Adopting from a shelter or rescue has become an increasingly popular way of getting a pet. Pet adoption is an excellent option for you and your family if you are not interested in buying one and especially if you harbour strong compassion towards rescue pets.

For animal shelters, the primary goal is to find a permanent, loving home for stray and abandoned dogs. That is why many rescue organizations require adopting families to sign an adoption contract before bringing their new pet home.

CocoSign has a massive database of contract templates that allow you to easily download and print out. The pet adoption contract template in PDF form can be customized for any dog adoption agreement. Simply enter your information in the fields provided, and you'll have a printable pet adoption contract in no time.

What is a Pet Adoption Contract?

A pet adoption contract is an agreement between the shelter and adopting family, which outlines the standard of pet care that is required and expected from the new owner.

The dog adoption contract transfers the pet’s legal ownership to the adopter with the latter agreeing to take possession of the dog and being wholly responsible for it.

What are Included in a Pet Adoption Contract?

A pet adoption agreement can help assure the shelter or former owner that the pet will be in good hands. Pet adoption contracts may include the following information, terms and conditions:

  • A physical description of the pet as well as its known background and medical history
  • Names, addresses, and emails of the animal shelter and the adopter
  • Personal information of the adopter, including the number of people living in the adopter’s household, housing type, and job security
  • A description of previous pet ownership experience by the adopter
  • An animal health certificate from the shelter or rescue
  • An agreement that the pet will be vaccinated before the transfer
  • An agreement for a home visit prior to adoption, so the shelter can make sure your home is suitable
  • An agreement for future home visits so the shelter can check how the dog is adapting to its new environment
  • An agreement that the adopter will treat the dog as a family member and ensure its safety and well-being
  • An agreement that the adopter will provide food and water at all times
  • An agreement that the adopter will not have the dog attack-trained
  • An agreement that the adopter will take the dog to a licensed veterinarian for scheduled shots or treatment of any illness or injury
  • An agreement that the adopter will spay or neuter the dog
  • An agreement that the pet will not be caged, chained, or allowed to roam unsupervised
  • An agreement that the pet will not be left outdoors for extensive amounts of time amid inclement weather
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Why is an Animal Adoption Contract Necessary?

Adopting a pet is not as easy as picking a toy from the store and taking it home. Rescue organizations need to make sure that their dogs go to appropriate homes and that the adoptive owners understand the responsibility they are about to undertake. Prospective adopters should sign dog adoption contracts that lay down all these obligations, so they would be reminded of what to expect from them as a pet parent.


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