Contracts - Animal Law Source



Contracts for the Adoption of Pets
Adoption contracts for pets are an incredibly important tool used to protect the interests of the adopter, the shelter or rescue facilitating the adoption, and most importantly the health and well-being of the animal
Avoiding Adopter Roulette

Pet adoption is the process of becoming the guardian of an animal and taking responsibility for a pet that has been abandoned or released to a   shelter by its previous owner. It has evolved as an alternative to the purchase of pets from breeders and as a way to cut into the profits of illegal breeding operations such as puppy mills. Pet adoption has proven to be an effective method in matching loving owners with the perfect companion animal.
A New Route to Adoption

The best way to ensure you create a good contract is to start with a great one. There are several excellent examples of standard pet adoption contracts available online:
Pet Adoption Agreement (Pet Action League)
Pet Adoption Agreement (ASPCA)

It is important to note that the more specific the contract is in terms of providing the contact information of the adopter and the shelter, rescue organization, or adoption agency the better. Additionally, a good adoption contract should include as much information about the animal as possible with special attention paid to the physical description of the pet. It is also recommended that the adopter take a photograph with the animal and one of the persons handling the adoption, if possible.
Concerns about “Contracts” for Pet Adoptions

Adoption contracts should also include provisions related to the level care of the animal will receive in his new home. Such provisions include, but are certainly not limited to:
– Regular visits to a licensed veterinarian, this is especially important immediately following the adoption
– The animal receiving the proper vaccinations (also helps ensure the animal is taken to visit a veterinarian’s office)
– Food and water being available to the animal; its best to be realistic here and carefully craft the contracts language to avoid terms like “food and water always being available” as this may lead to obesity or other health risks, instead try language that ensures adequate amounts of both will be regularly available to the animal as to promote their health and well-being
– Fencing requirements as a way to protect the animal and keep them safe
– Having the animal spayed/neutered or some alternative; again here it may best to merely require proof that the animal can no longer reproduce instead of requiring a specific surgical procedure
Dog Adoption Contracts – Tips for Animal Adoption and Rescue Organizations and Potential Adopters