Dog Adoption Application

Thank you for your interest in adopting a dog!

It's enough to make a little paw say, woof!

Please answer EVERY question.

We’re happy you are interested in adopting one of our wonderful dogs and we want to provide you with a dog that is well matched to your situation. Understandably, we also want to provide the dog with the very best home possible. To that end, we have compiled a detailed questionnaire to help us with this. Yes, it is long, and will take some time to complete. We hope that you think it is well worth the effort. Please answer every question. If any of the questions are left unanswered the application may not be accepted. Also, please note:

• Applicants must be at least 23 years of age

• Applicants must provide one form of government issued identification

• All current dogs in the home must already be spayed or neutered

• All applicants must consent to a home visit.  This is to ensure that our dogs are being adopted into safe homes.

• All applicants will be required to furnish a copy of their lease or letter from landlord/building management allowing dogs

• The Adoption Donation is $350.00, which is non-refundable.

• Adopting a dog is a meeting of the heart and mind.  It is a lifetime commitment to an animal that will be your loving companion and your best friend. We want to make this decision as easy as possible for you, so if you are not sure you can take such a permanent step, please consider fostering one of our dogs before you adopt to help alleviate the pressure you may feel.  Email us at and ask how you can become a foster parent to one of our beautiful dogs.

We will email you within 48 hours of receiving your application. Incomplete Applications will not be processed.

BHLP keeps all applications confidential and never sells any names

View Printable Version

About You


Residency & Home Information


Current / Past Pets

  • Name of Veterinarian / Clinic / Primary Veterinarian:


What Are You Looking For


Training & Exercise






Terms of Agreement

  • I, the undersigned, agree to the following statements:

    • The information I provided will be verified before I am approved for adoption.
    • Falsification or omission of any of the above information will result in automatic refusal of my adoption or confiscation of the adopted animal.
    • BHLP has the right to refuse the adoption of any pet to any person.
    • I consent to a home visit.
    • I consent to BHLP contacting my veterinarian to obtain the history of my current and past pets.
    • I consent to BHLP contacting my listed references.
    • I consent to BHLP confirming my employment.
    • Neither I nor any member of my household have been charged with or convicted of animal cruelty or neglect or domestic violence.
    • I reviewed the adoption contract attached and understand I will need to sign it at the time of adoption.

Sample of the Adoption Agreement

  • Below is a sample of the Dog Adoption Agreement that will be emailed to you, in which a hard copy signature will be required upon acceptance of your application.

    Before you can actually take one of these sweet furry friends home to their new family, it is very important that we ascertain that they will be as loved and cared for as they deserve, for the rest of their natural lives. This Adoption Agreement must be signed and accepted by Big Hands Little Paws (BHLP). Please understand that if you fail to comply with any of the terms specified herein, BHLP has the right to reclaim the dog and to pursue any legal channels to do so. We just want to make sure this loving companion animal is taken care of and nurtured for the rest of her/his days. 

Please complete this agreement, print, sign and give to BHLP for this to become a successful adoption.

    Mobile Phone:
    Home Phone:
    Work Phone:
    Email Address:


    The purpose of this agreement (“Agreement”) is to memorialize the adoption and transfer of ownership of the Dog from Big Hands Little Paws, Inc., a New York not-for-profit corporation (“BHLP”) to ______________ (individually or collectively, the “Adopter”), on _________.

    BHLP hereby relinquishes and transfers and the Adopter hereby accepts possession, legal guardianship, responsibility and liability for the Dog, including for any damage or injury to persons, property or other animals caused by the Dog.

    The Adopter has paid/will pay prior to the adoption the sum of $350.00 as an Adoption donation to reimburse BHLP for a portion of expenses of rescue and rehabilitation for the Dog (“Adoption Donation”). The Adopter understands and acknowledges that the Adoption Donation is Non-Refundable with no exceptions (the Adoption Donation is waived).


    In consideration for adopting the dog, the Adopter agrees to the following conditions:

    • To accept and consider the dog as a household companion, not as an outside pet, and to provide him/her with humane care and treatment, including proper, balanced diet, water, shelter and exercise, and to give him/her a reasonable amount of time to adjust to new surroundings;

    • NOT to abuse or neglect the dog, use the dog for any research purpose or dog fighting or violate any animal cruelty laws;

    • NOT to physically punish the dog under any circumstances, and to consult with BHLP, my veterinarian or a trainer about the appropriate ways to deal with specific behavior problems;

    • NOT to chain, tie or tether the dog while the dog is alone;

    • NOT to use any type of choke, pinch or cleat collar, except within the confines of formal training classes;

    • To provide proper preventative and necessary medical/veterinary care, including annual checkups, vaccinations and heartworm prevention medicine, as well as veterinary care for unusual, symptoms such as loss of appetite, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in urine/stool, allergies, skin conditions and lethargy;

    • To spay/neuter and microchip the dog within 90 days of the date of this contract and provide written proof to BHLP at of such if the dog is not already spayed/neutered and/or microchipped);

    • To list BHLP’s contact information as a secondary contact on the microchip registration, to keep the microchip registration information updated with the microchip company and BHLP;

    • To register the dog with and obtain a dog license from the municipality where the Adopter lives or as required by law within ten (10) days of the signing of this Agreement and to provide written proof to BHLP at;

    • To have the dog wear a collar and identification tag at all times, which includes my name and telephone number;

    • To safeguard the dog from loss or mishap and not allow the dog to run unsupervised;

    • To immediately notify BHLP at and at (212) 203-1892 or (800) 203-9979, Pet Watch, (212) 744-6775, Petline (800) 564-5704, the local New York City Center for Animal Care and Control (212) 788-4000, and my local vet and shelters if the dog is lost, and to make every reasonable effort to recover the dog;

    • NOT to give or sell the dog to another person, relative, rescue group, humane association, shelter or pound, or any medical or experimental laboratory or similar organization;

    • NOT to change or alter the dog's appearance in any way, shape or form (e.g., cropping, docking, declawing);

    • To immediately notify BHLP in the event of death and prior to disposal of the dog's body;

    • To allow BHLP to make periodic visits to the Adopter’s home during the first 180 days following the signing of this Agreement and, if considered necessary, to further periodic visits thereafter; for the purpose of checking on the health and general welfare of the Dog, verifying that the Dog has been spayed/neutered and microchipped in accordance with this Agreement, and verifying that the Adopter is otherwise in compliance with the Conditions to adoptions set forth in this Agreement;

    • To immediately notify BHLP of any change of resident address, email address or telephone number for the life of the Dog;

    • To immediately notify BHLP of any change in circumstances which may prevent me from keeping the dog or to comply with any of the terms of this Agreement and give back the dog to BHLP at no charge; and

    • To immediately notify BHLP if the Adopter intend to euthanize the dog and to offer the dog back to BHLP at no charge before relinquishing custody or possession of the dog to anyone else or prior to euthanizing the dog.

    The Adopter agrees that BHLP will have the right to reclaim the dog if, in the judgment of BHLP, the dog is receiving inadequate care, is being improperly housed or handled or has not been spayed/neutered within the specified timeframe.

    The Adopter understands that the dog has been checked, and vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian, and that her/his state of health is accurately represented to BHLP's best knowledge. The Adopter understands that this dog is a rescue dog and that BHLP makes no guarantee as to its future health beyond the veterinary documentation provided and BHLP is not responsible for future medical/veterinary costs. The Adopter agrees to and waives any medical claims against BHLP or any representative for any medical costs incurred by the Adopter.

    The Adopter further understands that no representations are made as to the temperamental or mental disposition of the dog and adopt the dog at my own risk.

    The Adopter makes the following representations:
    • I am at least twenty-three years of age as of the date of this contract.
    • All members of my household have agreed to the adoption of the dog and all members of my household will abide by the terms of this Adoption Agreement.
    • I have never been subject to legal action or investigation for cruelty to or neglect of animals or for domestic violence.
    • None of the members of my household have been subject to legal action or investigation for cruelty to or neglect of animals or for domestic violence.
    • I have never owned an animal that has been confiscated by an animal control officer or humane organization for violations of state or local animal control regulations or animal adoption agreements. The Adopter agrees to the following:

    I have read and fully understand the terms and conditions of this agreement and agree that it is not arbitrary and that the provisions herein are common in pet adoption contracts. I further understand that if I fail to comply with any of the terms specified herein, BHLP has the right to reclaim the dog and to pursue any legal channels to do so.

    In consideration of BHLP allowing me to adopt the dog, I promise and agree to be solely responsible for any damages to people or property caused by the dog. I further promise and agree to indemnify and release BHLP of any and all liability arising from any known, unknown or any unanticipated damages to people or property caused by the dog. I understand and agree that BHLP makes no claims or explicit or implicit guarantees as to the temperament, health, age or mental disposition of the Dog and makes no warranty or guarantee as to the physical, medical, mental or behavioral condition of the Dog, its background or its suitability for or compatibility with the Adopter or any member of the Adopter’s household. I further understand and agree that BHLP did not and does not guarantee or warrant the health of the Dog and shall not be held responsible for any medical expenses which may be incurred by or attributable to the Adopter. I AM FULLY AWARE OF, UNDERSTAND AND AGREE TO ALL THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT AND THAT IT IS BINDING AND ENFORCEABLE BY LAW. IF ANY TERM OR PROVISION OF THIS AGREEMENT IS LEGALLY DETERMINED TO BE INVALID, ILLEGAL OR INCAPABLE OF BEING ENFORCED BY ANY RULE OF LAW OR PUBLIC POLICY, ALL OTHER CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT SHALL REMAIN IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT.