Protege does not operate a shelter. Our dogs live with volunteer families.
You must complete an adoption application and it must be approved before
you can make an appointment to meet one of our dogs. While we do
long-distance adoptions, please ask all of your questions in advance to
assure a good fit. We do not ship our dogs; you must come here to complete
Once we have received your application, you’ll get a confirmation email; we’ll
review your application and contact references; and we may arrange for a home
visit. This could take up to a week.
Once you are approved, we’ll put you in contact with the dog’s caregiver family.
You can ask specific questions, and the foster home also gets a chance to ask you questions. Because we trust our foster homes and their knowledge of the dogs in their care, please understand that we reserve the right for those homes to determine if you are not the best fit for a certain dog. (If you have an approved application for a dog, but for some reason that dog was not the right fit or got adopted by a different family, you get to move to the front of the line for consideration for future dogs that interest you.)
Assuming your conversation with the foster home goes well, you can arrange a meeting time. If you and the foster home family (and the dog!) all agree, you will then be able to complete our adoption contract, pay the adoption fee ($250 or $175 for our Hopeful Hearts dogs), and take your new family member home with you! We will provide you with copies of any records we have for your dog.
We do not hold dogs. If you are unable to arrange a meeting within a reasonably short period of time, or if you meet the dog but then are unable to take it with you immediately, the dog will remain available for adoption by other families. Occasionally, a foster home is willing to negotiate a later pick-up date, but this is at the discretion of the foster home.
Please note that if for any reason you are not able to keep or care for a Protege dog, we will always, at any time, take it back. Though we will take our dogs back no questions asked, we hope you will share your reasons with us; often we can work through problems that arise to help you and your pet live long happy lives together.
Once you've had a successful adoption experience with Protege, you can be moved to the front of the line for any future Protege dogs; no need to reapply. We love our repeat adopters -- and we've had many! -- and we want to streamline the process for you as much as we can when you decide you'd like to adopt again.
Protege administrators always have the final word over any adoption match.
Our Facebook fans are likely to get previews of pretty nearly all dogs that come into the program. But we won't do complete bios with photos and videos if a previous adopter or a family with an approved application is interested. We'll be working directly with those families to make connections. Dogs won't be posted at the website until they are generally available.
If you have a dog that you need to give up, please contact email@example.com. We will ask you to complete our owner's release form and our relinquishment request form. Completing these forms does NOT guarantee we will accept your dog into our program; acceptance depends upon, but is not limited to, available temporary care space and on our evaluation of the dog.
Even if you have communicated with us about giving up your dog, you will still need to complete these forms. HOWEVER, DO NOT COMPLETE THE FORMS UNLESS YOU HAVE COMMUNICATED WITH A PROTEGE REPRESENTATIVE ABOUT YOUR DOG.
We aren’t the only ones advocating for Aussies in the Midwest. If you don’t find the dog of your dreams here at Protege, give these places a try:
We encourage you to do some research on Australian Shepherds before you adopt or rescue a dog, particularly if you have not owned this breed before. Here are some good resources to begin your search: