How to Adopt a PAWS Dog

Thanks to the dedication of our volunteers and support from our community, we find homes for hundreds of animals each year. No animal has a time limit - adoptable animals stay with PAWS until they find new homes.

Adoption Process

To ensure that PAWS dogs and adopters are properly matched and all homes are "forever homes," we have an application process for all adoptions. 

1. Complete An Application

Each potential adopter will first complete an Adoption Application that must be submitted and reviewed in-person at PAWS by an adoption counselor before it can be processed (Adoption Applications are not considered complete when submitted via fax, email or standard mail). This requirement includes adopters from outside of Centre County. Applications can be for a specific dog or may be "non-specific" for puppies (dogs under 1 year of age). Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and be able to show valid government identification.

* Government issued photo identification may be required at time of application or adoption.

2. Application Review

The adoption counselor who meets one-on-one with you will ask questions regarding your residence, other people living in the household, lifestyle and other pets you may own to ensure the best match is made. The adoption counselor will then follow up with your veterinarian, landlord, and references as needed. Please allow several days for our volunteers to process your application.

As we are seeking a permanent home for all our dogs, we ask that adopters are either citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Additionally, we require undergraduate students to be able to provide a parent, guardian, or partner will to serve as a permanent housing solution should the applicant's housing change unexpectedly.

3. Application Decision

When the application review is complete, your adoption counselor will contact you.  If you applied and are approved for a specific dog and that dog is available at the time you are approved, the adoption will be scheduled.  If the dog you applied for is no longer available at the time your application becomes approved or if you applied for a non-specific puppy, your application will remain approved and held for 90 days and can be renewed for up to 1 year.

If you are denied entirely or for a specific dog, a reason will be provided.  A denial could be based on either a violation of our written policies or at the discretion of the adoption committee, who carefully considers each application on a case-by-case basis with the intent of making appropriate matches for our dogs and for our applicants. 

4. Adoption!

Applicants approved for adoption will work with an adoption counselor to schedule their adoption. In advance of your adoption or application, please check out our Canine Fundamentals Booklet.

If you are still looking for a dog, please stop by during any of our open hours and pay us a visit! If you haven't found the dog you're looking for through PAWS, please visit There are thousands of dogs waiting to be rescued and one of them is perfect for you!

Adoption Fees

Adoption Fees for Dogs by Age Group
Age of Dog Adoption Fee
Adult Dogs (1 year of age and older) $115 - 200
Adolescents (6 months - 1 year of age) $200 - 300
Puppies (up to 6 months of age) $250 - 400

Centre County PAWS provides valuable care and treatment for dogs and cats in need. In 2017, we found homes for over 900 animals. Some of those animals were in need of an extraordinary amount of medical intervention. Our veterinary community works tirelessly with PAWS to provide a high quality of life for the dogs and cats in our care. Our adoption fees cover only a portion of PAWS' average cost per dog.

Variable dog adoption pricing allows us to provide top quality care for our animals. Having a higher adoption fee for some dogs or puppies who will find their forever home quickly enables us to care for animals in need of lifesaving medical and behavioral intervention. Our variable pricing helps us to provide excellent care for dogs who reside in our shelter for a longer stay.

What PAWS Provides Before Adoption

  • Spay/neuter of the dog/puppy (info on pediatric spay/neuter)
  • Distemper and Bordetella vaccination
  • Rabies vaccination (for appropriate aged dogs)
  • Initial Deworming
  • Heartworm & Lyme Disease Testing (for appropriate aged dogs)
  • A free first vet visit in Centre County
  • HomeAgain Microchip Implant*
    • *Includes 24/7 Emergency Medical Hotline Care, Found Pet Travel Assistance, and Lost Pet Posters