How to Adopt a PAWS Dog

Adoption Process

To help match you with your perfect dog and to ensure that PAWS dogs find "forever homes," we have an application process for all adoptions. Please allow several days for our Adoption Counselors to process your application.

1. Submit Your Application

Start by completing our online application for adoption. Applications can be submitted for a specific adult dog or specific puppy or may be made "non-specific" for a puppy. Applications may also be completed in-person during our open hours

Below are our current requirements for potential adopters

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Able to show valid government-issued photo identification 
  • Not currently an undergraduate student
  • Willing to provide an indoor-only home

If interested in a puppy, please apply and designate Puppy on your application. You can also review the puppy FAQs to learn more about our puppy process. We do get puppies regularly, but they are not typically posted on our website. We contact our approved puppy adopters when we have puppies available to meet, so please complete an application if you are interested in adopting a puppy.

With the exception of returning adult undergraduates, we do not process adoptions for undergraduate students. Undergraduates are welcome and encouraged to work as dog care volunteers and/or apply to foster.

2. Application Review

An Adoption Counselor will talk with you about your residence, other people living in the household, lifestyle, and other pets you may own to ensure the best match is made for everyone. An Adoption Counselor will also follow up with your veterinarian if you have current or recent pets, you landlord if you rent, and personal references as needed. Please allow several days for our Adoption Counselors to complete that process. 

3. Meetings and Adoption

When the application review is complete, an Adoption Counselor will contact you. 

If you have already gotten to know the dog or puppy you've applied for, they are still available, and we think that dog is the right match for you, your Adoption Counselor will schedule your adoption.  

If you have not yet met the dog or puppy you're interested in, an Adoption Counselor will schedule a time to introduce you. If your meeting goes well and we think that the dog is the right match for you, we may schedule an adoption. If it's not quite the right match, or we need some more time for you to get to know each other, we'll keep working together.  

If the dog you applied for is no longer available at the time your application is approved or is not the right fit for your family or if you applied for a non-specific puppy, your application will remain approved and held for 90 days and can be renewed for up to 1 year.

Please note - some of our dogs may require multiple meetings before adoption. We want to make sure you're comfortable and they're comfortable before heading home. Additionally, if you have another dog or dogs at home, we will work with you to schedule an introduction with your current dog(s).

Adoption Fees

Age of Dog Adoption Fee
Adult Dogs (1 year of age and older) $115 - 200
Adolescents (6 months - 1 year of age) $200 - 300
Puppies (up to 6 months of age) $250 - 400

Centre County PAWS provides valuable care and treatment for dogs and cats in need. In 2020, we found homes for over 900 animals. Some of those animals were in need of an extraordinary amount of medical intervention. Our veterinary community works tirelessly with PAWS to provide a high quality of life for the dogs and cats in our care. Our adoption fees cover only a portion of PAWS' average cost per dog. Thanks to the dedication of our volunteers and support from our community, we find homes for hundreds of animals each year. No animal has a time limit - adoptable animals stay with PAWS until they find new homes.

Variable dog adoption pricing allows us to provide top quality care for our animals. Having a higher adoption fee for some dogs or puppies who will find their forever home quickly enables us to care for animals in need of lifesaving medical and behavioral intervention. Our variable pricing helps us to provide excellent care for dogs who reside in our shelter for a longer stay.

What PAWS Provides Before Adoption

  • Spay/neuter of the dog/puppy (info on pediatric spay/neuter - all PAWS dogs will be spayed/neutered prior to adoption)
  • Distemper and Bordetella vaccination
  • Rabies vaccination (for appropriate aged dogs)
  • Initial Deworming
  • Heartworm & Lyme Disease Testing (for appropriate aged dogs)
  • A free first vet visit in Centre County
  • HomeAgain Microchip Implant*
    • Includes 24/7 Emergency Medical Hotline Care, Found Pet Travel Assistance, and Lost Pet Posters

In advance of your adoption, please check out our Canine Fundamentals Booklet.