Adoption Stipulations 

After a period of 10 months where Americans were not allowed to rescue/adopt animals from their facility, the Okinawa Prefecture Animal Protection & Control Center (Ozato) started allowing Americans back into the facility in February 2011 to rescue & adopt animals.  In the past, some irresponsible adopters did not honor the commitment they made when they signed an adoption agreement with Ozato and this resulted in the termination of adoption/rescuing privileges from the facility for all Americans.  We were given rescuing privileges in Feb. 2011 and have worked hard to gain trust and build a solid reputation of being a responsible rescue group.  In order to be able to keep rescuing animals from the center, we must place any rescued animal in a home with responsible pet owners who will honor the commitment they make to the animal and follow the stipulations in the adoption agreement that they sign.    Ozato's policies/rules as well as a few of our policies/rules have been adopted by our group to form our adoption stipulations.  It is important to understand that we have no prior history on any dog we rescue from Ozato so we cannot guarantee health or temperament of any dog that we rescue and place into permanent homes.  We strive to place dogs into homes where the dog will have the best chance of success and will get what they need.  We also want to keep all family members safe.  It is important to understand that our primary  responsibility is to the dogs that we rescue.  


From time to time, a family/individual may be interested in adopting a dog that is not in our foster care system but is still at the Okinawa Prefecture Animal Control Center.  A few important things to understand about direct adoptions from Ozato:

1.  dogs at Ozato have no known history.  Health status and temperament,  except for what can be observed is unknown.

2.  dogs at Ozato get no veterinary care before they leave the facility.  Adopters are responsible for handling all routine and non routine veterinary care and will have a timeline to accomplish the vetting and provide copies of receipts and certificates to us.  The general timeline for adult dogs is 3 months to get everything accomplished.  Young puppies - 4 months.  Older puppies, 3 months.  Dogs with heart worms may be given a longer period of time to get everything accomplished.    It can cost anywhere from $300 - $500 to fully vet a dog (just routine vetting like vaccinations, micro-chip and spay/neuter) depending on gender, age, size and the vet you use.  Puppies cost more (more sets of vaccinations required), females cost more than males (spay costs more than neuter) and larger dogs cost more than smaller dogs (cost of spay/neuter goes up with size and weight of the dog).  Heart worm treatment can cost anywhere from $400 to $500 depending on the size of the dog.  

3.  All family members will need to meet our volunteer adoption coordinator at the center to check the dog out to determine if suitable for adoption.  The center is only open from 9:30 - 11:30 and 1 to 4, Monday through Friday.   We are restricted to certain days/times and we have to make an appointment with the center in order to bring visitors into the facility.   Before applying for a dog at the center, make sure everyone in the family will be available and able to go to the center during their hours.  

4.  You will have 24 hours after visiting with the dog to make a decision whether to adopt the dog or not.  There are no trial periods.  Once a dog is pulled from the center, it cannot be returned.  While we understand that things may not work out and the dog may need to be placed in a new home, we have the expectation that anyone trying to adopt a dog straight from the center understands that there is no such thing as a "perfect dog" the first day it arrives at a home.  Adopting a dog straight from Ozato is not for the casual dog owner that wants an easy and fully trained dog that is healthy.    All dogs will have to be house-trained, crate trained, leash trained and will need obedience training.  You may get lucky and adopt a dog that has lived in a house before but those dogs are few and far between.  Most dogs that end up at Ozato have been outside dogs and will need time and patience when adjusting to living indoors.  

5.  If an adoption does not work out, the dog MUST be fully vetted before we will work to find a new home for the dog.  No dog can be re-homed independently nor can that dog be surrendered to Karing Kennels or any other rescue group, shelter or animal control facility.   We are responsible for every dog that gets pulled from the facility under our name and we must handle any subsequent placements should the adoption not work out.   If we have room in our foster care system, we will take the dog in but again, the dog either must be fully vetted or funds provided to vet the dog when it is surrendered back to us.    


  • We can consider families that have no children or children 3+ years old for the majority of the dogs we rescue however we may adjust that age upwards for certain dogs if we feel that there are safety concerns.  Please note that puppies are very hard on toddlers (jumping, scratching, nipping/biting) so we will work to place puppies into homes with older children.   From time to time we get families with children under the age of 3 that would like to foster.   In some cases, we can put a foster dog in these homes depending on the dog and our comfort level with the dog around small children.  It is easy enough to move a foster dog if things are not working out.    Very young children are not physically capable of protecting  themselves and often do not have the intellectual  maturity to understand how to treat animals gently or the ability to read a dog's stress signals.  It's not a flaw, it's just a stage of their development.  As such, very young children are at risk of being bitten, especially if contact with pets is not carefully supervised by parents.  Puppies, with their sharp teeth, sharp nails and high energy are not really suitable choices for families with toddlers.  Small dogs with their fear of being injured or handled too roughly would also be "iffy" choices for families with very young children.   
  • Expecting a child or adding to the family in the near future?  For families that are expecting a child, there are potential allergies that could result in the re-homing of the dog.   A dog could also have problems adjusting to a new baby.    There are too many variables that cannot be controlled so we will not consider families that are expecting a child or will be adding to their family in the very near future.  It is prudent to wait until the child is older to acquire a dog or until there are opportunities for the child to be around other people's dogs to determine if there are possible allergies in order to avoid having to return or re-home a pet.  
  • ​ Families must live in pet friendly housing and can provide proof of such (copy of lease or paid pet deposit if you live off-base).   Please note that dogs are not allowed above the third floor in any of the tower buildings on any of the bases. Only two pets (total) are allowed in base housing as per housing regulations. Please consult your housing packet for more information.
  • ​​If your family already has a pet(s), the pet must be fully vetted (vaccinations, micro-chip, spayed/neutered and for dogs, up to date on heart worm preventative).  All pets owned by Sofa Status families must be registered at the appropriate military base veterinary treatment facility regardless if you use that facility for veterinary care or not.    All pets owned by Sofa Status members must also be micro-chipped.  If a family/adopter lives off-base, all dogs must be registered with the local city/town office. We will require a copy of your current pet's veterinary status including vaccines, micro-chip (if Sofa Status), spay/neuter, and registrations.   If you live off base and already own a dog(s) we will need proof of city registration.   Sofa Status families that get their current pet's veterinary care at an off-base clinic still need to have their pets registered at a military base veterinary treatment facility as per Sofa Status rules.  This is not applicable for non-Sofa Status families living in Japan or the USA.    If you currently have a pet that is not fully vetted, you are welcome to submit an application after all routine veterinary care has been accomplished (including spay/neuter).  
  • FOR APPLICANTS IN JAPAN THAT HAVE LEFT PETS IN THE USA.  For those applicants in Japan that have left pets in the USA or elsewhere before coming to Japan,  please provide vet information (name of vet and contact information) for those pets left behind/previously owned as we will need to call and verify veterinary care for that pet(s).    Regardless if pets are currently in the home or are staying elsewhere, we will check vetting status.    We will consider applicants that already have a pet(s) as long as those pets are fully vetted, including spay/neuter.  
  • All family members must be available to meet with the volunteer adoption coordinator at the home visit.  If a family member is away from home (vacation, deployed, TDY, etc.) the family will have to wait until everyone is back home to set up a home visit.  ​If a family is Sofa Status and living in Japan, everyone in the family must be command sponsored and have Sofa Status.   We do require a home visit where one of our volunteer adoption coordinators will come to your home and visit with the family and ask and answer questions.  It is also a meet/greet with the dog you are applying for.  
  • We are looking for families/individuals that will keep their new dog as an inside dog only.  Walks, supervised time outdoors, dog parks, etc. are fine.    Keeping the dog outdoors in a yard, on a balcony or patio for extended periods every day is not what we are looking for.   
  •  Single Active Duty Military Members:   We (can) only consider older puppies (10+ months old) and adult dogs for single AD members due to the lack of flexibility in schedules and difficulty getting all of the necessary vetting and registrations that young puppies require completed in a timely manner. Young puppies require someone around a fair bit to house-train and crate-train them consistently and effectively.     We do require single adopters to have the ability to get home during a work day to check on a dog, or for them to make arrangements for a mid-day dog walker.  
  • Mil to Mil applicants:    We will consider Mil to Mil families but only for dogs that do not require a lot of "people time", training, and dogs that can handle being home alone for multiple hours every day.  We require applicants to be able to provide a mid-day/shift dog check or to make arrangements for a mid-day dog walker.  We are not interested in placing our dogs  in a home where they will be in a crate for 8+ hours every day without a break.  
  • We strive to find the best possible home/fit for all of the animals that we rescue. We are looking for families/individuals that will provide a loving, stable, and PERMANENT home for our rescue dogs.   Pet ownership is a luxury and adopters need to be financially prepared to provide the necessary veterinary care, food and supplies.  Applicants in Japan need to be ready to financially cover the cost of transporting the pet out of Japan when they leave.   Pet ownership is very rewarding, but it does require work, time and commitment.  We are not a "first come, first served" nor an "any home will do" rescue and strive to find the best possible fit for each and every dog/puppy we rescue.