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Paws Up!

You could be the perfect match for one of our dogs, but we won't know if you don't apply for adoption!

We adopt to homes all over the Texas Hill Country and beyond. Read further for information and FAQ on our adoption process.


Meet Our Dogs

Some are ready for their happily ever after, and other are still in recovery. Browse our dogs, and don't overlook the diamonds in the ruff!


Available Dogs

Available dogs are ready to go home immediately, pending an accepted  adoption application!


They are healthy, vaccinated, microchipped and spayed/neutered if they are of age.

Diamonds In The Ruff

Diamonds In The Ruff are dogs currently undergoing treatment or rehabilitation.



We accept adoption applications for our diamonds and send them home when their treatments are complete!

First Steps

We have found the best way to make the matches between adopters and our dogs is to have potential adopters first complete an application and then come to our shelter to spend some time with the dogs they are interested in.


Submit an application from the profile of an available dog. Our staff will review and respond to your application!


Pending acceptance of your application, we will set up a phone call to discuss the adoption.

Meet & Greet

All adoptions happen on-site after a successful meet and greet. We encourage you to bring all household members and pets to ensure compatibility.

Adoption Process & FAQ


We can not proceed with adoptions without a completed application. Even if you have met the dog at an adoption event or inquired via phone or email, we ask that you fill out the online form.

Our primary goal is to place our dogs in suitable and loving “forever” homes. Your answers to the application questions help us ensure that the match is successful.


  •   Example: You apply to adopt a senior black lab that loves to play: Luna. We see on your application that you have a fenced in yard, but it is chain-link. Luna can climb chain-link and loves to roam. In this case, we foresee frequent escapes and will communicate with you about other options (preventative measures or other available dogs). 


When we have multiple parties interested in a dog, we do our best to respond to adopters on a first-come first serve basis while accounting for compatibility. The first applicant may not be the best match, so there is always a hope for late applicants.


All applications are reviewed by our Shelter Manager. They will respond to you as soon as they can, and thank you for your patience.

Adoption Fees

Adoption fees help alleviate some of the cost of caring for our rescue dogs. Our current fee is $225.

There are special cases where an adoption fee may be reduced or waived. Donors may sponsor the adoption fee of one or several dogs, or a grant may sponsor the fee. We will inform you about these opportunities when your application is accepted.

What sort of veterinary care will the dog have received?

All dogs will have received:

  • Veterinary exam

  • Vaccinations (DHLPP and Bordetella depending on age)
  • Microchip Implant
  • Heartworm Test
  • Dewormer
  • Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Prevention
  • Spay/Neuter (depending on health & age)
  • Miscellaneous treatment plans (medical and/or behavioral)

What happens at the meet & greet?

A visit to our shelter to meet your dog of interest is the last step before finalizing the adoption. While we have regular business hours, we’ll work with you to schedule your “meet and greet” at a time that works best for you.


The purpose of the “meet and greet” is to make sure you and your prospective pet are a good fit. We ask you to bring your current pet(s) and any family members to this session so you can experience first-hand how everybody gets along.


During your “meet and greet” you’ll spend quality time with the dog. Our staff will be available to share their first-hand experiences that paint a picture of how the dog's true personality.


You may decide that you’ve met your perfect match at the “meet and greet”, or you may decide this isn’t a good fit for you, or you may want a little more time to think about it. We will not pressure you into a decision because we understand how important and life changing this is for you and for our dogs.

Finalizing the Adoption

If you’ve found your new best friend at your meet and greet, they are yours to take home as soon as you please!


When united with your new family member, we’ll give you:

  • Important documentation about your dog’s social and medical history.

  • A small bag of the food your dog has been eating so you can transition to their new diet

  • Your dog’s microchip information, updated with your credentials


Share the microchip number and medical history with your personal veterinarian.


We also recommend to have a quiet atmosphere in the car during the trip home. A crate will help them feel secure as they make the transition.

New Adopter Resources

Congratulations on finding a friend for life. We thank you for choosing to adopt with Highland Lakes Canine Rescue, and supporting our mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome.

Highland Lakes Canine Rescue has provided for your rescue dog, until now. Once your dog leaves the shelter with you, just like how a child leaves the hospital, you as the adopters assume full ownership and responsibility for educating, training, and teaching your dog the good behavior you expect from them.

Things to Remember
  • It is normal for your dog to take a weeks and months, up to 1 year, to adapt to your home. While our shelter is more comfortable than most, it is still very different from a household atmosphere. Comfort and safety is built over time, not overnight.

  • You may see behaviors that need to be corrected as they learn your rules.

  • Immediately establish that you are the boss.

  • Positively reinforce when your dog does the right thing.

  • Your potty trained dog may have accidents at first. This is normal. They will readjust to your routine with time.

  • Please apply love, patience and most importantly–consistency– your special dog is worth it!

Problems & Solutions

There is no one-size fits all approach to dog training and behavior modification. Luckily, there is a wealth of knowledge available to you online for free! We highly recommend finding YouTube videos that suit your specific needs.

On YouTube, search for your topic and check the content for credibility before following through with their methods.

  • potty training

  • crate training

  • separation anxiety

  • establishing who is the boss/alpha,

  • chewing

  • bolting out the door


If you have questions, do this FIRST:


  1. YouTube search

  2. Watch the videos

  3. Begin consistently & repetitively working with your dog, allowing at least 3 months for your dog to grasp the training

Basic Obedience Training

Your time training your dog makes a big difference in your happiness with your dog and your dog’s adoption success!


Every Dog Austin


They are a fabulous Austin-based dog behavior charity happy to help you with your new rescue dog.


Priority Canine Training by Connor Brown


He knows HLCR, our procedures, and how your dog has been handled and trained in our shelter.

You can do it! Your new dog is worth your time and energy needed to become a beloved member of your family!
With love and good luck,
The Highland Lakes Canine Rescue Team

Why Adopt With Highland Lakes Canine Rescue?

No-Kill and Privately Funded
Stress less about the dog you pick or the pup you pass over. Our dogs receive nourishing diets, in-house medical care, spacious over-night kennels, large yards for all-day play, and daily enrichment. All by loving staff and volunteers. They have all the time in the world to find the only thing we can't give them...
...Their forever homes.

Diamonds In The Ruff

Extraordinary pups in extraordinary need
These dogs make up the 'rehabilitate' part of our mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome dogs in the Texas Hill Country. Follow their progress as they become forever-home ready, these gems will be too precious to pass up once they are polished and available for adoption.

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