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Rescue Information

Nonprofit animal shelters and rescue groups exempt from federal income taxation under subsection 501(a) and described in subsection 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are eligible to apply to become transfer partners. Transfer partners may transfer shelter dogs into their organizations at no cost. Non-transfer partner rescue organizations are exempt from adoption fees but must purchase a current license for the dog prior to adoption.

The majority of the dogs available for adoption and transfer were found as strays, as a result the shelter does not have vaccination history. Vaccinations or vaccination history is not included unless otherwise indicated by shelter personnel.

State law requires the Wood County Dog Shelter to house dogs for specific time periods prior to the dog's adoption to the public or transfer to a rescue organization. All dogs at the shelter are available for adoption or transfer on or after their available date. Please call the shelter to determine a dog's available date.

Transfer Partner Application & Approval

Eligible organizations shall complete and submit a transfer partner application to the Wood County Dog Shelter for consideration as a transfer partner. The Chief Dog Warden may require an organization to submit a transfer partner application annually. The organization shall list on the transfer partner application all individuals authorized to select dogs for transfer on behalf of the organization and shall notify the Wood County Dog Shelter of any changes to the list.

Eligible organizations shall submit proof of being currently organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. At a minimum, the Dog Shelter shall require a copy of the organization's IRS determination letter which shall include (1) the organization's name, (2) Employer Identification Number (EIN) and (3) an acknowledgment that the organization has been recognized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The Chief Dog Warden may request additional documentation from the organization.

The Chief Dog Warden is responsible for approving transfer partner applications. The Chief Dog Warden may revoke an organization's transfer partner status at any time, for any lawful reason.


Transfer partners and rescue organizations that have committed to adopt or transfer a dog may submit a hold on the dog. The hold reserves the organization's place in line to adopt or transfer the dog. Transfer partners and rescue organizations must read and comply with the following hold policy prior to submitting a hold.

Hold Policy Effective October 25, 2018

Transfer & Adoption Requirements

Transfer partners and rescue organizations shall implement and maintain a policy requiring all transferred and adopted dogs be spayed or neutered prior to being placed into homes, unless health or age preclude the spay or neuter. Dogs that cannot be spayed or neutered shall not be bred.

Transfer partners rescue organizations shall read, complete, sign and date rescue transfer or adoption contracts for each dog transferred or adopted.

Transfer partners upon adoption or subsequent transfer of the dog within Ohio shall notify the county dog warden of the county where the dog will reside. Non-transfer partner rescue organizations upon adoption shall transfer the dog license in accordance with section 955.11 ORC.

Transfer & Adoption Procedure

1) Submit a hold if needed.

2) The transfer partner entitled to the dog shall read, complete and sign the Rescue Transfer Contract. The non-transfer partner rescue organization entitled to adopt the dog shall read, complete and sign the Adoption Contract available at the Wood County Dog Shelter.

3) The transfer partner or non-transfer partner rescue organization shall claim the dog by the required date and time.