Adoption FAQs

If you’re thinking about adopting a pet, you have many questions on your mind. The staff at the Animal Rescue League of Boston is dedicated to finding the perfect match for you and your family and answering any questions you may have. Here are a few frequently asked questions.


Q. What is the adoption process like at the Animal Rescue League of Boston?

A.  Our priority is to help you find the pet that matches your lifestyle. All you have do is just come in, take a look at the animals, and if you’re interested in meeting one then we will set you up in a visiting room with him or her.

If you’re a first-time pet owner, you’ll be briefed in just about everything there is to know about owning that type of animal. If the animal has already been spayed or neutered, it can go home the same day. However, if it has not been spayed or neutered, we will set up a time for surgery and schedule a time for you to pick it up. It is important to us that this to be successful process and pleasant experience for you and your new pet. Please check out our adoption hours at our three shelters at

Q. Will I find out everything about the animal I am interested in ahead of time?

A. The Animal Rescue League of Boston has an extensive and thorough evaluation process for all of our animals.  Each animal is evaluated medically and behaviorally.  Everything we know about the animal’s health status and behavior will be disclosed to the adopter.  Our goal is to make the adoption process a successful one.

Q. What are the requirements to adopt an animal at the Animal Rescue League of Boston?

A. Fill out an adoption application for the animal you are interested in. Once you and our staff and/or volunteer make sure the animal is the right match for your lifestyle, we will finalize the adoption. We do require a valid form of identification, whether it is a passport, state ID, or driver’s license.  We also require that our adopters are 18 years of age or older.  If you are interested in adopting a dog and already own a dog, we recommend a dog to dog introduction.

Q. What is the cost of adopting an animal at the Animal Rescue League of Boston and what does the fee include?

A. The cost of adopting an animal depends on the species and the age – the younger the animal the more higher the fee (see adoption section of website for fees- ). The fee includes initial health and behavioral screening, some medical procedures that need to be completed before adoption (ie. dental extractions, spays, neuters, etc.), updated vaccinations a microchip, and a starter bag of cat food.

Q. What if it doesn’t work out with my new pet?

A. If the newly adopted pet doesn’t seem to be the right match for you and your home, it is okay.  While we work hard to ensure good matches and to disclose everything we know about the animal, sometimes it just isn’t the right match. We welcome back animals we have adopted out and will continue to work with you to find a successful match.  An adoption staff member or volunteer can discuss this with you in detail.

Q. Do you require fenced in yards to adopt a dog from the Animal Rescue League of Boston?

A. No, a fenced in yard is not a requirement to adopt a dog from us.  There are plenty of well cared for dogs that live in apartment building-type homes or single family homes that are not fenced in who are leashed walked daily and live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.  We expect that adopters will take into consideration the leash laws and other laws of their city or town.

Q. What else can you tell me about adopting an animal from the Animal Rescue League of Boston?

A. The Animal Rescue League of Boston is happy to have an open adoption philosophy where we work with our visitors to make the adoption process pleasant and successful.  If you feel you will be a good home to an animal and that the animal will be valued by you and your family, then we want you to adopt from us!

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