Adoption Process


Dogs are currently training with their Handlers in Virginia correctional facilities, learning to be the best version of themselves! The dogs live with their Handlers for at least 8-12 weeks building skills in obedience, behavior, and general manners.

If you have questions about a dog in our program, please do not hesitate to reach out to

Thank you for your interest in adopting a Pen Pals dog! Our animals are housed and trained in correctional centers throughout Virginia. Fill out an application online, or contact to receive a paper application.

Our Pen Pals Coordinator and trainers review the information contained in the adoption application to ensure that the dogs are placed in homes best suited for their personalities and needs.  A home visit is required to help adopters prepare their space for a particular dog. The application and home visit make it easier for us to learn more about you so that we can help find the perfect match for your lifestyle!  Our goal in this process is to ensure happiness and a forever home for our dogs and your family.

While we work on approving your application, we will submit your information to the correctional center at which your future dog is housed. An adoption visit at the correctional center is required and pivotal to your ability to help your dog transition between the rescue program and your home.  The correctional center visits are only allowed during business hours on weekdays–the Pen Pals Coordinator will plan the visit as far in advance as possible. Also see our FAQ for more details.

Pet Pals adoption fee: $350 for dogs 5 years and under, $200 for dogs 6 years and up.