Adopt a Pet!

These may be seconds, but they 
are not irregulars.  Save a life & adopt an animal at PAWS

  1. The animal must be spay/neutered prior to going to its new home. If the adopter elects to have the animal spay/neutered at their own veterinarian we will allow that provided the veterinarian is located in Okaloosa County. If the new owner elects to do this, we will transport the animal to the veterinarian on the day of their surgery and the owner can pick them up from their veterinarian.

  2. Applicants must be at least 18 years old.

  3. All members of the household must be interviewed before an adoption is approved. A pet is a family member and so all members of the family need to be in agreement about when to adopt a pet, and which pet to adopt.

  4. Anyone renting or leasing must have written permission from their landlord before an adoption can be approved. Any restrictions regarding type or size of animal must be noted.

  5. We prefer that applicants have lived at their current address for at least three months. This is to make sure that owners have had time to settle into their new surroundings, and have established a stable routine before bringing a pet into the home. Because pets have extremely sensitive noses, any remodeling projects that involve chemicals and paint - including the installation of carpet - should have been completed well in advance of bringing a new pet home. Please remember that any time of transition is probably not a good time to adopt a pet.

  6. We do not adopt out "outdoor pets." Pets that are left outside to do not bond as readily with their owners and are prone to nuisance behaviors like barking, escaping, roaming, digging, predatory behavior and other destruction. If applicants currently have an "outdoor pet" their adoption may be denied.

  7. Applicants for dog adoptions must have a yard that is fenced on all sides, or a fenced kennel area. Dogs that do not have access to a fenced-in area are much harder to housebreak and are more likely to escape, roam and become a neighborhood nuisance. Some dogs may require a fence of a certain type and height.

  8. Because young puppies require intensive training and care, we cannot place puppies younger than four months of age in a home where some is consistently absent from the home for long periods of time.

  9. Because of potential injury and behavior/training concerns, we are very cautious when placing very young pets (those younger than four months) in homes with children under the age of five. Puppies and kittens chew, scratch and nip, and children may be unintentionally rough as well. We encourage adopters with young children to consider adopting a dog or cat that is at least four months of age.

  10. If applicants have a dog at home, they must bring their dog to the shelter to meet the new pet before the adoption will be approved. We want to make sure that their dog is happy with their selection and that the transition for both dogs will be relatively smooth.

  11. We cannot adopt out two dogs at one time. Dogs need time to bond with their owners one-on-one. Dogs that are adopted together will likely look to one another for companionship and direction rather than to their new owners.

All of our adoption policies are in line with recommendations made by The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, and other pet-welfare organizations nationwide and in our community.  In making decisions about the placement of "our" animals, we are thinking not only of their welfare, but also of the well-being of the families who wish to adopt from us. We focus on making a good match between pets and owners, not simply making a sale, and sometimes means denying an adoption or requesting that families wait before adopting if they are moving to a new house, having a new baby, dealing with an older dog, or are expecting some other major transitions in the new future.

We hope that you appreciate our efforts to provide quality care to the thousands of unwanted animals that find their way to PAWS each year, and that we can count on your support.


               Panhandle Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)  
                  752 Lovejoy Road |  Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32548 
               (850) 243-1525 |  Fax (850) 664-0445 |

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