How to adopt

Interested in adopting one of our fabulous dogs? Here’s how the process works!
  1. Fill out our adoption application form where you can specify a particular dog or dogs that interest you, or let us make recommendations based on your preferences and home environment. This doesn’t commit you, it just gives us more information to determine the best match for you with our available dogs up for adoption.  
    • For the download version of the application, please download, save to your computer, then you will be able to input your responses, and return it to us by email at  This is recommended if you can't complete the form in one sitting, or if your internet connection is not always reliable.
  2. Once we receive your completed application, we’ll put you in touch with the foster parents to get more information on the dog, answer your preliminary questions and, if it’s a fit, set up a meeting. If you have another dog at home, the meeting would be the time to introduce them as well to ensure everyone gets along.     
  3. If it's tail wags all around, the next step is a home visit (note: if the initial meeting was at your home, then this step is already complete!). The home visit is very informal and gives us an opportunity to get to know you better. This visit also allows us to be sure that your home is safe for the dog in question, which can vary depending on the dog’s personality and age. As well, for local adopters, it lets you see how the dog interacts in your home (eg. with your current pets on their turf, with your children at home, etc). Before an adoption is completed, all members of the household, including adults, kids and pets, will have to meet the dog. The home visit also provides a chance to answer any other questions you may have. If all goes well, and you wish to continue with an adoption, we then give a quick call to your references, including veterinary references if you have a pet at home already. 
  4. If we have made it this far together, then comes our discussion about Adoption Day! At this time, there is a contract to sign and we provide you copies of your new dog’s vet records (which we can send to you in advance), as well as payment of an adoption fee. Please note that the adoption fee covers the cost of the spay/neuter surgery, standard vaccines, de-worming, heartworm testing, preventative heartworm meds, and any other care that the dog has received while in foster care. The adoption fee is $400 for an adult and $500 for a puppy. You’ll also bring home your new friend’s collar, leash outfitted with an emergency contact tag, and some of the food they are currently eating. 
And we don’t disappear after Adoption Day (what can we say; we have the perseverance of a Catahoula!). You are now an esteemed member of our rescue community!  Should you have any issues you would like to discuss with us, please do not hesitate.  We have literally seen it all.  As well, as many people worked hard to save this dog, so we love, love, love updates! We’ll check in with you in 24 to 48hrs and intermittently in the 1st month after you bring your new family member home to ensure the transition is going well.  We look forward to hearing from you absolutely any time by phone or email or if you wish a whole team of Catahoula volunteers, owners and supporters to offer you help, you can join our Facebook Group Page at Catahoula Rescue – Ontario.

Please note the following important details:
  • For out of town adopters:  We do our absolute best to get our wonderful dogs into the best suited homes for them, regardless of location. Please feel free to apply if you are not in the Ottawa area.  However, all of the steps above still apply; therefore it is essential that we are able to do a home visit, regardless of your location. If you are out of reasonable driving distance, then we will ask a member of another trusted rescue, or one of our fosters in the area,  to do the home visit for us. If this is not possible (eg. if there are no rescue organizations or fosters in reasonable proximity to your home), we may not be able to adopt a dog to you.
  • For local adopters with cats:  Before adopting a dog to a home with cats, we try to first “cat test” the dog. If this goes well, then we introduce the dog to your cat and allow them to spend enough time together that we have a reasonable idea of how they’ll co-habitate. This is NO guarantee it will go well, unfortunately, as the cat may become more interesting to the dog as the dog settles in, and we insist that adopters with cats take the appropriate precautions to properly integrate a dog into a home with cats. We can provide more information on this as needed.
  • For out of town adopters with cats:  This one is a challenge, and sometimes not possible. For the majority of dogs, we do want them to meet their new feline friend before anyone commits to the adoption. If this isn’t possible, then adoption from us may not be an option. In cases where the dog is being fostered with cats and is doing fabulously, and if the cats at your home are dog-savvy, only then will we consider an application. It is on a case-by-case basis.

Adopting a dog vs. a "free" dog

Here's the cost breakdown of adopting a dog vs. a "free" dog.