Adoption Procedures

Adoption Procedures:

You can view our currently adoptable pets on our website, under the services tab. If you are interested in visiting with any of our available pets, you can schedule a visitation appointment through the links on our website. Visitation appointments are scheduled in 45 minute time blocks. Same day appointments may be made ONLY IF AN APPOINTMENT IS AVAILABLE. If a same day appointment is made, you may visit with animals, but may not adopt on that day. Once we receive your appointment request we will confirm your appointment and contact you if we have any questions.

At your appointment, GRR staff will guide you through the animal visitation process and set you up with animal introductions for pets that would fit well in your home. If you would like to adopt one of the pets you meet, GRR staff will guide you through the rest of the application process, which includes completing an adoption application. GRR staff will then review your adoption application and approve or deny it. If your application is approved, you are eligible to bring home the pet you applied for the same day. Read below for detailed information about our adoption process.

  • All adoption and adoption placement processes require you to provide us with a copy of a valid state issued photo ID, with current information.
  • Adopters must be 18 years of age or greater.
  • All adopters must agree to and sign an adoption contract. 
  • Adoption fees:
    • Unaltered Dog – $150 + $75 refundable deposit (refunded once proof of spay/neuter is received within 6 months of adoption)
    • Altered Dog – $150
    • Unaltered Cat – $65 + $50 refundable deposit (refunded once proof of spay/neuter is received within 6 months of adoption)
    • Altered Cat – $65
  • All adopted dogs must leave the shelter on a leash and collar. All adopted cats must leave the shelter in a carrier. We sell all of these items at our shelter store.

Holding Animals:

Great River Rescue does not, under any circumstances, hold animals waiting to be adopted. Any potential adopter who waits beyond the date of their approved application to pick-up the animal does so at his/her own risk. We will not guarantee that the animal will still be available for adoption if an adopter waits. Any animal you have scheduled a visit for may be adopted before your scheduled appointment. Requesting an appointment for an animal does NOT hold them for you in any way.


Trial Period:

We understand that not all adoptions will work out. Therefore, we allow all adopters a period of time in which they may bring the animal back to Great River Rescue and receive a voucher good for another adoption within a year. Adopters are expected to remain in contact with Great River Rescue if they are concerned about their new animal adoption. Adopters who suddenly attempt to return an animal without communicating with us previously may be turned away.


Fostering Animals:

  • Fostering animals with medical or behavior issues – Sometimes animals become sick or injured and would recover better in a home setting.  Other times animals have behavior issues and might benefit from being in a home with someone who can work directly with the animal on those issues.  Still other times the Humane Society has pregnant or nursing animals that need to be in a home where they can be attended to as necessary.  For all of these occasions Great River Rescue may seek foster parents to temporarily provide care for animals.  These parents do not generally intend to adopt the animal(s), but may still choose to do so after the temporary foster period is over.
  • Pet Safe Housing Program – Great River Rescue has teamed up with Northwoods Battered Women’s Shelter to provide temporary foster care for their clients.  More information can be found on the Pet Safe Housing Page. 
    Pet Safe Housing Program

Policy Documents:

Adoption Policy | Adoption Policy

Foster Policy | Foster Policy

General Policies | General Policies

Euthanasia Policy | Euthanasia Policy





Great River Rescue