Apply to Adopt

How our adoption process works

APPLICATION: DIBS typically gets several applications per dog.  We do start with the earlier ones received (apply early!) and will review several.  We need to ensure that the home and the dog are a good match for each other. We focus heavily on the requirements of the dog, and those meeting requirements are prioritized. We rarely deviate from the requirements listed in the dogs bio.
SCREENING:  Once we decide on an application, the screening process will begin!  We will do a vet reference check (spanning most recent 10 years), a phone interview with the applicant, and contact 3 personal references. A volunteer will be assigned to this role, and their role is only focused on this step. Additional questions about the process should be directed back to to DIBS directly.
MEET & GREET:  A meet and greet can be booked any time after the application is submitted, at the foster parents discretion. A dog may receive many applications and we ask that foster parents book one, maybe 2 meet and greets (total). In the cases where “dog compatibility” needs to be determined, this is a very important step. For applicants that need to travel a long distance, we can discuss other options for the meet and greet. We will not schedule any meet & greets until the applications is submitted, screening has started, and foster parent deems it a potential match. (Our fosters are volunteers and we only want to utilize their time with meet and greets, with final candidates). Just a reminder:  a meet and greet is still part of the interview process and is open to immediate family only.
HOME VISIT  Once all steps are completed and reviewed, we will arrange for a home visit, where a volunteer will visit the applicants home to meet the entire family. Ideally, a meet and greet has taken place and was successful. At times logistics require the home visit to be completed before a meet and greet.
FINAL APPROVAL:  If each of the above steps are approved, and your family is the best match for the dog, you will be approved to adopt!

Our adoption fees are $750/$870 (over/under 8 months of age). From time to time we get seniors (7+) and their adoption fee is $500. This Includes spay/neuter, vaccinations and travel expenses from Mexico.  In the approval email, details is provided re payment, training, etc.  Please note, we do require all of our dogs to be adopted with a Tractive GPS device. The additional cost to adopters is approximately $120 for a one year subscription: Tractive will absorb the cost of the device ($70) for DIBS adopters. (Read more under the “Learn More” section of our website). Note the value of the device itself is $70, but due to a special partnership with DIBS and Tractive, it is waived for DIBS adopters!

Please note – sometimes we get many applications for one dog.  While we may like the application, the family may not be a fit for the specific dog – or someone equally great, just applied earlier.  On your existing application email thread, reply to [email protected] to have your application directed towards an alternate dog:  no need to fill out a new application.
Due to volume of emails we ask that we continue with existing application thread vs receiving new emails that do not include context of your application. Do not edit the subject line, please. If you have moved/info changed or your original app is incomplete, please do fill out an application with updated information.  Read this now, to avoid asking us later!!!

DIBS is 100% volunteer based – we are very efficient, but please note, that timelines of these steps can vary based on availability of volunteers.  Please feel free to check in with us!  Please be kind to our volunteers:  they are working hard for a common goal.

Application Tips.  We know people want to adopt and there is a lot of competition for any dog in rescue (not just with DIBS).  We are offering some tips to help your application get noticed by our volunteers. We review and respond to every single application, but we have more applications than dogs, so not every applicant will be successful.

  • Read this page in full.  We offer a lot of information for your benefit.
  • On this website, under “learn more” read the required reading for DIBS adopters. If you aren’t on board for training or the potential need for a tracker, please don’t apply.
  • Read the dog’s bio in full.  Our social media team works closely with our foster parents, to provide the details for each dog.  If you aren’t a match, don’t apply. Keep looking for the right match.  Look beyond the dogs photo: some of our most amazing dogs, may not be our most adorable ones.  If you don’t see a match on the DIBS website, expand your search ( is an option).  Enter the search criteria to find your match.  Please note, each rescue operates a bit differently, so read the dogs bio in full and follow the call to action listed on the dogs bio (some rescues may want an application, others may want an email or a phone call)
  • Take time on your application. Don’t rush it and be honest and detailed.  Fill it out as if your success rate relies on it.  A foster parent may receive 15 applications to review in one day, and those that didn’t take time to fill out the detail will get less priority over those that took their time to help us get to know them.
  • We respond to all applications by email. Please watch your inbox and check your junk folder as needed. (If your email address is not accurate, you won’t hear from us). Your application will be on our on-going communication/email thread going forward. Please do not send separate emails.
  • Drama and rudeness isn’t tolerated. Tantrums, bullying, threats, trolling are not welcome at DIBS.  Our volunteers are amazing, and will try to help applicants along the way. Most of our applicants are lovely, but about 1 in 500 are not, and we don’t have the bandwidth to deal with those people.  
  • We very rarely reject an applicant, but when it’s not a match, we often do redirect people from the dog they applied for.
  • We ask that the person who is financially responsible for the care of a dog, be the one to complete the applications. Applications from the children in the home will be responded to with a rejection.

COVID-19 update June 2021

  • We have a limited number of dogs available, as transportation via our standard method(flight parents) is rarely an option.  Right now, we realize things are different in the world of dog rescue. In Canada, there are too many applicants and not enough dogs.  We are receiving 30-40 applications per dog (vs normal times of 10-15).  
  • We ask that people please read the dog’s bio, and only apply if you are a match.  We are receiving amazing applications, but not matched to the dogs profile.  We do gravitate towards the best match for each dog.
  • We have minimal flights booked – we update dates on the dogs bio, as we know them. If you are wondering “when”, check the dogs bio. If no flight date is listed, it’s because we don’t have a flight booked.  (Fingers crossed we get back to some version of “normal” soon)
  • For any incoming dogs, our adoption fees have (temporarily) increased to help supplement increased travel expenses.
  • Screening:
    • Most of our screening has always been virtual; application, phone screen, references, foster phone call.  
    • We have moved our home visit screening to be remote as well (via skype, facetime, etc). 
    • Foster parents are encouraged to do at least one meet and greet virtually with short-listed applicants.  
    • Foster parents will book socially distanced meet and greet, especially when “dog compatibility” is a topic of conversation. In person meet and greets are to happen in a backyard, with mask and physical distancing guidelines being adhered to.
    • If approved for adoption, applicant and foster can discuss next steps (waiting, social/physical distancing, etc)
    • We have moved to online contracts, and we no longer accept cash as a form of payment

Application Form: 

Please read a dogs bio on our site to see if you are a potential match!  

Adopting a rescue dog is a serious endeavour and should not be considered as a spur of the moment decision. Your application is our method to get to know you the best we can, so we ask that you provide us with the most accurate information possible. Please note that these questions do not have right or wrong answers, but are a way for us to verify that the dog you have selected would be best suited to your home and lifestyle.  Take a moment to consider your answers.

Please answer questions with REAL LIFE in mind – not COVID life!


To keep your info secure, we have now included a new captcha step.  Once submitting your application, please look for the confirmation page and the image of a dog with a thumbs up.  You will also be cc’d on a copy to the email address provided (so if you didn’t receive it, neither did we)