After you adopt your pet(s) from North Star Rescue, we are still here to help you if you have any questions that arise about your new pets. Below you will find information to help you get off to a good start with your newly adopted animals.
If at all possible, we recommend having your pet's habitat set up and ready for them before you pick them up from one of our rescue's locations. This way when you get home with your new pet(s), you can move them directly into their new habitat and start letting them get acclimated to their new home, instead of waiting inside the carrier while you build their cage.
We recommend bringing along a chew-proof carrier of a suitable size for the animals you are adopting from our rescue. For rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs and adult rats, a small cat carrier can work very well. For smaller animals such as baby rats, hamsters or mice, a secure wire carrier with very small bar spacing, or a plastic carrier such as a critter keeper that provides ventilation can be a safe carrier to use for your new pet. We recommend covering the flooring of the carrier with either fabric that won't slip and slide, such as a small scrap of carpet, or enough bedding to absorb any fluid in the carrier.
If you are travelling a short distance (less than one hour) from the point where you have adopted your pet to your home, your pet will likely be fine without any food or water until they get home with you. If you are travelling a longer distance (more than one hour), we recommend bringing some food and water to keep your pet full and hydrated. Never hook up a water bottle to a carrier when it is being moved, as the motion will cause it to leak and soak your animal's carrier. Instead, you can offer them water from a bottle at rest stops on the road, or you can provide fruits or vegetables for hydration such as cucumbers, romaine lettuce, carrots, apples or tomatoes. Remember to take your pet's dietary needs into consideration when feeding a hydrating food, for example a chinchilla with a very sensitive digestive tract should not have large amounts of fruits and vegetables and should instead be given plain water.
Remember that the first day you have adopted your pet has been a very long day for a small animal! We recommend giving them some quiet time to get aquainted with their new habitat and that you keep handling to a minimum to allow your pet to settle in at home. While it can be very exciting to have a new pet at home, it is also important to remember that a majority of small animals are nocturnal and the first day often greatly distrupts their sleeping schedule. Allow your new pet a quiet day to rest, relax, and get to know the sights and scents of their new home.
If you have other pets of any species in your current household, we recommend that you temporarily quarantine your new pet away from others until they have acclimated to your home. Quarantine needs vary from species to species, so if you are unfamiliar with quarantine needs for the species you are adopting please be sure to discuss it with one of our volunteers at the time of adoption or send an e-mail to
When you adopt an animal from our rescue, we give you a 14 day trial period to take the animal home and see if they are the right match for you and your household. If for any reason you do not feel like you have found a good match in your new pet, you may contact us at any point during the first 14 days to request to return the animal for a refund of your adoption fee, or to exchange them with another animal you feel is a more suitable match for you at our rescue.
If you have adopted from our animal from our rescue to bond with an animal you own of the same species, we will extend the trial period to 30 days. This is to provide time for you to set up any necessary quarantine for your new animal coming in, and see if the animals are getting along well after you introduce them. If at any point during this time your newly adopted pet and your previous pet are not getting along, you may return your adopted pet to the rescue to exchange with a more suitable match, or request a refund of your adoption fee.
We provide a 14 day health guarantee for each animal adopted from our rescue, which covers any non-genetic illness that occurs. Please note that this health guarantee does not cover your newly adopted pet if they are injured in your care, or contract an illness from another animal you own or bring home after the adoption. If your pet becomes sick within 14 days after adoption, you may contact the rescue for help. At our option, we may request that you return the animal to our rescue for treatment through one of the veterinary offices we work with, or we may authorize you to take your adopted animal to one of our vets. Please note that we will not reimburse any medical fees if you take an animal to a vet without prior written notice from our rescue that we are agreeing to cover the medical expenses. Remember that any illness is best caught and treated as early as possible, if you have any concerns make an effort to contact us immediately so we can get you and your pet help quickly.
This health guarantee does not cover genetic disorders, such as cancer, epilepsy, megacolon, pituitary tumors, heart defects, and other genetic conditions.
If for any reason during your adopted pet's lifetime you are not able to keep them in your care, you may return them to the rescue. If your animal is healthy at the time you return them, there is no fee for returning them to the rescue. If the animal is sick when you return them and you are outside of the 14 day health guarantee, there may be a surrender fee to help offset the rescue's costs of treating your animal. This is to discourage people from adopting animals and returning them when they do not want to pay veterinary fees. We may waive a surrender fee with proof of financial hardship, but this will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
If you have a question about health, behavior, habitats, care, or anything else about your newly adopted pet, remember we are here to help! The best way of contacting us is to send an e-mail to your local coordinator, visit our Contact Page to find the nearest foster home that can assist you with your questions.
North Star Rescue is a network of multiple foster homes and adoption outposts spread all over the California Bay Area. We currently have public adoption outposts in Sonoma, Santa Rosa, San Jose and Los Altos where many of our adoptable animals can be seen any time during participating store hours.
Location: Private Residence, Available for Appointments in Napa, CA
Services: All Species Adoptions (By Appointment), Consultation, Press Release, Shelter Relations
Hours of Operation: 7 Days a Week, By Appointment Only
North Star Rescue's administrative headquarters and main foster home is located in Napa, CA. We are available for adoptions and pet consultations by appointment only.
Location:201 West Napa Street, Sonoma, CA 95476 (In the Whole Foods Shopping Center)
Phone Number: 707-996-1672
Services: Rat, Hamster and Chinchilla Adoptions
Hours of Operation: Monday - Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM
Check out Sonoma Pet Center & Aquatics on Facebook!
Location: 2700 Yulupa Avenue #19, Santa Rosa, CA
Phone Number: 707-577-0663
Services: Chinchilla, Rat and Hamster Adoptions
Hours of Operation: Monday - Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM
Check out the Bennet Valley Pet Center on Facebook!
Location: Private Residence, Available for Appointments in Danville, CA
Services: Rabbit, Chinchilla, Rat, Guinea Pig and Hamster Adoptions
Hours of Operation: Please E-mail for Current Schedule
Location: 51 Notre Dame, San Jose, CA
Phone Number: (408) 297-0840
Services: Adoptable Chinchillas, Guinea Pigs, Rats, Hamsters & Mice
Hours of Operation: 7 Days a Week, 10 AM to 8 PM
Check out Andy's Pet Shop on Facebook!
Andy's Pet Shop is our largest adoption outpost and features the greatest variety of adoptable animals from our rescue, as well as other species of animals available from other Bay Area Rescues. As this is our busiest adoption outpost, we always recommend calling before you visit if you are interested in meeting a specific animal to make sure they are still available.
Thanks for your interest in adopting a pet from North Star Rescue. Adopting even a small pet is a big decision, and we've put together a variety of articles and information to help guide you in your adoption process.
There's multiple factors to consider when bringing a new pet home. You'll have to take into account an animal's handling style, other family members in the household who will be handling them, the necessary habitat size, the day to day care, health concerns, the average life span of a species and more. We have a variety of articles on our website including Our Top 10 Tips for New Pet Owners, Small Animals & Children and Health Concerns for Humans around Small Animals. Please also take the time to read Love is Colorblind, which talks about common misconceptions owners have about color and gender in pets.
If you have never owned the species of animal you are interested in adopting, it's important to research and study about the care requirements of that animal's species. You should be very familiar with the day to day care and handling of a species, it's habitat needs, dietary needs, and the most common medical concerns for that type of animal. Check out our Pet Care Information section for more information on pet care for a variety of species.
You can fill out our Online Pet Adoption Application, fill out a printed application at any one of our Public Adoption Outposts, or complete an in-person interview either at our Public Adoption Outposts or at one of our monthly adoption events.
If you submit an Online Pet Adoption Application, you will generally receive confirmation and notice if your application was approved within 24 - 72 hours of submitting your application. Most applications or in-person interviews are reviewed and approved on the spot. We do allow same-day adoptions as long as the adopting family is prepared with everything they need to safely bring their new pet home.
For those applications received by e-mail or postal mail, we will contact you to set up an appointment at a time that works for you to come meet your potential new pet(s). If you are visiting one of our Adoption Outposts, you may visit any time during the store hours of the business sponsoring that adoption outpost to meet the adoptable animals at that location. If you meet your new pet(s) and decide they are the right one for you, adopters are asked to sign an Adoption Agreement and pay a species specific Adoption Fee. We recommend that owners bring a secure, chew-proof carrier to bring their new pet home in.
North Star Rescue provides a 14 day health guarantee for all animals adopted from the rescue. We also provide a 14 day trial period to allow the owners to get to know an animal in their own home and be sure that the pet is the right match for them. Animals who are adopted to bond with an owner's current pet have an extended trial period of 30 days, and can be returned to the rescue for a refund or exchanged if the bonding doesn't work out.
North Star Rescue - Pet Adoption Agreement
E-mail Address:____________________Phone #:(__)_____-_____
I/We the above named person and/or persons, hereinafter referred to as the “adopter”, agree to adopt this animal, known hereinafter as a “pet”, and release North Star Rescue and it’s directors, volunteers and associates jointly and severally from all claims for personal injury and/or property damage to myself or others associated with this adoption. In consideration of an adoption fee in the amount of $_______, the adopter acknowledges and further agrees to these provisions.
Home Care: The welfare of this pet is the sole responsibility of the adopter. The adopter agrees that this pet will be housed indoors only, and will be provided quality food, clean water, and a safe, suitably sized and sanitary habitat to live in. The adopter agrees to keep the pet’s housing at a safe climate that will not cause medical distress to the pet.
Veterinary Care: The Adopter understands that, unless otherwise disclosed, this animal was recognized to be healthy at the time of its adoption. The adopter agrees to take the pet to a qualified and licensed veterinarian and will arrange for immediate veterinary care in the event of an illness or injury during the animal’s lifetime.
Breeding: The adopter understands that under no circumstance is any pet adopted from North Star Rescue to be allowed to reproduce or breed. The adopter further understands and agrees that if the animal is ever bred, North Star Rescue reserves the right to reclaim the adopted animal and its offspring, and agrees to pay a surrender fee of $10 for each animal claimed by the rescue in this fashion.
Conduct of Pet: The Adopter understands that no one can predict how a pet will react in a new situation, and will exercise prudence and caution in handling this animal and introducing them to other humans or pets until the pet has become fully adjusted to its new environment. North Star Rescue can make no guarantees, express or implied, about the suitability of any animal for any person or situation.
Other Uses: The adopter agrees that this pet will not be used for feeding other animals or humans, fighting, medical or experimentation purposes. The adopter agrees that this pet will be nothing other then a house pet, companion and family member.
Transfer of Ownership: The ownership and responsibility for this pet belongs solely to the adopter. However, if the adopted can no longer keep this pet or provide it with adequate care, the adopter agrees to contact North Star Rescue and give the rescue an opportunity to find another home for this pet. This pet shall NOT be sold, given to, or adopted to anyone else, nor shall there be any transfer of ownership without express written permission from North Star Rescue. It is understood and agreed that if, at any point during the animal’s life, the adopter is unable to provide a home for them they may return the pet to North Star Rescue at no cost to them.
Repossession: The adopter understands that in the event that he/she/they do not follow the terms of this agreement, or that they neglect or abuse the pet, that North Star Rescue or another animal authority has the right to take possession of the pet. The adopter agrees to pay North Star Rescue any and all expenses, including but not limited to incurred Veterinary fees
Health Guarantee: North Star Rescue provides a 14 day health guarantee for all animals adopted from the rescue against pre-existing medical conditions, not inclusive to injuries or illnesses contracted while in the adopter’s care. The adopter agrees that if there is a health concern within the first 14 days of adoption that they will immediately contact North Star Rescue to return the animal for treatment. The adopter agrees and will be responsible for transporting the animal back to North Star Rescue. The adopter further understands that North Star Rescue will provide a reasonable amount of medical treatment, and reserves the right to euthanize animals if treatment is not available or the animal is determined to be suffering without a chance for a reasonable recovery.
Trial Period: Pets adopted from North Star Rescue are considered to be adopted on a trial basis to last 14 days. During this period of time if the adopter does not feel that the animal is a suitable match, they may return the animal to North Star Rescue for a refund of the adoption fee paid, not including transport costs. If the adopter is not able to return the pet to North Star Rescue, they will be responsible for costs incurred by North Star Rescue to pick up and return the animal. If at any point past the 14 day trial period the adopter wishes to return the pet, they may do so at no cost, but will not be eligible for a refund of their adoption fee.
Quarantine: North Star Rescue holds all animals entering the rescue for a minimum of 14 days, during which period they are monitored for signs of communicable diseases. Animals are made available for adoption at North Star Rescue only following this 14 day quarantine period if no symptoms of illness have been displayed. It is recommended that the adopter follow an additional quarantine process before introducing the adopted pet to any current household pets, including but not limited to housing the animal in a separate room, washing hands in-between handling the pet and other animals, and not allowing animals to share potentially contaminated surfaces.
North Star Rescue has provided the best information it is able to provide about the pet and the adopted accepts responsibility for this pet based on the information available at the time of this agreement. The adopter agrees that it will not hold North Star Rescue responsible for errors provided in the information about this pet. The adopter understands that any rescue only knows information left by a previous owner, and very little in the case of stray animals, and that North Star Rescue has done it’s best to disclose any known information about the animal, it’s temperament and health status during it’s time at the rescue or known health status before arriving at the rescue.
By signing, I agree that I have read, understand, and agreed to the above agreement.
Name of Adopter (Please Print)
Signature of Adopter & Date
THANK YOU FOR ADOPTING FROM NORTH STAR RESCUE!
Adopters of pets must be over 18, or the primary caregiver for a pet must be over 18. We do not adopt out pets directly to children, and require that a parent be on board to care for the pet if the child is unable to, or loses interest during the pet's natural lifetime.
Many times, a small animal is purchased by parents for a child as a 'starter pet' or to try to teach them responsibility. When the novelty of a new pet wears off, the pet is given away, sold, or left at a shelter or a rescue. We require that parents adopting a pet for their child also be committed to caring for the pet if the novelty of pet ownership wears off, or if the child is unable/unwilling to care for the pet on their own.
We require that animals adopted from North Star Rescue are never bred and allowed to contribute to the pet overpopulation. This means owners must take care that animals who are not spayed/neutered are never allowed contact with animals of the opposite gender.
Small Animals are not disposable pets, and deserve the same consideration and care as other species of animals. Sick animals should be taken promptly to a qualified Exotics Veterinarian. It is not acceptable to neglect to treat a sick animal, or to euthanize an animal for whom reasonable medical treatment is available. Owners should be prepared to take their pet in for routine Veterinary medical care such as check-ups, dental work, spay/neuter, tumor removals or medical treatment as is necessary for the animal's particular species.
Animals must be housed in a safe, climate controlled area of their owner's house and not in an outside habitat. This area should be in a part of the house that does not get too warm or too cold, and is not exposed to drafts. Additionally, we do not recommend that parents allow their children to keep their pet in a bedroom. As many small animals are nocturnal, there can be disturbances in sleeping. It is also easier for parents to be sure that an animal is being taken care of if they are in view of the entire family. Animals that are allowed to live in a more common family area also tend to show less behavioral problems, and tend to be more social and happy overall.
Owners must provide their pets with an appropriate diet and a safe habitat, and ensure that they have clean food and water on a daily basis. Habitats should be cleaned regularly to provide proper sanitation, and animals should be handled and allowed to socialize with their owners or play outside of the cage on a regular basis. Owners must use safe materials around pets, including safe bedding. Pine and Cedar Bedding are not acceptable beddings for small animals and can cause health problems.
Rabbits must live primarily indoors, and only allowed outdoors in tolerable weather either in a safe, predator proof enclosure or under the supervision of their owners. We do not adopt out rabbits to live in hutches or outdoors full time, as this significantly decreases their life span.
We prefer to adopt rabbits to homes that have room to house them in an X-Pen in an indoor environment. Rabbit habitats need to minimally provide enough room for the rabbits litter box, toys, food and water bowls, and still permit enough room for the rabbit to lay down completely stretched out. Habitats must have a solid floor and solid surfaces with no wire shelves or levels.
All rabbits adopted who are not spayed and neutered at the time of adoption must either be spayed/neutered when they are ready for the surgery through North Star Rescue, or the owner must provide spay/neuter through their preferred Veterinarian at their own expense. Rabbits adopted out prior to a spay/neuter surgery that are too young to be spayed, or cannot be spayed for reasons assessed by a Veterinarian, must be spayed/neutered within 30 days of being ready to undergo surgery.
Chinchillas do not tolerate heat well and are more susceptible to heat stroke. Owners must keep chinchillas in climate controlled areas and not permit the temperature to rise to a dangerous level in the room where their pet chinchilla(s) are housed.
Each Chinchilla should have a minium of three cubic feet of space per chinchilla. Floors, levels and ramps should all be solid surface levels. We recommend having as large of a cage as you have room for and can afford for your chinchilla, as they need to exercise on their own schedule.
Unless a guinea pig cannot be housed with other guinea pigs for medical or behavioral reasons, we require that guinea pigs be kept in pairs or social groups. Pairs or social groups should be of the same gender, or groups where at least all of one gender has been spayed/neutered.
Guinea Pig Habitats should have all solid surface floors, ramps, and levels. Any additional levels above a flat cage must be secured so that a guinea pig cannot climb or fall from one level to another. The minimum habitat size for 1-2 guinea pigs is 7 Square Feet, with an additional 3 Square Feet added for each additional Guinea Pig.
Guinea Pigs must be provided with adaquate vitamin C in their diet on a daily basis, through supplements or fresh fruits and vegetables. We do not recommend using vitamin drops in your guinea pig's water bottle.
Unless a rat cannot be housed with other rats for medical or behavioral reasons, we require that rats be kept in pairs or social groups. Pairs or social groups should be of the same gender, or groups where at least all of one gender has been spayed/neutered.
We require that 1-2 rats be provided with at least 2 Cubic Feet of space, with an additional 1.5-2 Cubic Feet of Space per rat. We recommend having as large of a habitat as you can to house your rats that you can comfortably make space for and maintain in a hygenic manner.
Syrian hamsters are not social, and need to be housed one per habitat. While some syrian hamsters may get along when they are young or into adult hood, it is risky to continue to house them together as they may fight and severely injury or kill each other at any point once they reach juvenile age.
Owners of Campbells Dwarf Hamsters may opt to keep their hamsters on a healthy diet for diabetic hamsters, or test their Campbells Dwarf Hamster on a monthly basis for the development of diabetes.
Unless a mouse cannot be housed with other mice for medical or behavioral reasons, we require that rats be kept in pairs or social groups. Pairs or social groups should be of the same gender, or groups where at least all of one gender has been spayed/neutered. We do not require that male mice be housed with other male mice, as many male mice prefer to live individually.
|Adoption Fee Schedule as of September 1st, 2010|
|Guinea Pig (Intact)
|Guinea Pig (Spayed/Neutered)
* Rabbits are all spayed/neutered prior to adoption, or adopted out on a spay/neuter contract if they are too young, too small, or have another medical reason why they cannot immediately be spayed. Owners who adopt an intact rabbit may return the rabbit to North Star Rescue to have it spayed/neutered at no additional cost when it is able to safely go in for surgery.
Below you will find a list of articles with helpful information about the adoption process to adopt your next pet from North Star Rescue.