Step 1: Review the Adoption Requirements

  • You must live in Northern California, Central Valley (Fresno or further north) or around the Nevada/CA Stateline area. Due to geographical/capacity restraints, we are otherwise unable to accept applications from out of state, or from southern California.
  • You must be at least 21 years of age.
  • All current pets in the household MUST be spayed/neutered, on heartworm prevention, and current on shots. We will call your vet to ensure the medical prerequisites have been met.
  • As a general rule, we do not foster or adopt to families with children under the age of 5, however, exceptions are made on a case by case basis.
  • Exceptions to our (child) policy may be made after initial application is approved, the additional child questionnaire is answered to our satisfaction, and when any one of the following criteria is met.  If you do not meet these criteria, we will be unable to consider your request and will decline your application.

– You are a previous NCBR adopter.
– You have a history of boxer or bully breed ownership.
– You have satisfactorily answered the application questions pertaining to children.

  • Most of our boxers have issues that preclude adopting to families with children less than fifteen (15) years of age so the wait for an appropriate boxer for adoption to a home with children under 15 can be extensive.
  • Applicants with children under 15 will be required to answer additional questions. This policy is strictly for the protection of our boxers and our foster or adoptive families. Please review our Boxers & Children page for more information.
  • Applicants who rent must provide landlord contact info. NCBR requires verbal landlord approval for all renters.
  • Pools without access barriers are discouraged and may prohibit adoption of the boxer for which you apply.
  • Due to dominance or related issues, we do NOT adopt female boxers into homes with other medium or large breed female dogs.
  • Due to prey drive, we will not place a boxer in a home with a cat unless it has lived with a cat or the foster home has been able to properly introduce it to cats.
  • We do not adopt out dogs as gifts.
  • Puppies will only be adopted to a home with a preexisting adult dog, no children under age five, pools must be fenced, and where the puppy will not be home alone for long hours. PLEASE NOTE: Do not fill out an application for a puppy if you do not meet ALL requirements. Your application will be immediately denied and will not be processed.
  • All pets must be INDOOR companions!
  • NCBR does not adopt out of state, except northwest Nevada (Reno/Tahoe region).

If you are a family with children under the age of 15, please review our policies regarding adoption on our Boxers & Children page.

Step 2: The Application

The adoption process begins when you complete our online adoption application. You must answer all of the questions honestly and accurately, using as much detail as you’d like. You also must include your physical home address, NOT a P.O. Box.

Due to resource constraints, we cannot answer questions about our available dogs until you have completely filled out the adoption application. Due to the heavy volume of incoming adoption applications, it could take up to fourteen (14) days for one of our volunteers to contact you about your application. If you have submitted an application and want to find out the status, please email us.

NCBR dogs are placed into homes that best meet the needs of the dog(s). NCBR does not operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. While we do our best to ensure a fair chance of adopting the dog of your choice, that is not always possible, due to suitability and/or other applicants interested in the same dog, that may be further along into the adoption process.

Step 3: Preliminary Screening

Once you have submitted the application, you will be contacted by a member of our applications team via e-mail to let you know that it has been received and is being processed. We will then contact your vet and landlord references (if applicable) and may ask you to answer additional questions regarding your application. The preliminary screening can take up to a week or more depending upon how quickly we are able to obtain the information we need, and/or how many applications are flowing through the system, at that particular time.

Step 4: Meet & Greets

NCBR will work with you to determine which of our dogs would be the best potential match for you and your particular situation. We will coordinate with the foster homes to set up private meet & greets with you and your family (furry members, included) and/or you can attend one of our adoption events to meet multiple dogs at one time.

We focus our efforts on making the best possible placement for both the family and the dog based on the needs and desires of each. As such, we do not operate on a first-come first-served basis when it comes to placing a particular dog. Our foster families know these dogs better than anyone and are very well equipped to know what type of situation and/or environment they would do best. We rely very heavily on their input and in almost all cases, give them final approval regarding the permanent placement of their foster dogs. If the foster home does not feel your situation is the best fit for the dog, please don’t take it personally. In the long run, we believe that it will be far better for you and the dog, if the right placement is made.

Please note: You must be willing to travel to the home of the foster family to visit the dog.

Step 5: Home Visit

The home visit is a very important part of the application process as it helps us to better understand what you want and need in a canine companion. The information we gather during the visit is critical in helping us make the best possible placement for everyone involved. It is not meant to be an overly invasive or stressful situation, but rather an open dialogue between you and NCBR. We will ask lots of questions, request to see the areas of the home that the dog will have access to, and complete an inspection of your fence to make sure there are no areas in need of repair. We welcome and encourage your questions and active participation during the visit as well, and we do require that every member of your household be present.

When the visit is complete, the home visitor will submit a standardized report which will be reviewed by the applications team. You will be notified of your application status within 3 days of that happening. If you haven’t heard from NCBR within that time frame, please feel free to email us at to request an update.

Step 6: Adoption Day

Adoption day is an exciting day for all of us! Please be prepared to bring your new boxer home by having purchased the supplies needed to make the transition as easy as possible for your family and the dog, including but not limited to water and food bowls (and please do your research on type of bowl to use based on the age and medical conditions of your adopted boxer), treats, a crate (if necessary), a collar and a leash are all required.

It is at this time that you will sign the adoption contract and pay the adoption fee*. Each boxer will have the following medical interventions completed: three vaccinations (rabies, DHPP and bordatella), 4DX heartworm test & treatment (if necessary), health exam, fecal test and de-worming, spay/neuter, and micro-chipping. Please remember that the adoption fee is not for the purchase of a dog, but rather to cover the medical cost of all dogs in our care.

* A portion of your adoption fee may be tax deductible. Please consult your tax adviser for more information.

Are You Ready To Adopt?

Over the last several years, the type of boxers in shelters that are available to rescue has dramatically changed. Young, healthy and behaviorally sound boxers are adopted to the public. Boxers available to rescue are primarily senior, or boxers that have ongoing or significant medical or behavioral issues. Please review the available dogs carefully and consider whether the type of dog available is what you are looking for or can accommodate in your life.

You will note that NCBR has very few young, healthy boxers. Be aware that if you apply for such a dog, there will be considerable competition from other applicants and the wait to adopt may be substantial.

Adoption Application

Adoption FAQs

How long does this process usually take?

The application process can take some time. Our goal is to ensure that the appropriate dog is placed into the most suitable environment, and that everyone is happy with the end result.

It is also important to remember that we are ALL volunteers who have families, jobs, etc. We do our very best to make sure things move along quickly, and we request your patience and understanding if things aren’t moving as quickly as you’d like. If you have questions or concerns during the application process, please email us so that we can address them appropriately.

What happens after the adoption?

As we would like to ensure that all is going well, we ask the applicants to provide at least one follow up update on their adopted dog, and we also encourage adopters to provide ongoing updates, if they wish. Our foster families put a lot of time and love into their foster dogs, and they really appreciate receiving updates from their past adopters.

Wellness Exam by Veterinarian$50-$70 avgIncluded
Spay/Neuter Surgery$150-$250 avgIncluded
DHLPP Vaccination$22 avgIncluded
Rabies Vaccination$20 avgIncluded
Kennel Cough Vaccination$20 avgIncluded
Leptospirosis Vaccination with Booster$60-$80 avgIncluded
Microchip$24-$45 avgIncluded
4DX Heartworm Test$50-60 avgIncluded
Heartworm Treatment (if needed)$350 avgIncluded
Heartworm Prevention*$30 avgIncluded
Fecal Flotation & Giardia Tests$50 avgIncluded
Worming with Panacur 5 days$60-$90 per doseIncluded
Flea Protection*$11 avg per single treatmentIncluded
Behavior ScreeningRoll of the diceIncluded

The average, healthy boxer is in foster care for 3 months.

The average cost to NCBR during this time is over $648.

Many boxers in our program require treatment for heartworms at an additional average cost of $350.

NCBR’s adoption fee of up to $495 is rarely enough to cover the costs of the average, healthy dog.

*NCBR dogs are kept current on heartworm preventative and given flea and tick protection (when needed), while they are in our care. Adopters are responsible for purchasing these items from their veterinarian after the adoption has been finalized.

Optional Training Refund

Adopter will receive a $50.00 refund upon completion of a positive-reinforcement training class from a trainer on our training list, or a trainer approved by us in advance. Training enrollment must be within six (6) months of adoption date. Refund will be processed when proof of completion is submitted to NCBR via this form.

  • You adopted a dog from NCBR.
  • Your adoption contract contains our training refund clause.
  • Your NCBR dog has completed a positive-reinforcement training class by one of the trainers on our training list, or a trainer approved by us in advance.
  • The class was initiated within six (6) months of your dog’s adoption date.

If you meet all of the requirements, we will process your refund via Paypal within 7-10 business days.