Thank you for choosing to visit The Animal League!
Whether this is the first time you’re adopting a pet, or you’ve adopted many times before, you’ll probably have a lot of questions! Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. You may find even more information explaining how our adoption process works on our Facebook page. Please contact us if you still have questions.
Q. ARE YOU A FOR-PROFIT OR A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION?
A. The Animal League was established in 1988 to help the abused, abandoned, and neglected animals of Lake County. We are proud of the way we utilize our limited resources with care. We operate a full scale adoption center and thrift shop and have recently opened The Animal League Wellness Center to provide very affordable pet care so that no pet has to go without vet care. We are very conscientious and thrifty about spending. We are a registered 501(c)(3), operating on the generosity of the community.
The Animal League does not receive funding from any governmental entity. Our adoption fees are determined based on our operating costs to run the adoption center, the medical costs each new arrival requires, and fair market pricing.
Q. WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR FUNDING?
A. We do not receive any governmental funding or taxpayer money. All of our funding comes from donations, mainly from our community. We are a 501 (c)(3) registered non-profit charity and The Animal League is a Guidestar Exchange Goldstar Participant committed to transparency. We re-use bags and cut coupons. We do all we can to make sure every penny goes to saving more animals.
Q. WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PETS?
A. The majority of our pets come from underserved open-admission (“kill”) shelters: we save these sweet pets from being euthanized. They are deserving of love, yet all of these pets have been abandoned or lost and not retrieved. Many are injured or neglected and some have been abused. Sadly, most of these innocent pets come to us depressed, despondent and without hope. In our care, they are rehabilitated through the generous donations made to our Sunshine Fund. Occasionally, we take in owner-surrenders when we have room to do so.
Q. WHAT DO YOU DO WITH EACH PET UPON ARRIVAL?
A. For every pet, we provide rehabilitation in addition to routine health care such as up-to-date vaccines and preventatives such as heartworm and flea control. We spay/neuter and microchip each pet and test them for leukemia/aids and heartworms.
Every single one of these dogs and cats requires medical treatment ranging from $450-$2,000.00 each. This medical treatment is in addition to housing, transport, feeding, and other costs associated with keeping them safe, healthy, and happy while in our care.
When we post photos of pets for adoption, they are happy, healthy, and eager for their forever home. Those happy faces are the same pets after weeks and sometimes months of rehabilitation and heartache. What the public does not see:
- Our staff and volunteers on a daily basis bathe, hand or syringe feed those too weak to eat on their own, give subcutaneous fluids and medications, clean wounds, take those too weak to be left alone home overnight to ensure they will survive, and cry silent tears when they do not.
- Our staff and volunteers get paid nothing or little for very physically exhausting and very emotionally draining work. We do what we do for the animals.
- 95% of us working on behalf of The Animal League are volunteers. We give our time and resources to help homeless animals and provide them hope and love. Our Board consists entirely of dedicated volunteers. Our Shelter Director of over 5 years is a full time volunteer (since 2009!) working over 70 hours a week and is always on call: she has never asked for a dime in return.
- Our volunteers provide entirely for free educational programs for thousands of children each year, comfort to the elderly, and pet food to those in need.
Q. WHAT PETS ARE AVAILABLE / DO YOU HAVE “X” BREED?
A. Have a look at our available pets.
You can also view adoptable pets on Facebook. You do not have to have a Facebook account to view these albums:
Q. WHAT ARE YOUR FEES?
A. Our fees vary by age and species. Because we are a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, we do not receive government funding or taxpayer subsidies like municipal county shelters (aka the “pound”) do. This means we must fund our rescue work ourselves. Each pet receives about $450 worth of vetting and care including:
- a wellness exam by a vet
- appropriate vaccines
- a registered microchip
- preventative medicines
- heartworm or Leukemia/AIDS testing
- bathing and medical grooms
- a spay/neuter surgery
Our special-needs pets receive thousands of dollars’ worth of care. Certain pets, usually the most popular pets, have a slightly higher fee to help fundraise money to care for these special-needs pets. That being said, we also have pets with significantly lowered fees, some starting at just $25.
Read more here about our standard fees, as well as information regarding our fundraisers and our reduced-fee program.
For information on a specific pet’s fee, please call our Adoption Team at (352) 429-6334. Please note we are unable to email information regarding fees.
Q. WHEN CAN I MEET YOUR PETS?
A. You will need to submit an application before making an appointment for a meet-and-greet with pets. Appointments are scheduled by the Adoption Team. To schedule an appointment, please begin by completing an application.
Q. WHEN ARE YOU OPEN?
A. Current hours we are open to the public are listed here.
Q. WHAT ARE YOUR ADOPTION REQUIREMENTS?
A. Please our very informative Facebook notes on how our adoption process works.
Our adopters must be at least 21 years old. Have children in the household? Please read our additional age guidelines for adopting.
If you rent, you will need to provide a copy of your Pet Addendum. This can be emailed, faxed (352-429-6336), or brought in person during your Meet & Greet. You can also provide the Adoption Team with your landlord’s phone number, however this often delays the process as they play phone-tag.
If you have current pets, you will need to provide proof that they are up-to-date on age-appropriate vaccines and are on a heartworm preventative (dogs only). This can be emailed, faxed (352-429-6336), or brought in person during your Meet & Greet. You can also provide the Adoption Team with your vet’s phone number, however this often delays the process as they play phone-tag. Dogs currently residing in your home should also attend your Meet & Greet – the exception being if your current dog is younger than 4 months, does not travel well, or if you are driving more than 2 hours to reach us.
We ask all potential adopters to provide 3 personal references. Please let your references know to expect a call from us, or to at least monitor their voicemail.
Lastly, we require all members of the household in which a pet will be residing to be present for a Meet & Greet. We understand that sometimes parents wish to surprise children, or people may wish to surprise a significant other. While we appreciate the sentiment, this almost never ends well and we end up having to rescue the pet a second time. Being present at a Meet & Greet helps to ensure you are finding the very best match for you and your family, and that the adoption will last.
Please note that certain pets and certain breeds (specifically herding or working breeds) will have more thorough requirements such as experience with the breed, a fenced yard, or an active lifestyle. For information about a specific pet’s needs, please contact the Adoption Team.
Q. WHAT PAYMENT METHODS DO YOU ACCEPT?
A. We accept cash, credit, or debit. We do not accept personal checks for adoption fees at this time. Personal checks for donations are accepted. We can also split payments between cards, or cards and cash within reason.
Q. CAN YOU SEND ME MORE PHOTOS?
A. Unfortunately, no. The file sizes are too large to send via email. More photos will be posted as they come available.
Q. DO YOU ALLOW OUT-OF-STATE ADOPTIONS?
A. YES! We welcome adopters no matter where they live. However, we always require a Meet & Greet at our center, and we absolutely never ship our pets.
Q. DO YOU DO HOLDS?
A. Generally, no. We have found that, in the past, when we would put holds on pets, even when we asked for a non-refundable/non-transferable deposit, many times the scheduled appointment would not show up. Not only did this mean that a loving pet missed out on a finding a home, but it also meant that one less kennel opened up for a dog or cat in need of rescue. In order to avoid this, and to be fair to everyone, we do not do holds, with one exception:
-When an adopter lives more than 2 hours away, we will place a “Drive Time Hold” on the pet they are scheduled to adopt. This “hold” is ONLY valid for the time they are traveling. For example, if someone who lives 3 hours away schedules an adoption appointment for “Fluffy” on Friday morning, but can’t make it to our center until Sunday at 3pm, we would place a “Drive Time Hold” on “Fluffy” beginning Sunday at 12:00pm (i.e. “Fluffy” is only on hold from 12:00 – 3:00 Sunday). This means that should another good match want to adopt “Fluffy” before Sunday at 12:00pm, we would not hold “Fluffy” back from a good home. We understand that some people may find this unfair. However, our first priority is always finding good homes for our pets. We do not think it is fair to them to keep them in a kennel longer than necessary. The original adopters would be notified ASAP, and their application would still be approved for a good match; meaning our Adoption Team will help them find another furry friend.
**Out-of-state adopters would have a longer “Drive Time Hold” to account for flights and travel time. If you are an out-of-state adopter, our Adoption Coordinator will work with you to come up with a plan based on your unique circumstances.
**Please note that we cannot allow adopters to “pay ahead” for a pet. Once adoption contracts are signed and money is exchanged, we are no longer the legal owner of the pet. To continue to house this pet would require us to be a licensed boarding facility, which we are not.
Q. THE PET I WANTED GOT ADOPTED BY SOMEONE ELSE
A. Our Adoption Team would be happy to match you with another pet, and there is no need to fill out a new application. We are not first-come, first-served, but “first best-match.” On average, each pet has over 5 pending applications. Our super cute and fluffy puppies sometimes have over 50! Our goal is to find good homes for every pet, not just the popular ones, and we will help you find another good match.
Q. HOW LONG IS MY APPLICATION VALID?
A. Your application will remain active for 30 days. After 30 days, we will keep an electronic copy for 6 months, and we’ll just need to call references again should you find another pet you’re interested in. After 6 months, you will need to submit a whole new application.
Q. WHY DIDN’T ANYONE ANSWER THE PHONE?
A. During the days we are open, we have on average 5-8 groups at the center meeting pets or doing adoptions each hour. This is awesome news for our pets, but it means our staff and volunteers are on their feet ALL DAY! During the days we are closed, our staff and volunteers are no less busy, processing the over 200 applications we receive weekly. We do our best to return all calls within 48 business hours, but you are also welcome to email us via our contact form.
Q. MY VET SAID MY NEW PET IS NOT WELL, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
A. We make every effort to provide you with a pet who is healthy and adjusted. They may need you to continue their rehab in smaller ways such as providing them with the structure and training they did not receive in their first home. We ask that you sign a form at adoption time that says you understand that you are now responsible for your pet’s care both emotionally and financially.
If your vet finds a preexisting condition that we missed, during the allocated time period, we offer to take the pet back and refund you your adoption fee in full. Alternatively, if you do not want to return the pet and you choose to instead provide the medical care for that pet, then he continues to be your pet and all expenses are your financial responsibility.
We do our very best to give you a healthy pet. If that pet is not healthy, we ask adopters to reach out to us before paying for expensive treatments. While, as a non-profit, we cannot pay for the veterinary care of pets who are no longer under our care, we are fully committed to saving those we have taken under our wing, and will gladly accept your pet back. Your pet will then be treated with us, and will go back up for adoption once they have been cleared.
Q. WILL YOU CONTINUE TO PAY FOR VET BILLS ONCE I’VE ADOPTED MY PET?
A. No. We can’t pay for your pet’s health care and let you keep the pet. The pet is your responsibility if you choose not to return him or her within the specified time. By law, we cannot treat the pet if he is under your ownership. If you choose to keep the pet then providing the care to the pet you committed to is the responsible and fair thing to do. Per the adoption contract signed at the time of adoption, all expenses incurred from that time forward are the responsibility of the owner, and the owner releases The Animal League from any and all damages.
Q. I CAN NO LONGER CARE FOR MY PET, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
A. If you adopted your pet from The Animal League, you are obligated by the contract you signed to return them to us if we have the room. However, have you considered all of your options? Generally there is a solution for most concerns you have about keeping your pet. Please review our resources as we want to keep your furry family member with you.