Learn about the breed: Are wolfdogs or northern breed dogs right for you? Temperament, health, size, nutrition, training, leadership, and life expectancy are just some of the factors you will want to take into consideration for your breed of choice.
Are you committed to a relationship that could last 10+ years? Consider your future and how your dog will fit into the picture—not as a last consideration, but of lasting importance. Marriage, family planning, job changes, and potential moves are all reasons these dogs have ended up in the shelter in the first place. We try our utmost to ensure this will not impact their lives ever again. Be honest with yourself as you consider the possibilities.
Exercise and Training
Do you have time for walks and playtime, for grooming, veterinary visits, and daily care? What happens if your work or other time commitments change? Are you a positive reinforcer of good behaviors? Consistent? Caring? Loving? Dependable? Loyal? Wolfdogs and northern breed dogs tend to be intelligent, high energy animals who require healthy outlets for their mental and physical energy in order to avoid destructive behaviors.
This commitment requires the wolfdogs and northern breed dogs to be part of your family.
If you have children, you should never leave a child unattended with any dog, regardless of breed or size. It is your responsibility as a parent to supervise your child's interaction with your dog at all times.
Your wolfdog or northern breed dog will require interaction inside and outside of the home to maintain a good level of happiness and socialization. In order to remain the friendly, social animals they are at the time of adoption, they must continue to have positive interactions with people of different types, not just your own family members.
Adequate health care, including routine and emergency veterinary care, can add up. Vaccinations and preventatives can average $450 annually. Feeding a healthy diet with correct nutrition can also be costly—they are a large breed of dog. Exact enclosure requirements will be determined once the home visit has taken place and will depend upon the individual dog. If you do not already have one, this may require building an adequate enclosure, to the tune of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
We do not adopt to homes with children under the age of 12 years. We also do not adopt out to homes with cats or small animals who might come into contact with our animals. Most of our animals have an extremely high prey drive and a strong tendency for resource guarding. It is the nature of the breed.
We require a minimum of a secure, six-foot backyard fence. With some of our animals further security may be required, such as a dig guard or an enclosure for the animal to reside within when unattended. Enclosure requirements will be determined once the home visit has been completed.
Step 1 - Application Submission
Congrats on your decision!
Your application will help us better determine which, if any, of our dogs currently may be the right dog for you. Be sure to be as detailed as possible in your answers.
After we receive your application, you will be notified via email that it has been received. Processing time is up to two weeks depending upon the results of your reference checks and home visit. Please alert your references that you have submitted their name as a contact for your application and that someone from Texas Wolfdog Project will be contacting them.
If you are renting, please provide your landlord information as we will be required to contact them to confirm the eligibility of having a pet on premise and any restrictions the landlord may have regarding a pet.
Step 2 - References and Home Visit
Veterinary Reference Check
Please do not apply if the below can not be verified by your veterinarian. Your application will be denied if any of the below requirements are not met:
- Your vet must confirm that ALL dogs have been regularly on heartworm preventative the entire time they have been in your care (unless there is a verifiable medical reason for ceasing heartworm preventative).
- Your vet must confirm ALL pets have a consistent history of recommended immunizations, vaccinations, medications, and health checks/screenings. If you have a different immunization/vaccination/medication schedule with your veterinarian, tell us about it, and we'll be happy to consider it as we review your application.
On your application, list the vet(s) that have the most current information regarding your pet(s). If you have additional information to share regarding the health of your pet(s), please note it in the "comments" section of your application. Please call the vet you have listed on your application and give them permission to release your information to us. We try our best to call them within 48 hours of receiving your application!
Personal Reference Check
Upon approval of the vet reference check, we will contact your personal references. It is important that you provide us with references who know you well. If you have pets, please make sure you choose references who know you, your pets, AND how you care for those pets. We require at least one non-family member as a reference.
Upon approval of the veterinary reference check and personal references, you will be contacted and a home visit will be arranged. Please note that ALL family members must be present during the home visit. The home visit will be performed prior to adoption and no adoptions will be approved without a home visit.
Inside/outside homes for dogs must have an existing fenced yard with shade, access to water, and shelter to be protected from the weather. Part of our mission is educating people on how to properly care for our animals and we will be happy to work with you on making your yard secure and building an adequate enclosure. A second home visit can be arranged once you have made agreed-upon changes.
Please note that the intent of our visit is not to see how clean your house is! The purpose of our visit is to see the environment that the dog will be living in, to ensure that adequate provisions are made for the dog's care and to discuss dog ownership with you.
We will consider out of area adoptions only as our volunteer time allows. In addition, we may be unable to place a dog in your home due to our inability to perform a home visit if you live outside of the Greater Houston area. For out of area adopters we will try to find a neutral third party with dog experience to perform your home visit.
Step 3 - Your New Family Member
Once all reference checks (vet, personal and landlord, where applicable) and the home visit have been completed, an adoption coordinator will contact you. If we have further questions or concerns, they will be discussed at that time. If the vet reference check and home visit prompt no further questions and the adoption coordinator is confident you can provide an excellent home for one of our dogs, a volunteer will notify you of your approval as soon as possible. At that point, you may start visiting with dogs.
Texas Wolfdog Project is a 100% volunteer organization. Please allow one to two weeks to process and review your application. In most cases, applicants are approved or declined within 5-10 days.
Finding the Right Dog
Once you have been approved to adopt, an adoption coordinator will be happy to discuss the dogs you are interested in visiting and may have suggestions for dogs that would best fit in your particular home environment.
When you decide which dog(s) you would like to meet, you can visit the shelter or foster home where your dog resides to start building a relationship. If there is some reason that Texas Wolfdog Project or the foster feels your family and this dog are not a good match, the adoption coordinator or the foster will discuss their reasoning with you. This might be because of other pets in the house, how the dog gets along with particular people such as children, men or women, or many other factors. It is important to us to find the "right" match between you and a dog, as we want your home to be the dog's forever home.
You can meet an individual dog as many times as needed, as long as we feel comfortable that you are a good potential match for the dog. All family members must be present when visiting a dog, so that interaction between the dog and all family members may be assessed. Depending on circumstances, you may have additional meetings to have your current pets meet the dog on neutral turf or in your home. These options are available at the discretion of the foster.
Some additional obedience training may be suggested or required based on the dog being adopted.
After The Adoption: Coming Home
Most dogs require a minimal transitional period of several weeks. The first few weeks may be challenging while your new dog adjusts to his/her new surroundings. Adding a new dog to the family upsets the balance of your current "pack" no matter how good the match. Your resident dogs will need time to adjust to your new dog and you may become stressed as a result. Please remember that we are here to help you walk through any difficulties you may encounter, but we recommend that dogs go home at the beginning of a weekend, vacation, or other time when you will be home to help manage the adjustment period comfortably.
The Adoption Contract
Once an adoption is approved, the adopter and a TWP&S Representative (usually the Foster or Adoption Coordinator) will finalize the process and sign the Adoption Contract.
The adoption donation fees for our dogs are as follows:
- 6 months of age or younger: $400
- Dogs older than 6 months and up to 6 years: $375
- Dogs over 6 years: $325
* All adoption fees are non-refundable two weeks after the animal is adopted.
To adopt a dog, a person must:
- Be a responsible adult who maintains responsibility for the well-being of your household.
- Preferably live in the Texas State area.
- Be able to provide for the training and veterinary care of the dog and to pay an adoption fee to help cover the costs of rescue care.