Adoption Process FAQs

How much does it cost to adopt a PetConnect Animal?

PetConnect requires an adoption fee for all of our rescued animals. The adoption fees help cover the medical, transport, supply, and other animal expenses associated with rescuing our animals. The expenses for each rescued animal almost always exceed our adoption fee for them. Please note that adoption fees are not tax-deductible.

Dogs (6 months to 6 years) – $425
Puppies (under 6 months) – $475
Senior Dogs (7 yrs and older) – $250
Cats of All Ages – $175
Pair of Cats or Kittens – $300

What’s Included:

  • All pets are given age-appropriate vaccines and have been examined by a veterinarian.
  • All pets are given preventative medication for heartworm (dogs), fleas, ticks, and parasites and dogs over 6 months of age are tested for heartworm.
  • All pets are microchipped.
  • Every adoptable animal over 6 months of age has already been spayed or neutered, unless it is medically inadvisable to do so.*
  • All pets have been lovingly cared for in a foster home.
  • Each adoption comes with a two-week trial period. If you return the pet to PetConnect Rescue during that time, you will receive a refund of the adoption fee or we will work with you to find a better match.

*An additional spay/neuter deposit for puppies ($250) and kittens ($125) will be required and that deposit will cover the cost of spay/neuter at a participating PetConnect veterinary partner. If the adopter wishes to use their own vet for spay/neuter, the deposit will be refunded once PetConnect receives proof of spay/neuter.

Puppies and dogs 5 months and older will arrive altered, with distemper booster, rabies vaccination, heartworm/lyme test, fecal, and microchip.  Puppies under 5 months are microchipped, and arrive with current fecal exam, in addition to routine puppy vaccinations. All PetConnect animals are given basic vaccinations appropriate for their age.

We accept cash, check, or credit card payments for adoption fees.  There will be a fee for returned checks.  The fee is based on the current rate that we are charged by our bank to process the return, which may be subject to change.

How do I adopt a PetConnect Animal?

When you are ready to adopt a new friend, we will ask you to complete our friendly screening process, which ensures safe and successful adoptions!

  1. If you would like to learn more about one of our rescues, please fill out our short online application. Just click on the link to the appropriate form (dog or cat) to access the application. Filling out the online application is the first step and will put you into our system but does not commit you to anything.
  2. An adoption coordinator will contact you, or you may contact the adoption coordinator listed for more information. Please understand that we are a predominantly volunteer based organization; therefore, a PCR team member will contact you as soon as possible.
  3. If applicable, we’ll call your veterinarian to ensure that your current/previous pets have been spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and well cared for. For renters, we’ll check with your landlord to verify applicable pet policies, and if you are adopting a dog – whether there are any size or breed restrictions.
  4. Once you have spoken to an adoption coordinator about the pet you are interested in, and if you would like to continue with the adoption process, arrangements will be made for you to meet the pet at his or her foster home, or one of our adoption events.
  5. After you have met the dog or cat of your choice, your home visit will be scheduled. The purpose of the home visit is to ensure that the rescue animal will be living in a safe environment, as well as to support the adoption process.
Can a PetConnect Rescue Animal be adopted out-of-state?

Yes, however, we require adopters to meet our adoptable pets in person, and therefore give preference to applicants in the metro Washington, DC area, but will consider out of area adopters on a case by case basis.

Can PetConnect Rescue Dogs live in apartments?

Yes, but, we will need to discuss a plan for exercising your dog, including, perhaps, visits to a fenced in dog park. We realize that different dogs have different exercise needs and that some dogs are a better match for apartment living.  We will work with you to find a dog suitable to your living situation. We’ll just check with your landlord to make sure cats or dogs are allowed in your rental unit. We’ll also check on any weight, size, or breed restrictions. This is particularly important if you are adopting a puppy because we cannot guarantee what size or weight a puppy will grow to be.

How old do I have to be to adopt a PetConnect Rescue Animal?

You need to be 21 years old to adopt a PetConnect Rescue Animal.

Do PetConnect dogs need fenced yards?

Many of our dogs do not need a fence, but sometimes one will require a fence. The Adoption Coordinator of that dog will let you know if this is the case. We strongly urge you not to let your PetConnect Rescue dog off leash in an unfenced or unsecured area. This is particularly important in the first 2-3 months, when your PetConnect Dog might be prone to wandering off – without knowing the way back home!

Can PetConnect Rescue Animals live with renters?

Yep! We’ll just check with your landlord to make sure cats or dogs are allowed in your rental unit. We’ll also check on any weight, size, or breed restrictions. This is particularly important if you are adopting a puppy because we cannot guarantee what size or weight a puppy will grow to be.

If I am the first one to apply for my PetConnect Rescue Animal, will I get him/her?

Perhaps. We are not a first-come, first served rescue. We try very hard to find the best match for our dogs and our adopters. While being first doesn’t hurt, but it’s not a guarantee. We commit to being as open and honest about the selection process as we can.

If the PetConnect Rescue Animal I like is adopted, will you help me find a different one?

We sure can!! We will help potential adopters find the right animal for them. There is no need to reapply or to start the process over again.

Can you guarantee a PetConnect Rescue Animal’s breed?

Unfortunately, the inherent nature of dog rescue means we cannot guarantee a dog’s breed. Many dogs end up in shelters because they are strays. Many more are turned in by owners who don’t know or don’t share their pet’s history. Even when we know the puppy’s mom, we only know half of the mix. The best we can do is make an educated guess based on the dog’s appearance and temperament.

Can you guarantee the size a puppy will become?

Unfortunately, not. As we usually don’t know the puppy’s parentage, we have no information regarding his or her gene pool! Thus, we try to make a best guess based on the puppy’s size, age, and estimated breed.

Do PetConnect Rescue Animals have to be spayed or neutered?

YES! In fact, PetConnect Rescue Cats and Dogs over the age of 6 months will be spayed or neutered before they are adopted out.

Puppies and kittens adopted under the age of 6 months must be spayed/neutered by their adopter by a date agreed upon in the adoption contract (usually at 6 months of age). Adopters of puppies and kittens will pay a spay/neuter deposit which will entitle them to have their puppy or kitten spayed or neutered at a participating PCR vet when they are ready. If the adopter chooses to use their own veterinarian, the deposit will be refunded to them once proof of spay/neuter is provided.

PetConnect Rescue takes spaying/neutering very seriously, and follows up to be certain that all of our puppies and kittens have been spayed/neutered.

What do I do if my PetConnect Rescue Animal is having trouble?

Let us know – sooner versus later! Small problems that start early-on become big problems as time passes. We have trainers on call and lots of resources to share with you. Moreover, because we have a large pool of volunteers who have been doing this for a long time, we probably have experience dealing with whatever issue you may be facing. Let us help!

How many animals does PetConnect Rescue save and adopt to forever homes each year?

Since 2012, we have been fortunate enough to save between 700-800 dogs and cats annually.  In 2018, we processed approximately 940 adoptions.  To view our 2018 animal stats, please click here.

Fostering FAQs

Do PetConnect Rescue Animals need foster homes?

Yes, yes, yes! Foster homes are still the backbone of our organization. Without foster homes, we could not rescue anyone! Please visit the “Foster” tab on the website for complete information, application and instructions.

What does it mean to foster a PetConnect Rescue Animal?

As a PCR Foster, you would give a pet a temporary home – until we find a suitable permanent adoptive home. You give the PCR Dog or Cat a soft, dry place to sleep, yummy food to eat, and lots of play time! You also help your Adoption Coordinator find your PCR Animal a great home!

How old do I have to be to foster a PetConnect Rescue Animal?

You need to be 21 years old to foster with our group.

What if I want to adopt my PetConnect Rescue Foster?

We would be thrilled to have you give your PetConnect Rescue Foster a permanent home; however, we have established a special set of procedures for what we call our “Foster to Adopt Program”. If your foster animal has not been publicly posted as available for adoption yet and you believe that you would like to adopt that animal, PetConnect Rescue has a specific Foster to Adopt Program Addendum Form that you must complete. This form will have terms to which you must agree and a specific deadline during which time you must decide if the animal will be a suitable addition to your family and household. The animal’s Adoption Coordinator will oversee the process. If you decide not to adopt the animal by the specified deadline, the animal will be posted on our website and will be publicly available for adoption. If you have a change of heart or fail to meet the deadline and no stages of the adoption process have been initiated with a potential, “outside” adopter, your ability to adopt your foster animal will be left up to the discretion of the animal’s Adoption Coordinator. If the home visit for a potential adopter has been completed, the potential adopter has met the animal, or there has been a verbal agreement between the potential adopter and the animal’s Adoption Coordinator that he/she will be able to adopt the animal, then it is too late for you to adopt your foster.

What if my PetConnect Rescue Foster needs to go to the vet?

PetConnect Rescue will pay for the vet care at one of our approved vet partners. Just call your Adoption Coordinator to discuss before you make an appointment!

What if I have to go out of town when I have a PetConnect Rescue Foster?

We can help! Let us know of your plans as early as possible, and we will find a temporary foster for your PetConnect Rescue cat or dog!

What if I cannot foster all the time?

You can still help the PetConnect Rescue Animals! When fosters go out of town, we need people who can foster temporarily to give that pup or cat a place to stay!

What if I want to help but I can’t foster?

Have no fear! There is plenty to do.  We always need:

  1. Transporters (from the shelter, to and from the vet, to and from adoption events, etc.)
  2. Adoption Event Organizers
  3. Home Visitors
  4. Fundraisers
  5. Administrative Helpers
  6. Donations!

Please check out our Volunteer tab on the website for information regarding volunteering with our group.

Re-homing Pets

I need help re-homing a dog, but I did not adopt from PetConnect Rescue. Can you help?

Perhaps. We are happy to help families in needing to re-home their dogs provided that: (1) the dog meets our adoption criteria, and (2) that you can hold onto your dog until we find him or her a new home.

What information do you need to help re-home my pet?

Please visit our Owner Surrender page under “Programs” on the homepage of our website for detailed information. Briefly, you will need to send us the dog’s age, weight, breed, medical history, and whether he or she gets along with other dogs, with cats, and/or with children.  We would also greatly appreciate a picture.  Send this info to us at