Shelter Adoption Programme

Shelter Adoption Programme

Designed to support a dog’s journey from the shelter to a loving home

15.11.2022

FOUR PAWS believes that every companion animal has the right to a loving and caring home for life. Although shelters help to get dogs (and cats) off the streets, they should always be a temporary solution and not become a permanent home. This is why the FOUR PAWS Shelter Adoption Programme is designed to promote local adoption where pets are placed into responsible homes with owners who understand and fulfil their needs.

Shelter Adoption Academy

As part of the Shelter Adoption Programme, FOUR PAWS has launched the Shelter Adoption Academy. It is a free e-learning course designed to help shelters increase their local adoption rate by providing best practice guidelines to help improve the skills and knowledge of shelter staff and volunteers, supporting them to overcome the most common challenges to adoption. The Shelter Adoption Academy is currently available in English, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Thai, Bahasa (Indonesian), Vietnamese, and Russian.

Course details

Who can participate?

This course is designed for anyone working or volunteering with rescue animals or on companion animal adoption (e.g. in shelters, rehoming centres or rescue organisations). It is suitable for shelters and organisations around the world with limited resources and in need of help, support, and training.

Course outcome

The e-learning course will build knowledge to support a range of practical skills to help shelter staff and volunteers overcome many of the most common obstacles to shelter adoption. It aims to:

  • substantially increase the adoption rate in shelters so that thousands of dogs are placed in responsible and caring homes
  • create a local adoption culture
  • improve the quality of life for animals during their stay in shelters

Course length

The Shelter Adoption Academy consists of eight modules, providing learners with the knowledge and tools to support the journey of dogs from a shelter to a permanent responsible home. The course should take approximately 10 hours to complete.

Note: Any advertisements that may appear during the viewing of this video are unrelated to FOUR PAWS. We assume no liability for this content.

Devices/technology required

To take this free online course you will need a computer/laptop, tablet or phone and internet access.

What to expect

The course combines interactive activities, videos, and graphics with practical tools, including downloadable protocols and templates. You can proceed at your own pace through the course and save your progress when you need to stop. However, we do recommend that you complete a full module before exiting the course. To complete the course, you will need to pass all in-module quizzes.

How do I sign up?

You can sign-up for the English, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Thai, Bahasa (Indonesian) and Vietnamese versions here.

Upon completion of the course your shelter will receive

Certificate of Completion

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Certificate of Completion


Acknowledging the completion of the Shelter Adoption Academy course.

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Adoption Success Kit

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Adoption Success Kit


It includes all printed additional materials and tools from the course (i.e. protocols, checklists, guides etc.).

*only available upon request SAPonline@four-paws.org

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Promotional Leaflets 

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Promotional Leaflets


100 customised leaflets designed to promote your shelter in your local language (e.g. during events or just place them on reception).

*only available upon request SAPonline@four-paws.org

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Family with an adopted dog

Shelter Adoption Academy


Sign up to the free e-learning course now

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