Monday, June 10, 2013

12 Things to Know About Adopting a Dog and Rescue Groups

We're spending a lot of time lately thinking about adopting a dog, looking at pictures of adoptable dogs on Petfinder, and talking to our local rescue groups. We're looking for a new furry best friend (and companion for our current dog, Kelly), and it's taking some time. That's okay, we're not in a big hurry. (At least, that's what we keep telling ourselves. But when we see or hear about some of these dogs, our hearts get a little mushy!)

















We've chosen to adopt again. There's no shortage of homeless dogs. But you may be surprised to know that if you choose to adopt, it may not be a quick and easy process.  Here's what you should know:

Rescue groups-
1. ask a lot of questions
2. may require you to fill out a lengthy application with questions about your schedule, your family, your yard, and more.

3. may ask for personal references
4. will call your veterinarian to check that you've properly cared for your pets
5. will inspect your home

6. generally charge around $150-$450 adoption fees

Here's what else you should know:
Rescue groups-
7. Care about dogs. A lot. A lot a lot. Did I say a lot?
8. Care about people, too, and finding the right dog for the family.
9. Are volunteers with jobs, families, stresses, health concerns, financial pressures, and pets of their own. Yet they still put in countless hours to help save dogs in need. We sometimes get emails from one of our rescue group coordinators at three in the morning. I'm not sure that she ever sleeps.
10. May witness horrific situations of hoarding, abuse, neglect, and abandonment, and the reality of high kill shelters, and still continually put their hearts out there again and again. I often ask people in rescue how they handle it. Usually they say that they have to focus on the ones they save.
11. Have a heart for the old, the sick and the homely. And have witnessed situations of true transformations when these dogs are given loving homes.
12. Nurse sick dogs back to health. Bring homeless dogs to the vet for shots, treatments and surgeries. Have dogs spayed or neutered, microchipped. Often pay out of pocket for dog food and medical supplies. Those adoption fees only cover a small percentage of what's needed.

Rescue groups ask a lot of questions because they care about finding homeless dogs good homes. They don't want to see those dogs back out on the streets. They also have a lot of people waiting for certain dogs, and not enough people looking for other types of dogs.



















So far, we've found a few potential dogs in our search. Some have gone to other adopters before we got on the list. (Laid back, not-too-old golden retrievers happen to be in high demand. Go figure!). Once, it was determined that the dog in question was likely too high spirited to get along with our Kelly. Once, the senior dog we were considering wasn't able to manage stairs, so it wasn't a match. But we'll keep looking. We are happy to wait for the right dog who will fit in with our family and get along with Kelly. Those rescue groups can go right on asking all those questions. And we'll keep answering. And soon we'll find a dog who fits as well as Brooks had fit. And hopefully who needs us as much as we need him.

p.s. Keep going k9kampers! Check out Kol's post today on Kol's Notes!

35 comments:

  1. Wish you all the luck for your search of a new dog. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

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  2. Pamela | Something WaggingJune 10, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    I'm sure Kelly also appreciates how slowly and carefully you're making this big step.


    After all, you need to be sure whoever comes into your family doesn't covet Kelly's toys. :)


    Thanks for sharing the process with us. I can't wait to meet you new family member.

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  3. Great tips. Good luck! I think taking things slow is always the best choice. You will know when you find a dog that will fit best into your family ( :

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  4. Peggy, having adopted 3 dogs from rescues in the last 4 years I know the process can be arduous. I'm so glad you are looking for a semi-senior - those guys are so hard to place, but reap you big time rewards. I agree that rescue workers are a dedicated group of folks - not sure how they do it. Good luck and be sure and keep us posted. The right dog will come along.

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  5. Bark and ChatterJune 10, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Great advice! The most important thing I've learned over the years is to not be in a rush. The right dog is out there, and impatience can lead to a painful "lesson" for all involved!
    Best of luck!

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  6. you will find the right dog when it is time, just like you did with Brooks. I am with you, I LOVE that they ask so many questions, that's as it should be!

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  7. Having worked with rescue groups for years I vouch for all you've said...but understand that with rescues resources stretched so thin it just kills if after all that you make a placement and despite best efforts the dog is returned...All the background checks can sometimes prevent that...Keep looking because for sure the right dog will find you!

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  8. Great post for folks who are new to rescue groups. I often hear "newby" folks at the shelter where I volunteer complaining that the form they have to fill out is longer than the one they filled out for their apartment, etc. But it's all about finding the pup the right home. I hope you find the right pup for you soon - and we all can't wait to "meet" him/her when you do!

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  9. Oh hurray! A new family member! Seeing as it takes nine months for people to get a new family member, a little bit of a wait for a furry family member isn't bad. And I seriously wish people had to jump through those kinds of hoops before becoming parents.

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  10. I agree, the adoption process is detailed, mainly because I think they want to see the dogs go to a home and not come back. There's so much time invested in rescue work that nobody gets paid for. Here's hoping that your perfect dog finds you soon! :)

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  11. Two French BulldogsJune 10, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    It will happen soon
    Benny & Lily

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  12. The "right" dog will find you :-) At least that's what I believe.

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  13. I had a facebook friend give up because the questionnaire was too much. i tried to explain but he didn't want to hear it. He did however rescue a dog, I'm not sure where he got it from though.


    I'm sure the right one will find you Peggy. :-)

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  15. I know. I've had 2 or 3 friends give up as well. We can only try to explain that the questions are in everyone's best interest.

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  16. I believe you're "right"!

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  17. Thanks. I'll be jumping for joy and spreading the word when it does!

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  18. Not only is it twice as much work if they come back, but also twice as upsetting for the dog.

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  19. Totally agree!

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  20. Thanks Jackie and Rita. I'm sure you understand, since you volunteer in a shelter.

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  21. It's so easy to tell that the rescue groups want the right match and for things to work out well, so that makes all the work involved worthwhile.

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  22. You got it! We'll keep you posted when our new golden best friend arrives!

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  23. That's so true. It's easy to fall for the first furry face you see...and every furry face you see!

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  24. I know you love seniors too. Something about them just reaches out and grabs me. It's just the part about losing them that hurts so much.

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  25. Such a big commitment is not to be entered into lightly. There is so much positive ahead!

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  26. haha you are so right. Or her food, or water, or the air she breathes! If there's another dog out there as patient and gentle as Brooks, I sure hope he finds his way to us soon!

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  27. Thanks Sugar. I'm sure you know best of all why we are anxiously waiting for our new golden retriever!

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  28. As the Founder/President of k9.5 Rescue, I want to thank you for this blog post. It gracefully explains exactly why we do what we do. Your support & encouragement of rescue & adoption is greatly appreciated! Wishing you the very best in finding your new furbaby!

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  29. Hi Peggy, This was such a great article about adopting from a rescue. You described the very things that my Mommy Jenny sees each week as she volunteers at our local shelter and helps facilitate rescues and adoptions. She works with many rescues that are just amazing, and they do CARE LOTS. It is certainly worth the extra time for a best friend you will have for many years.

    Sending love & hugs to you and Kol.

    Your friend, Pixel & Mommy Jenny

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  30. By the way, I am following you now (though I thought I was before). I hope you will come visit my blog and follow back sometime my friend www(dot)pixelblueeyes(dot)com. I am adding you to my blog list of friends too. :)

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  31. Well said, Peggy. I think it's helpful for people to get a better sense of where rescue groups are coming from and why the process is the way it is. Good luck in your search for a new friend - I'm sure that a wonderful match awaits.

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  32. Thank you! And blessings to you for volunteering at your shelter :)

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  33. Hi Peggy, Pixel Blue Eyes here. I am following your blog now, I hope you'll follow mine too. AND...I am adding you to my list of Pet Blogging Friends located on the left hand side of my blog www.pixelblueeyes.com. Hope to see you visit sometime.
    Your friend, Pixel

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Kelly and Ike say thank you for your comments!

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