Peace Ridge Sanctuary is a licensed animal shelter that runs with a sanctuary ethic. That means, like most animal shelters we place some animals through adoption, whenever doing so is in the animal’s very best interest. However, we do not push animals out our doors, and we base our decision to adopt according to best standard practices- this includes looking for adopters who completely agree with what we are looking for from our adopters and the care they promise to provide, with our adoption processes, and with our contractual agreements for adoption.

Not everyone will agree with the standards or process that we use in our adoption program. We are looking for adopters who DO AGREE, wholeheartedly.

We want to work with adopters who understand what we're looking for, and who will join us in our efforts to provide these animals with the best futures; health and safety, continuity of care, and will act in the animal’s best interests at all times. We look at adoption as a pact that we make with you- we entrust their future to you, and you know you can call on us for support and assistance throughout the duration of the animals' life.

Frequently Asked Questions – please read first:

Do we have to have a fence to adopt from PRS? No, you don't. But you also CAN NOT EVER let the animal loose. We do not want to work with people who feel this is a problem and we will not engage in arguments about it. We also do not want to find out that our dogs are being allowed loose in the future because that will open both parties- the organization and the adopter- up to confrontation regarding the contractual agreement. Leash walking is the option if fencing in good repair is not possible. But we hope that our adopters will consider fencing because it improves everyone's quality of life- the animal and the caretaker. Fencing can be an extremely valuable investment, and it need not be expensive.

If I don't have a fence, and I can't walk my dog every day, can I tie them to a run outside or get an electric fence? No, PRS does not adopt out to people who tie, tether, or use electric fences – NO EXCEPTIONS. All of these are dangerous and cannot be relied upon to safeguard an animal’s psychological or physical well-being.

Can I adopt from PRS if I want to use a shock collar, citronella collar, prong collar, training collar with a shock option, or other punitive devices to contain or “train” the dog? No, just no. If this is a must for an adopter, it's better they adopt from someone else (or perhaps not at all). Because for PRS, it's a non-starter.

Do I have to return the dog directly to you if it's not working out? Can't I just place the dog with my brother, relative, or best friend down the road if my life changes? Any animal adopted from PRS, MUST COME BACK to PRS! There is no exception whatsoever. We make space for any/every animal who has been adopted from PRS, at any time, even if it's ten years down the road. It's the adopter’s responsibility to make arrangements that guarantee the animal comes back to us should something happen to the adopter. Placing the animals with anyone other than the person(s) who signed the contract with us is a sure-fire way to end up in court with us.

Why does PRS only adopt to non-smoking homes? Both cats and dogs, just like children, suffer from living in environments where they are exposed to secondhand smoke. Cats and dogs are at a particularly high risk of lymphomas and mouth cancers associated with being in smoking environments. Many of these animals will be at risk for cancers down the line anyway, and they don't need the added health risks from being exposed to tobacco (or respiratory distress related to pot-smoking either).

If we use a chemical lawn service, can we adopt from you? No. This may seem like superfluous, unnecessary criteria for adoption to people who are not familiar with the chemicals used in chemical lawn services, but exposure to chemical lawn products and services is very clearly linked to both human and animal cancer, and without a doubt will compromise the health of an animal coming in contact with them.

Why do you generally not adopt to families with children under 7 years old? Regardless of whether or not someone has children living in their home, it is very important to us to know that our adopters will always commit to making sure all interactions between their adoptee and children will always be closely supervised *and controlled* to ensure the safety of both the dog and the children involved. This means children can’t be allowed to roughhouse, hug, corner, tease, sit or lay on, hurt, pull on any body parts, or otherwise harass the dog, and that adopters will make a serious effort to understand the dog’s body language and to prevent accidents from being able to happen in the first place by always supervising and controlling any interactions between their dog and any children. Even if dogs seem to tolerate this type of behavior, it doesn’t mean they like it, it doesn’t mean it isn’t scary or annoying, and it doesn’t mean they will always tolerate it. And it is just unacceptable behavior. We cannot allow the dogs we have adopted out to be put in jeopardy.

That being said, we *generally* don’t adopt to people with children under seven, but we do make exceptions based on a case-by-case basis, depending on the willingness of the adopters to always prioritize the safety of both their adoptee and the children in their environment, as well as our understanding of what type of home would be an appropriate fit for each individual dog. 

Can we board our adoptee in a kennel? No, we do not want our dogs sent to boarding kennels- ever. We have seen dogs go through psychological trauma when boarded in traditional kennels- dogs who have come from shelters cannot tell the difference. You've dropped them off in a noisy kennel environment and you left. It's happened to them before. We've seen adoptees have some very bad experiences with this sort of thing, and we do not want our dogs to experience the re-traumatization that can and does happen when they are left at boarding kennels. We can provide recommendations and information about house/animal sitters, home-tyle boarding facilities, etc. If you need to leave in an emergency and are not able to find a sitter, you can reach out to us and we will do our best to accommodate our adoptees.

Why do you require a home visit? Isn't that a bit too much? Listen, we don't care what your house looks like. We aren't looking at your decor or to see if you have dirty dishes in your kitchen sink. A home visit is meant to be a time we use to talk about how we can set you and the animal up for the best transition experience- because transitions are a real thing, and we know how to set you up to have the most seamless transition possible, really we do. We can use what we know about your potential new friend to help you problem-solve before he/she gets to your house/yard. Maybe little Fido is a climber- we can help you figure out how to keep him contained without breaking the bank. Maybe Fido has a trigger and it sounds an awful lot like your doorbell- we can give you a heads up. Maybe you want to buy a three hundred dollar kennel, but you only need a fifty dollar gate....the home visit can help you as much as it can help the dog. Plus, it helps us to break the ice and gives you a chance to connect with us in a way that helps you to feel comfortable if you need to call on us in the future for assistance.

Peace Ridge Sanctuary is looking for cream of the crop adopters! We are one of many organizations that have a process in place for adoptions that both supports the adoptee and the potential adopters while maximizing the potential for adoption success. Please read more about our Adoption Process and the Applications and Contracts.