Simple Dog Adoption Contract

This is the very simple dog adoption contract that I used to use when I was doing Rescue as an independant (ie without a club or other organization behind me). Rather than put the multitude of details of good dog care that I hoped and expected my adopters to fulfill into the contract, which would have made it exceedingly bulky, I put those details into my Adopter's Guidebook and some supporting information on the individual dog into my Adopter's Information Summary. That left me free to keep the Adoption Contract very simple, which in turn highlighted the focus on the Adopter's promises of responsibility towards the dog, which are put into larger type for emphasis.
Most Rescue organizations use much more elaborate contracts which include terms needed to protect the organization from possible legal problems.



The purpose of this contract is to create and/or memorialize the adoption and transfer of ownership of one dog from ________________________________________________________________, herein called Rescuer, to ________________________________________________________________, herein called Adopter, on or about ____/_____/_____. The dog is described as follows:

     Name : (formal) = ______________________________________________________________

      Name : (informal) = ______________________________________________

     Breed : ________________________________________________________ (not AKC registerable)

     Age (unknown, but estimated to be approximately) ________

     Sex: male/ female       neutered/ spayed/ intact

     Color : ____________ markings _____________________

     Ears : cropped / natural       Tail: docked / natural

Rescuer obtained this dog from a Pound under conditions such that particulars of age, breeding, registration, prior training, etc are unknown and untraceable. Therefore Rescuer makes no warrantees of any kind. Rescuer is of the opinion that the dog appears to be a _________________ and appears to have temperament & personality suitable for a family pet and companion if provided good training and handling by the Adopter. Participation in a "novice" obedience class is strongly recommended. Rescuer will at her convenience provide such advice or counseling as Adopter may request to deal with any problems of adjustment and training. Upon request , Rescuer will assist Adopter to apply for an Indefinite Listing Privilege from the AKC.

Adopter has paid / will pay (before __/__/__) the sum of__________ as a donation to reimburse Rescuer for a portion of expenses of rescue and rehabilitation. If Adopter chooses to terminate adoption and return dog to Rescuer within one month (or mutually agreed extension) , this sum will be refunded.

Transfer of ownership of this dog is in consideration of the following promises by Adopter These promises are material and are the essence of the bargain. Should Adopter ever become unable or unwilling to continue to fulfill these promises, Adopter shall notify Rescuer and arrange to return dog to Rescuer at a time of mutual convenience.

Adopter promises to LOVE the dog, to RESPECT the dog, and to TRAIN the dog in basic OBEDIENCE. Adopter promises to CARE FOR the dog in SICKNESS and in HEALTH. Adopter promises that the dog shall live in the house as a MEMBER OF THE FAMILY. Adopter promises to CHERISH and PROTECT the dog until death does them part.


     Adopter ____________________________________________________________________

        address : ______________________________________________________________________

        phone number : _____________________________

           date _________

     Rescuer ____________________________________________________________________

        address : ______________________________________________________________________

        phone number : _____________________________

           date _________


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site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 1990 revised 7/17/03
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