSKY

Dog Adoption Process

Lots of wonderful furry, fluffy, or fuzzy Siberian Huskies are homeless and in search of families. They don’t ask for much. The biggest demand is love! They give SO much in return.

Why Adopt:

  • GRATITUDE: Our experience has been that rescued fur babies are grateful to their foster families and subsequently the families who adopt them and express that gratitude with love, lots of lovin’.
  • HEALTH: Our dogs’ routine veterinary care and vaccines are up-to-date. They are current on (but not limited to) testing, basic vaccinations, and worming. Females are spayed, males neutered. All are microchipped. All of our dogs have been tested for heartworm disease and most also for Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasma. If they have tested positive, they have been treated. If they have known medical conditions, they have been treated. We disclose all medical information and give adopters the medical records.
  • KNOWLEDGE: We tell adopters everything we know about the animals’ personalities and behavior traits we observe while the dogs are in our foster care. We encourage questions because the more applicants know about a pet before adoption, the better the match and the better the chances of ensuring our pets get permanent homes.
  • INTERACTION: We not only allow but encourage applicants to spend time getting to know the pet(s) before adoption. We cannot “hold” a pet for any adopter, but applicants are welcome to spend time at every event with whatever dogs are available. We require interaction prior to adoption between the applicants’ current dogs and our homeless pet.
  • NEED: Last, but not least, these pets are homeless and searching for loving families and homes, where they will never again have to worry about how to get their next meal or if they will wake up in the morning and see a face they recognize.


  • APPLY: There are two applications for adopting dogs. One is for folks who have never adopted from Pet Harbor before, the other for folks who have.
  • APPROVAL: First, we do an initial review of the application. If the application has information within which conflicts with our standards and policies, we will email the applicants to inform them their application cannot be approved. For example, we require all existing dogs and cats in the home be spayed/neutered unless there is a verifiable medical reason or the pet is a verifiable show pet. If the application indicates a pet is not fixed or any of our other policies is violated, such as allowing dogs off leash or leaving puppies home alone too long, there is no reason for us to proceed further. If the application goes beyond the initial review, which most do, we will start processing the application. That usually involves calling all applicable references (vet(s), people who know your pet experience firsthand, landlord, homeowner association). We engage in a back-and-forth Q&A with applicants. The more we are able to learn about applicants, the better equipped we are to after approval help applicants choose the right dog for their family. Then we visit the home and family, whether virtually or physically. Then, if approved, we issue an approval email describing the next steps (the meet-and-greet and contract-signing processes). If not approved, we will issue a rejection email.
  • MEET & GREET: Meet the pet(s) if you haven’t already. This can occur at adoption events (where several dogs can be met) or at locations near the foster homes in between events (where one dog is met). Meeting more than one dog occurs only at adoption events. Most events are held near Fredericksburg, Virginia or Fairfax, Virginia. The entire potential adoptive family (minus feline family members) must meet the pet before adoption.
  • CONTRACT: Enter into a contract. The contract requires adopters to, among other things, commit to:
    1. A lifetime of love for the new indoor family house member;
    2. Give the dog adequate food and shelter;
    3. Ensure the dog wears a Pet Harbor ID tag at all times;
    4. Provide the dog with routine veterinary care;
    5. Keep the dog on heartworm preventative 12 months a year;
    6. Give the dog plenty of exercise without: (a) allowing the dog to wander in unconfined areas off leash; (b) chaining the dog; or (c) letting the dog ride loose in the back of an open pickup truck;
    7. Purchase any required pet license;
    8. Return the dog to Pet Harbor Rescue if, for any reason, the dog cannot be kept by the adopter;
    9. Keep contact information current with Pet Harbor throughout the life of the dog; and
    10. Adhere to a prescribed schedule of updating us throughout the life of the dog so we can know how happy the dog is!
  • DONATION: Make a donation to our organization. As a 501(c)(3) organization. donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. NOTE: We do NOT at this time accept personal checks or credit cards. We accept only cash or electronic donations for adoption donations. The minimum required in no way comes close to covering our costs. Veterinary work is done before pets are adopted. Adoption donations can be as much as the adopter chooses but must be a minimum of:
    dogs age 6 months to 8 years, $350;
    dogs younger than 6 months of age, $500
    dogs age 9 and up, $100.
  • BE PATIENT: Wait, if required. Animals recovering from treatment for heartworm or other diseases cannot be adopted until the veterinarians assure us their health allows it, though they can be fostered.
  • ENJOY!: Welcome the new family member. Give him/her lots of love and a permanent home.
  • KEEP IN TOUCH: Our adopters give us a call or drop us a line and photograph every now and again to let us know how they and their new family member(s) are happier every day. We require updates for the life of the pet. The update schedule includes updates 24 hours after adoption, one week after adoption, one month after adoption, etc., and annually after the first year.

Though sometimes it varies, the usual sequence for applying for a dog is:

  1. Fill out a Dog Adoption Application.
  2. If the application passes an initial review, the application is given to our Applications Processing Dept.
  3. Pet Harbor management emails the applicant and relays questions. There usually is a bit of back-and-forth here.
  4. Screening, such as vet check, landlord check, etc., if applicable, are conducted.
  5. Home ownership is verified, where applicable.
  6. Personal references are contacted.
  7. We visit the home. All persons and pets residing in the home must be present at the home visit, whether in person or virtual. If the visit is a physical one and applicants have no pet, the home visitor will bring a dog (not an available Pet Harbor dog).
  8. The data is compiled into a package for Pet Harbor’s board of directors.
  9. Pet Harbor’s board of directors discusses and votes.
  10. An email is sent indicating approval or rejection.
  11. If approved, we will discuss with the applicants what dog(s) may fit their family and make arrangements for them to meet.
  12. Every canine and human residing in the home will meet the Pet Harbor dog(s).
  13. If the applicants choose to adopt, they will enter into a contractual relationship.
  14. Everybody lives happily ever after.  🙂


Click to see a listing of the pets we have available or call us at (703) 583-HSKY. We are happy to discuss with approved applicants what dogs are available at that time. We work with applicants in an effort to make the right match.