You can send us your completed application by uploading and submitting it below, or you attach it in an e-mail to Adoption donation for adult dogs is $350 and for puppies (less than one year old) is $500.

Before you complete the application:

Ready to begin? View the full adoption process and download the application.

DC SIR Adoption Process

Please be patient with our adoption process. We are committed to finding the perfect home for each dog that comes through DCSIR. We also ask that, if you did not get a particular dog, please understand that this does not mean you are not a qualified adopter. Most applicants won’t get the first dog they apply for. Most of our adopters end up with their perfect dog down the road and are overjoyed that they waited.

Please be aware that our adoption donation for adult dogs is $350, for puppies (less than one year old) is $500, and for seniors over 10 years old is $250.

This is what to expect when applying to adopt a dog from DC SIR:

  1. Complete the DC SIR Adoption Application
  2. Phone Interview
  3. Meet & Greet
  4. Home Visit
  5. Reference Checks

Complete the DC SIR Adoption Application

You can download the DCSIR Adoption Application (2017) and follow the instructions to submit the application by e-mail.  Please be honest and detailed. You must identify a specific dog that you are interested in adopting. We do not do general adoption calls. If you would like to learn about the breed or dogs please attend one of our monthly adoption events. The time it takes to complete the adoption process varies and we do not have a 'pre-approval' process. If you are approved to adopt a particular dog, you may adopt as quickly as you complete the below requirements (from a week to month etc). Make sure that the Adoption Application is submitted in Microsoft Word format (.doc or .docx extension) only or in pdf. 

Phone Interview

Once we receive a completed Adoption Application, a DC SIR volunteer will e-mail you to schedule a phone interview.  We ask that prior to the call you:

1. Have researched the breed
2. Researched our training philosophy and
3. Read our nutritional information.

The call will include questions about your current pets and their temperament, if any.  The interview will focus on your personal experience with dogs and your current lifestyle, to match the best fit with your experience.

Meet and Greet

This involves meeting the particular dog  that you are interested in. This step and others may be interchanged or combined with a Home Visit, based on timing and location. Please be aware that you are responsible for meeting the foster at a location convenient to them. Note that only the top 2 -3 final applicants will be contacted for a meet and greet. At times, we may have several dozen applicants for a dog and it is not possible for our fosters to meet with every person. DC SIR holds monthly adoption events. Our fosters drive from MD/VA/DC to a central location so that applicants may meet the dogs. Please look under events for our upcoming opportunities to meet a rescue dog.

All formal notifications regarding approved, finalized adoptions are conducted by DC SIR officers.  The individual(s) who conduct the phone interview and/or reference checks may not be the same individual(s) who make the final decisions/notifications regarding adoptions.

Please be patient with us, as DC SIR is a group of volunteers who have full-time jobs, families and other responsibilities.  It is our goal to dedicate as much of our free time as possible to caring for and placing these wonderful dogs!

Home Visit

Two DCSIR volunteers will coordinate this with you. All parties living in the home must be present for the entire home visit.  We may bring a ‘test’ dog, and not the specific dog you are interested in adopting, as this may not be an ideal meeting time or convenient location.

Reference Checks

If we move forward, DC SIR will contact the references/veterinarians listed on your Adoption Application to obtain additional information. This is mandatory and please do not list relatives.

If you are selected by the Board of Directors to adopt a rescue

  1. You will receive an emailing stating you are approved to adopt that rescue and you must respond with your interest to move forward in a timely manner.
  2. You must be able to drive to the foster/office home at adoption. DC SIR volunteers drive incredible number of hours for foster supplies, home checks, intakes, transports and assessments on a daily basis. We are unpaid volunteers and expect that when you adopt a rescue you can take time/effort to pick up your rescue. No exceptions.
  3. From official notice of approval from the Board of Directors you are expected to be able to pick up your rescue within a 10 day period. If you are traveling, you may adopt the rescue (sign contract pay adoption fee) and board back through DC SIR for $25/night fee. This new policy is in place due to us ‘holding’ rescues for weeks and having adopters change their mind or putting off adoptions because of travel. Each rescue that remains in foster potentially takes a life from a shelter dog who needs rescue. We may have to board the other dogs who can’t come in the rescue because we are holding, feeding, caring for, and taking applications for a rescue who could be adopted out but is being held for adopters convenience. There is no ‘Shiba Layaway’
  4. Again, no rescue is considered adopted until all papers are signed. Both parties may change their mind.

Please Note:

We are not a shopping service. DC SIR will not ‘keep you updated’ on rescues that fit your home. Please understand we can have up to 100 active applicants at any given time. We are not a shopping service for you. It is your responsibility to notify DC SIR of interest in any new rescues. If you do not resend in an application we have no way of knowing you are interested in another rescue. Just because you did not get the rescue you applied for does not mean you are not qualified for a Shiba. Please be very aware of what DC SIR does: We find the best fit home for our rescues. We DO NOT find the best rescue for your home.

No dog is EVER promised to anyone. Adoptions are not guaranteed until contract is signed. 

We often get questions for updates on dogs or our adoption process. We have a very detailed and extensive adoption process and we take great care and diligence with our rescues and expect the same thoroughness with our interview process. We hope that you will take the time to learn about potential dogs prior to applying for a dog. For more information, please watch our video about our adoption process and website navigation.

Out of Area Adoptions

At times, for special needs rescues we expand our applicant pool to out of state adoptions. Anyone who wishes to adopt from out of the DC metropolitan area must be willing to come to the foster home to meet the rescue and understand that this is still no guarantee that the adoption will be approved. If the rescue does not appear to be comfortable with the applicant the adoption will not proceed. We have often seen the rescue dog select their adopters and because of this it is mandatory to meet the rescue prior to finalizing adoption.  We will NOT ship dogs out of state. You are required to pick up your rescue dog.



DC SIR is a non-profit, volunteer-run network of foster homes in the Washington, DC area.

DC SIR does not have a shelter facility. To meet our adoptable dogs, interested adopters can attend one of our monthly adoption events.