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our proven process


Each year, millions of animals pass through high kill shelters throughout the U.S. – many do not make it out alive. Secondhand Hounds has relationships with many of these shelters in an attempt to lower the euthanasia rates around our country. We also take animals from local impounds, surrender clinics across the Midwest, and from owners who can no longer care for their animals.



Once an animal is selected by our Admissions Team, they get to Secondhand Hounds’ Minnetonka location in one of two ways.  Some are transported to us by numerous volunteers who each drive (or fly!) a 2-3 hour leg of a long journey. Others are picked up by one of our volunteers, either in our vanimal or their own vehicle, depending on how many animals are coming.


The animals arrive at Secondhand Hounds and immediately get baths (if needed), intake vetting (including microchips, vaccines and preventatives),
and a photo shoot! 
This process is called intake 
and every single animal goes through it upon arrival.


We are a foster-based organization!  After intake, fosters come to the office and pick up their foster animals along with all the supplies they may need for the foster animal. We provide all the necessary supplies, including food, crates, bowls, leashes, toys and much more!  Many of these supplies are donated by generous people who make a difference!



After arriving at their foster home, SHH animals learn how to be good family members!  During this time, they will also have any necessary veterinary appointments at the Secondhand Hounds Veterinary Center. All of our animals are spayed/neutered, brought up to date on vaccines, and microchipped prior to adoption.  This is for the well-being and health of our animals, and also to allow their adopters to enjoy their new best friend without worrying about medical needs.


Our Foster Support Specialists list our animals for adoption when they are behaviorally and medically ready to find their forever homes.  They are listed on our adoptable dog and adoptable cat pages.  The fosters write biographies that describe the animals’ personality and needs – allowing us to find the very best fit!


Our Adoption Coordinators review each application and forward it to the applicable foster home.  If the application looks like a good fit, the foster reaches out to the applicant to discuss the animal further.

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If the initial communication goes well, the foster schedules a meet and greet with the applicant!  This can take place at the foster’s home, the applicant’s home or a neutral location like a park. The meet and greet is a good time to see how the applicants and their family (including other pets) interact with the foster animal.


If the foster and the applicant both agree that
it is a good fit, the foster lets our Adoption Coordinators know that the applicant would like to move forward with the adoption. The dog or cat is almost ready to head to their forever home!

Once the home visit is approved, our Adoption Coordinators send the adoption agreement to finalize the adoption, as well as payment instructions.  Our team signs the agreement first, confirming that all veterinary care is completed.  Then our foster signs with information about the animal.  Finally, the adopter signs the agreement!




When the adoption agreement is complete, and the full adoption fee is paid, the foster and adopter arrange the transfer!  When the adoption is complete and an animal is in their new home, our foster can take in another animal in desperate need of a foster home – and the process starts over again!

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