The easiest way to adopt a dog for free is to adopt a dog of a friend or a relative. This ensures the fastest transaction because the new owner just needs to provide a good home for the dog. Another option is to adopt a dog from a local animal shelter.
Most communities operate an animal shelter where abandoned, seized and lost animals are cared for until the animals are adopted. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offers a nationwide database where pet lovers can search for adoptable dogs in their community. Each dog listed on the ASPCA website comes with detailed information, including the animal's recent photo, special features and even the dog's habits.
Hopeful dog owners must be at least 21 years old to adopt a pet on ASPCA, and a minimum adoption fee also applies. In many community animal shelters, a fee may be collected prior to the release of the dog. The fee covers the cost of spays and neuters, vaccinations and operating expenses to help keep the animal shelter running. The community shelter usually interviews potential new dog owners and may request personal references to ensure that the dogs will be in good and loving hands.