Adoption Process

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 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 everyone.

2. It is not our intent to frustrate you

Everything that we do is in the best interest of the animals in our care and is aimed at giving them the best possible chance of finding a permanent home.

If you would like to be considered for adoption you must complete an adoption application which we will email to you. When you request please specify if you need a cat or dog application. The application will help us know which of our pets might be a match for your lifestyle and household. Please read each pet's profile on our Petfinder site. We will specify any special needs or restrictions on each pet such as needing a fenced yard, a home without children, a home without other pets, etc... Please do not apply for an animal if you do not meet any listed requirements.

After we receive your application, your references will be checked and a decision will be made. If we cannot match you to a pet it is not a reflection on your home or family. Many of our pets have very special needs and have already been abandoned at least once in their lives. We are very careful in their placement and will only place them in a home they are a perfect match for. This will lead to a lifetime of love and happiness for the pet and the adopting family.

All adopters must meet the following requirements

1. Adopters must submit an adoption application. Applications must be fully completed and all questions answered very specifically. Applications with questions left blank or not specifically answered will not be approved.

2. A vet reference must be provided that can verify the care of your past and present pets. All past and present pets must be altered (spayed/neutered), current on vaccinations, receiving regular annual checkups and vet care, dogs should be heartworm tested and on preventatives and cats should be Feline Leukemia tested.

3. The majority of our pets will be altered before adoptions. The adopter must alter any pet that is not altered prior to adoption, within 30 days or by the pet's six month birthday. This is enforceable and required under Iowa State Law, violating the alter clause will cost the adopter a $1000 breach of contract fee, all court costs, and can be prosecuted as a criminal misdemeanor in the state of Iowa.

4. We prefer our pets be adopted as indoor companion pets, a loved member of the family. We are willing to adopt to outdoor homes under the proper circumstances. We do not adopt to homes where the dog is allowed to run loose without proper supervision. We do not adopt dogs to homes that ONLY want a hunting dog. They may possibly be able to be trained for hunting, but may also not be suitable for hunting.

5. Once approved for adoption, all adopters will sign a legally binding contract specifying the terms under which they will care for the animal and that People For Pets retains the right of first refusal if the animal ever has to be given up in the future. A $1000 breach of contract clause will be enforced if any of the terms of the adoption contract are broken.

Here are the steps you'll go through in the adoption process

1. Before you can see any animal in our kennels we ask that you complete some paperwork. This paperwork must be completed first in order to minimize stress for you and the animals.

2. Our process includes asking questions such as to see proof of identity and veterinary references. This is simply to protect the health of adoption candidates and the pets you already have.

3. Once all the paperwork has been completed in full, you may handle, and visit the animal you're interested in.

4. You will have a counseling session with a knowledgeable member of our staff who will fill you in on the history and needs of that animal and his feeding and exercise requirements. You can ask your counselor any questions about spaying or neutering, house training, obedience training, furniture scratching, veterinary care, how to deal with fleas/ticks, and anything else you can think of.

5. You will be asked to sign an adoption contract and pay an adoption fee. This fee covers spaying or neutering, veterinary care, deworming, vaccines and basic care your pet has received at the shelter.


As a general rule, we cannot hold animals for anyone because of the tremendous demands on our kennel space. All adoptions must be done on a first come first serve basis. The first good, properly qualified prospective home will get the pet.

We don't ever mean to be frustrating or evasive with you. We want you to understand that its a stressful, upsetting, and devastating for all parties involved when adoptions don't work out and pets have to come back to us. A bad adoption experience can sour people on dogs, cats, or shelter animals in general for life. So be patient with us and understand that going through the process the way we do really is the best policy for everyone involved.

Contact Us for an Adoption Application!