"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."
Our Adoption Process
If you find a dog here at Safe and Sound that you think may be the right fit for you, the next step is to fill out our online adoption application. Safe and Sound requires a home visit, veterinarian references (if applicable) and/or personal references. Many dogs have additional home requirements, such as a fenced-in-yard or the absence of young children or other dogs. There may also be a training requirement, depending on the age and history of a particular dog. It is essential that all family members meet the dog before any adoption is finalized. Most adoptions are local (within an hour of metro-Detroit), but out-of-area adoptions are considered under the right circumstances on a case-by-case basis.
Please keep in mind that Safe and Sound is committed to finding the best possible home for each and every dog. This means that we do not consider applications on a first come, first serve basis. We may suggest a different dog to a potential adopter if we think it would be a better fit. Sometimes fostering first, with the intent to adopt, is a better solution. We will discuss these options with you after you contact us.
Safe and Sound is committed to full transparency. Many of our adoptable dogs had a rough start in life, or have endured a lifetime of cruelty or neglect. It is our responsibility to disclose all available information to potential fosters and adopters about a dog's history, temperament, and the circumstances that led to their rescue. Safety and security for our dogs, fosters, adopters, their families including other pets, and the general public, are of the utmost importance.
All dogs that are available for adoption are spayed/neutered (unless they are under six months old), microchipped, up-to-date on their vaccinations, and heartworm negative unless otherwise indicated. Senior dogs also have dentals before going to their forever homes. Puppies are required to be spayed/neutered, at the adopter's expense, within six months of their finalized adoption. A portion of the adoption fee will be refunded to the adopter once proof of sterilization is provided.
Our adoption fees usually range from $150 to $300, depending on the age, breed mix, and necessary medical treatment and transportation that were required for that particular dog. Safe and Sound offers a Senior to Senior discount, as well as a Bonded Pair discount.
We are now holding public adoption events, usually on Saturdays at metro Detroit area pet supply stores. Our event calendar is posted on the home page of this website. Please note that we can not guarantee event attendance of any particular adoptable dog. (We are completely foster-based, and our volunteers have families, jobs and other commitments.) We will attempt to post a list of the dogs anticipated to attend on our Facebook event page, the evening before that event. We do not do same-day adoptions, so please do not expect to fill out an application and take a dog home with you from the event. In some cases, applicants who have already been approved by our director may be able to pick up their dog directly from an event.
We understand the inherent frustration that comes with any adoption process, including communication delays, scheduling conflicts for interviews and home visits, and potentially missing out on what seems like the perfect pooch, sometimes multiple times over. Please remember that our focus must remain on finding the best possible forever home for each of the dogs in our care, as well as ensuring their health, safety, and comfort at all times. Sometimes this means a dog is too nervous to attend a busy adoption event, even though potential adopters are anxious to meet him. It may also mean that the rescue's time and resources must be diverted away from answering phone calls and emails, or reviewing applications, in order to transport a sick dog to the vet, or secure an emergency foster for a stray. Usually we are able to respond most efficiently to emails (as opposed to phone calls or texts). Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
Please contact us if you have any questions about our adoption process.
Finding the Perfect Forever Home
Completed applications may also be faxed to 248.683.9574.
Before You Adopt
Important Questions and Common Considerations
Is it the right time to adopt?
Adopting a dog is a long-term commitment. Dogs in general live 12-15 years or longer. Puppies are popular, but require constant attention and a lifetime commitment. Remember that seniors also make loving, loyal companions. Please make sure it is the right time in your life for a dog, whether it's a puppy, adult, or senior.
Have you done your research?
Do you know what age, size, breed and temperament of dog would best suit your lifestyle? Have you read up on subjects like housebreaking, obedience training and possible behavioral problems? Do you know the differences between hounds and terriers, working dogs and lap dogs? Our knowledgeable volunteers can help you figure out which dogs might be best for your lifestyle.
Can you afford a new family member?
The adoption fee is only the known, upfront portion of the cost of a new dog. There are veterinarian bills, food, grooming, boarding/pet-sitting, etc. to follow. Preventative exams, vaccinations and heartworm/flea control are expected costs. But if your new dog gets sick suddenly or needs emergency care it could set you back hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars.
Do you have any major life changes happening now or in the near future?
Are you moving, getting married or divorced, starting college or a new job, expecting a baby or anticipating any other major changes to your life and daily routine? If so, then it might not be the best time to adopt. Consider waiting until your life is more settled and you are sure you will have the requisite time to devote to your new family member.
Do you rent?
Have you checked with your landlord to see if they allow pets? Do you have to make a pet deposit? Have you anticipated what you might do if you have to move? Are you willing to pay more for a place to rent to ensure that you can take your pet with you?
Can you live with damage to your furniture, carpeting, yard and other belongings?
A puppy will have many accidents while you work on housetraining together. Any new dog, even if already housebroken, will have accidents before becoming accustomed to your home. Even a well-established, perfectly housebroken dog will likely have occasional accidents during his/her lifetime due to an unusually stressful circumstance, a bitterly cold snowstorm, a common medical condition such as a bladder infection, or gradual incontinence from aging. Be prepared to clean up vomit, urine, and feces. If overturned garbage bins, gnawed furniture legs, shredded blankets, or muddy holes in your yard would cause you major anxiety, then please think twice before adopting a dog. Even the most obedient, well-trained dogs can still cause damage when sick, anxious or lonely.
Do you work long hours or travel a lot?
Doggy day care, boarding and pet sitting can be very expensive. Some dogs will wait patiently and contentedly for you to return home from work. Others will be upset and may act out. If you travel extensively, how happy will your dog be without you?
Do you have children?
If you have young children, you will need to take extra care and attention to ensure the safety and well-being of your children and new dog. Puppies have extra-sharp teeth and claws, and strike back when teased. Smaller dogs may be too delicate for an excited child and large dogs can knock a child over. Some dogs have herding tendencies, and others tend to nip at fast-moving objects (like unpredictable children). If you have children, you will have to spend even more time keeping an eye on them with the new dog. However, with an understanding of your dog's signals and body language, proper guidance, and responsible parenting, your dog and children will likely form a very special bond.
Do you already have pets?
Have you verified that adding another animal will not violate your city pet limit or any regulations where you live? Are you sure your current pets will tolerate a new pet in the home? Have you considered the well-being of your current pets as your first priority? Trial adoptions may be encouraged to make sure the new dog and existing pets can adjust to each other successfully.
Does everyone in your home want to adopt a new dog?
Everyone in your family needs to welcome the new dog into your home as a permanent family member, not just a temporary experiment. Let each member of the family meet your new potential family member before deciding to adopt.
Please be certain that you are ready to commit to the new dog, for its entire lifetime, before you adopt. Rescues and shelters are full of animals that were purchased or adopted by someone who did not think it all the way through thoroughly. No matter how cute, playful or smart the new dog is, without proper planning and a firm commitment on your part, it can quickly turn from the perfect pooch into a pitiful pound puppy.
Safe and Sound is happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have,
including those raised by the topics above.
Click below for a fun, short quiz on dog ownership "readiness" from the AKC.