Dog Adoption Process
Note: We ONLY adopt to residents of the Washington metropolitan area, which includes Washington, D.C., and parts of Northern Virginia and Maryland.
NEW: Dog adoptions are taking place during the COVID pandemic. Changes to our regular process include:
- Weekend dog adoption fairs have been cancelled until further notice;
- In-person home visits will not be performed. In some cases, a video home visit may be done;
- Applications are processed and approved via email and/or telephone upfront;
- An appointment will be made with the approved applicants to meet and pick up a dog for trial placement;
- During the meet-and-greet appointment, social distancing will be maintained;
- We will finalize adoption contracts by mail after the trial period.
Steps to Adopting a Dog from SPCA NOVA
1. Get Started
- Explore the photos and descriptions of our available dogs.
- Read our adoption policies (fee information included).
- Submit our Dog Meet Your Match Form.
- Email email@example.com to:
- Ask additional questions about our adoption process
- Verify a dog’s availability
- Get suggestions on the best match for your home
2. Assess Compatibility
- We assess compatibility via our Dog Meet Your Match Form, and through email exchanges and/or phone calls with an adoption counselor.
3. Meet Our Dogs
- We hold twice monthly Dog Adoption Fairs at Weber’s Pet Supply in Fairfax, VA.
- Note: When you meet our dogs at adoption fairs, bring all your family members (including dogs!) so we can see how everyone interacts with the potential new member of the family.
4. Submit an Application
- We don’t post our Dog Adoption Application on our website.
- We will provide you with the application only after:
- we have discussed our adoption policies with you;
- you have met the dog(s)/puppy(s) you are interested in; and
- we both agree the adoption is a good potential match.
5. Conduct a Home Check
- We conduct an in-home check and interview to ensure that you can provide a safe, loving environment.
- All members of the household need to be present.
- Care and behavioral training principles will be discussed.
6. Provide a Pre-adoption Trial
- We provide a two-week trial placement of the dog in your home, designed to ensure compatibility.
- A two-week trial placement contract is signed by you and SPCA NOVA. The contract can be terminated by either party during this period.
7. Finalize the Adoption
- After the trial period, a final adoption contract is signed by you and SPCA NOVA.
- We also provide you with a copy of the dog’s medical records at this time.