Our Process

Our Adoption Process

At ALIVE Rescue, we take placing animals in their forever homes very seriously.  Our goal is to take the steps to ensure each animal/family pairing is an ideal match so the animal can live in harmony with his/her forever home. For this reason, our adoption application process is completed in three steps:

  1. Application: Complete the adoption application.
  2. Pre-Screening: One of our adoption coordinators will be assigned to your application.  They will check your references and conduct a phone interview with you about the animal.
  3. Home Visit: If your application and references meet our requirements, we will schedule a home visit.  One of our home visit coordinators will bring the animal to your home so you can meet the animal and we can observe how your family and the animal interact with one another.  We will also check your home for safety issues. Home visits typically last about one hour, and we leave with the animal to allow you time to make the decision of whether or not to add this new family member.  We ask for your decision the following day, at which time, if you have been approved to adopt from us, we will schedule a time to finalize the adoption!


Where Do Your Animals Come From?Panda 060813

The majority of our animals come from the “unadoptable” pavilions at open-access shelters such as Chicago Animal Care and Control, or Animal Welfare League.  These animals are not available for adoption to the public while at these shelters, and are at high risk for euthanasia.

What Happens When an Animal is Taken into ALIVE’s Program?

Upon intake, all of our animals are fully vetted (as age and health permit), including spay/neuter, rabies/DHLPP/bordatella vaccines, microchipping, heartworm testing, and fecal testing.  If necessary, they receive grooming and any medications or surgeries.  They are then either placed directly into a foster home, or housed at The Little Barn until a foster home can be found. Adopters are responsible for the health care of the animal from the point of adoption forward, unless other arrangements have been previously discussed.

Can I Meet the Animal Before Applying?

We do our best to ensure each animal’s biography contains as much information as possible, including up to date photos, to allow you to determine if the animal would be a good fit for your family.  However, you can always contact info@aliverescue.org for more information about an animal prior to filling out the application.

In addition, we do have regular adoption events where we showcase our adoptable animals.  Check our calendar of events for the next adoption event.  We post the animals that will be attending each event on our facebook page the day prior to the event.

Please note that the Adoption Center does not house all of our animals and is only open to the public during certain times and days of the week. Check out the calendar for more details.

Please note, while we list breeds for the dogs available for adoption, visual breed identification in dogs is unreliable so for most of the dogs we are only guessing at predominant breed or breed mix. We get to know each dog as an individual and will do our best to describe each of our dogs based on personality, not by breed label.

What Does the Adoption Donation Cover?

The adoption donation for one animal allows us to rescue another animal in his/her place. Often just the cost of providing full veterinary care for an animal upon intake exceeds the cost of adoption. By adopting, you are actually saving two lives – that of your new four-legged family member, and the animal taking his/her place.

Can You Take My Dog/Cat?

Our first priority is to the abundance of adoptable animals in city shelters, so we have made a committment to these animals first.  The city open-access shelters that may take your pet include Chicago Animal Care and Control, Animal Welfare League, and the Anti-Cruelty Society.  However, we encourage you to honor the commitment you made to the animal when getting a pet and try to keep your animal.  We can suggest resources, or Pets Are Like Family can provide help.  If you are unable to keep you animal, we suggest you re-home him/her yourself to minimize his/her stress level. We can suggest tips for screening potential adopters to make sure your pet finds a great home.