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 family for review.

Step 2: Foster Approval & Meet and Greet

Your chosen animal’s foster family will review your application and, if they feel the animal you are interested in may be a good fit, they will work with you to answer your questions 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.

Step 3: Home Visit & Veterinary Checks

If both parties (the foster family and adoptive family) decide to move forward with an adoption after a meet and greet, a visit of your home may be conducted virtually or in-person by either the foster family or one of our designated volunteers. This visit is set up to ensure the safety of our foster animals.

At the same time, a veterinary check will be done (if applicable) to ensure your current pets are up-to-date on vaccines, spayed/neutered, and have been tested for any transmittable illnesses, such as FeLV/FIV. This process will be expedited if you contact your family veterinarian and give consent to release records to Ruff Start Rescue for any of your pets.

Step 4: Adoption Contract & Payment

Once home visits and veterinary checks are approved and cleared, one of our Applications team members 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 (rabies and distemper) vaccinations, microchip implant, de-worming, flea/tick preventative, and preventative bloodwork (a heartworm test for dogs and puppies over nine months of age, and a FeLV/FIV test for cats and kittens). The specific adoption fee for each animal can be found on their individual webpage. Adoption fees are non-negotiable.

Step 5: Congratulations!

You will receive an adoption confirmation email when all applicable documentation is signed and completed. At this time, the foster family caring for your new family member will reach out to coordinate a pickup/drop-off time to bring your newly adopted pet home!

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.

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