The adopter must be at least 18 or 21 years of age, depending on the shelter and location. Most shelters require potential pet owners to provide a written statement from their landlord if they rent a home or apartment.
Individual shelters have their own requirements when choosing someone to adopt an animal. In some cases, they want to see what type of home the person lives in - especially if they are adopting a large dog or exotic animal. People need to be trustworthy, and must have a veterinarian on hand. Many shelters call the vet or ask for a reference so they know the person already has a vet lined up. Most shelters do not offer dogs for adoption if they will be used as guard dogs or yard dogs. They will only allow the adoption of dogs and other animals as house pets.