Ruff Start Rescue is a foster-based rescue, meaning no animals are available at the Princeton, MN office for public viewing or adoption. All animals in our care reside in foster homes with few special exceptions for our adoption center animals.

Interested in adopting from Ruff Start? Read on to learn about our standard adoption process. Please use this as a guide as you begin your journey to finding a new family member.

Please note: At this time, adoptions can only be conducted within the state of Minnesota and its bordering states. Please consider this before submitting an application.

Standard Adoption Process

Step 1: Adoption Application

After seeing an animal you are interested in, regardless of if you have questions or are unsure if the animal will be a good fit in your household, please begin our adoption process by filling out an adoption application. Your application simply shows that you are interested in an animal; it is not a binding contract.

A member of our Applications team will process your application and reply within 48 hours of submission. Be sure to check your spam folder within the 1-3 days after submission to ensure you do not miss an email from our team members. (Please note that it may take us more than 48 hours to process any applications submitted on the weekend.)

Once your application is processed by our Applications team, it will be sent to your chosen animal’s foster home for review.

Step 2: Foster Approval & Meet and Greet

Your chosen animal’s foster home will reach out to you to discuss the pet you are interested in to see if they might be a good fit for you, answer the questions you have, and if applicable, schedule a meet and greet. This meeting could take place at an adoption event, a neutral location, the foster’s home, or your home.

Keep in mind that the foster may be working with multiple applicants to find the best fit for their foster animal, and it is possible your application may not be chosen. This does not mean you are not approved to adopt an animal through our rescue. We would love to continue working with you to find you the right fit for your home!

Step 3: Adoption Contract & Payment

 If both parties (foster home and adoptive home) decide to move forward with the adoption, the applications team will send the electronic adoption contract to you to be signed. They will also request adoption fee payment at the time of signature.

Adoption fees cover the cost of a foster animal’s spay/neuter surgery, age-appropriate core vaccinations (rabies and distemper), microchip implant, deworming, flea/tick/mite prevention and preventative blood work (a heartworm test for dogs and puppies over six months of age, and a FeLV/FIV test for cats and kittens over six months of age). The specific adoption fee for each animal can be found on their individual webpage.

Step 4: Congratulations!

You will receive an adoption confirmation email when all applicable documentation is signed and completed. You are now ready to bring home your newly adopted pet!

Previous veterinary records will be sent to you via email after the adoption is processed on our back-end. This may take up to a week.

After adoption we’d love to remain a resource for you if you have questions or concerns you need help addressing with your new pet. Please reach out to us at if we can be of any assistance.

Ready to Adopt?

Your next family member is waiting! Please browse our available animals and complete an adoption application to get started.

Adoption Programs & Promotions

We are proud to offer multiple programs that make it easier for our foster animals to find their perfect forever families. Learn more about our current adoption promotions, including our popular Foster to Adopt program, by clicking the link below.

Ruff Start Rescue