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Frequently Asked Questions

Where are you located?

Because STS is a foster based organization, we do not have a physical location with hours of operation. All dogs are in foster homes primarily located in Columbus, Ohio. 

What are the most important things I need to know?

  1. Meet and greets with a dog are setup once an applicant has an approved application.

  2. Complete an application even if you are not looking to adopt at this moment or there are no dogs that match what you’re looking for. Applications can take up to 2 weeks to process and we do not hold any dogs. Your application will be good for 6 months assuming you have not moved or added another person or animal to your home. If you have, you can recomplete the application with the updates!

  3. Make sure all pets in your house are spayed/neutered, up to date on shots (rabies and DHPP), and are on heartworm and flea/tick preventive.

  4. Give your landlord, personal references, and vet office a heads up that we will be calling. Your application will not be reviewed by an adoption coordinator until we speak to all the required individuals (Vet and landlord, if applicable).

  5. Be respectful and polite to our team members. We are all volunteers and have full time jobs and families. We do our best to respond quickly, but life happens. We all want dogs to find the perfect forever home.

How do I apply?

You can apply on our adopt page.
If you do not feel comfortable answering any question, you may leave it blank, however, we may not consider your application for adoption. We require all adopters to complete this application in its entirety before discussing the potential adoption of a dog.

Do you have application requirements?

We prefer to adopt to the central Ohio residents as we do home visits prior to adopting any dog. You must be willing to travel to the Columbus area to meet any of our dogs.

  • You must be 22 years or older to adopt.

  • The following are requirements for all dogs/cats in your home, even if they do not belong to you.

    • Dogs must be up to date on all shots (rabies and DHPP required; Bordetella is strongly suggested, especially if you visit parks with your pets​). Health exceptions will be verified and discussed with your vet.

    • Cats must have rabies and FVRCP vaccinations.

    • Routine flea/tick preventative is required. Learn more about fleas and tick-borne disease.

    • Pets must be spayed/neutered.

    • Pets must be on heartworm preventative, and must be heartworm tested every other year while on year-round preventative.

    • Pets must have annual health checks with your veterinarian.

My application is approved, does that mean I get to meet the dog(s) I applied for?

Although we have approved you as an STS adopter, this does not mean that the amazing dog you applied for is yours. We are committed to finding the right match for the dogs and for you. Having our dogs living in foster homes means we are able to learn about their needs. For example, if we determine a fence is needed and you do not have one, we will help you find another pup that does not need a fence. Our top priority is the safety and happiness of our pups. Our fosters know their dogs best and have a say in who is the right fit for their pup, so we appreciate that you stay open minded during the adoption process.

Why was I denied?

Many of our dogs come from less fortunate situations. To ensure the next stop in their journey is the best it can be, we thoroughly screen all applicants. We emphasize the need for a stable environment for our dogs which includes having a secure job and/or income to provide stable housing and care for the dog. There will be no exceptions to landlord requirements including breed restrictions unless approval is documented in writing by your landlord. STS reserves the right to deny any application at our discretion. It is our goal to place a dog where we feel they will fit best, not necessarily in the order the applications are received. We trust that you will conduct yourself in a professional manner and not discredit the organization for not selecting your application.

The most common reasons for denials include:

How can we meet your dogs?

We require a completed and approved application with home visit prior to setting up meet and greets. We understand that you may be hesitant to complete an application prior to knowing if the dog is a fit for your home or gets along with your current pets, but to protect the privacy of our foster volunteers and to ensure the best use of time, there are no exceptions to this rule. We will work with you to find the perfect dog for your specific home and situation upon a completed and approved application.
We host events in the Columbus area and you are free to attend any event that we host. You may meet a dog there and want to apply, but please know that there may be approved applications in front of yours.
We do not do onsite adoptions. If you are already approved to adopt, and you attend an event and fall in love with a dog, please let the event volunteers know and they will let the foster and coordinator know. They will reach out to you and set up a one on one meet and greet and go through all the details about the particular pet to ensure it is the right match for both you and the pup.

What is your adoption fee?


Puppies (6 months and under) – $450

Adults (6 months to under 8) – $350

All Seniors (8 and over) – $200

All fees include spay/neuter, microchip, vaccinations, deworming, current flea/tick and heartworm preventive. All dogs over 6 months of age have been tested and are heartworm negative unless noted in their description. STS is committed to adopting out fully vaccinated, spayed/neutered, healthy dogs. No dog will be fully adopted until they have a clean medical record by our vets.


Every time I see a dog I'm interested in, it's already adopted! How can I avoid this?

Please complete an adoption application if you are interested in finding your newest family member with STS. If you do not see the dog listed that you are interested in, or you’re not quite ready to adopt, it’s okay. On the application, select “a dog not listed.” You will be able to write in their name in a later section or leave it blank! We encourage you to apply early in your search for that perfect pet as we will only schedule meet and greet with approved adopters. Your application will stay on file for 6 months. When we get new dogs, we look through our approved adopter list first to see if the new pup matches what you may have been looking for and reach out prior to posting.

A dog I saw on Petfinder is no longer listed. Has that dog been adopted?

We try to keep our Petfinder listings as up to date as possible. When a certain dog receives multiple applications, we take the listing down in order to review the applications that have already come in. With that being said, there is no guarantee that any of the applications are a perfect match for the pup and we may end up relisting the dog. If you would still like to be considered for the dog, you can apply and select “a dog not listed.” You will be able to make note of the certain dog’s name within the application. If the dog is indeed adopted, we will let you know and see if you would like us to continue to process your application.

We were approved with your organization before and/or are prior adopters. Do we need to reapply?

Your application will be good for 6 months assuming you have not moved or added another person or animal to your home. If you have, you can recomplete the application with the updates! If you applied or adopted more than 6 months ago, complete a new application.

We are looking for a service dog, can you help?

Many of our dogs we describe as great family pets, or great with children. While we do believe many dogs would love to have a child to love on, we don’t have the expertise to suggest a dog be a therapy dog. If someone adopts a dog and then decides to get it certified that is amazing, but there is no way to say a dog is a candidate until it goes through training. For this reason, we may want to discuss your choice in adopting from STS. We adopt out companions and family pets and would hate to have you be disappointed, or in the position to return a dog because it could not be certified.

I sent a message and you have not answered. Why?

Please remember we are volunteers with full time jobs and families. We try and respond to every Facebook message, but sometimes our auto response does answer your particular question. If you have more detailed questions, please email Emails are not checked over the weekend, but we try to respond to emails as soon as we are able.

It's been a few days since I applied, when will I hear from someone?

Many times, we are waiting on your landlord, vet, or personal reference to respond to our requests. To help move the process along, please reach out to these individuals and let them know we will be in touch. We will not move forward with any application until we speak to these individuals, if applicable. Additionally, we may have emailed you some follow up questions, so be on the lookout for any emails from us.

My Petstablished account status has changed. What does that mean?

PETSTABLISHED is an awesome tool we use to process our applications and keep track of all the needs of our dogs. Some of the functions and statuses are available for your personal use and we encourage you to create an account to help keep track of your dog’s records. However, please note that until you hear from us via email/phone, your application is not officially approved.

I need to rehome my dog, can you help?

We would love to save all the dogs but unfortunately, we cannot. If you need to rehome your pet, please email pictures, descriptions, and why you need to make this decision. We will do our best to put you into contact with the right organizations. If you adopted your dog from us and can no longer care for him/her, please contact us as soon as possible. Per your contract, you must notify us of this need, and we will work with you to get the dog to us.

I saw a dog that is "rescue only" on Facebook, can you help?

We know that we are surrounded by many kill shelters. We understand that you would like to save a dog as we would like to save all the dogs too. However, it is rare for us to be able to expedite your foster application (about a 2 week process). We encourage you to become an approved foster with us that way if the timing is right and we feel that the dog you are inquiring about is a right fit for our organization we can help. There is no guarantee that we will pull a dog, but we always need a foster to step up prior to us committing to any dog

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