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Adoption Policies

We welcome inquiries regarding all of our pets: Email Us! 
Adoption applications are required prior to arranging meetings
But WHY does adopting a rescue pet have to be so complicated??? Short Cut to Below

Adopting a Pet from No Paw Left Behind

Official Rescue Policies

The first step to adopting one of our rescue pets is to get to know their individual story, ask questions, and consider if this pet will be a good life-long addition to your family. 
Once you decide that the pet will be a good fit, or if you would like our help matching you with a pet who will be a good fit, the second step is to fill out an adoption application (found in the white buttons above). 
After your application has been reviewed, you will be contacted by a volunteer to follow-up
  • Please note: some pets (especially puppies) receive large numbers of applications, and volunteer review of these applications may take up to a week. 
  • Most applications will be reviewed within two days. 
When your application is approved, you will be notified and a time for a home visit and meeting with the pet will be arranged by one of our volunteers
  • NOTE: An application on file is required prior setting up meet and greets with our pets. 
  • All of our pets are in foster homes (or boarding during emergencies), and thus require the coordination of volunteers to assist with the meet and greet. 
  • This rescue does not have a brick and mortar shelter. Every pet we have depends on the availability of our unpaid volunteers. 
Please be honest on your Adoption Application. The founder has a fundamental belief that absolutes are not in service of our mission. We do not reject applications outright based on any specific answers. It is our policy to get to know all of our applicants as well as we get to know our pets, so that we can provide the very best matching service possible. We understand that other rescues have "deal breaker" policies, but this is not how this rescue functions. We believe in working with adopters and pets to provide the best possible individual match. For example: 
  • We do not have a fence or fence height requirement.
  • If you do not believe in a certain medication, please explain. 
  • We do not believe in age requirements, young nor old.
  • Owning or renting will be a discussion, but renting will not be a disqualifier. 
  • Working, or being away from home for several hours, will not disqualify you. 
  • Having or not having a pool will not disqualify you. 
  • Having or not having children will not disqualify you. 
  • Having a disability will not disqualify you (per law). 
  • While we encourage local adopters in the South Florida and Central Florida areas, some of our most cherished #nopawalumni now reside all across the USA and Internationally. Additional considerations must be had for long distance adoptions, but these are not out of the question. 
If the meet and greet goes well, you will either proceed to adopting the pet or a foster-to-adopt trial period. 
Foster-to-Adopt periods usually last one to two weeks, and allow the rescue pet some time to decompress in the new environment. Many rescue pets are unsure of new places and people, so it is very helpful to afford them some time to get familiar with the home, other pets, and the humans. Only once a pet is comfortable can we really assess if the placement will be a good life-long fit. The decision to have a trial period is the best for all involved in most cases. We also worry about the resident pets of the home, so we want to make sure that the resident pets adjust to having the new rescue pet in the home. Sometimes pets and homes seems like they will be a perfect fit, but for whatever reason schedules, personalities, or whatever just don't match. That's ok! We are here to find life-long additions to the family. Taking some time to make this decision is helpful. 
Please take some time to consider our final adoption policies. We have arrived at these policies over a decade of hands on volunteering with pets in need. We do not arrive at these requirements lightly, and we are happy to discuss any of these requirements. 
Things to consider about the Adoption Process:
The safety of our volunteers, pets, adopters, and adopters' pets is our utmost concern; we require full adoption applications prior to setting up meetings as a way to keep everyone as safe as possible. 
Having adoption applications on file ensures that we know where our volunteers are going to meet potential adopters, and helps us keep our volunteers, our pets, and our applicants safe. 
Adoption applications help us determine if the specific pet will be a good fit for the specific home. There may be pets who have limitations in certain situations, and the application will help us prevent any potentially unsafe situations from occurring. 
All adopters go through an extensive screening process. Our adoption application helps us ensure all pets and adopters are matched appropriately and is required prior to arranging meet n greets with our adoptable pets. All adopters must provide a valid drivers license with a current address, 2 personal references, a vet reference, withstand a home-check by one of our volunteers, and pay the adoption donation. 
Adoption Fees
  • Adult Dogs: $150
  • Puppies: $200
  • Cats/Kittens: $75
These adoption fees are more than most shelters; these adoption fees are also less than most other non-profit rescues. Please read below for more information. 
No Paw Left Behind is non-profit 501c3 emergency pet rescue and foster network initiated in 2005, and incorporated in March 2006. We are rescue organization focused on extreme cruelty, neglect and pets in immediate danger of dying in shelters and on the streets across the state of Florida and beyond.
All donations are tax deductible and volunteers qualify for service and school volunteer hours (to be determined on a case by case basis with the school). 
What to expect from a pet adopted through our rescue:
All of our pets receive medical care while in our care.
Basic Medical Services
  • The basic medical services provided will include:
  • General Health Assessment
  • Vaccines
  • Rabies Vaccines
  • Spay/Neuter
  • HW or FIV/FeLV test
  • Deworming
  • Microchip
  • Flea/Tick Prevention
So what does that mean, specifically:
  • General Health Assessment
  • All pets coming in to the rescue will be evaluated for general health benchmarks. Most of the pets we take in are from unknown backgrounds. In most cases, the previous medical history is not known. Our volunteers and the vets we use assess our rescue pets to the best of our ability, but we cannot guarantee the health of these animals.
  • Vaccinations and boosters appropriate to age (dogs: DHPP, Bordetella; cats: FRCPC) Pets will have receive one or more booster vaccines for DHPP and every pet should receive at least three boosters when a puppy or kitten and one every year to ensure immunity. Adult pets should have at least two booster vaccines no more than 4 weeks apart and then subsequent yearly boosters. The vaccines administers by the rescue should be follow up with boosters – all follow up boosters are the responsibility of the adopters/new owners.
  • Some of the vaccines used by the rescue are Modified Live Virus vaccines, which may result in false positive titer tests for some infectious diseases. Before making ANY medical decisions based on titer tests within the first few months of adoption, please contact the rescue via email:
  • ​Pets under 4 months will not have a rabies vaccination yet due to being too young. The rabies vaccination is then the responsibility of the adopter once the pet is old enough.
  • Pets older than four months will have a rabies vaccination, and it is the responsibility of the adopter to follow up with their county of resident to attain an owner registration and rabies tag
  • Sterilization surgery (spay or neuter). Note: some medical conditions may require exemption or postponed surgery. These cases will be discussed individually. 
  • For Dogs: Heartworm screening test or Heartworm combo (4DX which includes Lyme, Anaplasma and Ehrlichia) as indicated by age or situation. 
  • All dogs in the rescue are on Heartworm prevention, usually given on the first of the month.
  • Puppies will not be tested for HW disease. Dogs over 7 months will be tested for HW and the HW status will be disclosed at the time of adoption. Puppies under 7 months do not need this test and will be considered negative for Heartworm disease. It is the responsibility of the adopter to provide Heartworm prevention every month to avoid future infection.
  • For Cats: FIV/FeLV screening test 
  • De-worming (which may include pyrantel, ponazoril, panacur, praziquantel, as needed)
  • All pets will been dewormed for general parasites (with Pyrantel and/or Panacur), however it is necessary to keep up with deworming, since even a walk around the block can cause your new pet to catch a parasite. It is the new owners responsibility to provide follow up dewormer treatment. 
  • Tape worms, specifically, are one of the most common randomly occurring intestinal parasite noted by adopters. These tape worm fragments look like grains of rice that move. This type of parasite is not automatically treated in all rescue pets, is not commonly observable in a fecal exam, is not contagious through fecal contact, and occurs only when the pet consumes a flea carrying the larvae of the tape worm. Only praziquantel will rid the pet of this parasite. If we observe these parasites when the pet is in foster home, they will be treated. If the parasite is observed after adoption, the treatment dewormer is available over the counter. We have provided a link here. Please use as directed, and this link should not be considered a brand endorsement. This information is strictly for educational purposes. 
  • Microchip 
  • Microchip registration will be processed upon confirmed adoption
  • Microchip registration includes optional 30 days optional Free Pet Insurance. Adopters will receive the information to register for the optional offer. This offer is run directly through the microchip company. All adoptions are processed with this option, and adopters will only be contact through email by the company. If the adopter does not receive this information, we can provide the information to them. 
  • The microchips are registered to the rescue. The microchip information will always remain linked to the rescue in addition to having the adopter information added to the rescue database to reflect current ownership. No further action is needed on the part of the adopter to register the microchip as this information is updated in the national chip database registered with the rescue.
  • All pets have been provided prevention for ticks and fleas, however due to transport and exposure to other pets at adoption events, it is possible that a few fleas or ticks may be present upon adoption. External parasite infestations should not be present. It is the adopters responsibility to follow up with preventive flea and tick medication.
  • DO NOT use off brand flea and tick prevention. These pesticides have been documented to cause illness and death in high numbers of pets. 
  • These basic medical services cost, an average at private vets, $300 at minimum. We only ask for the small donation to help offset our veterinary expenses. 
To understand more about how our rescue funding helps save pets, please visit our About Us page. 
Specialized Individual Medical Rehabilitation
Some pets require extensive additional medical treatments, and these medical histories will be fully disclosed with potential adopters. 
Any additional medical information regarding services which the pet has received while in the custody of the rescue is provided upon adoption.
It is the responsibility of the adopter to keep this information in their pet’s medical file for future reference. 
Follow up medical requirements will be discussed prior to adoption. Follow up medical care is the responsibility of the adopter. 
We seek out cutting edge treatments, research and specialists for each and every one of our pets. We welcome questions and information pertaining to any and all of the conditions we handle at the rescue. We have been on the forefront of developing rescue treatments and/or rehabilitation for Parvo, Distemper, Ehrlichia, and many blunt forse trauma conditions. We share our case information with veterinary research universities, and we look forward to continued efforts to push the boundaries of diseases and conditions that are considered "treatable". For an article on Upper Respiratory Diagnosis in Shelters by our Founder and Director Jacquelyn Johnston, please see page 12 here
A case to consider is Patches, details here
Non-Negotiable Policies regarding our rescue pets:
Adoption Fees
  • Adult Dogs: $150
  • Puppies: $200
  • Cats/Kittens: $75
Things to consider regarding our adoption fees: 
  • The fee amount barely offset the cost of providing the basic veterinary care our rescue pets require to become eligible for adoption. 
  • Most of our rescue pets require additional medical treatment, that can often run in to the thousands of dollars. These expenses are off set, to our best ability, but public donations. We do not pass along these expenses to adopters. 
  • We do require adopters to become familiar with the medical services that have been provided, and agree to take on any and all follow up medical care that may be required after adoption. All of this information will be expressly discussed prior to the completion of the adoption. 
  • We believe that all pets are equally valuable and deserve to be cherished equally. Therefore, we do not ask for increased adoption fees for "pure bred" dogs or cats. We hope that this philosophy inspires others to join us in our feeling that all souls are created equal, regardless of 'breeding'. 
  • The donation fee for adult dogs is slightly less than the adoption fee for puppies only because we want to provide an incentive for potential adopters to give older dogs a chance. All too often we hear erroneous tropes about "old dogs and new tricks" or concerns that an adult or senior dog won't love or bond the same as a puppy. Nothing could be further from the truth, and we encourage everyone to consider fostering a senior pet if they don't believe us! 
  • Sometimes we will offer "two-for-one" adoptions fees to encourage adoption of bonded pets together to the same home. 
Prohibited Alterations to Adopted Pets
Elective amputation, aesthetic, or "docking", "cropping" or "declawing" surgeries are strictly prohibited for the life of all pets adopted from No Paw Left Behind. 
For more information about why we prohibit elective amputations surgeries, please refer to the following external sources: 
Indoor Pets Only 
Pets adopted from this rescue must only be adopted to be kept as indoor pets. 
We do not allow adoptions for the purposes of keeping pets outside, caged, or tethered. 
This is not to mean that we do not agree with crate training and the use of crates inside homes. Many of our rescues feel comfortable in crates in homes, and the continued use of crates to keep them safe and comfortable is often advised. 
Leashes, Collars and Harnesses 
Walking a pet off leash can be a very rewarding experience both for the dog and adopter; however, the dog must be trained to safely enjoy such an experience. Please be cautious and realistic when exploring new activities with your pet. 
Walking with a regular leash if often the safest and more rewarding way to explore the world outside of the home. 
We strongly advise against the use of extendable leashes for dogs. These leashes can and often do cause severe injuries to both pet and owner. 
For medium and large breed dogs we suggest the use of "Martingale" style collars. These collars can be purchased at more chain pet stores; additionally, custom made martingale collars are readily available on eBay, feel free to email us for more info. 
For strong pullers, we suggest using gentle leaders and easy walk harnesses. We ask adopters NOT use pinch, prong, nor choke collars for any of our adopted pets. 
For small breed dogs, we suggest using harnesses. There are many versions and brands of harnesses available. If you would like advise on finding the best option for your adopted pet, please let us know
While there may be extreme situations that require the use of muzzles to prevent injury to pets and humans, we do not advise the use of muzzles for any of our pets. If the adopter is considering the use of a muzzle for any situation, we ask that the adopter communicate with the rescue to discuss the situation. 
We have had adopted pets severely injured and abused due to inappropriate use of muzzles. We do not make this request lightly. 
In honor of Zuce, who was horrifically failed by inappropriate muzzle use, please remember this policy and avoid future tragedy. 
Life-Long Commitment
Adopting a pet is a life-long commitment. The adopter should carefully consider the myriad possibilities 
  • Cats often live 15-20 or more years
  • Large dogs can live 15 or more years
  • Small dogs often life 20 or more years 
  • We need our adopters to think about what this long term commitment means to them and their life plans. Remember, if the adopter cannot fulfill this long term commitment, this rescue's volunteers will be step in and take over that responsibility, causing stress to the pet and the volunteers. 
  • Any pet can develop health conditions, and may require specialized care to provide quality of life
  • Some breeds are more prone than others for certain conditions, but not pet is immune from potential future medical needs. 
  • Paralysis is often a resolvable condition, but the cost cast go in to the thousands of dollars and requires immediate attention by a board certified neurologist. 
  • The average expense for a normal annual vet exam with vaccines and prevention medicines is $600-$1000
  • The average expense of a dog that requires emergency care for Bufo Toad poisoning (which is fairly common in Florida, unfortunately) is $500-$2000. 
  • Other emergencies case cost up to or exceed $10,000. 
  • Veterinary care is not cheap. This is why we automatically offer a Pet Insurance option, and we strongly suggest looking in to Care Credit as an emergency vet care funding option. 
  • All post-adoption medical care is the sole responsibility of the adopter. Not matter what happens or what they need, the Adopter is responsible. If the provision of care is impossible, the rescue must be notified immediately so the pet can be returned to the rescue for care. 
Pet Returns
If an adopter can no longer care for the adopted pet, the pet must be returned to No Paw Left Behind. Adopters may not re-home the pet. If the adopter knows of a home who would like to adopt the pet, the new home must go through the same adoption process with this rescue. 
Adopted pets must NOT be surrendered to shelters, other rescues, nor otherwise have ownership transfer attempted. Every microchip for our rescue pets carries with it the history of being in our custody, so we will be immediately notified if our pet is surrendered to another shelter or rescue. We will retrieve our pets from this shelter or rescue, and the adopter who broke this policy will be placed on a "Do Not Adopt" list within this organization. 
The rescue must be notified and given 72 hours to make accommodations for the return of the pet. We do our best to find a foster home in our network willing and able to accommodate the need of the returned pet. In cases of emergency returns, we ask the adopter to help us expedite the return by transporting the pet to our boarding partner facility in Broward County, after we have coordinated that they have an open space. 
Please remember, our belief is that an adopted pet is for life. Some life events are unavoidable, and we are going to be here to assist during those situations. 
However, we ask that adopters strongly consider making  plans for potential future adverse events. Unfortunately, every returned pet contributes to high euthanasia rates nationwide since every rescue spot taken up by a returned pet takes away an opportunity for a shelter pet to be rescued from a high kill shelter.
Rescue Pets v Shelter Pets
Unlike pets coming from a shelter, our pets have been in highly trained foster homes who have decades of experience in assessing medical and behavioral conditions. We understand that our adoption fees are higher than shelter adoption fees. A rescue pet who has been in a foster home is fundamentally different than a shelter pet, and we urge potential adopters to consider this when deciding if adopting from a rescue or a shelter is the best fit. A shelter pet has basic medical services, but is exposed to hundreds of other pets, usually does not undergo a quarantine period, and has no assessment of behavior living in a home environment. 
Many of our pets come from high volume shelters. 
3 weeks. follow up care... etc 
Most infectious diseases have up to 14 day incubation periods, so it takes at least that many days for such a disease to present itself and become known. 
Why We Suggest Foster-to-Adopt Trials:
Decompression Time
cats take weeks
dogs can also take weeks
Advice on Adding a Pet to Your Family 
the honeymoon period
have them adapt to your schedule 
But WHY does it have to be so complicated???
We are really happy your asked! 
Unless you have spent time on the rescue and shelter side of the pet world, we understand it is difficult to understand why these adoption policies are so important to us. 
Please consider the following stories:
  • Cats returned because they no longer match the couch (new couch)
  • A puppy was adopted, then seven years later dumped at a kill shelter in Virginia... and we had to pay a transporter to go get him 
  • Seeing dogs be given to anyone, then be returned to shelter in horrible condition
  • Senior pets turned in so they can make room for holiday puppies and kittens
  • Dharma case
  • we have seen pets go in to seizures and die due to off brand flea tick pesticides
  • why do we ask who will care for the pet in event of divorce or death? beacuse we have been there... 
  • why do we ask about hurricane prep? because we have lived through it
Our volunteers pour their blood sweat and tears in to the rescue and rehabilitation 
Revisions in process below. Thank you for your patience

We are serious about rescue, but we do our best to stay light hearted! Please do the same while getting to know us and understanding our policies. Consider this example we found online!

More info coming soon
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All of our pets come with a microchip and a free 30 day trial of pet insurance through 24PetWatch. 

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