Animal Aid Society has the responsibility to make sound adoption placement decisions both for the people and the dogs which share our community. This policy transparently sets forth guidelines for assisting in those decisions for the dogs in our care. Placement decisions take into account the safety of
adopting individuals and families, the safety of our community and each dog’s quality of life. Each of the dogs in our care is evaluated as an individual. We gather information about each dog’s behavior patterns and tendencies from multiple sources including but not limited to, staff, medical records, previous guardians, and information obtained from the evaluations on each dog on a case-by-case basis.
A. Bite History toward Humans
Dogs with a history of a bite Level 3, per the Ian Dunbar scale, are not candidates for adoption unless the bite is determined to be a bite under extenuating circumstances (BUE, as defined herein below). Dogs with a history of a bite Level 4, 5 or 6 are not adoptable.
B. Guarding against Humans
1. Dogs that have a history of guarding food in the home or during feeding in the kennel are candidates for adoption if they show only reasonable warning behavior (defined below) and do not escalate to a bite. Dogs that show any food aggression at Dunbar bite levels 1-2 in the kennel during regular feeding times may be put on 24-48 hours of free feeding and observed. If no food aggression is observed during such period, the dogs are candidates for adoption, if during reassessment they show only reasonable warning and do not escalate to a bite. Such dogs should be sent to new homes with
behavior/training/management plans to address this behavior.
2. Dogs that guard specific or predictable possession(s) and/or location(s) are candidates for adoption as long as they show only reasonable warning (defined herein below), and do not escalate to a bite.
3. Dogs with a history that include unpredictable or inconsistent triggers (e.g. food, toys, rawhides, stolen items, resting locations) for possessive aggression (as defined below) and level 3 or above bite history are not candidates for adoption.
1. Dogs that are tense or uncooperative during sensitive handling are adoption candidates as long as they show reasonable warning or bites below level 3. Such dogs should be sent to new homes with behavior/training/management plans to address this behavior. Mouthing or tugging on leashes or toys due to excitability or lack of training are not considered biting during handling. Dogs that have inflicted a bite of Level 3 during normal shelter handling are not candidates for adoption, unless it is determined to be a BUE or due to undiagnosed/unrecognized pain. Dogs with a history of a bite
Level 4, 5 or 6 are not adoptable.
D. Offensive Aggression
1. Dogs that show uninhibited offensive aggression toward humans (defined below) will not be candidates for adoption.^
^Note: Dogs that show threats or aggression in the shelter towards humans and/or dogs that pass by their kennel raise the stress levels of other dogs in the shelter
E. Behavior toward Children
Dogs will not be approved for adoption that have damaging bite histories to children, who show offensive aggression to children, or who stalk children in a predatory manner (e.g. low body, hard eye, followed by growl/lunge/snarl/snap). Exceptions may be made for BUE bites on a case-by-case basis (e.g. child fell on dog, child deliberately hurt the dog).
F. Dog-Dog Aggression1
1. Dogs that lunge, bark, and/or growl while on leash in response to other dogs but have not harmed other dogs are candidates for adoption. These dogs should still be able to be controlled/managed on leash by an average person. Dogs that have caused significant injury to other dogs are not candidates for adoption.
2. Dogs that are avoidant in play groups are not considered aggressive. Fluke bites are not considered dog aggression.
3. Dogs that have a history of redirecting dog-dog aggression to people or other dogs at a bite of Level 3 or above, per the Ian Dunbar scale and Cara Shannon respectively, are not candidates for adoption.
4. Dogs that exhibit uninterruptible aggression through a fence on at least two occasions toward another dog(s) are not candidates for adoption. Muzzle test will be attempted if safe.
G. Aggression/Predation towards Animals Other Than Dogs
Dogs that have severely injured or killed other animals (e.g. chickens, cats, rabbits) may be considered candidates for adoption on a case by case basis. Adopters will be counseled on this behavior so that they can manage their new pet appropriately. These dogs should not be placed in homes with cats, “pocket pets” or where they will be exposed to other species of animals they can harm.
H. Small Dogs
All of the criteria above are considered on a case by case basis for small dogs (15 lbs. and under) due to the fact that aggression from a small dog, even in the form of a bite, is likely less damaging than aggression and/or a bite from a large dog. However such dogs should be sent to new homes with behavior/training/management plans to address their behaviors.
I. Fearful/feral behavior
Most fearful dogs can bond with their immediate family. Dogs displaying intractable fear of humans while in homes or foster care are not candidates for adoption if behavior modification and anti-anxiety medication are not able to provide a good quality of life.
J. Anxious behavior
Dogs who are intractably anxious are not candidates for adoption if medication and behavior modification are not able to provide a good quality of life. Dogs showing stereotypes or self-mutilating behavior may be displaying poor quality of life.
Dogs that do not show concerning behavior do not have any time limit. No animal at AAS will be euthanized for time or space, and all adoptable animals will be available for adoption. The quality of life of each dog is important, and dogs that are showing significant decrements in quality of life due to prolonged kenneling may be considered for humane euthanasia to prevent emotional suffering or pain.
If you think one of our available dogs could be a good fit, come for a visit! (PLEASE NOTE: We have a 40 miles adoption radius to facilitate pre-adoption approval and post adoption home visits.)
When you arrive, we will ask you to sign the dog walking waiver and the dog you would like to meet will be retrieved from his/her run. Enjoy a walk in our open field or sit for a spell on one of the many benches throughout our facility. There are also play parks for some off leash fun!
If all goes well and you decide to pursue adoption, you will be asked to complete a pre-adopt application. Once your family, including any dogs, have also met with the dog you wish to adopt, your application will be submitted to the Adoption Committee for review. We estimate the pre-adoption process can take up to 14 days or longer.
Please note: AAS is committed to finding the best fit for each of our dogs. For this reason, we will accept multiple applications for a dog. In the case of multiple applications, we will select the applicant that is the best fit based on the needs of the dog.
Adoption fee for puppy/adult dogs is $280.00.
Adoption fee for senior dogs is $140.00.
Dogs qualify as a senior based on their stature/weight and age. The scale below shows the age at which a dog attains “senior” designation:
0-20 lbs: 11 years
21-50: 10 years
51-90: 8 years
91+: 7 years
All of our dogs are:
Examined by a veterinarian
Receive medical care as needed
Current on vaccinations
Spayed or neutered
Regularly walked and exercised
Socialized and loved
Adopters are able to register the microchip for free and no annual renewal fees are required.