PO Box 77
Lucernemines, PA 15754
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Last Updated:
9/18/2013 7:32 PM


Adoption Banner


Do you see an animal you’d like to adopt?

  •            Download an Adoption Application Word (.doc) format Preferred
                  Right Click and choose ”œSave Target As…”, or click to open in your browser. 

      • For Small Animal applications, please use THIS LINK instead.

Please email completed Word applications to

You may either mail or fax your printed message to us.  See our Contact Page.

**If you are having trouble with the above preferred options, you can register on our site and fill out an adoption application on our Forms/Applications page.

Having trouble finding a pet?  Fill out our adoption application anyway!

Once you have our preliminary adoption approval, you will be added to our waiting list while we try to find a pet for you!  There are no obligations for filling out an application.

Be Willing to Learn

Our animals will be adopted only once the applicant has shown genuine effort to learn about its species or breed, or has previous positive experience with that type of animal.  In some instances we will send you a care sheet to read to ensure that you understand how to provide the best care possible for your new pet.  We strive to match our pets with the best homes possible!

Does Pennsylvania seem far away?  Don't give up yet!

Our primary area of adoption is Southwestern PA, followed by the rest of the state, MD, OH, NJ, and our other neighbors.  However, we can adopt an animal to most anywhere in the country, and transport him or her to you via "rescue railroad" or even sometimes by airplane (you pay airfare).  The adoption process for long-distance adoptions usually takes longer as we try to find a home visit volunteer, and we do sometimes make the decision to deny an application based on distance for CERTAIN ANIMALS.  This does not happen often but can.

Adoption Donations (these are the minimum donations requested)

Dogs and Puppies:         $150*

Cats and Kittens:           $25

Birds, reptiles, small and furry** animals:  varies by species

* This excludes dogs in the HOPE prison program.  These dogs have a mandatory adoption fee of $225 to offset the cost of their housing and special training. 

**Guinea pigs:  Guinea pigs are typically adopted in pairs or more.  Adoption fees are $10 for a single pig, $15 for a pair, $20 if adopting a trio.

If you think our fees are too high, click HERE and see how much you are saving!

Our adoption fees rarely cover the cost of the spay/neuter surgeries ($100+), vaccines, exams, tests, and other medical and preventative care that each of our pets receive.  When you adopt a pet that has been fostered in a home environment, trained and fully vetted, you're getting so much more than what you’re paying for.  There's no substitute for quality care! 

For puppies and kittens or the RARE circumstance that we place an intact adult animal (eg. health concerns,) there will be a partial refund of your adoption fee if you have the pet spayed or neutered at your own vet.  There will not be a refund if we pay our rescue vet to do it.  Refund varies. 

What if it doesn't work out?

We try our best to make sure that our adoptions are a perfect match.  Once adopted, we are always willing to counsel you and help with any issues that arise.  Despite our best efforts, occasionally there are circumstances that we can't control that prevent adoptions from remaining permanent.  In such cases, the adopter is REQUIRED to return the adopted animal to our rescue.  No pet may be transferred to any other person or organization without the express permission of STAR.  We have committed to the safety and well-being of our pets for their entire lives and we only wish to be certain that we know where they are and that they are thriving.  Depending on when you return your STAR adoptee and the reason of return, you may be eligible for a refund or partial refund of your adoption fee.  STAR is not obligated to make a refund of your adoption fee.  This decision is done solely on the circumstances of your return.

Denied Applications

On rare occasions, we find that we are not able to help a family in their search for a new family member.  This is usually only due to incompatibility between the household and the animal in question (such as a fearful dog being denied for a chaotic home.)  Sometimes, an application does not meet the criteria we set forth for our pets.  Some of the most common reasons for denial are:

  1. Incomplete Application.  We will review your application, and send an email or call with any questions that were missed.  Obviously, this delays the process and if the questions are not answered properly, the application may be denied.
  2. Inadequate vet records.  We require vet references for ALL dogs and cats, and prefer homes that regularly take their small animals, birds, or reptiles to the vet.  Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis regarding some details, but typically we require a history involving yearly pet exams, current vaccinations, and proper emergency or preventative care.  If you have a dog or cat that has not seen the vet in the past year, please don't apply for one of ours.  Yearly exams, tests, and vaccines are a part of responsible pet ownership that we take very seriously.
  3. Unprepared Applicants.  Sometimes we have pets with very special care requirements either due to animal type or special behavioral/medical needs, and well-meaning or perhaps simply people who haven't done enough research apply for them.  If we feel that the placement absolutely WILL NOT work, we may deny the applicant.  This is usually the very last resort for otherwise acceptable applications.
  4. Outside dogs.  We feel that most all pet animals should be a part of the family- obviously some, like turtles, don't care much about human companionship.  Dogs, however, are highly social pack animals and historically, dogs that live outside do not receive an adequate amount of time with their "pack" daily.  Some dogs love to be outside, and need to run and play and socialize and sniff the outside world each day.  We realize this but also recognize the difference between dogs who love the outdoors and dogs who live outdoors.  No dog is happy living on the end of a chain.  This policy is sure to upset some, but it IS and always has been our policy.  Please, if you have outside dogs, consider bringing them inside.  There are no exceptions to this rule, regardless of the kind of animal you are applying for.

Denying applications is not something we are happy to do, and we do our best to look at each application as objectively as possible.  Please know that decisions regarding approval or denial are made only with the best interest of our fosters in mind, and are not done lightly.  We appreciate all who take the time to apply to our rescue and wish all our applicants the best of luck finding the perfect pet, through STAR or other means.

STAR is here for you from the beginning to the end.

When you adopt from us, you become part of our family and we are here to help and support you!