Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Wacky adoption Rules and why we have them!

Why adopting one of our dog makes your business, our business

Once every blue moon we hear this from potential adopters,"Its none of your business how I live" or "No you are not coming to MY home". It is our business to make sure we know everything possible about the home we are placing one of our pups, who I might add, have already been let down by people previously in its life, one way or another. All our dogs are our number one concern and priority, always!

Yep. Adopting a rescue dog is similar to adopting a human baby from an adoption agency. In both cases, the adopter is required to go thorough a screening process to ensure that the pet/baby is placed in a home where he/she will not only be cherished for the rest of his life but also receive the appropriate care and nurturing he/she needs to thrive.

If you’ve ever worked with us, or a even a different rescue, you might be annoyed by some of the hurdles you have to jump over, en route to adopting a pet. The reason is simple: We, as most other rescues, want to make sure our dogs — many of whom have been saved from illness, abuse and death — are placed in permanent, loving homes where they will be spoiled and pampered for the rest of their lives.

There’s no way to determine for certain whether a potential adopter can provide the perfect home, we try hard to ensure this for our dogs, promising them a lifetime of safety and security, which means doing lot of work in screening our applicants who want to adopt. 

The Adoption Application

Our application gathers the data we need to begin screening potential adopters. Those who are not willing to share this information we ask for, are not truthful, or do not give us the proper information ask on the application may be denied. The application consist of basic questions, most of which focus on your home, lifestyle and beliefs in how to properly care for a pet. The goal is to try to match you with a dog that will thrive in your environment. 

Why your lifestyle and activity level are important things for us to understand. 

For example: 
If you live in an apartment and work long hours, we will probably say NO at giving you a young, active dog but depending on the home and situation, might recommend an older dog who won’t mind lazing around all day, provided they have a safe place to potty. 
If you have infants or toddlers living with you, we will put the kibosh on a dog over 6 months old. Often our adult dogs have unknown histories with children. Neither us nor most parents would want to take the risk of a bite. We do place puppies with very young children in most cases. 
If you live in a house, we will want to know about the security and height of your fence. Fencing does provide a safe place for your pet to potty and play and is always viewed as GOOD for our dogs. 

Although not every rescue checks references, we do, by checking with your vet to see how you cared for your animals in the past. We want to see that your current, or past pets, are up to date on vaccines, altered and on heart worm preventative. 



Yes, the one that naysayers, you know who you are, usually find so intrusive — is the home check. If you do not want us to come, you will not be able to adopt-period. It is the most important step in the screening process, and almost always mandatory with exceptions. The exception would be if you are adopting from a remote area, in which case we might request you email photos of your home and yard, do Face-time, send a video or something in that order. Most home visits should take under an hour and include a brief tour of your home and yard. You will be asked questions about your lifestyle, kids and once again, your pets. No, the volunteer rep won’t open your drawers or run a white-gloved finger over your baseboards. They want to meet your other pets, the other family members and to make sure your home is safe and secure for one of our dogs. They are not there to judge your housekeeping or decorating skills. Based off the home visits we may have recommendations for a dog better suited for the home, or ask that you fix something. Many times our volunteers become friends with our adopters just through the connections we make in rescue! 

Apollo, our Belgian Malinois/Doberman mix and adoptable boy Loki checking each other out at a Meet and Greet

Meeting the dogs

Unless you’ve already met the dog at an adoption event, you probably won’t meet one in person until you are approved to adopt after the home visit is completed. You will then be invited to visit the dog at the foster home. If it’s love at first sight, you can plan on getting your home ready for the big adoption day and make arrangements with the foster home and adoption coordinator. If you don’t think the pet is a good match tell us, if you would like to meet others tell us or take time to think over what works best for you to make your adoption successful.

Adoptable boy Thor meets a Princess 

The Adoption Contract

Every good rescue will require you to sign an adoption contract before you complete the adoption including our rescue. If a rescue doesn’t do this, then they aren’t careful enough with their animals, and you shouldn’t work with them. We do require adopters to return dogs to our rescue, if for what ever reason, adopter can no longer care for them. All good rescues and breeders will offer this and spell it out clearly in their adoption contracts!

One of the Miller Dozen babies getting a vet check!

Although contracts vary widely among organizations, you’ll see these required provisions in our contract: 
You must provide basic care. In addition to food, shelter and water, you must commit to providing the animal with veterinary care, heart worm preventative, exercise and, of course, love. 
You are adopting the animal for the rest of its life. If you cannot keep the animal at any point in the future, you must notify our rescue immediately, before finding it a new home altogether. Adopters may never resell their pets after they have adopted either. We feel once a dog comes into our rescue, it is one of our family members, and our doors are open should it need to be returned for any reason for it's entire life! 
You must keep you dog current on vet care. You must spay or neuter the animal when we ask, per our contract, if its a youngster, and complete scheduled rounds of vaccination when they are due per your vet. Preventative medications are also mandatory for our adopted dogs, such as heart worm and flea and tick meds. 

Full house!

The Adoption Fee

For those of you who are ANTI-RESCUE- This is not a sale price. We are nonprofit, and need every bit of funding we can get our hands on. Most of our money to help the rescue dogs, comes from adoption fees. These fees help pay, going forward, for food, vet care and supplies for dog coming into rescue. Very few rescues, including us, charge adopters the exact amount of money that they have spent on caring for a rescue dog. If we did, that 7 year old dog, such as our adoptable boy Scorpio (adoption fee $300.00) would cost you well over $1000.00 as he was treated for heart worm and now is going through costly dental work. People simply won’t pay that much for an older animal, or would you? Often times, the majority of our fosters that come into rescue are sick, old or are in need of major vet care. Foster care providers do get the option to adopt their fosters, BUT they too must pay the adoption fee! I highly recommend calling around to vets and asking what the going cost is for spays and neuters, vaccines, and more. We as a nonprofit rescue still have to pay for these services, they are NOT free!

After the adoption expect to hear from us from time to time, especially the pet’s foster parents. As a foster parent of hundreds of foster Dobermans, it is heart warming to get updates on how well they are doing in their new homes!! 

So I was rejected!

If you were rejected there was a reason. It might be a temporary situation you need to resolve, like building a fence or waiting for a child to get a little older. Don't be mad, be glad! Take time to invest in a fence, or grow those kids bigger!

This is what I think of that applicant.......or 

Some of the other reasons you may get rejected:

AWWW, shucks! HUH, How did you find out? 

You lied on your application, you called our volunteers names or had an attitude, you hid important facts from your application or failed to tell everything that gets discovered later. 
Your home is unsafe. We will not place an animal in a home where its safety is in question. If you don’t have a secure yard, if a young child or family members chronically leave the door or gate open, or if you have dangerous home improvement projects going on, then don’t expect us to approve you. Lets talk and see if you can remedy the problem. We love applicants who willingly take our recommendations to heart! 
It wasn’t a good match. You might think Twinkles is the perfect dog for you, but  we may think otherwise. We know the animal and what it needs in terms of its perfect home. If it isn’t a good match, don’t get mad. Talk to us about another pet that might be even more perfect for you, or be willing to wait for that perfect match to come in! 
You’re under 21. In addition to insurance liabilities, we don’t like to adopt to young people because they don’t usually know where they’ll be in 5 years. If you go to college, you won’t be able to take your pet with you. If you move to a restricted breed building or home, you’ll need to find a new home for the animal. There are exceptions, of course: If you’re living a stable life, especially if you’re married or in a permanent relationship, and live in your own purchased home, these things will be taken into consideration. 
Yours is a military family. Sadly, Dobermans are NOT allowed on any military base anywhere on this planet so, we will not adopt to anyone in the military. 
You’re questionable. Okay, this is the single biggest reason we reject applicants, even though it’s completely subjective. If an applicant argues with us, gets angry with us, that’s it, application denied. If at any point in the interview process someone does not feel right about adopting to you, we are done and your application will be filed in the DONE section.

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Remember: WE don’t exist to just supply people with pets. Our goal is to find good quality FOREVER homes for our animals. Animals that WE promised to keep safe for the rest of THEIR lives. They have already had a tough go before coming into rescue. If you are denied, know, there will certainly be another suitable home that we feels fits better for that dog. 

If you are approved and adopt, thank you for working with us, for following our suggestions, and being willing to let us be intrusive into your lives. You are their saviors with us, in giving a loving home to a homeless animal. There is a reason for our wackiness and expectations in digging in your business. We do it, and we know you let us do it, for them.

Adapted from Petful  

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