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Adopting a New Family Member

fishy boy


Rikki's does not do same day adoptions. We follow a four-step adoption approach:

1. Application (available online in doc and PDF format). It can be emailed, mailed or given to an adoption volunteer.

2. Interview based on the application to ask follow up questions and see what questions you have about the pet.

3. Home visit by volunteer who will point out hazards you might not see. (For instance, one volunteer found a fence with a hole in the bottom that a dog could easily get out. The homeowner didn't realize it was there. He fixed it before the dog went to live with him.)

4. Sign contract and pay adoption fee. The fee is refundable if the animal is returned within two weeks but not refundable after that. The contract states that the animal must be returned to Rikki's for any reason at any time if the adoption doesn't work out. We retain the right to refuse adoption to anyone for any reason. Boy, that sounds harsh, doesn't it? Your first thought is probably, "who do these people think they are and how do they think they are going to find homes with that attitude?" Well, you have to look at the situation from our viewpoint -- or rather from the viewpoint of our animals. The majority of them have already lost one family. They were promised a happy, safe, forever home and they did not get it. We use applications, interviews and home checks to try our best to ensure that this doesn't happen again. You might fall in love with Fluffy, but based on the information you give us we can tell that Fluffy would have a problem in your home either immediately or down the road. Maybe you have small kids and Fluffy is a herding dog. Cute as he is, his instinct is going to be to round up your kids like they were sheep. He might knock them over accidentally or push them with his nose to move them along. If you said you wanted a quiet dog who would sit calmly by your children, we know that Fluffy is not going to be the dog for you. Please don't be offended. Some people think we ask a lot of personal questions. Am I moving soon? How many children do I have? What business is that of anyone's, right? Again, our goal is to find our animals a happy, forever home where they won't have to worry about getting sent back to the refuge. We really do hope that you will fall in love with one of our animals, that your personalities and lifestyles will match, and that you will be able to provide a happy, forever home. We just want you to be very sure about it before you adopt.

Adoption application
PDF format | Word format

Adoption opportunities are somewhat limited for our crew since they have to be shown around the schedules of volunteers. If one of our dogs or cats tugs at your heart strings, please call the refuge to schedule an appointment. It might take a volunteer a couple days to get back to you, but we will.

Please be sure the animal you are scheduling an appointment to see is actually a Rikki animal. We have posted many adoptables on our website who are looking for new homes, including those in private foster care or county shelters.

Returning a pet you adopted from Rikkis

All animals adopted through a Rikki's Refuge adoption contract must be returned to Rikki's if the adoption is not working out for any reason, at any point in the animal's life. Please contact us before bringing the animal back so that we can make arrrangements and be ready when you come. Please bring any updated medical records and let us know any problem the animal is having -- or might have -- so that we can be prepared to deal with it. We will also need a copy of the original adoption contract that was sent home with you or other identifying information. Adoption fees are not refundable and you will need to sign a surrender form relinquishing the animal back to Rikki's. Important: We often post non-Rikki animals to our websites to help them gain exposure. Only Rikki animals adopted out under a Rikki's Refuge contract can be returned back to us.