Adopt a Pet Dog
About Our “Career Change” Dogs
Almost 60% of the dogs SDI rescues graduate. However, those that don’t are released from training as potential pets. A service dog faces a constant flow of new situations and people that pet dogs rarely encounter. If a dog is not comfortable with this work we never force it. Once we are sure it’s best for the dog, it is released for adoption. We never return a dog to the shelter — we find them home. It’s a career change for them, from Service Dog in-training to pet dog in your family.
Our dogs are selected from shelters because they are people focused, responsive to training, eager to please and friendly. Each begins basic obedience training and released dogs are usually identified in the first three months of training. These dogs continue obedience work while they are at SDI. The reasons we release a dog can vary but recent examples include fear of thunder, reactivity to cats, nervousness in public situations and mild hip dysplasia.
These are not service dogs, but they can be wonderful pets and companions. If you’re interested in one of our pet dogs, please read the requirements and process below.
Requirements to adopt:
- Adopters must be at least 21
- Able to visit our Training Center in Dripping Springs to meet the dog
- A fenced yard or reasonable exercise area
- Commitment to humane care as stated in the adoption contract
- Access to shelter and the home – the dog may not be kept solely as an outside dog
- Agreement the dog will be a family pet and will not be used as a service dog
Process to adopt:
- Visit PetFinders to view our available dogs. (Please note we do not always have pet dogs available)
- Submit an adoption application online
- Answer follow-up questions from SDI by email or phone
- Attend a Meet-and-Greet at our site in Dripping Springs
- You get a chance to meet the dog and get acquainted
- All family members and dogs should attend
- Home visit – take the dog to your home for 5-7 days, enough time for the dog to relax in your home so you can see what day-to-day life partnership will be like.
- Sign the adoption agreement and pay the adoption fee. The fee is $300-$500 (depending on the level of training) and helps SDI recover a portion of the evaluation, medical and training expense invested in each dog.
- Plan to take your dog to obedience training to build your relationship and help the dog learn what is expected in his new family. Choose a training program that emphasizes positive reinforcement and building a relationship with your dog. This continues the approach used during training at SDI — and you will probably be the star of your class!
To apply for a pet dog, fill out the adoption application here.