Adoption Process

Once SBRET "rescues" a dog, we immediately take the dog to a veterinarian for a complete examination. Any illnesses diagnosed at the time of examination are treated as recommended by our vet. Once our rescues are deemed to be heartworm free, they are given a complete set of all required vaccinations, including the optional vaccination, bordatella, which is for kennel cough. Bordatella vaccination is required to board a dog or to have a dog groomed. All SBRET rescues are neutered/spayed, microchipped and on monthly flea & heartworm prevention prior to adoption.

Completing an adoption application is the first step if you are interested in adopting one of our rescues. Please note, you must be 21 or older to complete the adoption and/or foster applications. After you have submitted your application (foster or adoption), we will contact you, as well as your personal references and vet references you have listed in your applications. This contact from us will give you the opportunity to interview us regarding our program, as well as to ask any questions about particular dogs you are interested in. Potential foster and adoptive homes are both screened thoroughly (includes a home visit) to ensure that the dogs' needs are met in the manner required by SBRET and that the dogs selected will meet the needs of the prospective families. We check vet references to make sure current and/or past dogs were spayed or neutered, screened for heartworms annually and on monthly prevention, and have a history of being up to date on rabies and distemper/parvo vaccines.

A signed adoption contract is required at the time of final adoption. We also require a foster agreement be signed by foster families prior to fostering any SBRET rescue. Both contracts include a number of stipulations as to the expected care of our dogs. As you can well understand, SBRET has invested a lot of money, time, effort, and love in these dogs, and we want to take every precaution to ensure that they are well taken care of in the future.

For adoptions, in addition to the adoption contract, we request a nominal adoption fee to cover veterinary and other expenses incurred on behalf of the rescue animal. Our standard adoption fee is $175 to put toward the veterinary or other expenses. Upon occasion we will reduce our adoption fee for a hard to place or very old dog. We hope that by doing this that we can get someone to "take a chance" on one of these sweet, older guys, that still have a lot of love to give! Please note that any deviation from our normal adoption fee will be clearly stated in the description for a particular dog, so unless otherwise stated the adoption fee is the standard fee of $175.


Small Breed Rescue of East Tennessee is a small rescue group located in East Tennessee. We are not a rescue facility - our dogs are located in individual foster homes in this area. Once we receive an application that meets our criteria, our policy is to conduct a home visit. Since we have started posting our dogs on Petfinder, we have been receiving a large number of applications from people in other states and in Western Tennessee. Since our policy requires home visits, and our contract gives adopters a one week trial period, we have to be able to arrange a home visit and have the ability to get a dog back in the event an adoption does not work out during the trial period or even after the trial period. We will also not ship dogs due to the risk and stress to the dog. Therefore, we make every effort to adopt our dogs out to people in East TN. In certain situations we know this is not always possible and we will make exception to this policy. However to do so requires an extensive amount of time and additional travel expenses - both of which are in small supply. In the event that two applications are equally wonderful and seem an equal match for any particular dog, it is our policy to choose the closer applicant.

PLEASE BE PATIENT: We are returning emails and phone calls as quickly as possible. SBRET is run totally by volunteers - we have full time jobs and other responsibilities in addition to our volunteer work. If you do not hear back from us, please call back, as we get many calls.