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pet care


What is Pay It Forward Animal Rescue Network?
Where do the animals come from?
Where is PIF located? Where do the animals stay?
What does "no-kill" mean?
What should I think about before adopting a pet?
How does the adoption process work?
What are your adoption policies and requirements?
Adoption Application
(Microsoft Word document)
Why can’t PIF animals live outside?
What are your adoption fees?
What forms of payment does PIF accept?
How do I return a PIF animal?
How do I surrender an animal to PIF?

Thinking about being a foster parent?

What is Pay It Forward Animal Rescue Network?

Pay It Forward Animal Welfare Network is a non-profit 501(c)3, no-kill organization comprised entirely of volunteers working toward a no-kill community.

We are dedicated to helping homeless, abandoned, and unwanted animals through fostering, adoption, and networking with other no-kill organizations. We also provide owner assistance in helping to keep or rehome animals, educate and encourage the public on the importance of spaying and neutering their animals, and help our community to provide low-cost spay/neuter options.

Where do the animals come from?

PIF dogs and cats have been rescued from a variety of situations. Some are surrendered by owners who can no longer care for them for a variety of reasons. Others are found as strays, and still others come from animal shelter facilities where they might have otherwise been euthanized.
Many of these animals find themselves homeless because their owners are either unable or unwilling to care for them. These animals are not abandoned by their own choice and deserve a second chance at life.

Where is PIF located? Where do the animals stay?

PIF is based in Henderson, KY, with foster homes in Kentucky and Illinois. We do not have a facility at which to view the animals. All of our animals are housed in a network of foster families. By staying with a family, an animal is less likely to have transition problems when moving to its new home. Many animals have learned housebreaking and crate training skills at their foster home.

What does "no-kill" mean?

"No-kill" means that we do not euthanize our animals if they are not adopted within a certain period of time. We give each animal all the time it needs to find a forever home. Unfortunately, “no-kill” does not mean that we never euthanize. Not all animals that come to us are able to be adopted. If an animalis terminally ill or has severe aggression or behavior problems, the difficult decision of euthanasia might be made. This is done on a case by case basis and is never taken lightly.

What should I think about before adopting a pet?

Please read the linked information from the Humane Society of the United States before adopting a pet. Pet ownership should not be taken lightly and is often a 10-20 year commitment.

How does the adoption process work?

  1. Read through all of our adoption requirements & adoption policies below.
  2. If you have specific questions about the animal, please e-mail pifanimal@yahoo.com. We will respond to your messages as soon as possible but please remember that we are volunteers and also have jobs, school, and families as well. If you don't hear back from us in 3 days, please send another e-mail in case we did not receive the first.
  3. Complete a PIFapplication. This is a Microsoft Word document. After completion, please e-mail the application to pifanimal@yahoo.com.
  4. PIF will conduct a vet reference check based on the information you provide to ensure that current and previous animals were/are altered and up-to-date on vaccinations.
  5. PIF will conduct a home visit. A PIF representative will visit your home to meet family members and pets. These visits usually last no more than 30 minutes and are designed to ensure that your home would be a safe, loving environment for a PIF animal.
  6. If home is approved, the contract is signed and adoption fee is paid. Please read the section on adoption fees below.

Please note, if more than one application is received for an animal, PIF will choose the home that is most suited to that particular animal.

What are your adoption policies and requirements?

In order to adopt an animal from PIF you must:

• Be 21 years of age and have a valid driver’s license

• Provide a form of identification showing your present address

• Provide your veterinarian’s name and phone number (we will do a vet reference check)

• If you rent, you must provide landlord’s name, phone number, & lease expiration date.

• Provide daily care, daily training (including crate training for dogs/puppies), kind treatment, & vet care as needed (including all vaccines). Dogs are to be on a heartworm preventative program & flea control program as directed by a veterinarian.

• Be able to meet all requirements so that the pet can live a happy, healthy life for the rest of his/her life with you.

• Agree to a home visit prior to adoption as well as a follow up visit in the future.

Approved adopters are bound to the following:

• Bring any pet that has not been spayed or neutered to a scheduled appointment within five days of the adoption. If said pet is too young to be spayed or neutered it will be spayed/neutered no later than six months of age.

• Understand that due to the cost involved in veterinary care, feeding, fostering and training of the animals, there is no refund for pets that get returned after the seven day trial period. (Please, if you think for any reason that you cannot commit unconditionally to this pet for the rest of its life, do not proceed with the adoption process.)

• Agree and promise to return adopted pet to Pay It Forward if for any reason you cannot keep the pet. It is mandatory for this pet to be returned to Pay It Forward Animal Welfare Network.

• Upon moving, notify Pay It Forward Animal Welfare Network of new address and phone number so files can be updated.

• Take newly adopted pet to a veterinarian within three business days of adoption for a health check. Take pet to a veterinarian for the required and recommended annual vaccinations, including boosters for puppies and kittens. Keep adopted puppy/dog on heartworm preventative & flea control as recommended by my veterinarian. If pet becomes ill or injured, get immediate veterinary care

• Provide adopted pet with proper food, fresh clean water, adequate shelter and kind treatment at all times. Promise not to sell, trade, loan or give away adopted pet and will never allow him/her to be used for experimental purposes

• Agree that the pet’s welfare is the most important factor, and if any representative of Pay It Forward Animal Welfare Network finds unsuitable living conditions, or any violations of agreement that Pay It Forward Animal Welfare Network reserves the right to terminate the contract WITHOUT NOTICE and take immediate possession of the pet. Understand and will pay reasonable attorney’s fee in the event that an attorney is consulted or suit is brought for the return of the adopted pet.

If you would like to fill out an adoption application after reading the above information, please download the following Word document. pifapplication

Why can’t PIF animals live outside?

Dogs are social animals and want to be part of the pack. Their pack is their human family. Dog left outside are isolated from the pack. Dogs who live outdoors receive considerably less attention than those living indoors. Cats may seem to enjoy the outdoors, but will live longer, healthier lives if kept indoors.

There are other reasons why it is not a good idea to keep your pets outdoors. Outdoor dogs and cats have a much higher likelihood of getting a disease or sick (such as heartworm and heatstroke), getting poisoned, or stolen.

Please read the following link about keeping dogs tethered or chained to better understand the life of an outdoor dog:

What are your adoption fees?

The adoption fees for dogs vary. Dogs considered to be in high demand or who have undergone greater amounts of vet work will often have higher adoption fees. If you are interested in a particular dog, please e-mail for that dog's fee. The adoption fee for most cats is $85. Our fees may seem high, but remember, you are adopting a completely vetted animal (the spay/neuter, heartworm/feline leukemia tests, all shots, and a known behavior history from the foster home). You also have the satisfaction of donating to a cause that helps other homeless animals in need. Your adoption fee will be directly used to help other animals. We do not receive any government support and rely solely on donations and adoption fees

What forms of payment does PIF accept?

We accept either cash or personal checks.

How do I return a PIF animal?

If you should ever decide you cannot keep or do not want your PIF animal, you MUST notify PIF before taking any action. You must agree that if for any reason you can no longer provide a home for your PIF animal, that you will return the animal to PIF. You will agree NEVER to surrender the animal to an animal shelter, humane society, pound, or another rescue, nor will you sell, exchange, give to, or adopt the animal to anyone else without contacting PIF first and specifically speaking with and receiving consent from Robin Dance, the president of PIF.

How do I surrender an animal to PIF?

Before you contact us about giving up your pet, please ask yourself why you are needing to give your pet up. Is it a problem that can be solved with training or some other minor lifestyle adjustment? Contact your veterinarian for ideas. If you are able to keep your pet, that is wonderful! When we bring an animal into our program, it means that another animal will die because there is no space for him/her. Thousands of animals are euthanized everyday because of lack of space. Usually all of our foster homes are full. PIF is a “no-kill” organization, but the dogs and cats we are forced to turn away could face euthanasia.

If you adopted your dog from a rescue or shelter, you need to contact them first. Most places have contracts you have to sign that legally binds you to bring their dogs back to them (PIF does this and has the right to take legal action if there is a breach of contract and the dog is brought to another rescue, shelter, pound, or humane society). If you purchased your dog from a breeder, call them back and see if they can take the dog back. The responsible breeders care about what happens to their dogs — no matter how old the dog is or if s/he has any issues.

Please look at the following information before deciding to give away your pet.

If PIF can accept your pet into our program:
If we can accept your pet into our program, you will need to sign an owner release form that will turn over the legal rights of ownership of the pet to us.

More often than not, all of our foster homes are full so it would be ideal if you could foster your pet until s/he is adopted. Although your pet would still be staying with you, you would need to sign an owner release form.

If PIF cannot accept your pet into our program:
If we do not have enough foster homes available to take your pet, we can still post your pet for adoption and screen potential adopters. The pet would stay with you until adoption. We would have all vet work done and charge you a fee to cover the cost. If you are unable to keep your pet until adoption, you will need to look at other options, including rehoming yourself or taking the animal to a shelter/humane society.

Some animals are lucky enough to be adopted from shelters, but many are killed within days because there are too few adopters for the thousands of worthy animals hoping for a good home. Find out how long your pet might have at a shelter/humane society/pound and see if you can live with what that might be — sometimes they have a few weeks or days, other times only a few hours. If we cannot take your pet and you bring it to a Humane Society or a pound, please understand that there is a chance that s/he will be euthanized.

Listed below are links that you should look at if you are considering re-homing your dog:

The dangers of listing your pet as "free to a good home:"
Whatever you do, we urge you NOT to list your dog or cat as "free to a good home." Many of the labs that test on animals, dog fighting rings, and other shady people monitor the want ads for free animals. At first glace they might appear a great home, but you never know where your dog will go. Charge at least $100 for your pet and ask lots of questions.

Thinking about being a foster parent?

Have you ever wanted to get involved with Pay It Forward but weren't quite sure how? Become a foster home (either temporary or long term)! Fostering is a very rewarding experience and very important. Without foster homes, we could not continue to operate. When you foster, not only do you enjoy the wonderful company of a rescue companion pet, you also take part in saving the life of a wonderful pet as well! Foster companion animals come in all breeds, sizes and ages; some already have obedience training, others don't. We try to make fostering a happy experience for both the foster family and the foster animal by matching the animal with a foster home that can meet its needs. Please consider fostering, you could save a life!

The following poem by Diane Morgan really sums up the rewarding experience of fostering:

A Poem to My Foster Dog

I am the bridge
Between what was and what can be.
I am the pathway to a new life.
I am made of mush,
Because my heart melted when I saw you,
Matted and sore, limping, depressed,
Lonely, unwanted, afraid to love.
For one little time you are mine.

I will feed you with my own hand
I will love you with my whole heart
I will make you whole.
I am made of steel.
Because when the time comes,
When you are well, and sleek,
When your eyes shine,
And your tail wags with joy
Then comes the hard part.
I will let you go -- not without a tear,
But without a regret.
For you are safe forever -- A new dog needs me now.

Basic Responsibilities
A foster home will care for the dog/cat as they would their pet, providing a safe secure stable environment, food, companionship, basic training and exercise, and supplying generous amounts of patience and love. Some animals require special care, such as post medical attention, increasing weight or strength, socializing, building trust, exercise, and fun. Others may need you to help reinforce manners, working with problem areas (leash manners, housetraining, barking, etc.), and be taught basic obedience (sit, down, off, etc). The animal CANNOT be left outside while family members are at work or are not present in the home.

Time Length of Fostering

The fostering period can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks to several months. It depends on the breed, gender, age, and health of the animal, as well as the time of year. Younger or small breed animals tend to be adopted more quickly. The more "work" a foster home puts into the animal, the quicker they get adopted because they are easier to place when they've been taught obedience and good manners.
If at anytime you feel you can no longer foster an animal, we always take them back into our program. Know in advance that when you bring a foster animal home, your lifestyle and daily routine will change - sometimes dramatically or sometimes only a little bit. If you have other pets, expect some conflict at first because they need to establish their order in the pack (especially for dogs). As a foster, once you take an animal into your home we expect that you will work through any problems that arise unless they are severe.

Leaving the Foster Pet Home Alone

Most of our foster parents have full-time jobs and aren't home for several hours a day. As long as the animal is kept safely indoors, it should be fine. We recommend all fosters crate their dogs or confine them to a room when they are not at home and we encourage you to do the same.

Fostering Animals Around Children

As long as you make sure your children know the "do's and don'ts" around dogs and supervise at all times, fostering animals with children around should not be a problem. We do not always know the temperament of the animals we take in, but can usually tell which animals will be good with children. Please understand that if your child hurts or scares the dog, it may bite. It is your responsibility to make sure this does not happen and PIF is in no way liable for any injuries that may occur.

Deciding to Keep a Foster Animal

It is tough when a foster pet finds a permanent home and you've fallen in love with him/her; however, you'll feel joy in sending a pet to a wonderful new family. If you decide you would like to adopt a foster pet and your home is the best home for the animal, you will need to fill out an adoption application and contract. We'll be sad to lose a foster home but we'll be happy for the animal.

Foster Home Costs
PIF will pay all medical bills for a foster pet. We also supply all food, crates, and other pet care items that are required. Some foster homes choose to use their own supplies and food and that is fine as well.
If you have read all of the above information and are interested in fostering a dog or cat and giving it a second chance at life, please e-mail Robin at


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