The kind of screening that people can expect when they apply to adopt a dog depends on the organization, however, many dog adoption organizations require basic paperwork, adoption fees (possible application fees), a home study, legal identification (driver's license or passport) and proof of residency. The proof of residency is typically needed to ensure that dogs are allowed at the potential adopter's home if the home is an apartment complex.
These screening practices are put into place by shelters and other dog adoption organizations as a way to ensure that any person who adopts will be committed to the dog that they are adopting. Unfortunately, some people are committed to the idea of having a dog at home, but are not willing to truly care for the dog when they realize that the dog will add new difficulties to the person's life.
Some adoption organizations and shelters such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have a match program that helps potential adopters find the best dog for their needs. The match program looks at aspects of the dogs such as energy levels and affection needs as well as other behavioral tendencies. For shelters that do not have this kind of a match program, there are often personnel that know the personalities of the dogs or puppies and can help potential adopters identify pets that fit their own personalities. It is also possible in most shelters and organizations to spend time individually with the dogs and puppies to determine the best possible match.