The St. Mary's Animal Welfare League (SMAWL) was established as a non-profit organization in 1990 by a band of dedicated animal lovers. We are an all volunteer organization. SMAWL's mission is "To rescue, find temporary shelter, care for (including alter, vaccinate and worm) and adopt unwanted animals in Southern Maryland and to promote responsible pet ownership to reduce their numbers." To achieve the mission SMAWL has five stated goals: (1) Create a humanely run animal shelter and expand number of other foster-care locations; (2) Increase the number of adoptions to qualified homes; (3) Expand low-cost services such as spay/neuter and rabies clinics; (4) Promote humane education and responsible pet ownership; (5) Maintain a lost-and-found hotline.
Step #1. The Adoption Application: The initial step in our adoption process is the Adoption Application. This can either be done online or in person. The Adoption form must be filled out completely including vet references and two personal non-family references. Your application will be reviewed and your references will be contacted. We contact your veterinarian to ensure that your current or recently deceased pets were properly taken care of - this means being current on all vaccinations and spayed or neutered. In order to speed up the process, please contact your veterinarian and let them know to expect our call. Step #2. Personal Interview: You will be interviewed by a SMAWL Board Member or Volunteer either through phone, email or in person. This is an opportunity to learn more specifics about you, your family, your pets and the type of pet you are looking for. At this time, we may suggest that you consider a different animal - one that we may feel might be more acceptable for your situation. If you are completing your application in person, this will most likely be done at that time of completion. Step #3. The Home Visit: If all goes well with the application verification, we will schedule a home visit. A home visit is required to ensure that your home is everything you say it is on the Adoption Application. It needs to be a suitable safe environment for your new pet. All pets and family members should be home at this time. Step #4: Meeting Your Potential Adoptee: Once the Application has been reviewed and all references checked, arrangements will be made for you to meet with the animal you wish to adopt, either through the foster parent or the animal's Case Manager. As a courtesy to our foster families, we do not ask them to show their animals to individuals until we have completed the application approval process. If you have other animals, we recommend a neutral meeting place, such as PETCO or a local park to ensure the animals are compatible outside of their own territory. Step #5. Finalizing The Adoption: Once the adoption has been approved, we will contact you to finalize the adoption. You will need to sign the contract and pay our adoption fee. (Puppies (under 1) = $300, Dogs (over 1) =$250, Young Cats 2 years and under =$125, Older Cats over 2 years = $75). Foster to adopt over a two week period may be available on a case by case basis. Any applications received for adoptions from beyond St Mary's county line, will be subject to additional terms and conditions available on request.
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