Rescued by The Animal League, cat Gumball.

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

Below are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. Please contact us if you still have questions.

About The Animal League

Are you a for-profit or non-profit organization?

The Animal League was established in 1988 to help abused, abandoned, and neglected animals. We are proud of the way we utilize our limited resources with care. We operate a full scale Adoption Center campus and The Animal League Thrift Shop, both in Central Florida. We also operate 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.

From where do you get your funding?

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 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.

When are you open?

Please visit our Contact page for current hours we are open to the public.

What payment methods do you accept?

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.

Why didn’t anyone answer the phone?

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 pet adoption 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.

About Our Pets

From where do you get your pets?

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.

What do you do with each pet upon arrival?

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-$6,000.00 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 Director of over 12 years is a full time volunteer (since 2009) working over 40 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 through our Humane Education department for thousands of children each year and pet food to those in need through our Nourish the Needy program.
What pets are available/ do you have “x” breed?

Have a look at our available pets.

Can you send me more photos?

Unfortunately, no. The file sizes are too large to send via email. More photos will be posted as they come available.

About Our Adoption Process

What are your adoption fees?

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 from our Sunshine Fund program. 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. Read more about our adoption fees.

For information on a specific pet’s fee, please submit a contact form for our Adoption Team. Please note we are unable to email information regarding fees.

What are your adoption requirements?

Please take a minute to read the How Our Adoption Process Works page.

Our adopters must be at least 21 years old. Have children in the household? Please read the Age Guidelines for Adopting page.

If you rent, you will need to provide a copy of your Pet Addendum. This can be emailed or brought in person during your meet and greet appointment. 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. 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 and greet – the exception being if your current dog is younger than 4 months, does not travel well.

We ask all potential adopters to provide three 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 a 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 and 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. Please also conduct your own research on breed characteristics before you settle on a particular pet type.

Do you allow out-of-state adoptions?

Yes. We welcome adopters no matter where they live. However, we always require a meet and greet at our Adoption Center in Groveland, FL, and we absolutely never ship our pets.

Do you do holds?

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 also it 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 two 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 three hours away schedules an adoption appointment for “Fluffy” on Friday morning, but can’t make it to our Adoption Center until Sunday at 3 pm, we would place a “Drive Time Hold” on “Fluffy” beginning Sunday at 12:00 pm (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 12:00 pm, 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.

The pet I wanted got adopted someone else. What now?

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 five 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.

For how long is my application valid?

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.

After You’ve Adopted

My vet said my new pet is not well. What should I do?

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.

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.

Will you continue to pay for vet bills once I’ve adopted my pet?

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.

I can no longer care for my pet. What should I do?

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 Pet Parent Resources page as we want to keep your furry family member with you.

Scroll to Top