Adopt a Pet Dog
About Our “Career Change” Dogs
A significant portion of the dogs that 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:
- View our available dogs below
- 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!
Check out our available dogs below or visit our Petfinder page for more info!
Hello friends; my name is Gypsy Mae!
I am a mix breed terrier girl just around 1 1/2 years old.
I am very spunky and full of enthusiasm + totally adorable! I’m the cutest fuzzball you have ever seen…and I am also quite humble!!
I came to SDI to be trained as a Hearing Dog, but I’m a bit too reactive for this kind of job. -I am not a real big fan of other dogs, and will need to be in a home where I am the only pet so I can be the sole object of affection for my humans and be pampered like the beautiful princess that I am!
**I was adopted a few months ago, but did not do well in an apartment setting as seeing other dogs and hearing loud city noises can be quite stressful for me, so I will be needing a house; ideally a country home life where things are more consistent and calm.
I am very energetic and love to do “zoomies”(run around in circles in a yard) but am as also quite cuddly; after I play I love a good snuggle and belly rub!
I’m clean overnight in the kennels, and that seems to make the trainers very happy.
I also know “sit” and “down”, “paw”(fist bump) and am getting better at my “place/stay” behavior.
Continued training would probably do me some good, as I am still a young pup and am working on my basic obedience.
I’m up to date on all my shots and I’m microchipped as well.
If you think you might be interested in meeting me, I would absolutely love to meet you!… Just fill out an Adoption Application through the link at the bottom of this page.
+ please mention my name in the application.
Hopefully we will meet soon!! Excited to hear from you!
Thanks so much!
Hi my name is Bandit. I am a 1 1/2 year old Pyrenees mix.
I have been training since November to become a service dog, but the working life just isn’t for me. I absolutely love being around people, but can sometimes be a bit distracted or nervous in busy and loud public places, so I am now looking forward to becoming a beloved pet!
I know sit, down and am getting better with my stays + I am working on some fun tricks: Roll Over and Spin. I also walk very nicely on a leash, and am crate trained.
I am still pretty young, and could really use some more training classes. I am a very good boy, but sometimes get excited and like to jump up or get a bit mouthy.
I’m a very goofy boy who absolutely loves to play with toys and one of my favorite things to do is roll around in the grass with a toy in my mouth and talk all about it.
I am incredibly affectionate, and love to cuddle and get belly rubs! Never met a person I haven’t loved!
I am very friendly with other dogs, but can play a bit rough, so would do best with a larger dog who doesn’t mind to restle.
I am also very good with cats!…squirrels and birds on the other hand are very fun to chase and bark at!
Look forward to meeting you!!