You can create a printable PDF document from any of your existing contracts, such as your adoption or foster contracts, or your equipment loaner contract.  

PDF Contracts is a feature that takes information from your database and adds it to a PDF document.  This information can include animal information like name, age, breed, and information about adopters like name, address, contact information, as well as other information of your choice.

To use the pdf contract feature, your organization needs to have either the Website Service or the Online Forms Service and must first create an Online Form.

On this page:

Please note that because must set up this feature for you, adding or updating PDF contracts can take several days to a couple of weeks depending on any changes that are required and our current workload.

We can also provide the information necessary for you to update your PDF files yourself for the contract if you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat.

PDF Contract Setup sets up this feature for you.  We take an existing PDF or a Word document and create the required PDF form.  We may ask for a small fee depending on the complexity of your contract or the frequency of changes.

Here are some guidelines for creating a Word or PDF document that can use as a PDF contract:

  • To populate the PDF contract with the animal's information, you must create a question on your Online Form with the "Answer Type", Available Animals. 
  • Use a single blank field for dates and phone numbers.
  • To include a field for gender or age, create it as a fill-in-the-blank field: Sex ____ or Age ____.  We can't use sex or age fields that are written like this:  Male: XX  Female: __.  
  • See the available fields section below so that you can create your contract using those fields.


We can include journal entries in a large blank space.  We can group them by category, but we cannot separate specific journal entries (like vaccinations) into their own fields.

If you'd like to get started setting up a PDF contract, send your Word or PDF document to our customer support and we'll take a look (  We'll let you know if there is anything in your contract that needs to change before we can use it as a PDF Contract.


Any changes to the contract once it is created must go through support for the PDF Contract to be updated.  Depending on the complexity and frequency of your changes, this may incur a minimal fee.

Available fields for contracts

Below are the fields available to add to your contract, separated into categories.  The field name is obvious.  The description/source column lists the source where the information in a completed form will be pulled.  For instance, see adopter-address.  You use the Street, City, State, and Zip code fields.  The completed form for a specific contract will combine these to create an address string such as 12115 Mackell Lane Bowie MD 20715 (no punctuation).  

Contact-related fields

 The following fields are available for adding to your PDF contract.

Field nameDescription / source
adopter_firstnameThe adopter's first name from the adopter's contact record
adopter_lastnameThe adopter's last name from the adopter's contact record
adopter_nameFirst and Last from the adopter's contact record

Street, city, state and zipcode concatenated together with spaces

ex: 12115 Mackell Lane Bowie MD 20715


The street address only

ex: 12115 Mackell Lane

adoption_feeThe adoption fee for animal.
adopter_city_state_postalcodeReturns a value like:  Toronto, ON M7A
adopter_postalcodePostal code (Zip code commonly used in other countries)
adopter_countyAdopter's county
adopter_emailAdopter's email address
adopter_email_altAdopter's alternate email address
adopter_phone_homeHome phone number
adopter_phone_workWork phone number
adopter_phone_cellCell phone number
contract_dateThe date the PDF contract is generated
submitted_dateThe date the Online Form was submitted

Animal-related fields 

Field nameDescription / source

Age string
ex: If birthdate is provided: 2 years 1 month
If not, general age: Young


Example: Yes

animal_altered_femaleContains an X for altered female
animal_altered_maleContains an X for altered male
animal_altered_sexContains a combination of Unspayed, Spayed, Intact, Neutered, and Female or Male.
Examples: Unspayed Female, Intact Male
Ex: 5/15/2015
animal_breedPrimary breed
animal_breed_secondaryPulled from the secondary breed field.
animal_breedsCombination of primary, secondary, and mixed
Ex: Labrador Retriever/German Shepherd/Mixed 

Returns a value of X for the animal coat length field when the radio button Long is selected.


Returns a value of X for the animal coat length field when the radio button Medium is selected.


Returns a value of X for the animal coat length field when the radio button Short is selected.

animal_colorColor (the detailed color from the text field)

Color (the drop-down color)

animal_current_sizeCurrent size and unit of measure
Ex: 22 Pounds
Ex: Yes 
animal_microchip_numberMicrochip number
animal_microchip_vendorMicrochip vendor / manufacturer
animal_mixedReturns a value of Y or N. This value comes from the animal mixed field when adding/editing an animal.
animal_originOrigin field
animal_rescueidRescue ID
animal_internalidInternal ID

Ex: Female

Contains an X for the appropriate gender
animal_sizeGeneral size potential
animal_speciesex: Dog, Cat, Rabbit


Contains an X for the appropriate species
animal_snUnspayed, Spayed, Intact, Neutered


Cat declawed question
animal_special_needsSpecial Needs
Ex: Yes
animal_special_needs_descrSpecial Needs description

The values for animal vetting from the animal journal entries.

When using this field on a PDF contract, be sure that the form field "Options" has the "Multi-line" checkbox selected and that a large enough field space is provided to populate with the data.


Foster-related fields

Privacy Setting Warning

Please be aware, Foster data will always be added to the Contract if it's available in the database, regardless of the privacy setting on the Foster Contact.

Field nameDescription / source
foster_firstnameThe foster's first name from the foster's contact record
foster_lastnameThe foster's last name from the foster's contact record
foster_nameFirst and Last from the foster's contact record

The street address only

ex: 12115 Mackell Lane

foster_zipcodeZip code ex. 01950
foster_postalcodePostal code  (usually used in other countries)
foster_city_state_postalcodeReturns a value with city, state and postal/zip code
Ex.  Bowie, MD 20718 or Toronto, ON M7A
foster_countyFoster's county
foster_addressFoster's address
foster_emailFoster's email address
foster_email_altFoster's alternate email address
foster_phone_homeHome phone number
foster_phone_workWork phone number
foster_phone_workextWork phone extension
foster_phone_cellCell phone number

Generating a PDF Contract for a user

Once the PDF Contract is set up for your form, all you need to do to obtain a PDF of the form, once it is set up by is to follow these instructions:


Be sure that the name of the animal on the submitted online form is correct before creating a contract.

If an application is submitted with no animal name or with the wrong animal name, edit the submitted online form before creating the contract.

  1. Click Submitted Forms to display the list of submitted forms in your account (Features > Submitted Forms).

  2. In the list, next to the form you want converted to PDF format, then click the PDF icon.  This icon looks like a document with the corner turned down.

  3. Complete the information on the form.  Some of the values are automatically pulled from your database, but they can be changed. 
  4. Click Create Contract. Your web browser should open the PDF document and auto-fill the form values.

Saving the Completed PDF Contract

You cannot save the completed PDF contract to your computer, or save it for later use.  You can, however, save the ".FDF" data file to your computer.  The ".FDF" file contains the data that is used to fill out the form but does not contain the form (PDF) itself.  If you save the ".FDF" file to your computer and then open it at a later time, the PDF file will be downloaded from the Internet and the data from the ".FDF" file will be used to fill in the information on the form. 

Keep in mind that if you save the ".FDF" file it may be unusable at a later time if the PDF file has changed.


If you have difficulty with your PDF contract, check this troubleshooting list for help or contact support.

You continue to see an older version of your PDF even after update

Your web browser may be caching (keeping an old copy) of the previous version of the PDF file.  To force your web browser to download the latest, most current version, press Control-F5 to refresh the document.  Check your web browser for the exact steps to hard-refresh, or contact us.  See the section on Getting Support in the Getting Started with guide.

Error message "This PDF is attempting to launch..."

If you see this message you may need to disable Protected Mode.  Use these instructions:

  1. Open Adobe Reader.
  2. Click Edit > Preferences.
  3. Click Security (Enhanced).
  4. Deselect the checkbox for the option Enable Protected Mode at startup.
  5. Click Yes.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Close Adobe Reader.

Using the Chrome browser

Viewing the PDF Contract may not work inside of Chrome until you disable the built-in PDF viewer.  There is an issue with the built-in Chrome PDF Viewer.  You can disable the built-in PDF Viewer in this way:

  1. In the Chrome address bar, go to about:plugins.
  2. Click Disable next to Chrome PDF Viewer.
  3. Go back to the Submitted Forms page and generate the PDF Contract.


We recommend that you reboot after disabling the built-in Chrome PDF Viewer. There is a report that after disabling the built-in Chrome PDF Viewer a reboot may be necessary to avoid experiencing a warning in an inescapable loop.

Using Firefox (versions 19 and above)

Viewing the PDF Contract may not work inside of Firefox versions 19 and above because of an issue with the built-in PDF Viewer.  Follow these instructions to direct Firefox to open Adobe PDF files outside of Firefox:

  1. Open Firefox.
  2. Click the Menu icon (sandwich).
  3. Click Options.
  4. In the Action column for Adobe Acrobat Forms Document (application/vnd.fdf) select Use Adobe Reader.
  5. Click OK.

Printing your online forms

You can add a pdf contract for any of your forms, including all of your applications or for your contract.  Then you can print out a form at any time.  This feature is great for printing a contract before an adoption placement -- the information comes automatically from your account so you don't have to re-write it on the contract.  You can use it to print any contract-type form, including volunteer contracts, home visit forms, etc.

Where do I find it?

Find the PDF Contracts icon next to the name of the online form you wish to use as a printable document. Find the document you want to print and tap the PDF icon. Print.

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