Adopting from BARK
1. Determine what kind of pet is best for you
What kind of temperament are you looking for in a pet (active, laid-back, affectionate, etc.)? Do you have a lot of time for a puppy or are you looking for an adult dog who can blend into your routine? Do you have the resources to help a Special Needs orphaned pet? Do you live somewhere that has pet size restrictions? Do you have a fence or access to a fenced play area for your new pet? Do you have time every day to provide the necessary exercise and companionship for your pet? Are there children in your home with whom the new pet will need to be social? Do you have other pets — or wish to have multiple pets anytime in the future?
2. Browse Our Adoptable Pets
Browse our Adoptable Pets to identify a dog or a couple of dogs that you're interested in meeting and potentially adopting. Dogs with "Trainee" after their name are currently enrolled in one of our prison training programs. "Graduate" indicates that the dog has graduated from one of the prison training programs. "HW" indicates that the dog tested positive for heartworms (BARK will pay for the treatment at our vet). "Courtesy" listings are not BARK dogs and interested parties should contact the owner/rescuer directly. Please note that BARK does not allow same day adoptions. While you're welcome to stop by an adoption outing, the dogs at the outings are typically already there to meet an approved applicant, and they may or may not get adopted that day. If you are interested in meeting a dog or dogs, please fill out an adoption application to start the process. Since BARK is an all volunteer organization and the kennels are located on private property, we don't have normal operating hours. Please note that meet and greets must be arranged in advance.
3. Complete an Adoption Application
Once you find a dog (or several dogs) that you’d like to meet, you must submit an adoption application to BARK. We use the information on your application to learn more about your individual needs and find the BARK dog(s) that would be the best match for your lifestyle, environment, and expectations. Your application will be reviewed by a volunteer member of the BARK adoption team. A home visit may be required in order to reach a decision on your application. Please note that all of our adoption coordinators are volunteers and it may take up to a week to process your application.
Submitting an Application does not guarantee or commit you to adopting a BARK dog. Please submit an adoption application using our online form. Please do not mail applications to BARK as there may be a delay in your application being forwarded to our adoption team.
If you have questions about a particular dog, or have any difficulty completing the online application, you may email . You may also call 804-449-BARK ext. 1 and leave a message for assistance. Please note that the volunteers who answer these inquiries may not know everything about a particular dog and may not be able to answer your question. The majority of the information that we do know about each dog is included in his or her online description. By submitting an application, you'll be paired with a knowledgable coordinator who will work with you during the process and who will be better able to answer specific questions.
4. Meeting a BARK Dog
Once an application is approved, you will be contacted by a BARK volunteer to arrange a time to meet the dog(s) of your choice. (If you have another pet, you may want to bring him/her with you when you meet your potential BARK pet). If it’s love at first site when you meet our BARK dog, all that’s left is finalizing the adoption by signing our BARK Adoption Contract and paying the $175 adoption fee (cash or check only). You will be able to go home with your new BARK dog and his/her medical records. Your contract includes a clause stating that “if at any time you cannot keep your pet, you must return him/her to BARK and not to any other individual or shelter.”
Please note, you must bring the following items to your meet and greet in the event that you decide to adopt a dog that day: collar (you can ask your adoption coordinator for the right size), leash, name tag (with your name and contact information), and payment in the form of cash or check (no credit cards accepted). BARK dogs will not be allowed to leave the property without all of these items to ensure their safety.
Please note: Once an adoption has been completed, BARK reserves the right to:
- Check on the pet at any time to ensure its well-being.
- Remove the pet from the home if any conditions of the adoption contract have been violated or, if BARK deems the environment unsafe.
*As of March 2016, BARK’s adoption fee is $175. This fee covers all of the initial vetting (age appropriate vaccines and spay/neuter) for your BARK dog as well as a microchip. All proceeds from adoption fees are applied toward the care, feeding, & medical needs of orphaned dogs at BARK.