Adoption FAQs


My family is looking to add a four-legged friend to our family as soon as possible. How long does your adoption process take?

Dog Star Rescue is a 100% volunteer run organization. Our dedicated volunteers work tirelessly to place our adoptable dogs in loving forever homes. Once your application has been submitted, please allow 24 hours for our team to review your application. After your application has been reviewed, a member of our application screening team will reach out to schedule a phone interview, home visit, and verify your vet or reference information. On average, it can take between 5-7 days to complete the application process.

Remember, many of our dogs receive multiple applications, so we are not able to guarantee a dog’s availability until your application is fully approved and your application is next in line. We work through applications in the order they are received until we find the right fit.

Please only fill out an application if you’re serious about adopting! We are all volunteers who spend hours processing more than 300 applications each month.

My family is planning to adopt a dog and we’d like to start budgeting. What is your adoption fee?

Our adoption fee* is $450 for dogs under 8 years old, $550 for puppies under 4 months old (16 weeks) and $250 for dogs 8+ years old. The adoption fee covers vaccinations (Rabies, Bordetella, Distemper), deworming, vetting, and transport to Connecticut. Dogs that are old enough at the time of transport will also be spayed or neutered. Any dog that is not spayed or neutered at the time of transport will remain in their DSR foster home until the procedure can be completed.

Dog Star Rescue is a private, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that relies completely on private donations and our own fundraising abilities to operate. We receive no federal, state, or government funding, nor do we receive funds from any national animal welfare organizations.

The fee collected upon a dog’s adoption goes toward offsetting the costs involved in providing care for our dogs and toward preparing them for placement into a new home.

*Please note: our fee is non-refundable. This is also noted in our Adoption Contract.

A common question among adopters is, “Why are adoption fees so high? Shouldn’t adopting a dog be free, or at least very cheap?” Our adoption fee barely covers the cost of a young healthy dog, let alone the cost of saving those who need more medical care or training. Fees from the younger, more adoptable dogs help offset the cost of caring for the others. In any given year, our adoption fees only cover approximately 80% of our program costs.

I’m interested in adopting but I’d like to come meet the dogs before applying, is this possible?

Since most of our dogs are in foster homes, we are only able to schedule meet and greet with pre-qualified adopters. However, we do hold adoption events almost every week in Connecticut. An adoption event is the perfect opportunity to meet one or more dogs! Check out our Event Calendar for a list of upcoming adoption events.

I’d like to add a canine friend to my home. Does Dog Star have a minimum age requirement to adopt?

Dog Star Rescue requires that all adopters must be 18 years of age or older and also must be the primary adult resident in the home. Owning a companion animal is often a shared effort. If you share a home with other adults, all members of the household must be willing and able to care for a pup.

My family is looking to adopt in the near future and want to be ready when the time comes. Can we apply now?

Dog Star Rescue offers a per-qualification program for potential adopters who’d like to be screened to adopt from our rescue without a specific dog in mind. We transport dogs up to Connecticut nearly every week, so there will be plenty of opportunity to find you the perfect match. If you’d like to be pre-qualified to adopt with us, please apply now. If approved, your application will stay active and on file with us for 6 months.

We fell in love with Sparky on your website and only want to adopt him. What do we do now?

Fill out an Adoption Application ASAP! Dog Star Rescue works with each applicant to determine your preferences and expectations for a pup in order to match your family with the dog that will best fit your home and lifestyle. Many of our pups receive more than one application and our volunteers are often working with multiple families to see who might be the best fit for Sparky & vice versa. If that’s your family & Sparky, that’s great! If not, no worries! If you’re not approved for Sparky, you may be eligible for one of our other awesome dogs. Dog Star Rescue transports many dogs up to CT on a weekly basis. We’re hopeful you’ll be able to find a match in one of our current dogs or one arriving in CT in the near future.

I don’t have an active vet reference, what should I do?

Don’t worry – if you do not have any vet records in your name or haven’t had an active history with a vet in 5 or more years, please supply three (3) personal references. We look for personal references who are non-immediate family members that can speak to your experience with dogs or other companion animals.

I’m going to be calling to allow my vet to release the information on my record. What will you be looking for?

When we reach out to your vet, we’re hoping for a positive review of their experience with you as a companion animal owner. We look for a few things such as the frequency and consistency of wellness care provided to the animal, your compliance with vaccination requirements and schedules, whether or not your pets are spayed or neutered and whether or not you use any type of flea, tick and or heartworm preventative for your pets. If your vet is unable to provide us with this information, we may request that you submit additional resources to fill in any gaps. These resources could include: additional contact information for another vet, proof of purchase of flea and tick medication preventative medication for outdoors cats, heartworm preventatives for dogs,  invoices from spay/neuter procedures completed outside of your primary veterinarians office, rabies certificates, etc. Note: to speed up the per-qualification process, please give your vet permission to speak with us.

I’ve recently been pre-qualified to adopt from Dog Star and I saw a dog on your site that I’m interested in adding to my family. What should I do?

If you are pre-qualified to adopt from Dog Star, please reach out to the screener who approved your application with your inquiry – or send us an email at From there, the screener will check the status of the pup. If s/he is still available, the screener will connect you with the volunteer who is screening potential homes for the pup. We generally ask that pre-qualified adopters complete another phone interview with the dog’s screener to talk through the dog’s profile and answer any of your questions. If your family is a potential match for the dog, the screener may offer to schedule a meet and greet.

We’ve just scheduled a meet and greet with a Dog Star. What should we expect?

A meet and greet is scheduled in order to allow your family to meet and interact with one of our dogs prior to finalizing an adoption. Generally, we schedule a meet and greet with the hope that if the meeting goes well, we’ll be able to finalize the adoption and you’ll take the new pup home with you. For this reason, all members of your household, along with any resident dogs, must attend the meet and greet. During a meet and greet, we’ll ensure that everyone is on board with the adoption and answer any additional questions you may have. Additionally, the Dog Star representative will walk you through the dog’s paperwork and vetting information along with our adoption contract. Before we finalize an adoption, both your family and Dog Star must be in agreement that the pup is a good fit for your home.

Some of the stories of these pups lives prior to rescue are so sad! What information will be provided to a potential adopter during the process and when an adoption is being finalized?

Dog Star Rescue makes every effort to provide our adopters with as much information as possible prior to finalizing an adoption. This includes going through the medical and behavioral information we have available to us throughout the process. We will have records of any treatment they were given while in rescue including vaccination records, heartworm testing, fecal testing, deworming, etc. Each adopter receives a full copy of the dog’s medical records when an adoption is finalized. If a pup has a known medical condition, that information will be discussed with a potential adopter during the application screening process. In addition, each of our dogs must be medically cleared prior to being adopted. Any illness or injury that occurs after an adoption will be the responsibility of the adopter. In extraordinary circumstances, Dog Star Rescue may be responsible for some of the cost of medical care for a pup who has been recently adopted.

If you have concerns about the health of a pup you’ve adopted from Dog Star Rescue, please reach out to

A member of my household has allergies so we’re looking for a hypoallergenic breed, can you help?

Dog Star Rescue is committed to helping you find a dog that fits your family’s lifestyle. However, we do not do any formal breed or genetic testing in order to verify the lineage of each dog. If you’re looking for a hypoallergenic pup or one that doesn’t trigger any family member’s allergies we recommend extending our meet and greets to allow your family to spend as much time as possible with the dog in order to watch for any potential allergic reaction.

I’m looking to adopt a dog that can be trained to be an Emotional Support Animal (ESA), Therapy dog or Service animal.

Dog Star Rescue is dedicated to finding companion animals their forever homes. While some of our dogs may be good candidates for service, it is up to you, the potential adopter, and your licensed behaviorist or dog trainer to vet the dog for the type of service you will need.

We recently adopted from Dog Star and the dog is having a hard time transitioning to our home. What do you recommend?

We generally recommend giving the dog at least two weeks to become accustomed to your home. Some dogs transition seamlessly, while it can take longer for others. Each dog is unique and we put every effort into providing you with as much information as possible prior to placing a dog in your home. During the transition period, we recommend keeping your schedule as regimented as possible and not introducing the pup to too many new people or experiences. Each family should be prepared to address any potential unwanted behaviors through basic obedience training or by working with a certified behaviorist or dog trainer. If for some reason you need additional assistance, Dog Star Rescue does have a wonderful behavior team that can recommend a local trainer or walk you through the return process should the pup need to be surrendered back to DSR.