Adoption Process

Congratulations on taking the first step to bring a new family member into your home! We are glad that you have chosen Underdog Rescue to expand your family.

  • Step One: Read through all of the information before applying

The first part of this process is to thoroughly read through all of the information provided about adopting from us. Underdog Rescue will adopt to adults (must be 18 or older) who intend to provide proper love, care, patience, and training to one of our available pets. Our process is designed to ensure that each applicant is an excellent match for the individual pet. The basic steps  are outlined below. Please be sure to read through the information in its entirety before inquiring or applying.

*Please note we do not schedule private meets for dogs until an application is received and approved. If you wish to meet an animal before applying, please stop by our adoption events. Animal profiles are updated with the events they will be attending, as the foster RSVP’s to attend.

**Please be sure to check your Bulk/Spam email folders for our replies.

NOTE: We have special adoption requirements for puppies and bulldogs. 

Before you complete an application, please be sure that you and everyone in your household are prepared to bring a new pet into your home. We cannot hold dogs in rescue. The application process will go based on our time frame and will not be put on hold for any reason. We expect every applicant to be prepared mentally and financially to bring a new pet home.

Be sure to also visit our FAQs page.

What Happens in This Step:

  • Step Two: We review your application

Step two begins after your application has been submitted. Our coordinators will review your application to ensure that you and the pet you are applying for is a good match. The application is where you get to tell us about yourself! Please answer the questions thoroughly. We look at all of the details and then weigh those details with what we know the dogs need. For example, many of our dogs come from commercial breeding facilities. Some of those dogs have a little trouble adjusting to life in a new home, so they require another dog to teach them “how to be a dog”. Not all of our dogs have this need, but some do, and that’s something we will take into consideration.

You will receive a response from us, via email, within 1-3 business days.

*Please note, puppy applications require one week review time and payment of the application fee.

  • Step Three: Meet and Greet

Your application appears to be a match with the needs of the pet you applied for! Now comes the fun part of meeting them! Our coordinators will contact you via email and review our process. Then you will be connected with the volunteer foster who is currently caring for the available pet. Meet and greets should be scheduled within 2-3 days. All family members must be present for the meet. We do not adopt out dogs as gifts, or surprises. If you have other dogs in your home, they must also be present for the meet to ensure that everyone gets along OK. After a meet you will have 24 hours to decide if you would like to continue with the process.

*Please note, additional time may be needed when coordinating puppy meets.

  • Step Four: Home Visit and Reference Checks

In this stage we will have a volunteer connect with you to schedule a home visit. Again, all family members must be home and present for this visit. Our volunteer comes to your home and will talk with all members of the household about bringing home your new pet. Safety concerns may be addressed at that time as well. By this stage you should have reviewed the adoption guide that is emailed to you upon approval of your application and discuss any further questions you may have on adopting from us. While the home visit is being coordinated we will also begin checking your references. It is helpful to give them a heads up that they will be hearing from us and should respond in a timely manner and be prepared to fully answer our questions.

  • Step Five: Adoption

It’s time to bring your new family member home! We will schedule a time for you to meet with a volunteer to complete the adoption contract, pay the adoption fee, and bring home your new pet. At this time you should come prepared with a leash, collar, and harness for your pet. We reuse all of our supplies on the next fosters coming into rescue, so they are essentially sent to you “naked”. Upon completion of your adoption, you will receive copies of all vet records within 7-10 business days. We suggest using that time to let your new pet get adjusted to your home life and routine. After receiving all of the records, then you may make appointments for training, grooming, and daycare.

Adoption Requirements

Our requirements vary by the individual dog. Some dogs may require a home with a fenced in yard, some require homes with another dog, some require homes that do not have small children. It varies by the dog and we do our best to keep these requirements in their profiles, though sometimes these needs are not known right away and are things we learn as they remain in foster care.

A note about fences: We do not support the use of invisible fences for dogs that come from a commercial breeding background. Negative reinforcement training methods often have an adverse affect on dogs from this background and it is our preference that they not be used. If a dog requires a home with a fenced yard, it must be a physical fence to be considered.

You must live within 60 miles of the Twin Cities. We do not make exceptions for unaltered puppies. However, we will consider exceptions on a case by case basis for adult dogs.

Adoption Fees

Our adoption fees are non-negotiable. Our fees are determined by a variety of factors including the level of care required for them. The adoption fee typically includes the pet’s spay/neuter, dental (if needed), routine age-appropriate vaccinations, heartworm testing, parasite testing and/or deworming, and a microchip.

Underdog’s adoption fees cover the cost of medical care and additionally, food and other necessities while in foster care. All of our fosters are 100% volunteer, who open their homes to care for these pets.  We provide them with the necessities while they generously provide a place for them to live.  Nutrition is a top priority for our rescue so all of our foster dogs/cats are fed a premium diet for optimum health, specifically a high protein content, grain-free kibble or raw food diet.

By adopting from us, not only are you saving one life, but more lives through payment of your adoption fee.


Ready to move forward?