The following steps are crucial to setting the stage for a happy ever after for both you and your new dog.


We ask that you read this document so we can ensure that Underdog Animal Rescue has conveyed and each new adopter understands the commitment required when adopting a rescued dog.


  • I understand that patience is crucial. I understand the my new dog does not know where he is, who I am, whether he will be fed, be let out to relieve himself or even be safe. I will give him plenty of time to acclimate and learn. I will not rush him into interacting with me, family members, neighbors, friends or other dogs and cats.

  • I understand it will take my new rescued dog an average of 7 days to simply decompress and begin to relax.

  • I understand it will take my new dog an average of 4-6 weeks to start to learn my routine. I will need to teach him your routine – I cannot assume he knows it. The best way for him to learn is through repetition and consistency: feed him, let him out or take him for walks at the same time each day, praising him when he does what you ask. 

  •  I understand that even if my new dog is child-friendly, I will introduce the new dog to immediate family children . I will never force the interaction or allow the dog to be cornered to or have too much stimulation and feel overwhelmed. I understand my home and environment is all new to the dog. Just as the dog needs to be taught to be respectful with children, children need to be taught to be gentle and respectful of the dog. 

  • I will take the time to introduce my new dog to family dogs . I will keep the rescued dog separate from existing dogs in the home for at least a week (if not two – see the article on slow introductions provided) so he can decompress and begin to form a bond with me. I will then introduce slowly. I understand that a slow transition into his new pack will reduce chance of incident. I understand that even if my new rescued dog seems fine with other dogs right away that I will need to continue monitoring interactions just in case and not leave the dogs alone together for the first several weeks.

  • I understand that if my new dog is cat friendly, I will let him decompress for at least a week by himself then slowly...oh so slowly integrate the animals together. I will never force the introduction and always allow the cat a way to escape from the interaction with the dog. 

  • I understand that while my dog may have been housebroken in the foster home, this may not be the case in a new home. I will be patient and teach the dog where to eliminate. I understand he can’t be expected to know where to go and what to do in a new environment unless he is taught and he learns by repetition, consistency and praise when he goes in the right place. 

  • If the dog is too young, I will have the animal fixed when they are of age and send a copy of their spay/neuter certificate to Underdog.

  • I will get in touch with the Underdog Animal Rescue immediately if I can no longer take care of the dog.

  • I will not surrender the dog to the shelter, sell, re-home, or give away at any point in time.

  • I will return the dog back to the rescue at any point in time if I can no longer keep my companion without requesting a fee.

  •  I understand the adoption fee is non-refundable after the two-week trial period.

  •  I accept full responsibility of the safety and medical care of this dog and the safety of any other people and existing pets involved from this date forward.



Remember that you made the decision care for this dog and make him a member of your family. We cannot stress how important patience is during the first few months with a rescued dog.


The beauty of a rescued dog is watching his personality emerge as he trusts, gains confidence and feels safe.


If you need assistance during the acclimation period or with introductions to children, dogs and cats, or if certain behavior issues have surfaced at any time, seek a professional to help you. Let us know. Underdog Animal Rescue can recommend behavior consultants and trainers in your area, and many will offer a rescue discount for their services.