Adoption Process

The Adoption Process at Five Acres Animal Shelter

We appreciate all of the customers that walk through our doors, and we ask anyone that is interested in adoption to go through our adoption process. This includes a fully completed application form with possible veterinary checks, landlord checks, meet and greets, cat tests, and a potential home visit.

Please be advised that completing an application does not guarantee adoption. There are some cases where the applicant could be turned down. We take up to two applications on the same cat or dog. We do not go by a “first-come-first-serve” policy. Our mission is to find what home would be the best fit for each cat or dog. Please bear this in mind when submitting your application.

We understand that each cat/dog and kitten/puppy has different wants, unique personalities, and individual needs; therefore, one application might offer a home that is a better fit for that specific cat/dog than another. We strive to find a home for each cat/dog that matches it’s disposition.

Some of our animals come to us with siblings or friends that have spent a significant amount of time together. If our staff feels that these animals will be better off staying together, they can only be adopted as a bonded pair. We also follow the recommendations of Cat Behaviorists and adopt our kittens in pairs if there is no other cat in the household. It is proven than a cat, in particular, is more likely to grow up and live a well socialized and healthier life if they have another feline companion. We always have our animals in our best interest.

Requirements for Filling Out an Application
  • You must be a least 18 years old to fill out an application for adoption.
  • There is no fee is submit an application.
  • Please have photo I.D. and allow us to make a copy.

If you would like to adopt from our shelter, we ask that you go through our application process. When choosing to submit an application, please have a specific animal picked out. If you are torn trying to choose between two animals, or possibly have a first and second choice of cat/dog, you may put in an application on up to two cats/dogs. Because we keep the individual cat/dog in mind while approving applications, we cannot accept general applications. All applications must be filled out on the property with a staff member. Filling out the application itself takes at least 10 minutes. You will hear back from our canine/feline coordinator with an answer on whether your application was approved or denied within 3-7 business days.

If you own other animals:

We do ask for your veterinary information and will call your vet. We require that your animals are up-to-date on their vaccinations as well as spayed/neutered. If there is a medical reason that your pet cannot have one or any of these done, we will take that into consideration; please let us know if that is the case. If you would like to bring up a copy of your pets’ records, you may do so.

When a cat/dog receives an application and it looks like the home would be a good fit for the cat/dog, we then have to make sure the animal will get along with any pets in the home. Depending on what kind of animals you already own, we will do the following:

If you own a cat:

If the dog would be living with a cat, we perform what we call a “cat test.” Dogs often react the same way with one cat as they would with all cats. That is why we do not require you to bring up your own cat(s), and instead our staff can use a cat that is already at Five Acres. A member of the Canine Staff will take that dog over to our feline building. We keep the dog on a leash and introduce them to a cat. We study the dog’s body language and behavior very carefully before deciding whether the dog could live harmoniously with a cat. Whether the dog passes or fails the cat test, we will call you with that information. Unfortunately, we cannot let a dog who fails their cat test go to a home with a cat. If a dog passes the cat test, the dog may go to that home. We still recommend the dog and cat(s) be supervised at all times until all the animals are comfortable with each other.

If you own a dog:

If your application is approved, we will give you a call to set up a “Meet and Greet.” This is for you to bring up your dog in order for both dogs to meet. Meet and Greets are normally performed outside so it can feel more like neutral territory. Both dogs should be on a leash at all times. Canine Staff members have studied dog body language and behavior carefully, so we understand when a dog feels anxious, threatened, or uncomfortable. These are all red flags that we need to take into account. This is the only chance that we have to make sure the dogs get along before they officially become part of your family. We want to make sure that not only the Five Acres dog would feel comfortable, but that yours would as well. Unfortunately, if the staff member feels that any one of the dogs would not adjust well, the Five Acres dog would not be able to go to that home. If all dogs involved seem to be able to be comfortable around each other, the dog will be able to go to that home. We still recommend that the dogs be supervised at all times until all the animals are comfortable with each other.

If you rent:
  • We do ask for your landlord’s name and phone number. It is our policy that we make sure we are meeting the possible breed and weight requirements that a landlord may have.
  • If you would like to bring up a copy of your rental agreement, you may do so.
If you live with your parents:
  • We consider parents to be landlords and will need their permission. We will ask for their name and phone number.
City Limits and Restrictions

Please bear in mind that we respect city limits and restrictions on pets. Many cities and counties have a limit to how many pets a household may have. There may also be breed restrictions as well. For example, St. Charles City only allows each household to own up to 2 dogs with up to 4 pets total. The city of Fenton, meanwhile, does not allow Pit Bulls. Please check the laws with your city to see how many pets you may own and if there are any breeds you are not allowed to have.

Adoption Fees

If your application is approved, you will be asked to fill out paperwork and pay the adoption fee when picking up your dog. We are a non-profit organization, which means the only money that we receive come from donations and adoption fees. We receive no money from the government. This allows us to be a No-Kill Shelter.

Canine Adopt Fees:

  • Puppies under 1 year of age – $200
  • Dogs under 25 pounds – $200
  • Dogs 26 pounds and over – $150
  • Senior Dogs* – $95
  • Shadow’s Friends** – $95

Feline Adoption Fees

  • Kittens under 1 year of age – $120
  • Adult Cats – $90
  • FIV+ Cats – $65
  • FeLV+ Cats – $35

*There is not a specific age that we classify animals as seniors. Some breeds age more quickly than others. The shorter the lifespan for that particular breed, the earlier the age we will classify them as a senior.
**Shadow’s Friends are animals with special needs. These are animals that will need either special care or special medication for the rest of their lives.

Fees are non-refundable. Fees help defray the cost of spay/neuter, vet care, food, etc. Our adoption fee includes spay/neuter, micro-chipping, deworming, and current age-appropriate vaccinations of the adopted pet. Post-adoption veterinary care is the financial responsibility of the new guardian. Dogs/cats can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to adjust to a new home. Please keep this in mind if you find yourself struggling through this period of transition.

If you need to return the animal for any reason, we ask that you give us a call first, so we can set up a time that the cat/dog can be dropped off. We try to take back cats/dogs that have been adopted from us, but it often depends on if we have room, medical issues and or behavior issues. We also require a $50 surrender fee.

Please keep in mind the amount of commitment a pet’s needs. Pets require much of your time, love, and attention. The costs of owning a pet include food, vaccinations, heartworm testing and preventative, licensing, possible boarding, and emergency veterinary care. It may also require the expense of a trainer. Please consider these requirements when adopting a pet, and be sure you are willing to commit to a new family member who will be with you for the next 10-20 years.

PLEASE NOTE: Five Acres Animal Shelter reserves the right to approve or deny any application according to our adoption policies, and we pledge our best efforts to find good homes for our companion animals.