How To Adopt

Adding a pet to your family involves a commitment of time, affection and money. Our adoption policies help ensure that you and your new family member will enjoy wonderful companionship for a lifetime.

Step One

Submit an adoption application. To avoid delays, please provide complete information and notify veterinary offices, landlords and property managers that we will contact them regarding your application. Your existing pets must be up to date on vaccinations and spayed/neutered, if of age. Dogs must be on heartworm preventative. Submission of an application is not a guarantee of adoption.

Step Two

Once an application is submitted, you will receive an acknowledgment within 1-2 days by email that your application is being reviewed. You can also check the status by sending an email to Full reviews usually take 3-4 days.

Step Three

After we contact your vet, a Smithgall coordinator will reach out to you to perform a home evaluation. Depending on distance and personnel availability, this will be in person or virtually.

Step Four

We will notify you of the outcome of your application. If approved, we will schedule a time for you to come to the shelter, meet your desired pet, sign the adoption agreement, and bring your new family member home. Our coordinator will also answer all your questions about your new pet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Spaying/Neutering Required?
Yes, all “of age” animals are spayed or neutered. Adopters of puppies must send proof of spaying/neutering to Smithgall within a designated time frame after adoption. Kittens are spayed or neutered before being adopted, except in rare and special needs cases to be discussed with adopter.

What Happens After the Adoption?
Smithgall conducts post-adoption welfare visits and/or welfare check phone calls during the first year after adoption to ensure that your pet is being cared for in accordance with the terms of adoption. All adopted animals must receive annual vaccinations and basic veterinary care from a licensed veterinarian.

What if I live outside Georgia?
We adopt to residents of any state outside of Georgia with the same considerations and requirement which pertain to those applying locally. We do not arrange for any form of shipping nor ground transport. Approved adopters must come to the shelter to meet the caretakers of their new family member and to transport home. If there are other dogs in the homes, we require onsite shelter meet and greets. Arrangements/issues can be discussed with our dog coordinator.

What if I change my mind?
If you meet your new pet during the on-site meet and greet and it’s not a fit, you are under no obligation to continue with the adoption. Our coordinator will also work with you to find a perfect match. Once adopted, any animal adopted from our shelter must be returned to us if the adoption is not a good fit, or if circumstances change at any point in time after the adoption.

How much does it cost?
The cost varies by animal. A staff person will inform you of the cost during initial screening.

What if I don’t own my home?
You will need to provide the name and phone number of the owner, landlord or property manager so that we can call them to determine their pet policies and permissions. If you are an adult child living at home, your parents must provide verbal consent. All applicants must be at least 18 years old.

What if I don’t have a fenced yard?
Secure fenced yards are preferred for canine adoptions. Exceptions are made according to the ability of the adopter to keep the dog safe and adequately exercised when outside. Each situation will be considered based upon the dog being adopted and the area in which the home is located.

What medical care do dogs receive prior to adoption?
Vaccinations (rabies, DHLPP, Bordatella)
Spay or neuter
Heartworm test
Heartworm treatment (if necessary)
Heartworm and flea preventative
Treatment for illness and injury

What medical care do cats receive prior to adoption?
Vaccinations (rabies, FVRCP)
Spay or neuter
FIV/FeLV test
Treatment for illness and injury

What medical care do puppies and kittens receive prior to adoption?
Puppies and kittens receive age-appropriate vaccines, flea/tick treatment, deworming and all the above services if they come of age while in our care. For puppies too young to be spayed/neutered, we require a $100 deposit. This deposit will be refunded once proof of spay/neuter is provided. Your vet will guide the most appropriate time for your puppy to be fixed.