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How Long Does Dog Adoption Take? Facts & FAQ

woman adopting a dog from shelter

Unlike going to the pet store and going home with a puppy or a kitten that day, adopting a pet from a rescue can be a longer process. How long it will take from application to bringing your new pet home will be dependent on several factors, such as whether you already own pets and what kind of experience you have with the animals you’re looking at. Adopting a dog usually takes as little as a few hours but can take up to a couple of weeks if there are more in-depth application processes.

Here are some factors that you should expect to influence how long your dog adoption journey takes.

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How Long Does It Take to Adopt a Pet from a Humane Society or Shelter?

Many people can visit their humane society and bring their new family members home that day. Typically, the human community or shelter will have you fill out an application, complete an interview with the heads of the household and dependents about their thoughts and feelings on adopting a dog and ensure that everyone understands how much work a dog entails.

Then you can select a pet from the animals in the shelter and bring your new family member home that day. However, some humane societies and shelters have more in-depth application processes, such as veterinary records and home inspections. Still, humane societies and shelters are trying to adopt the animals. They’re more than willing and able to help you learn the ropes so that they feel comfortable letting an animal go home with you.

First-time pet owners might experience more resistance from humane societies or shelters that have had problems with unfit owners who bring the animals back or areas known for illegal activity regarding animals. The humane society is just doing its job to ensure that your dog gets a loving forever home and doesn’t experience the trauma of repeated rehoming.

family adopting dog
Image Credit By: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

Does It Take Longer to Adopt a Puppy or an Adult Dog?

Adopting a puppy or a kitten is generally easier than assuming an adult or senior animal. Adult and old animals have specific needs related to their age that need to be considered. For instance, a dog with arthritis will have difficulty navigating homes with many stairs.

Because the shelter must consider all the dog’s needs and whether they’ll be able to age gracefully in your care, it may take longer to adopt an adult or senior animal. If your area’s humane society has them, senior animals may be expedited for adoption to old people using the “Seniors Adopting Seniors” programs.

Puppies also generally have more competition for them than adult or senior animals. This puts you in a queue of people who all want the same few dogs, whereas people looking to adopt an adult or old animal tend to have more choices and fewer competing families.


Final Thoughts

Adopting a pet is a fun and exciting experience! It could take as little as a few hours to bring home your new family member! Sometimes all you have to do is go to a local shelter’s adoption event, and you can get home a new dog that day!


Featured Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

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