Sample SOS Adoption Paperwork

We know, paperwork is a pain, but this paperwork helps us keep track of our dogs’ needs and set appropriate expectations.

Below are examples of some of the paperwork we use in our rescue program to give you an idea of common terms and situations.

Just prior to adoption, the paperwork relevant to the dog you will be adopting will be prepared especially for your dog and adoption. Please read all of this customized paperwork carefully PRIOR to committing to an adoption and paying an adoption donation.

Your Adoption Counselor is available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about this paperwork.

Click on the icons below to see examples.

Adoption Contract

This is an example of our standard adoption contract. Everything in here is important and non-negotiable, and this document is legally binding once you sign it, so please read this carefully if you are considering adopting a dog from SOS.  

Adoption Kit

This Adoption Kit is provided to all of our adopters (via email and also in print for in-person adoptions). The Kit has a lot of useful information for you and your new family member, including how to register the dog’s microchip, how to activate the free pet insurance, recommended products and support services, and the First Vet Visit Checklist. Be sure to read through this entire document – maybe several times! There is a ton of important information in here!

New Sibling Contract

This is a fun “contract” for the children in the family to sign to help reaffirm the seriousness of the commitment of adoption and define some responsibilities for your kids for your new family member. While this is a fun way to get everyone involved, ensuring that the needs of a companion animal are met on a daily basis should always be the responsibility of a mature adult.

ADDENDUM – Spay/Neuter

In nearly all cases, dogs adopted through SOS will be spayed/neutered prior to adoption. There are some cases where you may adopt an unaltered dog from us; in these cases, we ask you to sign this addendum to your adoption contract which says that you will spay/neuter by a certain date. SOS has several surgery options for our adopters to choose from; SOS will cover all or some of the surgery expense, depending upon the option you select.

ADDENDUM – Emotional Support Animal

To some degree or another, every companion pet is an emotional support animal. Companion pets can bring much joy and calm to our lives…but they also have their own needs, which can be a big responsibility and may not always make for a good match humans looking for specific emotional support. SOSARL’s primary objective with our adoptions program is to find stable, permanent homes where our dogs can thrive. You can see more about our policy statement on emotional support animals here:

ADDENDUM – Kids & Canines

EVERY experience a puppy has over it’s first 12-18 months of life will help shape who he will be as an adult. It is impossible to predict what a puppy’s complete personality will be when he grows up. This is why more than half of all dogs bred for service dog lives do not pass after months and thousands of dollars of training. Adopting a puppy is a lot like rolling a dice, but YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. By adopting a puppy, you are committing to the hefty responsibility of providing the right guidance, effort and situations necessary for the puppy to thrive and mature into a well-adapted canine citizen.

ADDENDUM – Training

Just like us, each dog has their own needs – some more than others – and if those needs are not met, there is usually trouble in paradise. We try to get to know our dogs as well as possible prior to adoption so that we can place them in the right situation for success but different dogs respond differently in different situations. When we add a training or behavioral addendum to an adoption, we are sharing additional insight on a specific dog or situation with the goal being to set everyone up for success with appropriate expectations and guidance. We, of course, are only human and can’t know everything or predict the future, but over many years of working with thousands of dogs and homes, we have valuable insight to share. We appreciate your respect for our experience, and our desire to set everyone up for success. While we do have lots of advice to share about common general situations, dogs with known behavioral or medical needs have a more customized addendum that provides guidance and requirements specific to their needs. Attached here is a copy of our standard training addendum.


COVID19 has made us adjust the way we do many things and presented new challenges. Due to backlogs and new protocols, many vets are booking new pet appointments 4-10 weeks out. The dog you are adopting has vetting needs that must be addressed in a timely manner or s/he will be at risk for developing further medical issues. This document helps explain this situation further and offers some options.

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