Now, it's very easy to fall in love at first sight, but you should spend time with a dog before adopting him. Look for a dog who's happy and friendly, and avoid aggressive dogs. Many shelter dogs are energetic because they've been confined. If he seems "full of beans," it's no reason to rule him out. If you find one you think is meant for you, you'll set the "application to adopt" process in motion.
"This involves some paperwork, including the most important document: the Adoption Questionnaire."
This includes a wide range of questions, such as:
• What are your reasons for adopting?
• How many members live in your household?
• How much time do you spend away from your home daily?
• Where will your dog be kept at night?
• Do you rent or own an apartment or house?
• Do you have any other pets? Are they spayed or neutered; are they up to date on vaccinations?
• Have you ever dropped off a pet at a shelter? If so, what were the circumstances?
• Have you ever had pets? If so what happened to them?
• Do you plan to spay or neuter your dog? (Many shelters do this automatically; some don't.)
• Will you be taking him to obedience lessons?
Now, many of these queries may seem like an invasion of privacy,
or worse, irrelevant to your particular situation. But keep in mind
that the purpose of these questions is to place a dog in the best
home for him, weed out people who will potentially abuse their dogs
(use them for dog fights, etc.), and keep the chances of having the
dog returned to the shelter as slim as possible.
There's also a certain amount of leeway involved. It's definitely not an exact science.