All the Steps,
After submitting the application, email ASHAmaryland@gmail.com the vaccine records (when applicable) of any current pets as well as their proof of spay/neuter. We don't require dogs in the home to be spayed/neutered if you are adopting a cat. And vice versa, or in the a case of small animal or farm animal adoptions. We just need to ensure you are not breeding your pets and that they get at least an annual check up with your vet.
We also require you to email us EITHER: a copy of your lease/rental agreement or have your landlord email us stating that you are legally allowed to add a pet to your home (when applicable) OR if you own your home, please send us proof of ownership. If you live with family, friends, or parents, please have them send us an email from their account with their consent to adopt a pet into the home.
Proof of home ownership can be any one of the following:
Mortgage statement (just your name and address)
Affidavits of Residency or other court documentation
Once you fill out an adoption application and submit your required documents & adoption deposit, your application is complete and we will review them and follow up with you within 48 hours.
Please be advised that if we do not receive a Reply All to our Adoption Application email (or any email we send) within 48 hours we will move on to the next interested adopter. If we do not receive your supporting documents, your application is not considered complete and will be queued behind complete applications.
Please understand that we will receive several applications for some kittens/puppies/highly desirable animals, and therefore you may receive an approval email outside of the 48 hour window, as we are processing completed applications in the order they were submitted. If the applicant ahead of you doesn't work out, you can expect an email from us and will need to respond within 24 hours to proceed with adopting the kitten. Our initial email to you will let you know your place in line for the adoptable animal.
In order to deter non-serious applicants, ASHA requires adopters to pay the $15 non-refundable Adoption Deposit (this includes foster-to-adopt for animals over 6 months old) before scheduling the home check interview. The deposit will count as a $15 credit towards your adoption fee. All fees are considered donations to a non-profit, are tax-deductible, and 100% of these funds go towards animal care.
The $15 deposit is required to be paid via our DonorBox and is required before meeting the animal to be adopted. We do not accept cash, checks, or other types of payment for the deposit as it needs to be done in tangent with the online adoption application.
Paying the non-refundable deposit is in no way a guarantee that you will be approved to adopt an animal through ASHA. All of the same requirements and standards in processing applications still apply as stated on this page.
By submitting an adoption application, required documents, and adoption deposit, you agree to the terms listed above and in the application. If you do not adopt through ASHA or your application is rejected, this serves as your notice of the deposit policy.
Virtual Home Check Interview
The second step is the home visit, which we typically do via Zoom if that works for you. If not, other arrangements can be made. We will ask to see the room you will use as the introduction space where the new kitty will spend their first two weeks. We do verify that this is a room with a door that can remain closed during the acclimation period. We ask that you please have all of the supplies for the kitty set up in the room in time for the home visit - litter box & litter, bowls, toys, scratching post or pad, bed, and carriers.
For kittens under 6 months of age, we only allow non-clumping, non-clay litter. It comes in paper pellet and pine varieties. The clumping agents of regular clay litter are harmful if swallowed and the clay dust can irritate a young kitten's respiratory system.
We'll also go over some general adoption information and ask to walk through the other areas of the home that the kitty will have access to once fully acclimated. And don't worry, we won't judge if your home is not perfectly tidy!
For dogs we follow a similar process to the feline adoption process, however we likely will require a large crate and a couple baby/pet gates in addition to the basic supplies any pet needs. For farm animals and small animals it will be similar also, however a much more targeted process following the needs of the animal you are adopting. We will provide you with more detailed info in our first emails following your adoption application, required documents and adoption deposit.
If everything goes well with the home visit, you will be one step closer to being approved to adopt. The animal's foster will let you know what kind of food they have been eating and provide you with a baggie at adoption if you want to transition to a different type of food.
Scheduling the Meet & Greet Adoption Visit Day!
After the home check is completed (and no concerns were raised), you will receive a follow-up email. We will include the foster parent to schedule the meet & greet adoption visit. This follow-up email will also contain the last 2 steps: links to the adoption contract and to the adoption fee. We are a foster-based rescue, so we don't have a central facility and all pets are in private homes, or featured at Petco in Columbia.
The in-person meet and greet will take place at the foster's home. As long as all goes well during the visit, the adoption contract and adoption fee (minus the deposit) are submitted and you have with you a vet approved travel carrier with you. You will be allowed to take the pet home right then!
If you end up adopting an additional cat or different cat than selected on the adoption contract, let us know and we'll take care of the records!
If you're unable to pay the adoption fee the same way you paid the adoption deposit via our Donate page, you can pay at the adoption visit via cash, check, or PayPal instead. Please let us know in advance if you plan to use one of these alternate payment methods.
Review the Adoption Contract Clauses:
The Adoption Contract must be completed and signed for each and every animal adopted. The following contract clauses are taken from our adoption contract for adopting friendly indoor cats (i.e. NON-Feral Cats) and requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:
The adopter acknowledges that as of the date of this agreement, IF the animal is not spayed or neutered at the time of the adoption, then the adopter agrees to have the animal spayed or neutered by their own means before they reach the age of six (6) months, or within thirty (30) days of the time of the adoption. ASHA will provide spay and neuter appointment options for kittens adopted before their alteration. The adopters are required to pay for these appointments. With in one (1) week after adopting, adopters must have scheduled an appointment and have it on the calendar for the kittens spay/neuter appointment. This is to eliminate adopters from waiting until the last minute.
The adopter understands that the animal is believed to be in good health at this time unless otherwise noted. Adopter must take the animal to their vet within one (1) week of adopting the animal for a wellness exam and send ASHA the veterinary exam notes to email@example.com within twenty four (24) hours of the visit. If the animal dies for any reason other than natural causes of old age, the Adopter will notify ASHA within twenty-four (24) hours.
The adopter will not have the animal’s claws removed (de-claw surgery). Mutilation of the animal in this way will result in civil charges and the animal will be removed from the Adopter. As an alternative solution to furniture destruction, Adopter will provide adequate scratching posts, pads, etc and/or utilize a type of safe claw covers (Soft Paws, etc). Adopter will not permanently modify any part of the animal without a veterinary medical necessity including but not limited to ear cropping, tail docking, dental extraction(s), etc.
The adopter is adopting this animal from ASHA to be a companion animal to the adopter or their family. The adopter is to be personally responsible for the humane care and control of this pet and will allow ASHA to see the animal by appointment within 48 hours of ASHA’s request to check health and well-being.
The adopter will not abandon or give away the animal to any third party or relinquish it to any other rescue, or dispose of it in any way except to return the adopted animal to ASHA. In the case the adopter can not (or no longer wishes to) retain the adopted animal, or if proof of neglect/ abuse is found, the adopter MUST return the animal to ASHA in a prompt manner. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS. If the adopter must return the animal, the adopter will make no charges of any licensing, food, care, services, or other expenses.
As of February 1st 2023 the Adoption fees for non-feral indoor only cats is the following:
Kittens/Cats under 5 years of age: $150
Cats over five years of age: $125
We do offer a 15% discount for adopting 2 ADULT cats (over 1 year old) at once. As well as a 15% discount for police, military, teachers and healthcare frontline workers!
Other animal fees are determined case by case.