Frequently Asked Questions



What is the adoption process?

To meet and adopt a dog through Atlanta Boxer Rescue, read the Before You Adopt page.  If after reading you think a boxer is the right choice for you, please fill out the adoption application online.  The application process consists of a phone interview, a personal reference check, a vet check and a home visit. Once you are approved, the adoption coordinator will contact you to help find a boxer that meets your family’s needs.

How long does it take to adopt?

Because the approval process has four components including a phone interview, vet check, a reference check, and a home visit, the process time varies.  Typically, all components are completed within a couple of weeks.


What does the application process include?

The application process consists of a phone interview, a reference check, vet check and a home visit. Once you are approved, the adoption coordinator will contact you to help find a boxer that meets your family’s needs.

 What are your application requirements?

While each dog may have specific requirements to be placed in a home, the general requirements to be approved for adopting are as follows:

A self-sufficient adult/family - who demonstrates responsibility and can give adequate assurances that they intend to provide proper care for an animal's entire life (up to 12 years).

Proper care includes:

Why do you need to visit my home?

ABR does a home visit to meet prospective adopters and to evaluate the suitability and safety of their home for a dog. By observing the environment and answering questions, the home visit can also help a pending adopter prepare for adoption. 

Why do you only adopt in the greater Atlanta area?

Part of the application process is a home visit. All people that work with ABR are volunteers who reside in the metro Atlanta area. So, in order to have a home visit by one of ABR’s volunteers, you need to be in the Atlanta area. There are many Boxer rescues throughout the US, you can click here to find a boxer rescue in your area. 

My application was approved, now what happens?

You will receive an approval email from the adoption coordinator.  At this point you can request to meet dogs that are of interest to you, or ask the adoption coordinator to suggest dogs that she thinks will match your family’s needs.  If you request to meet a specific dog and they are a good fit for your home, the adoption coordinator will forward your information to the foster home.  The foster for the dog will contact you directly to talk about the dog. If you and the foster agree that a dog is a good fit, a meet and greet will be set up.  At the meet and greet, all people and pets that live in the home need to be present. In addition, any dogs or people that would be deal breakers if they did not get along with the dog also need to be present.  If after meeting, you and the foster still think the dog is a good fit, you will be allowed to adopt the dog.

Adoption Process:

I have my heart set on adopting xxx, why can’t I meet him/her?

We all fall in love with the cute pictures that pop up on our Facebook pages or website.  In order for an adoption to be successful, the dog has to be right for the person/family and vice versa.  Based on the history of the dog and the experience of the foster with the dog in his/her home, certain criteria may need to be met for the dog to be successfully placed.  For example, if a dog is a darter, the adopter may need to have a fenced yard.  Or, if the dog has separation anxiety, the home may need to have people at home the majority of the time.  The criteria increase the likelihood of a successful adoption.

I want to adopt xxx, but can’t take them home until a later date.  Can you hold him/her for me?

ABR does not hold dogs for meetings, after meetings, or after a dog is adopted   At a minimum, holding dogs would prolong the adoption process. Most fosters take a new foster each time his/her current foster is adopted. For every day that the adoption process is extended, dogs in shelters are put to “sleep” because the shelters are overcrowded.

What are your adoption fees?  Why do you even charge fees for adoptions?  I thought you were non-profit?

Adoption fees are as follows: Boxer Puppy (0-6 months) - $300, Young Boxer (7-12 months) - $275, Adult Boxer (12 months+) - $250, Senior Boxer (9+) - $100.The fee only covers a portion of our investment into the care of your adopted pet. Your pet has been part of a foster home environment where they have received love, socialization and training. In addition, pets are current on all vaccinations as needed for their age unless otherwise noted, microchipped, and spayed/neutered prior to adoption, which averages $350 per pet. There are also many dogs for which the adoption fee will never cover all the medical bills. Some dogs require unusually expensive care. The medical care for dogs that require surgery can cost thousands of dollars, yet those adopters will pay the same adoption fee.  Taking into account all the costs of special feeding and other supplies as well, our adoption fee is really very minimal.

What types of payment do you accept for adoption fees?

Credit cards, PayPal and cash.

What does it mean when you say all dogs are fully vetted before they can be adopted? 

Each dog has had a physical examination from a licensed veterinarian, has received any required vaccinations (for rabies, DHPP, etc.), has been microchipped, and has been spayed or neutered.

Available Dogs:

Are all your available dogs posted on the website/Facebook/Instagram page?

The dogs that are medically ready to be adopted are posted on the ABR webpage and social media (FB and Instagram).

Why isn’t the dog I saw on Facebook available for adoption?

Dogs that are posted for adoption are those that are medically ready and/or have a known point in time in which they will be medically ready. If a dog is not medically ready, you may see pictures posted to give our supporters a glimpse of what is happening inside ABR. When dogs come into the rescue, “freedom ride” pictures are sometimes posted. Since the temperament and health of the dog are unknown, they are not posted as available for adoption. In addition, when a dog is going through medical treatment, update pictures are sometimes posted. These dogs may not be posted until a clear path has been determined to get them healthy. Some of these dogs will become available for adoption. Sadly, some of them will not.

Why do I keep seeing Happy Tails for dogs that I’ve never seen posted before?

Sometimes a dog is adopted before it makes it to the webpage. The adoption coordinator keeps a list of the approved adopters and is aware of the dogs coming in. Sometimes a dog is a perfect fit for a previously approved candidate. The adoption coordinator sends the foster the information for the approved applicant before the dog is posted.  Alternatively, some fosters may not be as quick to get a bio in.  They have families, jobs, and other responsibilities. Again, the adoption coordinator may know a dog that does not yet have a bio is a great fit for an applicant. Another scenario is with puppies. ABR keeps a list of approved applicants that are interested in puppies. The people on that list are contacted first when puppies come into the rescue.


Why can’t you rescue this boxer mix?

The applicants that apply at Atlanta Boxer Rescue are looking for pure bred boxers. History has shown that the mixes get overlooked and are with ABR much longer. For every day that ABR has a foster dog, another boxer in a shelter will be put to sleep because we do not have space for it. If ABR takes in a mix, many pure bred boxers in shelters will die in the time that it takes us to place the mix.

I have a boxer that I can’t keep.  Can you take him/her?

Maybe.  ABR gets many requests from people wanting to surrender their dog to our rescue. Please know that we can only accept owner surrenders if there is room in one of our foster homes. Our main priority as a rescue is to save Boxers who are in animal control facilities whose time is very limited. If a foster home is not currently available and you are patient, a foster home may open up.

To increase the likelihood of ABR being able to accept you dog, please make sure your pet is up-to-date on shots and is negative for heartworms. Please ensure that you dog is a well-socialized dog. ABR temperament tests dogs prior to accepting them as surrenders. ABR can only take in dogs that can safely be adopted into family homes. Therefore, if your dog has issues socializing with people or other dogs, or if your dog has a bite history, ABR will not be able to take or place your dog.

What is the best way to contact you to help this urgent shelter dog?

Our Facebook messages are not monitored 24/7. We respond as soon as possible to those messages, but the fastest and most direct way to reach our shelter intake team is by email -

I just submitted my owner surrender application, but forgot the email address to send the photos. What is it again?

You can submit photos by email to after you have submitted the owner surrender application online at Photos received without an application submission will not be processed.