Things to Know
It’s amazing how many people fail to ask themselves this simple question before they get a pet. Adopting a pet just because it’s “the thing to do” or because the kids have been pining for a puppy usually ends up being a big mistake. Don’t forget that pets may be with you 10, 15, even 20 years.
Dogs, cats, and other animal companions cannot be ignored just because you’re tired or busy. They require food, water, exercise, care, and companionship every day of every year. Many animals in the shelter are there because their owners didn’t realize how much time it took to care for them.
The costs of pet ownership can be quite high. Licenses, training classes, spaying and neutering, veterinary care, grooming, toys, food, and other expenses add up quickly.
Flea infestations, scratched doors and floors, chewed-up furniture, accidents from animals who aren’t yet housetrained, and unexpected medical emergencies are unfortunate but common aspects of pet ownership.
Many rental communities don’t allow pets, and most of the rest have restrictions. Make sure you know what they are before you bring a companion animal home.
If you have kids under eight years old, for instance, you might consider waiting a few years before you adopt a companion. Pet ownership requires children who are mature enough to be responsible. If you’re a student, in the military, or travel frequently as part of your work, waiting until you settle down is wise.
Animal size is not the only variable to think about here. For example, some small dogs such as terriers are very active-they require a great deal of exercise to be calm, and they often bark at any noise. On the other hand, some big dogs are laid back and quite content to lie on a couch all day. Before adopting a pet, do some research! That way, you’ll ensure you choose an animal that will fit into your lifestyle and your living arrangements.
You’ll need either reliable friends and neighbors or money to pay for a boarding kennel or pet-sitting service.
Having your pet spayed or neutered, obeying community leash and licensing laws, and keeping identification tags on your pets are all part of being a responsible owner. Of course, giving your pet love, companionship, exercise, a healthy diet, and regular veterinary care are other essentials.
When you adopt a pet, you are making a commitment to care for the animal for his or her lifetime.
Our $500 adoption fee includes spaying or neutering, current immunizations on all dogs, and microchips on some dogs. 25% of the adoption fee is dedicated to Randy’s Fund, which helps our senior malamutes.
We are an all-volunteer organization and our rescues and volunteers are located throughout Washington and Oregon, so please be patient as we work through scheduling challenges. Read the Overview below, and note that until an applicant is approved, we do not mention specific dogs, particularly as there may be another adopter that has already been approved that is interested in the dog you may be interested in.
If you live in a state other than WA or OR, please contact your local rescue. Please understand it is not feasible to adopt a dog to an location outside our service area, as it is difficult to retrieve a dog should an adoption not work out, and that it would be unfair to deprive a dog in your area of a loving home in your area.
If you live in ID, MT, UT, WY, or Northern NV, please contact Moonsong Malamute Rescue.
If you live in another state, please check Alaskan Malamute Assistance League for the affiliate in your area.
Our Adoption Process
We appreciate you wanting to bring a malamute into your home. In order for us to find the right dog for you, we need you to submit an adoption application.
We will review your application upon receipt. If we have any questions or concerns, we will contact you for clarity. We are an all-volunteer organization so it may take several days before you are contacted.
3. Home Visit
Once your application review is complete, a WAMAL volunteer will contact you to schedule a home visit to meet in person or virtually and discuss all-things malamute. During the home visit we look for potential hazards for the dog that the adopter may not have considered. All household members must be present during home visit. This includes all pets.
4. Finding Your Malamute
If approved to adopt, the search for your malamute begins. Volunteers will begin to evaluate dogs currently in our care who may be a good fit for you and your family. We would also be open to discussing dogs in our care that you are specifically interested in.
- We will not discuss adoption details regarding any particular malamute if you have not yet applied to adopt.
- WAMAL is a 100% volunteer, non-profit organization. We will make every effort to schedule your home visit in a timely manner. Please be patient with us…malamutes need our time too.
- References – we reserve the right to ask for a reference from your vet/trainer, or other person we can contact.
- Exercise requirements – you provide at least 45 minutes of brisk exercise per day. “Fetch” and “outside time in the yard” don’t count, and many malamutes don’t do well at dog parks.
- Containment – a malamute-escape-proof yard. Less optimal: a proven way to safely take your dog outside for exercise and potty breaks.
- Owner/renter – if you rent, the owner’s written approval for this breed and size.
- Child supervision – close supervision when the dog is around young children.
- Minimum age – you are older than 23.
- Inside/outside time – the dog is not expected to stay outside 24/7.
- Financial commitment – willingness and ability to spend the time and money for training and medical care as needed.
- Criminal conviction – no legal convictions for any type of abuse.