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Thank you so much for considering a rescued pet as your next family member! People like you extending your faith in second hand pets is what makes our rescue go round. We depend on adoptions to not only enrich the life of our rescue pet, but to save the life of the next one in line, that we can't take until our babies find their new forevers. We want you to know that your time is very valuable to us and we want our entire process to be done in good faith. We need you to be honest with us and we will be honest with you. Any deception found during the application process will be grounds for denial.


Requirements: We understand how important your time is and how emotional adding a new pet to the family can be. We are an all volunteer rescue with no paid staff, so we are going to do our best to help you know from the get go if your home environment will be a harmonious fit for what we are looking for in our new adoptive parents. Our checks are extensive, so we ask that you maintain an honest dialogue with us throughout the application. While we believe that any home can become a great one with education, we can not trust applicants that start off on the wrong foot with any untruths during the application process.


  • Your current pets need to be fixed. Unless there is a medical issue or compelling reason that your current pets aren't fixed, we will need to pass on your application. Even though our pets are fixed, elevated levels of hormones in existing pets can cause a greater chance of hostility which can lead to fights. A female going into heat can also make recently altered males act out in a way that wasn't anticipated. We want to set each adoption up for success and mixing our stray babies into a home with unaltered pets is not a recipe for success.
  • Your current pets need to have an active vet history. Monthly preventatives and annual vaccinations are preferred. Some exceptions are made for age and health concerns, but an active history with annual wellness exams are expected. If we feel your current pets aren't taken care of in a manner that we want our babies taken care of, we will pass on your application. If your babies aren't current on their annual exams, please remedy that before placing an application.
  • You will need to provide us with a current vet reference or a vet reference from a family member if you are a first time pet owner. We will not be stringent on a familial vet reference, but it will give us a starting place to begin our pet education. We find that children that grow up in families where the pet is treated like one of the family, continue that behavior as they have pets of their own.
  • You will need to own your own home or have permission from your landlord to adopt. If we can't get permission from the landowner, we can not place a dog or cat on the property.
  • On occasion some of our pets will have specific requirements, and in those cases your home will need to have a provision to accommodate those requirements. Some examples are no children, no cats, physical fence, another dog, no other dogs, etc.
  • Civility. We require you to treat our volunteers with patience and respect. Our volunteers give their time to these stray babies and to our potential adopters. It is a sad truth that almost everyone wants the cutest puppy and the purebred aussie, but when there is only one of those and ten applications...there are going to be some disappointed applicants. We do the absolute best that we can to match up adoptable strays with adoptive parents in a quick efficient manner, however we do not work on a first come first serve basis. While 8 of the 10 might be approved to adopt with us, we do when possible choose the best match. For example if we have a high energy purebred aussie that loves to play with other dogs, and 2 of those applicants have another dog for it to play with, those would be considered first. Where as if the same dog did not do well with other dogs, the 2 applications with no other pets would be considered first for that situation. At the end of the day no one knows the dog's needs better than the foster, and they will supply input on which family would be the best fit for that particular dog. Other approved applicants would then happily be considered for other dogs in our program that might be a great match for them, if they so desire.


Application: If you have read the above requirements and feel confident that there are no red flags, we would love for you to become a part of our extended family. This process begins by filling out an application. Click here to fill one out for a dog or a puppy - application!  Click here to fill one out for a cat or a kitten - application!


Application Review: Our process begins with a general screening of your application where we try to get a feel for what you are looking for in a new pet and what your current home life is like. In some cases that beautiful puppy that everyone wants might be a holy terror or a breed that is known to be high energy, we try to anticipate pit falls and inform and educate the potential adopter as to whether the pet they think they want is indeed a match. We call references and screen for any red flags that we want to provide additional education on or that might indicate a bad match for our stray babies


Vet Check: We do require a vet check on all of our applications. When people adopt a puppy from us there is a lot of vet care that needs to be done in the first six months, it is imperative that we can trust the adoptive parents to get everything done on schedule to ensure the health and safety of their new baby. With adults it is just important to us that their new parents will be committed to taking them in every year for a wellness exam to help extend their life to the fullest! For first time pet owners we will work with them to get a family vet reference, whether it's their parents or an extended family member, this helps us find a starting point for any pet education that we will need to impart. There may be times that we feel an adopter is too young or doesn't have a stable enough home environment to adopt from us at the time of the application.


Property Review: We will need to know the county you live in so that we can verify your property ownership. If you live with parents or live in a parental home, we will need permission from your parents. If you rent, we will need verbal verification from your landlord or a copy of your lease's pet policy. We absolutely can non put a dog or cat on any property without the permission of the land owner. We will also need to verify any breed restrictions, weight restrictions, number of pets restrictions and any other rules that a community or landlord asks us to comply with.


Conversation: We are on your side! We want to find a great home for one of our stray babies! We will be reaching out to you via phone or email to go over any questions that we might have. We understand that sometimes an application just doesn't cut it, there is no way to put everything down on paper that really shows all of the things that you can offer. Feel free to use this opportunity to further explain any of your application items and to ask us questions. In addition to getting to know you more, this is your opportunity to ask us questions. Adopting a new baby is a huge decision and we want to answer any questions that you may have about the pets that you are interested in before you take time out of your day to attend a viewing.


Deposit: Most of our puppies and kittens and some of our more popular adults will require a $50 non-refundable deposit to be held for adoption. The deposit will be applied in full to the adoption fee at the time of adoption. This protects those people driving great distances and ensures that their first choice pet is available to them when they arrive. It also protects our fosters who are giving their time and gas money to make a special trip to accommodate a private viewing, from those adoptive parents who change their mind and forget to tell us. If for any reason the stray baby that you had a hold on isn't a perfect fit, you are welcome to transfer your deposit to any other pet in our program (as long as they don't have a special requirement that your application doesn't meet). We aren't out to steal your deposits, we are just limiting holding pets to people who have serious intentions.


Home Check: Stray Haven will expect for serious adopters to permit us in their home as necessary for home visits and follow ups. Sometimes a volunteer will come before an application approval, sometimes they will come during the meet and greet and sometimes we might schedule a home visit after the adoption to see how things are going. We will make every effort to find a mutually agreeable time.


Meet & Greet: Once your application is approved and we have answered all of your questions, it is time to arrange a meet and greet! Stray Haven Volunteers will make every effort to meet at a mutually agreeable time. However, with our fosters having limited time between their family, real-life jobs and rescue commitments, we will ask our adoptive parents to be flexible on where we schedule the meet and greets. Usually, an adoption can be finalized at the time of the meet and greet as long as it's a great match!


Adoption: Our pets will come with all age-appropriate vetting, including spay-neuter, microchip, rabies, vaccinations, health tests (heartworm test on dogs and FIV/FELV in cats), and preventative care such as wormer, flea/tick & heartworm (dogs only). We require a signed contract promising us that you will take care of your new baby and that you will contact us in the event that you run into a hardship that will prevent you from keeping them. We will accept Cash, Check or Credit Card ($5 fee for CC). Our pets do not come with a crate or a leash.


Adoption Fees:


  • Dogs - $200 Includes Lifetime Microchip Registration
  • Puppies - $225 ($150 Adoption Fee + $75 Spay/Neuter Deposit Required by the State of Indiana) Includes Lifetime Microchip Registration
  • Cat - $75
  • Kitten - $125