Adopt Don’t Shop
Providing a loving home to a shelter puppy is extremely rewarding!
Here’s why:


IMG_3461 IMG_9019Rescue puppies are healthier than those purchased in a pet store

Puppy stores buy their animals from wholesalers representing puppy mills. Genetically and temperamentally, mixed-breed puppies are healthier than those bred by breeders and puppy mills.

Adopting a puppy is less expensive than purchasing one.
Rescue organizations make sure a puppy is up to date on vaccinations and de-wormed prior to adoption. If the puppy is older than 6 months, they will be neutered or spayed before adopting. Please note: Unleashed requires adopters of puppies 5 months or younger to neuter or spay the dogs when the pup is 6 months old and show Unleashed proof from their veterinarian.

Are you ready for a puppy?
Adopting a puppy is a huge responsibility! If this is your first time having a puppy you may be surprised by what it takes to train a new puppy and get them into a routine. Consistency and routines are critical for a puppy to learn what is expected. Puppies require a great deal of patience. They chew and have accidents. They need training to set limits and expectations. They require lots of attention and plenty of love.

Young puppies cannot be alone more than 1–2 hours a day the first few weeks, and only 3–4 hours a day after that. This can be exhausting, frustrating, and time-consuming. In many ways, caring for a new puppy is a lot like having a baby. Unleashed is ready to help and will assist new adopters with developing a “puppy plan” to help you and your new companion create a successful routine.

photo 2What are the costs of having a puppy?
Costs to raise a puppy vary and there is no way to predict what a dog may need over time. Typical Unleashed pet owners tell us the cost of caring for a puppy/dog is a few thousand dollars.

Costs pet owners are responsible for include: veterinary exams, spaying/neutering, a dog license, food, treats, toys, and other supplies, grooming, pet insurance, and if necessary boarding or pet-sitting when you go on vacation. The health of your pet and other personal choices will influence the cost and you should be prepared for unexpected expenses. We encourage adopters to think long-term and also consider the costs of caring for an aging pet over the 13–15-year average life span of a typical dog.

How do I adopt from Unleashed?
Follow this link to see Unleashed puppies currently available for adoption.
Potential adopters must fill out an Unleashed adoption application. Once your application is received, an Unleashed adoption counselor will contact you to set up an interview.

Adopting a puppy from our rescue organization creates a partnership. We want you to learn more about us while we get to know you. Our goal is to provide you with information about what to expect when adopting a young puppy and to help you identify criteria to determine best fit. Each dog has a unique disposition (some are more active, others a bit shy), and we strive to find the right pet for each adopter.

We believe that chemistry plays a huge role in selecting the right puppy so we do require a face–to-face play session with you (and whoever you choose to bring along) and the puppy at his/her foster family’s home. The foster family will answer your questions about the puppy and provide information about the puppy’s routines and personality.

Unleashed encourages you to carefully think about the decision and does not allow same-day adoptions. The day after your visit with your potential puppy, an Unleashed adoption counselor checks in to answer any additional questions. If you decide to adopt the puppy, you will complete an adoption contract, pay the fee, and receive the puppy’s health records.

photo 3Why is there an adoption fee?
Rescue organizations cannot continue their efforts to save lives without charging an adoption fee. This fee helps Unleashed pay shelter fees, transportation, initial medical expenses (immunizations, health certificates, vet visits, etc.), and supplies. Unleashed’s adoption fee varies, please email stacey@unleashedny.org for more information.

Do I have to be over 21 to adopt a dog?
Yes—New York State law requires an individual to be over 21 years of age in order for a contract to be valid.

What is an adoption contract?
An adoption contract is a legal agreement between Unleashed and the adopting family. It outlines the expectations and commitments of the adoption. The contract includes:

  • Having the puppy spayed/neutered
  • Providing necessary medical care for the duration of the dog’s life
  • Agreeing to license the animal according to city legislation
  • Allowing Unleashed to remain in contact and check in

If I am the first one to apply for a puppy, do I have the first right to adopt?
Unleashed is very ethical about the adoption process but we also believe in the best fit. If you are an approved adopter, we look at the criteria you identified in both your application and your interview to determine if the puppy is a match. Being first to apply for a puppy doesn’t hurt, but it is not a guarantee. Unleashed is committed to being open and honest about the selection process.

If the puppy I applied for becomes unavailable, will you help me find a different one?
Absolutely! Unleashed will help approved adopters find the right dog for them and there is no need to reapply and start the process over again.

Can you guarantee a dog’s breed?
The inherent nature of rescue means we cannot guarantee a dog’s breed. The majority of our puppies are mixed with multiple breeds. The best we can do is make an educated guess based on the dog’s appearance, litter mates, and temperament. Some of our adopters do a DNA test, which may not be accurate, and get the results “mixed breed.”

Can you guarantee the size a puppy will become?
Unfortunately, no. Our pups have a mixed gene pool and there is no way to know which DNA will be dominant. We do estimate size, within a 10-pound range, based on the puppy’s current size, breed, and age, but every now and then we’re surprised to see how a pup has grown.

What if I have questions or need additional resources?
Unleashed supports each and every adopter. We are available to answer any questions and provide tips and resources throughout the puppy’s life.

Adopters receive a welcome packet that includes:

  • A puppy supply list so you can shop for your new family member
  • Recommendations for vets, trainers, and other resources
  • “How-to” info sheets to help with the transitions and house-training

Adopters remain part of our Unleashed family and are welcomed into our community. We keep in contact with all of our families and request updates and pictures throughout the puppy’s life (per the agreement in our contract).

To see our available puppies, please click here: Unleashed Petfinder.

Dog Adoption Application Form
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* There are no government institutions and animal organizations responsible for tabulating national statistics for the animal protection movement. Statistics reported by the ASPCA are national estimates and most likely actual numbers are much higher because there are too many shelters to account for and too few USDA inspectors to monitor activity.