Adoption Process and Guidelines

Big Hair Animal Rescue is dedicated to making sure the animal you adopt is the perfect match!  We have dedicated foster parents and volunteers who work hard making sure you find the best cat or dog for your home.  Adding a family member is a big decision and we look forward to being part of that.


Our Adoption Application is designed to ensure a good match between our adoptable animals and adopters. Before you begin the application, please read the following:

  • Current pets, if any, must have history of current vetting and dogs must be on a heartworm preventive.
  • Consider what animal you want to adopt and how it fits into your home and lifestyle.  Research breeds, temperaments, energy levels and consider what works best for your household.
  • If you rent, talk to your landlord about pet policies.
  •  Think of three personal references we can contact for your background check.
  • Talk to a trainer, dog walker, doggie daycare, etc. to have a plan in place for your dog's long-term happiness.


 Once your application is submitted, our volunteers will review it. We will: 

  • Contact your landlord, if you rent
  • Contact your Vet (Please give them permission to speak to us, even if you’ve had dogs or cats in the past)
  • Call your references
  • Call you to talk about the animal of interest
  • Schedule a home visit (required)

Our approval process generally takes 2 to 7 days. The most common delay to approving an application is not having permission to speak to your Vet or being able to connect with your references.

Upon Approval

Once your application is approved, we will setup a time for you to meet the animal you want to adopt. Our cats/dogs are located in loving foster homes throughout New England. You must be willing to travel to their foster homes.

We adopt each pet to the first approved and available adopter. The pet of your choice cannot be held or reserved until after your application is approved. If the cat/dog you want is adopted before your application is approved, we will gladly help you select a new one. If you are interested in another pet, you don’t not have to fill out a subsequent application.

Adoption Fees and Contract

At the time of adoption, you must complete our adoption contract and provide payment of our adoption fees (check or PayPal).  All of our dogs are spayed/neutered, are vaccinated for rabies, Bordetella & distemper, are microchipped, dewormed, tested for heartworm (negative) and Lyme disease, as well as treated for fleas and ticks prior to being adopted out.  All of our cats will be spayed/neutered, up to do date on rabies & DHLPP, be tested for FIV and given flea/tick preventative.

Please feel free to ask any further questions. We also work with all of our dogs on basic obedience, house training and leash manners in preparation for adoption.

Dog Adoption Fees:

  • Seniors- 7 years of age and older: $250
  • Adult dogs (1-7:) $325
  • Puppies (6 months – 1 year): $375 
  •  Puppies (6 months and under) who are spayed/neutered: $400

Cat Adoption Fees:

  • Senior Cats (7+):  $50
  •  Adult Cats (1-7): $75
  • Bonded pair of kittens: $250
  • Single Kitten: $175**

**Please note single kittens are only adopted out to homes with a cat or cats already in the home.


We are commonly asked what an adoption fee contributes to. 

Big Hair Animal Rescue Vets EVERY ANIMAL THAT ENTERS THE RESCUE.  Here are common expenses for our rescue animals and their fosters-

  •  Dogs are microchipped.
  • Cats and dogs are spayed/neutered
  •  All dogs are fully vaccinated and given monthly heartworm and flea/tick prevention 
  • Boarding costs and transportation costs
  • While in our care, Big Hair provides food, insulin, medication, dental work, recommended bloodwork, heartworm treatment, crates, gates, you name it!  Our adoptable animals and fosters are provided with anything and everything they need.
  • All of our cats will be up to do date on rabies, DHLPP and be tested for FIV.

After Adoption

We are here for you!  Please use us as a resource.  Our rescue is enriched with very knowledgeable volunteers who are eager to help with behavior, house training, litter box training, crate training, etc. We highly recommend seeking out a trainer in your area for professional advice, we may even know some!

Please remember that some of our dogs/cats come from shelters in rural areas. Certain intestinal parasites may not present themselves while they are in our care.  Worms are a common problem for dogs and cats, especially young ones. They often require multiple dewormings to ensure they are worm free. This is why we recommend your newly adopted pet see your Vet within 2 weeks of adoption.

Our animals are also up to date on flea/tick and heartworm prevention (dogs) before you take them home. You must continue these monthly treatments as a condition of your adoption. Why? As a rescue, treatment of heartworms and Lyme disease can be very costly and a lot of time and resources are spent doing so.  Heartworm and flea preventative after adoption is not provided to you.  

If a medical concern arises, we may be able to help. Some conditions are not observed in a foster dog until they transition to a new home. We ask people to contact us at if anything happens medically. We cannot reimburse you for vet bills or guarantee the health of a dog.

If you do not receive a copy of your records at the time of adoption, please email with the name of your pet and provide an email and mailing address. This will help us expedite the receipt of your records if they were not provided at the time of adoption.

Returning Your Pet

If anything prevents you from keeping your pet, regardless of how much time has passed since the adoption, you must contact BHAR.

The pet cannot be given away. You must either return them to us or obtain approval to transfer ownership to a friend or relative



Adoption Applications