Southern Skies Labrador Rescue & Adoption Inc., goal is to place homeless dogs into loving homes and families. We take special care to match the right home with the right dog, ensuring a lifetime of love for both the pet and the adopter. To ensure the best matches are made, we have a process that has been proven effective in determining the best homes for our animals. Our adoption process may seem time consuming or unnecessarily complicated, but please understand that we have our dogs’ best interests at heart and want only the best for them. We strive to find the best homes possible for our dogs, as well as find the right dog for you and your family and lifestyle. Please understand that our organization is completely run by unpaid fosters and volunteers, who dedicate their free time to help the dogs.  If your references are unavailable, it will delay the process, since those must be checked before moving forward. The entire adoption process takes time; we are unwilling to sacrifice being thorough when the dog’s future is at stake. There are steps in our process that we may be able to couple together where possible to streamline along the process. We thank you for your time and patience throughout our adoption process.

Step 1 – Fill out a Pre-Adoption General Application

The first step is to have you fill out a pre-adoption application. This application will tell us about you and your life, training beliefs and background with animals. By filling this out it does not obligate you in any way.  It simply allows us to get you qualified.

Step 2 – Application Preliminary Review

Our application review volunteers will initially screen your application to determine if all necessary information was provided and if not you will be contacted via phone or by e-mail to provide additional information.  You will also have the opportunity to ask questions at anytime during the process.

2A - References will be Contacted / Verified

If it is determined that you rent your home, your landlord will be contacted to make sure you have approval to have a dog(s) in your home. We also ask about any breed or size limitations. NOTE: If your landlord does not allow for a dog in your home, your application will be denied at this point in the process.Our volunteers will contact the veterinary reference(s) you provided to determine if all your current pets are spayed/neutered and up to date on vaccinations. If you don’t have any current pets, we will ask about the veterinary care that your previous pets received. If you have never owned a pet, this step is skipped. Your veterinary reference(s) must verify the spay/neuter and vaccination status of your current or previous pets, processing of your application will be stopped until you can provide this information.Our volunteers will contact personal references provided and ask them questions in regards to whether they consider you to be a responsible pet owner. This is the portion of the process that can take the most amount of time. It is helpful if you provide the right contact information on your references and let them know and ask them to return our calls in a timely manner. If our reference checking volunteers have any major concerns about adopting a dog to you, based on communication with your references, your application may be denied at this point in the process.

Step 3 – Home Visit / Inspection

Our organization requires home visits to determine that the dog will be living in a safe environment. This is an informal chance for us to get to know you, your lifestyle, and home environment and determine which dog(s) in our program might be the best fit if you haven’t decided on one. The home visit volunteer will do a short walk-through of your home and yard to ensure its safety and to advice on any areas of concern. All household members must be present for the home visit. If our home visit volunteers have any major concerns about your home environment, or if you refuse a home visit, your application will be denied at this point in the process. Distance is not a factor on whether or not there is a required home visit. We are always required to conduct a home visit.  Distance only becomes an issue if we do have volunteer contacts in the area in which you live, some areas may be difficult for us to locate a volunteer to conduct the home visit. We will let you know as soon as possible if we have an issue locating a volunteer to help with the home visit/inspection. Without a home visit/inspection the application can be denied. Note:  The home visit and a meet and greet with the dog can be coupled together whenever possible.

Step 4 – Q/A Interview between Applicant & Foster Home of Available Dogs

Our organization does not have a shelter where the dogs can be visited. Our dogs are in foster homes. We do NOT arrange meetings or interviews between interested individuals and our fosters until an applicant has been approved to continue on in the adoption process. Once you have been approved, the foster on the dog of interest will contact you to talk about the dog and answer any and all questions.  If you are local or within the neighboring area and you wish to schedule a time to meet the dog(s) we can schedule it at this time. This meet and greet may occur at the foster’s residence or your home depending on the location and your willingness to travel or at the availability of the foster or volunteer transporter. After this point you will be informed on whether or not you are approved to adopt the dog of your interest.  Please note: If you are determined to be an approved adopter prior to this step, you are NOT guaranteed a particular dog.  For some dogs we receive many applications so we may allow multiple applicants to have a meeting with the dog before we choose the home that we feel will be the best fit for the dog. Also, if the volunteer involved in the meeting with you and the dog, does not feel you are a good fit for the dog, you may be denied adoption of that particular dog but you may be allowed to adopt another dog.

Step 4 B –Local Adoption Trial Period (Optional ONLY)

Note: This will be approved by the board on a case-by-case:  If you have decided upon a dog that you would like to adopt, the adoption trial period (two weeks) can begin. At the start of the trial you are required to sign an adoption agreement and to provide payment of the adoption donation fee and spay/neuter deposit if necessary. Money Orders/ Bank Checks received will not be cashed until the adoption has been made official after the two week trial. If at any time during the trial period you are having issues with the dog contact us immediately and a volunteer will be in touch with you ASAP. If, at the end of the two week trial period, our organization has NOT heard from you, we will consider the adoption official and your adoption donation will be deposited and will no longer be refundable. We will also mail out to you all veterinary paperwork we have for the dog.

Step 5 – Adoption Official

After going through the adoption process if you have decided on adopting the dog and everything is approved you can officially adopt.  You will receive the adoption agreement that you will be required to initial and sign.  You will also be required to pay the adoption donation prior to receiving your new family member.  Ask about our options.

Step 6 – Notification of Spay/Neuter &Return of Deposit

If, at the time of adoption, your dog was not already spayed/neutered, you would have been required to agree to spay/neuter your dog and provide us a deposit fee. Our adoption contract requires all dogs to be spayed/neutered within 1 month of adoption or when age appropriate. You are asked to notify us when you have scheduled this surgery and at what vet clinic it is being done.  Once you mail in proof to us by the vet clinic the dog has been altered, your deposit will be returned to you by check. If you fail to spay/neuter, as outlined in the adoption contract you signed, our organization will take appropriate measures to take back the dog.

Step 7 – Optional Post Adoption Follow-up Visit

Our adoption contract contains a clause that allows one of our volunteers or a representative the ability to perform a follow-up visit. We may require such a visit if we feel that the terms of the adoption contract are not being met. Southern Skies Labrador Rescue & Adoption Inc. is committed to the life, health and well being of every dog we place for the remainder of that dog’s life. Should the adoption not work out or you need to rehome the dog, we require, by contract that the dog be returned to us.