C.A.R.E.S. Adoptions FAQ

1)    Q:  What kinds of animals does C.A.R.E.S. adopt out?
        A:   We have dogs and cats available for adoption.

2)   Q:  Do I need to be a Burien resident to adopt an animal from C.A.R.E.S.?
        A:   No, Burien residency is not a requirement to adopt from us, but we will only adopt to adults 18 years of age or older, with valid government-issued photo ID.

3)   Q:  What are your adoption fees, and what all is included?
        A:   Our adoption fees include the dog or cat, their spay/neuter surgery, up-to-date vaccinations, and usually flea treatment and de-worming.  It may also include an implanted microchip, which will be automatically registered to your name and address at the time of adoption.
At the time of adoption, you will receive copies of all relevant medical records for your new pet, including their rabies tag, vaccination proofs, spay/neuter certificate, and microchip registration (if applicable).
Our regular adoption fees are as follows:
                   Age                Cats                    Dogs*                         
              <1 year            $100                   $150
             1-3 years          $75                     $150
              3 years+          $50                    $150

*microchipped dogs are $160

Additionally, if the cat or dog will reside in Burien, you will need to purchase a city pet license at the time of adoption.  See our Licensing page for info.

4)   Q:  What is the adoption process like?  
        A:  We try to keep the adoption process as simple and straightforward as possible.  We'll bring out the doggie or kitty you're interested in, and staff will answer any questions you have.  We have two indoor meet-and-greet rooms to get to know the dogs, and a playroom to meet the cats hands-on.  If you're looking at a dog, you're welcome to take him on a walk, or to our outdoor play area.  We may also encourage you to try the animal for a 72-hour foster before committing to the full adoption (see question #5 below).

If you decide to adopt, there is a one-page paper application to complete and you will need to have a valid government-issued ID (if your current address is different than the one on your ID, please bring proof of current address).   The staff will you ask some questions to make sure that particular dog or cat will be a good fit.  If you are a renter, we will need some form of proof that your landlord has given you permission to have the pet.  There is then an adoption fee to be paid, which can be done via cash, check, or charge (Visa & MC).  Additionally, if you are a Burien resident, you will need to purchase a Burien city pet license at the time of adoption ($20).

Generally, our animals are available on a first-come basis.  However, for special-needs animals, or animals that have a high amount of interest from potential adopters, applications are usually collected from all interested parties and vetted by staff to find the best-match "forever home" that seems to most meet the specific needs of that animal.  The only way to reserve a specific animal, or have it held for you, is with a $50 non-refundable deposit (If you place a hold on an animal and later do adopt it, the deposit will be credited toward the adoption fee; if you later choose not to adopt, the deposit will not be refunded). 

5)   Q:  Can I foster the animal first, before I adopt?
        A:   If there is a concern that the dog or cat will not work out in your home (e.g., whether they'll get along with existing pets), we may encourage you to foster the animal for a night or two, to see how it works out.  While we want to adopt all our animals to new homes as quickly as possible, we also want to ensure that those new homes will be true "forever homes," and that you and your new pet are truly a good match.  Fostering the animal allows you enough time to determine if it is a good match, before you commit to the full adoption.  Fostering is at the discretion of C.A.R.E.S. staff, and some animals may not be available for fostering.

Additionally, C.A.R.E.S. is always looking to expand our network of regular foster families--don't want to adopt, but would like to help care for a shelter doggie or kitty at your home while they wait to get adopted?  Interested in bottle-feeding kittens, having a furry sleepover companion, or helping care for senior/special-needs animals?  Contact us about joining our foster network!  We'll add you to our network, and get ahold of you when we have an animal to foster that meets your criteria.

6)   Q:  Where does C.A.R.E.S. get their adoptable animals?
        A:   Most of our shelter's available dogs come from the Animal Control side of C.A.R.E.S--unclaimed strays and abandoned animals found in Burien.  Some dogs are surrendered by their owners directly to the shelter.  Most of our cats are either owner-surrenders, were unweaned strays, or came in sick/injured and have been nursed back to health.  We never transfer in animals from other states or jurisdictions for our shelter to adopt out.  All of our animals are behavior-tested, examined multiple times by a vet, vaccinated, and spayed/neutered before becoming available for adoption.

7)   Q:  How often does C.A.R.E.S. get new dogs/cats for adoption?
       A:   Because most of our animals come in via Animal Control as strays and abandons, we do not have a steady "source" of animals, so it can be difficult to predict what animals may be available more than a week or two from now.  You're welcome to stop in, call, or check this webpage or our Facebook anytime, to see what dogs and cats we have available.  We also advertise our adoptable animals on our Facebook page and Craigslist

8)   Q:  I've never had a pet before, but I want to adopt one.  What is your advice?
        A:   If you are considering adoption from C.A.R.E.S. or any other shelter, make sure you've saved money, planned ahead, done research, and are being realistic about the needs of your new furry family member and your new long-term responsibilities as his caregiver companion. 

Adopting a dog or cat (or both!) is a great joy and rewarding experience, but keep in mind that it is also a commitment to provide food, water, shelter, exercise, entertainment, and health care (and that's just the basics) for that doggie or kitty for the rest of its life (and depending on the particular animal, that could be a 20-year commitment!). 

The internet is a great resource for first-time and prospective pet owners to learn the basics of caring for your new doggie or kitty, and how to best prepare yourself for the fun and work of the experience.  Google things like, "advice for new dog owners," "tips for bringing a new cat home," etc.  Make sure you research the specific breed of pet you are adopting--breed can affect everything from physical/behavioral tendencies to potential medical issues to individual temperament.

C.A.R.E.S. staff will be more than happy to answer any questions you have about getting your new furry friend settled in comfortably, but we encourage you to do plenty of planning and research ahead of time and make sure you're mentally and financially prepared for your new responsibilities. 
       To get you started, here are a handful of good resources for new and prospective dog/cat adopters:
1.)  Bringing Your New Dog Home - "A guide to help adopters start off on the right paw"
2.)  Tips for the first 30 Days of Dog Adoption - "The first few days in your home are special and critical for a pet"
3.)  Be a Responsible Dog Owner - "Owning a dog is not just a privilege - it's a responsibility"
4.)  Adopting a Shelter Dog - "Shelters have lovable dogs and cats of all shapes, sizes and ages"
5.)  I'm Adopting a Cat. Now What? - "Be prepared should be your mantra when bringing a new pet into your home"
6.)  5 Tips for Adopting Shelter Animals - "If you’re thinking of adopting an animal...here are some tips"
7.)  Ten Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Cat - "Need a reason to adopt a shelter cat? Here are 10 great ones"
9.)  Ten Mistakes New Pet Owners Make - "Steer clear of some of the most common mistakes new pet owners make"