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The Adoption Process

A portrait of a dog named Nakita. Nakita is a black dog with short but floppy ears with deep brown eyes, wearing an orange collar.
Two cats named Pia and Toonie, both are calico cats. One is in front of the other as they look slightly off to the side of the camera.
A portrait of a tricolored dog with floppy ears and brown eyes. The dog has its mouth opened slightly in a friendly pant and its pink tongue is showing.
A portrait of a curious cat named Mama. Mama is an orange, black, and white cat, and is standing with her face very close to the camera. Her eyes are green.

In order to make the proper match between you and your new family member, we take many things into consideration.  Placing a pet in a new home that is best for the family and their new companion pet is what we consider most important. We do not place pets on a first come, first served basis.* 

If you see a cat or dog on our website that you are interested in, please call before driving a long distance to make sure he/she is in our shelter and currently available.  Some animals have a high interest level and may get adopted faster than we can remove them from our website, and some animals are placed in temporary foster homes and may not be in our shelter during every open hour. 

Every situation is different, so please understand that we are trying to make the best match for both you and our animal friends!  If the right match does not occur today, it doesn't mean it will not occur the next time around.  Our adoption counselors are trained to help you find the right pet for your family.

*First Come, First Served Policy

Our policy with all of our adoptable pets (but especially so in the case of puppies and kittens, who often receive a very high number of applicants at the same time), is that if multiple people walk into the shelter and are all great fits for the animals, we go with the first application we receive that is a good fit. When we say that we do not place on a "first come, first served" basis, we are saying that we would never send a pet home with a bad fit simply because they were the first ones to inquire about the animal. 

Adoption Fees

Adoption fees also include all cats and dogs are spayed or neutered, up-to-date on age appropriate vaccines, and micro-chipped.



  • Kitten (up to 1 year old)

    • $250

  • Adult (1 year old to 8 years old)

    • $150

  • Senior (over 8 years old)

    • $75

  • Senior for a Senior Citizen (62+)

    • $50

  • Puppy (up to 1 year old)

    • $475

  • Adult (1 year old to 7 years old)

    • $375

  • Senior (Over 7 years old)

    • $250

All cats need to leave our shelter in an approved carrier. We will provide one at a nominal cost if an adopter does not have one.

Salem Animal Rescue League highly recommends that all puppies complete a training program to assist with the acclimation of a new pet in your home.  The benefit of training will also assist adult dogs to help with transition and any behavioral characteristics a dog may have developed before coming into its new home.

What to bring with you

  • A valid license or picture ID is required.

  • Proof of home ownership may be required to complete an adoption.  Please bring a tax bill or mortgage statement as proof of home ownership, OR if you rent, a lease stating that you are allowed to have a pet.  We also require your landlord's phone number in case we need to speak with him or her.

The entire family must meet the dog/cat before the adoption of a SARL animal can be finalized.  One family member must be at least 21 years of age.  If you currently have a dog, we require that you bring him/her with you so that he can meet your prospective new family member.

Your current pets must be up-to-date on vaccines and must be altered if the animal is over 6 months of age. The adoption counselor may call and verify with your veterinarian. 

Sorry, we do not ship animals! 

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