Adoption Process

Are you ready to adopt a pet? 


Take this short quiz provided by Mental Floss to test your pet-readiness.


Get Started

Indigo Rescue is not a shelter; we are a network of fosters. All our adoptable pets are in foster homes. We have Pet Matchmaker events where you can meet a few of our available dogs and cats or set up a meet-and-greet with a specific pet.You can meet our pets and speak to their fosters.See the Calendar on the left for dates. Not all pets come to these events. Complete a pre-screen application on our PetFinder site about a specific dog and we can start our matchmaking process.

  • Every Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Tanasbourne Petco,
  • Every other Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. at the Tanasbourne PetSmart on 185th (behind Burgerville).  

NOTE: We do not adopt straight from the store and are not first-come, first-served. Our goal is that each adoption is permanent and accomplishing that requires making a good match between the pet and its new family.

Adoption Process

  1. Search our Adoptable Pets on Petfinder. If you see one who interests you, complete the pre-screen questionnaire and email it to us. Or copy and paste the Compatibility Questions (below) and your answers into an email.
  2. We work with you to select a possible match and set up a meet-and-greet.
  3. We take applications and select the most compatible home for the particular dog or cat. 
  4. After we feel we have made a good match, we provide a list of items the family should have in place prior to our delivering the pet. These are all necessary tools to assure the safety of the pet and success of the adopter.
  5. The last step is when we deliver the dog or cat to the adoptive home. Indigo maintains a lifetime return policy on all of our adoptions. This policy is not in place to make it easy to “get rid” of a pet when it’s inconvenient, but rather, to assure we have an opportunity to intervene in a crisis and safely rehome the pet.
  6. We also available for consultation over the lifetime of all of our adoptive pets and can often provide valuable coaching on training, behavior, nutrition, and veterinary needs.

Indigo Adoption Application 2018 (Click to open the PDF.)

Adoption Criteria

Some of our adoption criteria include (but are not limited to):

  • Adoptions are made only to homes within a 30-mile radius of Portland. This policy is in place primarily because our volunteers deliver each of the dogs to their adoptive homes and asking a volunteer to deliver a dog to a home more than 30 miles from Portland on their day off from work is asking a lot. We also don’t want the dogs and cats that we have cared for and carefully placed, to end up in a county shelter or rehomed to yet another incompatible home because they were too far away to be returned to us.
  • All existing pets in the household must be spayed or neutered. There are no exceptions to this rule. This policy prevents unwanted behaviors in pets who are spayed or neutered but still affected by the hormones emitted by intact animals. It is also our hope to educate people about the numerous health benefits associated with spaying or neutering your pets.
  • For other than pets who will live in an apartment or condo, all homes we adopt to must have a securely fenced yard. In addition to providing off-leash exercise and yard sniffing, this policy assures that during the one minute you turn your back while your off-leash dog is doing his or her business, they won’t see something interesting across the road and disappear into harm’s way. Dogs also have an uncanny way of locating the single area in a fence that provides an escape route.Even while you’re standing right there, they can go out a door and directly to that place. And trust us, you can’t run as fast as a dog who has found freedom! Having your fence in good repair, without gaps along the bottom, eliminates this escape risk.

You can inquire about one of our pets by answering the compatibility questions listed on the pet’s page. Send the answers to the compatibility questions to that pet’s adoption counselor. The email address of the pet’s adoption counselor can be found at the bottom of the pet’s page at the link entitled, “Email Indigo Rescue.” Or you may send the email with answers to

Compatibility Questions

Do you have other pets now? (briefly describe)

Have you had pets in the past? What became of them?

What kind of exercise will you provide for the dog? (type/frequency)

What is your schedule like? How long/often will the dog be alone?

Where will the dog be while you’re gone? Where will the dog be when you’re home? Where will the dog sleep?

Who else lives in the home? Do you have children? How old are the children?

Are you in a home or apartment? How long have you lived there? Do you have a fully, securely fenced yard? (type/height)

Do you own or rent your home?

What changes in your life are likely in the next 10+ years (or life span of the dog) and how will the changes affect the dog? (moving, job or schedule change, school, having children)

Anything else you’d like us to consider in finding the right dog for your family?

If, along with your answers, you have questions about the pet, please be specific. We want to answer your questions, but it is difficult to respond to vague inquiries like “please tell me more about this dog.” If the pet is compatible with your needs, we will figure out a time and place for you to meet with the pet and foster family. We try to get back to people quickly, but we have jobs and other responsibilities, too. Also, we often need to contact the foster family to discuss compatibility and get answers to your questions before getting back with you.

We have little or no history on most of our adoptable pets.  Most of them come from the county shelter and were relinquished by their owners or got lost and weren’t claimed by their owners.  Often people who relinquish their pets pretend they found the pet to avoid the shame and the surrender fee so we get no history whatsoever.  The typical reasons for relinquishment are:

  • We’re moving and it is too inconvenient to take the pet or we decided to move to housing that does not allow pets.
  • We’re too busy to care for the pet because we had a baby or change in job schedule.
  • The dog, after being left alone in our backyard for one year with little human contact or exercise or stimulation is starting to bark / dig / chew / escape.
  • We bought a puppy because it was cute, but now that it is about 1 year old and we didn’t train it and don’t exercise it, it is difficult to handle.

We don’t see the lack of history as a problem. We get a more reliable assessment from learning the dog’s personality and needs in foster care.

Thank You

Thank you for planning to adopt a rescued pet! The tragic deaths of healthy animals due to overpopulation can be eliminated if we:

  • Reduce breeding by spaying and neutering, by not breeding, and by not purchasing dogs from breeders or pet stores.
  • Increase adoptions.
  • Keep our commitments to our pets by caring for them for their entire lives.

Indigo Rescue Pet Application



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