Adoptable Pets and Process

Our Adoption Process (We do the best we can to assure a good fit for the family. So there may be additional criteria applied based on your family situation.  It’s impossible to list  all scenarios).  

In order to set up a visitation with one of the adoptable animals, a complete application must be submitted, which can be found under the “Adoption Forms” tab of this website. Our volunteers review applications, perform home visits and do adoptions on their own time, and gas expense. With that stated, we can only guarantee a volunteer can do a home visit within 90 driving miles of 60564. We still welcome ALL applications in the event a volunteer is in your area or passing through your area for the final step of the application, the home visit.  We do not do home visits for every application.  It just depends on the dog and the application.   Please do not let the guaranteed miles deter you as there is always a possibility there is a volunteer in your area that might be able to do a home visit . If a puppy or kitten is too young to be fixed, we provide you with a spay/neuter coupon to one of our participating vets which are all located in the Chicago Suburbs, a $100.00 fully refundable spay/neuter deposit is required, and you must live within 60 miles of one of those vets in order for your application to be approved.  Our current vets are in Joliet, Naperville, Yorkville, Oswego, North Aurora, and Glen Ellyn.

Other potential adopters may be looking at the same dog you are, so time is of the essence, and it would be in your best interest to be sure the application is complete, and one is submitted. We process applications in the order they are received, and emails do not count. You will receive a “thank you” once your application is received.   Submitting an application doesn’t mean we hold the dog. We could be reviewing several applications. We require all resident dogs and cats be spayed and neutered to adopt from our organization, we will verify that with your vet. Most of our correspondence is done through email while we are processing your application, so be sure to check your email often. Based on the information you provide, if you are a good match for the cat or dog you are applying for, someone will be in contact with you within 7 days. With the number of applications we receive (especially on the very adoptable cats and dogs), we only contact those families that are a good match for the pet you are applying for. We strive ourselves in doing the best to match a dog or cat to a families lifestyle and home environment. Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to seeing your adoption application

Our adoptable dogs come from variety of situations. Many are strays so we don’t always know their background or situation they came out of.

Angels on Wheels Animal Rescue, our foster home do the best they can to tell us about a animals behavior, thus the reason some of our animals have specific criteria for adoption.  We provide our dogs with vaccinations, we test for Heartworms, all three of the tick transmitted diseases,  treat for fleas, and heartworm preventative, and dogs are given panacur and cats are given pyrantel, and spay/neuter prior to adoption if old enough. Some animals require additional veterinary care such as additional medication, treatment for mange or ringworm, surgeries and HW treatments. We do everything we can to ensure that the dog we place for adoption are free and clear of all disease.

Unfortunately, even though every attempt has been made to ensure that the dogs we have are healthy, it is impossible to guarantee animal’s health. Many diseases may not show any signs for weeks. If signs of illness are not shown while the animal is in our custody, we may not be aware of any illnesses. Furthermore, we cannot predict if a dog may develope health conditions in the future. Because of that we want to make sure that you are willing to accept the responsibility to take care and treat any illness or health condition that the dog you adopt may have after it has been adopted. .

Below are some of the adoption guidelines:

1. We require that you fill out the adoption application so we can get to know you a little better.  The application must be processed and approved prior to scheduling a meet and greet.  Please be patient, we are a group of volunteers trying to make a difference.  We have jobs and families of our own just like you.  Emailing and phone calls to check on the status of your application will only slow us down.  The application can take up to 7 days to process.  When submitting the application you will get a message that says thank you .  If you didn’t get that message your application did not go though.  Either you forgot to press the submit button or you pressed the submit button, and you missed a required field and didn’t read the message in red telling you which required field you missed.

2. You will need a valid driver’s license, the applicant and co-applicant must be 23 years old to adopt a dog or cat, applicant and co- applicant must be 23 years or older to adopt a dog, and you an age restriction of 70 to adopt an animal that is under the age of 3.  If you are over 70 and can provide a family member that will step up to take the dog or cat you are looking to adopt should something happen to you, we will consider your application.    Some exceptions may apply to the age requirement.  Any application received where the applicant or co-applicant is under the age of 23 will be discarded.

3. Have the knowledge and consent of all adults living in the household, and all members of the family need to be present in order to adopt.

4. Have pet approval from owner of residence (written in lease) if you rent.

5. Proof of residency if you own (i.e., tax bill/deed or mortgage bill and recent utility bill).

6. All Cats and Dogs living in the household over 6 months must be SPAYED AND/OR NEUTERED (unless for medical reasons your vet has suggested otherwise and we will speak to them about the reason), current on rabies shots and registered as mandated by law as well as heartworm preventative, we will call your vet to verify.

7. Adopter is willing to allow an Angels On Wheels Animal Rescue Representative perform a pre-adoption home visit and/or a Representative to make an adoption follow-up, either in person or by telephone.  The meet and greet may take place at the foster family’s home or at the applicant’s home.

8. Once you have picked out your new companion and you are ready to adopt, microchip registration is required (one time transfer fee of $9.99), and an Adoption Contract will need to be signed prior to taking your new pet home. This is done at the time you visit with our animals, and after you have chosen your new best friend. It includes a mandatory vet visit with your new pet within seven days of adoption, if the vet visit is done through one of our participating vets the visit is free, and a free vet visit coupon will be provided to you with a list of those vets.  All dogs and puppies will be sent home with a leash, collar, and an adoption bag with valuable coupons, medical records, microchip information, and some wonderful information to help you begin your days with your new companion.

9. If at any time you are unable to keep the pet, or unable to provide it with proper care, the animal must be offered back to Angels On Wheels before making other arrangements, you may be placed on a waiting list as we are a foster based rescue, which means we do not have a facility. We take our adoptions very seriously.   Be sure when you adopt that you can make a commitment both financially and personally to these animals for their entire lives.  Proper training  and socialization will ensure that your pet will be a good family pet.  Once an animal has been adopted, there will be no refunds.

Adoption Fees:

Kittens and Adults: The adoption fee starts at $50.00 and goes up to $200.00 depending on age and breed, we do not offer a discount for adopting two,  and includes:

Mandatory Spaying/Neutering which is paid for by Angels on Wheels Animal Rescue.  If due to age they are not spayed and neutered prior to adoption, you agree to have them spayed and neutered by 6 months, and a spay and neuter coupon will be provided with a list of our participating vets, and a fully refundable spay/neuter deposit will be required.  This is a mandatory part of our contract and not negotiable.

Up to date on FVRCP Vaccinations while in our care.

Rabies vaccination age appropriate if in our care.

Checked and treated for external parasites while in our care.

Regular deworming while in our care

Treated with revolution for the prevention of fleas

Feline Leukemia (FeLV) Tested.

Feline Immunodeficiency (FIV) Tested.


Upper Respiratory Infections treated while in our care

Any other medical condition while in our care.

Free office visit with one of our participating vets good for 7 days after adoption.

Petco Coupon Book

Puppies & Dogs: With some of our Senior dogs the adoption fee has been sponsored, and thus waived.  The adoption fee starts at $150.00 for Senior Dogs and goes up depending on breed, age and includes:

Mandatory Spaying/Neutering which is paid for by Angels on Wheels Animal Rescue.  If due to age they are not spayed and neutered prior to adoption, you agree to have them spayed and neutered by 6 months, and a spay and neuter coupon will be provided with a list of our participating vets that can perform the surgery at our expense, a fully refundable spay/neuter deposit will be required. This is a mandatory part of our contract and not negotiable.  Any pup 4+ months will be fixed prior to adoption.  If a pup is not fixed prior to adoption, you must reside within an our of one of our participating vets to have the procedure done.  Our vets are located in Yorkville, Crest Hill, Glen Ellyn, Oswego, Naperville, North Aurora, Woodridge, and Glen Ellyn.

Up to date on age appropriate vaccinations while in our care.

Rabies vaccination, age appropriate while in our care.

Treated for external parasites such as fleas while in our care.

Treated for any internal parasites wile in our care with Revolution.

Monthly heartworm protection while in our care except for December, January and February.


Deworming with Panacure, droncit and/or strongid while in our care.

Heartworm testing, age appropriate while in our care.

Testing for all three of the tick transmitted diseases

Heartworm positive dogs are treated while in our care.

Seniors receive a Senior Blood Panel

10% off purchase of 10-visit day care package through Central Bark Doggy Day Care

Free office visit with one of our participating vets good for within 7 days after adoption.

Petco Coupon Book

Treatment of any other medical needs while in our care.

We have the right to refuse any applicant/adopter at anytime for any reason. We have the right to the change adoption fees on any animal without prior notification at any time. Spaying and neutering is a non-negotiable part of the adoption contract, and we pay for the surgery if not already done due to the animals age. For obvious reasons we can’t hold any animal for any reason at any time.  After adoption, all medical is the responsibility of the new owner unless otherwise indicated including, but not limited too… continued puppy/kitten vaccinations, rabies vaccination if not done because of age, heartworm preventative, and deworming.


For an adult dog, the first few weeks in a new home are a critical transition period. How well you manage the dog’s behavior during this time will determine whether he develops into a well-behaved, loving pet. This article will help people know what to expect from a new dog.

Adoptive owners view a dog’s new life in their home as a wonderful change from a shelter pen, but the transition presents some problems for the dog. The transition brings a change in the dog’s daily routine and caretakers. In the new home, the dog suddenly faces a new set of social companions in a new environment filled with unfamiliar sights, smells and sounds. He will be confused, stimulated and a little frightened. He faces a big adjustment as he learns his way around and develops relationships with his new family. Some undesirable behavior may result. Don’t panic! By modifying or redirecting his actions, you can help the dog become a solid citizen in a few weeks.

The first few days following an adoption is a critical time for learning rules and breaking bad habits. Dogs are particularly impressionable in a new environment, especially the first time they try a behavior. Therefore, plan to invest time during this period to socialize, teach and get acquainted with your new dog.

Plan and prepare for your new dog in advance. Read about basic training. Get food, bowls, collar, leash, brush and comb, toys, and dog gate or crate. Decide where the dog will be confined when you’re not home and arrange a bed or crate in that area. Decide what particular area outdoors will be the dog’s bathroom. Prepare yourself mentally — all things will not go smoothly at first. As soon as you get your new pet home, begin managing his behavior and supervising him closely.

Do not give your new dog, or even a cat, run of your house.The most important thing he needs for the first few weeks is STRUCTURE — enforced rules for living in your house. Freedom comes later as he develops the responsibility to handle it. Failure by the owners to teach a dog the house rules is a chief reason for unsuccessful adoptions.  Dogs should not roam when no one is home. A newly adopted dog that is free to wander in the home in the owner’s absence is almost certain to get into trouble or practice bad habits. In most cases, the damage is not done out of spite, but because the animal is nervous, stressed, frightened, stimulated to escape, bored or just exploring. Restrict the dog’s access when you are out, at least until he has comfortably adjusted to your home. To do otherwise jeopardizes your possessions, the dog’s safety and your new relationship.

Housebreaking. Take your dog out on a long leash at two-to-three hour intervals to the area designated as the bathroom. Allow him to explore and get used to the area. When he poops or pees, praise effusively and then reward him with a treat, a few minutes of play, sniffing or a walk. The dog should be kept near you in the house so that if he begins to potty inside, you can reprimand (say “nah-ah-ah”) and take him out immediately. Punishing a dog after the fact is ineffective and confusing to the animal.

Correct, praise and re-direct. If the dogs ignores corrections, work to improve your communication skills. Treats, treats, treats.  Most dogs are extremely food motivated.   Pay attention and be consistent. Don’t send mixed messages. If you correct behavior sometimes and ignore (or even inadvertently reward) it other times, you dog will be confused and never behave reliably. Keep the rules simple and enforce them, but always remember to praise.

Dogs look for authority in their lives. If none is forthcoming from people, they begin to act as their own bosses and may even try to push around their human companions using growling, snapping and lunging. Leadership with a dog is a positive relationship, not based on punishment or abuse. Shortly after you’ve adopted your dog, enroll in a positive reinforcement-based obedience class to get expert help in developing leadership and control. This greatly reduces the possibility of problems later.

Never tie or tether with a metal “choke collar. This can kill your dog, and should be used only when leash-walking and only after learning to use it correctly. Incorrect use of a training collar will cause problems rather than cure them. Keep a regular leather or nylon collar bearing license and i.d. tags on the dog.  There is a new Illinois tethering law for dogs. The new law, effective January 1, 2014, amends the Humane Care for Animals Act and provides that certain requirements—which benefit both dogs and people—be met in order to lawfully tether a dog outside. The law requires that tethers be at least 10 feet in length and that tethered dogs must be given adequate shelter and protection from the weather. The legislation also requires a proper harness or collar (excluding collars that choke, pinch, or poke the animal), prohibits the tethering of dogs in such close proximity that they might become entangled, and forbids the use of chains of excessive weight and size. Failure to meet these requirements or provide sufficient food, water, shelter, and veterinary care could result in up to six months imprisonment. A second violation could lead to up to three years in prison.

Dogs have an amazing way of making people happy. You can enjoy all the benefits with some well-directed efforts to help your dog adjust to life in your new home.