Dog adoption and cat adoption saves lives. Adopt a dog or adopt a cat and you'll have a friend for life! Contact us, or contact another local humane society, animal shelter or SPCA.
We work hard at matching our animals to adopters, so they may end their search for a loving, permanent home. Temperament, special needs and personality are all factors in our placements.
The Adoption Application
The initial step in our adoption process is the Adoption Application. This can either be done online or in person. The Adoption form must be filled out completely including vet references and two personal non-family references. Your application will be reviewed and your references will be contacted. We contact your veterinarian to ensure that your current or recently deceased pets were properly taken care of---this means being current on all vaccinations and spayed or neutered. In order to speed up the process, please contact your veterinarian and let them know to expect our call.
Personal Interview You will be interviewed by a SMAWL Board Member or Volunteer either through phone, email or in person. This is an opportunity to learn more specifics about you, your family, your pets and the type of pet you are looking for. At this time, we may suggest that you consider a different animal---one that we may feel might be more acceptable for your situation. If you are completing your application in person, this will most likely be done at that time of completion.
The Home Visit If all goes well with the application verification, we will schedule a home visit. A home visit is required to ensure that your home is everything you say it is on the Adoption Application. It needs to be a suitable safe environment for your new pet. All pets and family members should be home at this time.
Meeting Your Potential Adoptee Once the Application has been reviewed and all references checked, arrangements will be made for you to meet with the animal you wish to adopt, either through the foster parent or the animal’s Case Manager. As a courtesy to our foster families, we do not ask them to show their animals to individuals until we have completed the application approval process. If you have other animals, we recommend a neutral meeting place, such as PETCO or a local park to ensure the animals are compatible outside of their own territory.
Finalizing The Adoption Once the adoption has been approved, we will contact you to finalize the adoption. You will need to sign the contract and pay our adoption fee. (Dogs=$200, Young Cats 2 years and under =$125, Older Cats over 2 years = $75)
Foster to adopt over a two week period may be available on a case by case basis.
Any applications received for adoptions from beyond St Mary's county line, will be subject to additional terms and conditions available on request.
Please Remember: Our entire organization is staffed by volunteers. We have NO paid staff. Our volunteers must work your application around their business and personal lives. It may take as long as one week for you to hear from someone, but typically most applications are approved within 7-10 days. Please be patient and thank the volunteers you meet for their service to our community’s homeless pet population.
Here is the link to our application form for you to copy and paste into your browser:-
Why should you adopt?
Dog adoption and cat adoption saves lives. Adopt a dog or adopt a cat and you'll have a friend for life! What is the difference between adopting a dog, adopting a cat, adopting a kitten or adopting a puppy versus getting dogs for sale, cats for sale, puppies for sale or kittens for sale from a dog breeder or a cat breeder? When someone is breeding puppies or breeding kittens, they are creating new dogs and cats who need homes. Some people are interested in a very specific breed of dog, cat, puppy or kitten and they think the only way to find that specific breed is to buy a dog for sale or buy a cat for sale from a puppy breeder or a kitten breeder. Yet animal shelters are filled with dogs and cats who must find homes. So rather than buying a dog or puppy for sale from a dog breeder or buying a cat or kitten for sale from a cat breeder, we encourage people to adopt a dog, adopt a cat, adopt a puppy or adopt a kitten at their local animal shelter, SPCA, humane society or pet rescue group.