Dog Adoption

Nickel City Canine Rescue is a Buffalo, NY based dog rescue that saves dogs of all-breeds and ages! Our dogs come to us from high kill shelters across the country including Kentucky, West Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Ohio, Tennessee and of course locally in Buffalo.

If you’re interested in adding a new member to your family follow the steps below!

Dog Adoption Process

While many dog rescues make the adoption process complicated and secretive we strive to give our adoptors a fair and straightforward path to finding a new family member! Learn more below:

Adoption Requirements
Adoption Process
Adoption Fees
What’s Included with Adoption
Foster to Adopt Program

Adoption Requirements

There are several requirements needed to adopt a dog from Nickel City Canine Rescue including:

  • Applicant should be 21 years of age
  • All cats & dogs being fed or cared for by applicants should be up to date on rabies and distemper
  • If you have current pets or have had any in the past 2 years they MUST be spayed or neutered
  • Application should have permission from landlord/property manager
  • Applicant should not be at or over their town limit

Step 1: Pre-Approval

  1. Fill out application online
  2. Once received, a volunteer will be assigned your application
  3. Our volunteer will make reference calls as well as contact your vet to ensure all pets are up to dates and fixed and contact your landlord for permissions and note any restrictions
  4. Once your calls have been completed the volunteer will set up a time to come do a home visit
  5. Once the home visit is complete, and if you are approved, you can express interest in specific dogs by emailing ( or messaging us on Facebook stating the name on your application and what dogs you are interested in

PLEASE NOTE: All of our applications are processed by volunteers. They all have full-time jobs, families, and pets of their own so please be patient! On average, our applications take 7-10 days to be approved.

Step 2: Expressing Interest

Find a dog that you like and get on their list! Be sure to check Facebook and the website often. New dogs are posted every week.

Email ( or message us on Facebook stating the name on your application and what dogs you are interested in.

  • This still needs to be done even if you expressed interest on your application or with your approver.
  • Include the name on your application, the dog you’re interested, and say that you’re already pre-approved.
  • Commenting on a photo will not get you on their list. You must message or email.
  • You can be on 3 dogs lists at a time.
  • The foster will go through the list in the order in which we receive applications
  • We do not disclose the order of interested applicants on the dog’s list.
  • It can be competitive depending on the dog and time of year. Please don’t get discouraged, the right fit will be out there! (You can also consider our foster to adopt program).

Questions about dogs
If you’re interested in knowing more about the dog, we suggest putting your name on the list and when the foster calls to set up a meet and greet they will be able to answer any additional questions you may have.

Step 3: Meet & Greets 

Wait to hear from the foster!

Fosters will set up one meet and greet at a time. If it doesn’t work out, they will move on to the next applicant.

  • If the foster reaches your name, they will call, text, or email to set up a meet and greet.
  • If a dog gets adopted prior to you meeting them, you will be removed from their list and receive an email letting you know the dog has been adopted.

If you hear from the foster, a meet and greet will be set up.

  • If you have pets or if your application was approved virtually the meet and greet will need to be at your home.
  • If you don’t have other pets and already had a home visit it may be at a mutual location.

Step 4: Final Decision & Paperwork

After the meet and greet, if you and the foster feel it is a good fit, the adoption may be finalized! If it doesn’t work out, try again!

You have 24 hours to decide if you would like to adopt after the meet and greet. The dog does not stay with you for these 24 hours. If you feel like you would like to do an extended “trial” with a new dog consider the “foster to adopt” program.

If both you and the foster wish to move forward with the adoption, the foster will set up a time to do the final paperwork and bring you your new family member!

Dog Adoption Fees

NCCR has two different adoption fees:

  • Dogs up to 7 years ($400)
  • Dogs 7 years and older ($200)

Payments can be made by cash, credit card, or check.

Your adoption includes:

  • Spay/Neuter
  • Age-appropriate vaccines
  • Deworming
  • Flea/Tick Prevention
  • Heartworm test (Dogs over 6 months)
  • Microchip insertion and registration
  • Martingale Collar & Leash

Foster to Adopt Program (FTA)

The Foster-to-adopt program allows families to select a dog directly from a shelter that is in need of rescue. The dog is picked up and transported to our office in Buffalo where you will pick it up. You will foster it for 7 days to evaluate if they are a perfect match for your home.

After 7 days the family will decided either to adopt the dog or continue fostering until a better matched family is found to adopt it.

Click the button below to learn more about the program and apply.

Our experience with the NCCR has been AMAZING!!

We saw a puppy while we were at a soccer game and asked the owner where he was from. He told us NCCR and we had never heard of them before. I looked them up online and when I got home and filled out the application. We were contacted by one of the volunteers who checked our references, called our vet, and did a home visit – all in about a week!

We were approved and started our search that night. We saw Barbara (now Higgins) online and sent a message that we were approved and interested in meeting her and to our surprise, we got a call the next morning! She needed to wait to meet us for at least 10 days as she was just brought in on the last transport, but when she got to our home, she melted our hearts!!

She is by far the BEST dog we have ever met. Her tail never stops wagging!! She loves our children so much and we say constantly that we cannot believe she is ours. NCCR made the process so easy and seamless – I would recommend them to EVERYONE!

Darleen K.

We are so impressed by this rescue and their dedication to provide animals a second chance, and families the opportunity to love!

We have adopted Dazzle, a mixed breed from Texas, the day before Thanksgiving. Her foster mommy, Jessica was so helpful in answering any and all questions we had, and assured us just how wonderful she really is…and that was not an exaggeration! Dazzle, or Cortana now, has been a dream and we can’t thank Nickel City Canine Rescue enough!!

We received her just days after she had been spayed and they worked with us so she could recover properly. They also gave us the opportunity to complete her vaccinations through their agency as well. Through their alumni page, I have been able to speak to her foster mom in Texas who provided me with some background info, and puppy pictures. I love this organization so much and I recommend them to all of my friends!

Thank you for completing our family NCCR!!

Danielle H.

Nickel City Canine rescue was the ideal place for adopting my first rescue. From the start they were always in touch, through email, their volunteers, FB messenger, you name it.

From the first application, to the home visit, deciding to foster to adopt, the transport , and to ultimately adopting. Their workers kept me in the know every step of the way. I could tell they were the place for me.

I just officially welcomed my Khali into the house! NCCR was there the first few days with every question I could possibly think of. They really are knowledgeable & passionate about what they are doing. A major thank you to Nickel City Canine Rescue and all they’ve done, because thanks to them I found a furever friend!

Mike S.

I adopted from Nickel City Canine Rescue and am so happy I did!

The communication and response time to my application and questions I had was excellent! The foster family was wonderful and open to answering my many questions. I am so grateful for the kindness shown to us by this rescue.❤

I am so in love with our “Judy” ( formerly “Lilo”), thank you so much Nickel City Canine Rescue!