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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone! I am interested in adopting a dog I had a thread earlier about what dog breed to look into but decided I would rather adopt, I have a few friends who have adopted dogs and all of them had horrible experiences. They each have a good dogs but apparently the adoption process was invasive and generally extremely unpleasant. So I am just curious what other people's experiences are and what to expect throughout the adoption process and when to begin the process. I don't want to declare its a miserable process but I mean we are moving to an apartment on a 100 acre lot with lots of trails and I just anticipate an adoption agency making it particularly miserable to adopt a higher energy dog even though we are a very active couple.
 

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I have adopted through three different rescues and have NEVER had a problem.

The first was a humane society. We came and saw the puppies and walked out that day.

The second was a run of the mill shelter. I saw my girl advertised on Petfinder, called and said I was interested, drove there and took her home.

Both of those places required a deposit and stipulated I have them spayed by 6 months to get the deposit back. Easy.

The third rescue was much more hands on. They required a detailed application, advised me on which dog of the ones I was interested in would be best, and neutered him themselves before he came home. Still, it wasn't too bad.

I think some rescues can be over the top but if they are, just move on. I do think that when they weigh in they mean well and want what's best for the dog. There was a user on here awhile ago who was very angry that a rescue would advise him which dogs would fit his family best - he wanted the right to choose. So he went to a pound to choose, the dog he brought home had major aggression he wasn't interested in dealing with and he returned the dog, which was sad.

Start checking out petfinder and Adoptapet. I get emails from Adoptapet when new dogs that fit my criteria are available. If you see one that catches your eye, contact the rescue and see what shakes out.

Good luck and have fun with your future doggie :)
 

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My mom tried to adopt a scottie through a rescue, she ended up going to a breeder. The rescue was contradictory and didn't seem like they wanted to find a home for their dogs. When they were told our last scottie has cancer the woman looked horrified and said 'why did you let your dog get cancer?!!'. My mom had a nice house, large fenced in yard. Our last scottie was taken care of, had vet records. I don't know. I know they are not all like that but that experience left me with a bad taste for them. Plus IMO they are too invasive. I'm a very private person and don't feel comfortable with the process. But if you want to rescue maybe look into shelters first, if you are uncomfortable with the way many rescues run. Or a private adoption.
 

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Okay so not to sound like a complete airhead but there's a difference between a shelter and a rescue?

See my friend had to have the lady come to his house and like scope it out and conducted an interview. He's a really nice person but he's a bit of a hermit so maybe she got a weird vibe from him so she wouldn't let him adopt so he tortured that agency for weeks and got a second interview with a man this time who saw through his kind of aloof personality and he got approved but when he got Ferdinand he had horrible fleas and was getting eaten alive. My friend took work off for like a month and nursed ferdy back to health but I would definitely prefer to avoid that whole process. We've had dogs our whole lives and even if we woke up homeless we would find a way to feed ourselves and our pets it's just abandoning an animal isn't going to happen with us. I just am uncomfortable with the idea of having someone come in and try and tell me whether or not I am the right fit to care for a dog and checking my finances and inspecting my home, I am fine if they want to suggest a dog but I just am nervous about having to go through an interview and the whole inspection process.

That being said I really do believe in the process and I would rather adopt than get a purebred from a breeder since we just simply want a nice dog who can come with us hiking and to the beach and be an all around companion animal. We just legitimately couldn't care less about what the dog looks like or its "champion" bloodline. I am not mocking that it's just that we don't need a high class obedience dog or a champion hunter but a dog that we can train and learn from. So I'm trying to keep a very open mind I just have heard so many unpleasant stories.
 

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It really depends where you adopt from I guess. I agree it is a tough process. Especially if you meet a dog that you fall in love with. Agonizing. In the end it will all be worth it. Just be patient and keep trying.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you PoppyKenna that is good information it's good to hear that someone has had a good experience with them which gives me hope. I really want to be more open to the idea. Just with the story I just told you kind of traumatized me because I was with him when he realized how bad Ferdinand was off with the fleas I mean the emotional roller coaster that was for him and the battle to just get the dog sort of turned me off. so its good to hear something positive
 

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Glad to have given some hope!

I will say that my first two adoptees were/are angels (one passed away last year). My most current has some major fear issues but that's just the situation he came from which I was aware of (the rescue pulled him from a hoarder).

Best thing to do is contact the rescue and see. Some are total bears but not all are.
 

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My dog is a rescue!

While my adoption went just fine and my dog is the most perfect dog in the universe, the rescue I went through was not responsible. I didn't find this out until after I had my dog but apparently, the lady that runs the 'rescue' was promising the same dog to multiple people and keeping their money.

There are definitely excellent rescues out there. Yes, they are invasive. Some are unquestionably ridiculous in their requirements. For example, I found one rescue that would not adopt to you if you were routinely out of the house for more than 3 hours at a time. Well, I have to work to feed my dog and I think my dog would rather have food than my company while she's napping all.day.long. haha.

So, it's definitely a process of researching different rescues to find one that works for you. I like dogs that have been in foster homes so you have an idea of how they act outside of a cage. The thing to keep in mind (especially when you're frustrated at the strict requirements) is that people lie. People lie to get a dog that they want. The rescue is made up of people who volunteer and pour their heart and soul into saving dogs. If they put the dog in a bad home, they have to live with that guilt. I'm still in touch with my dogs foster parents through FB. I send them photos and updates. It gives them peace of mind that they didn't send her off to a hoarding situation or to a home where she doesn't get any exercise.

It can be a tough process but stick with it and you'll find a furry friend :)

Are you in the US? If so, North, South, East or West? Some folks on here may have a suggestion of a rescue to look into.
 

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The difference is that shelters have actual buildings in which they house the animals and "rescues" typically keep the animals in foster homes. Shelters can be funded by the government and are usually more organized like a business, and more professional. A rescue can more or less be one or two animal lovers to keep animals in their homes and adopts them out. I've only ever adopted dogs from shelters, not rescues.

The thing about rescues is that they can be extremely invasive and too particular about who gets their dogs. So much so that they scare people away, like the story you told about your friend. My mom was actually rejected from a Yorkie rescue last year because we didn't have proper records from our last dogs (they didn't get certain vaxes and "scheduled" things because they were always at the vet for old Doxie health issues, and he went to a few different vets). My mom was in tears after this happened. Mind you, we are a family with decades of dog experience, my mom has owned 2 Yorkies, we have an enormous fenced in yard, and my mom is an active retiree who has all the time in the world to spend with a dog. They rejected us.

There are actually books and talks given by experienced rescue people that try to lecture people that run these little rescues that their invasive and ridiculous standards for adopters do much more harm to the animals than help them.

In terms of an easier adoption experience, I would go to a shelter. Some shelters can be choosy but I've never heard of any shelter being as crazy as a rescue. Most shelters also don't do home visits. You will have to go through an application and interview process, but with most rescues that's more of a matchmaking process. Of course sometimes there are people who get rejected, but from what you've told me you sound like you'd make a good owner.

I would say go to some local shelters and tell them what you're looking for. Ask what their adoption process is like and maybe even tell them about bad stories you've heard of. Poorer or inner city shelters are also more likely to have easier adoption processes as well because they want to get the animals out of the shelter ASAP. Just make sure the dog is healthy with shots, no parasites, and neutered.
 

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Very good to know! I think that a shelter dog is the way we are going to go I have been looking at different adoption dogs that are at rescues and reading the requirements and it is pretty easy to figure out who has a clue and who's just trying to find someone who's retired to adopt the dog which is kind of unfair especially when you have a rescued spaniel or sporting mix. I don't mean to sound rude but an older person is probably the worst person to adopt that type of dog in general I'm sure there are a lot of retired folks who are very active but in general it seems like a bad practice!!
 

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I can understand that you might not want someone coming to your home, but please consider that many times all these rules are for a reason, not done for ****s and giggles. In-homes are mostly done with the rescue I volunteer for to make sure the person isn't a hoarder and that what they claim on the app is true. It's other people's mistakes that sometimes makes the genuine people pay, but if you really want to adopt from a rescue that truly cares about their dogs (not just pushing dogs out the door to just about anyone), then you should feel no problem going through the adoption process. We have adopted out dogs to people in apartments, they were very active people and spent a lot of time outdoors and such. There may be specific dogs that we will not adopt out to apartments, but those are mostly special cases. Going through the process also gives us an indication that the person is truly interested in adopting, not just falling in love with a cute face on a computer screen. It helps us weed out the ones that don't want put in an effort because in the end, it's the dog that pays by being put in a crappy situation or being returned to rescue or a shelter. In homes are normally not that long anyways, maybe half an hour or so. Sometimes longer if the people get along well and simply chat away together. As a foster home, I had to go through the exact same process as a potential adopter; fill out an application, phone interview, vet check, reference checks, and in-home. I ended up adopting 2 fosters and had no issues with the initial application even though my yard was not fenced at the time. Some rescues look at apps case by case and are not as black and white as others, so I can only speak for my experience which has been great thus far. :)
 

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The difference is that shelters have actual buildings in which they house the animals and "rescues" typically keep the animals in foster homes. Shelters can be funded by the government and are usually more organized like a business, and more professional. A rescue can more or less be one or two animal lovers to keep animals in their homes and adopts them out. I've only ever adopted dogs from shelters, not rescues.

The thing about rescues is that they can be extremely invasive and too particular about who gets their dogs. So much so that they scare people away, like the story you told about your friend. My mom was actually rejected from a Yorkie rescue last year because we didn't have proper records from our last dogs (they didn't get certain vaxes and "scheduled" things because they were always at the vet for old Doxie health issues, and he went to a few different vets). My mom was in tears after this happened. Mind you, we are a family with decades of dog experience, my mom has owned 2 Yorkies, we have an enormous fenced in yard, and my mom is an active retiree who has all the time in the world to spend with a dog. They rejected us.

There are actually books and talks given by experienced rescue people that try to lecture people that run these little rescues that their invasive and ridiculous standards for adopters do much more harm to the animals than help them.

In terms of an easier adoption experience, I would go to a shelter. Some shelters can be choosy but I've never heard of any shelter being as crazy as a rescue. Most shelters also don't do home visits. You will have to go through an application and interview process, but with most rescues that's more of a matchmaking process. Of course sometimes there are people who get rejected, but from what you've told me you sound like you'd make a good owner.

I would say go to some local shelters and tell them what you're looking for. Ask what their adoption process is like and maybe even tell them about bad stories you've heard of. Poorer or inner city shelters are also more likely to have easier adoption processes as well because they want to get the animals out of the shelter ASAP. Just make sure the dog is healthy with shots, no parasites, and neutered.
I'm not trying to single you out, but just because someone says they have decades of experience with dogs does not automatically make them a great dog owner. There are just as many negligent dog owners out there with just as many years experience as there are that are fantastic owners. In-homes and interviews help rescues determine what types of owners people are. Letting some disappointment with one or two rescues change your views on all rescues is counterproductive. Lots of shelters and rescues work together and we need to maintain these relationships to help the dogs, you just have to do the homework on which is best for each person and don't let one rescue make you turn your back forever. I've had crappy experiences with other rescues too, but it's not enough to make me stop looking for the right rescue to get the right dog from...but then again, I can be very stubborn. ;) Also, not all rescues are one or two people who foster out of their own home. Some rescues are enormous with hundreds of foster homes that adopt out large amounts of dogs and others are not as big with maybe 10 foster homes.
 

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Okay so not to sound like a complete airhead but there's a difference between a shelter and a rescue?

The difference is a shelter is run buy the state it is located in, and a rescue is a home that the dogs are kept at until adopted. I have always rescued from the shelter. I had a lot of contact with rescues. Some do not want to place their dogs and make the interviews very difficult. I met quite a few hoarders. They begin to think they can give the dogs better care then any one and just keep accumulating dogs it is very sad for the dog. Most rescues have a list of thing you must have or they won't adopt a dog to you. Find out what the list is up front so if you don't meet their criteria you can move on if you don't. A fenced in yard is usually on that list. I always thought it was better to take a dog out of the shelter because they are on a list to be put to sleep if not adopted.
 

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Sonic is a rescue. At first, my application was rejected for not having a fence. My husband said, "nonsence, what's her phone number?" And gave her a call. A month later, we were paired with "border-collie mix for active couple". The home visit was outdoors, yup, no fence, a nice chat, she was very impressed when I pointed out the distance I walk, daily. Done.
I'm guessing she gave our vet a call, who knows us very well, sees us walk our dogs, etc. .,
Anyway, be honest, consider following up with a phone call (that's what made the deal for me) and see what happens.
 

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We adopted Samantha from the local shelter. The process was not invasive, a fairly simple form to fill out, and we found Samantha there. We spent some time with her, with the shelters behaviorist watching, and we all fell in love. The shelter needed a day, to spay her, so we took her home the next day, she was sore, from the surgery, had an ear infection, and had kennel cough, so the next three weeks were spent nursing her back. We had our Vet check her, he declared her sound, and said she would recover, which she did. She has been a truly great addition to our family, its now been six years. Have never had any regrets, would certainly do it all over again.
 

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Rescues have dogs placed in fosters and most likely living with great doggy parents so yes will be tougher application process. If you want a better feel how dog is at home then a rescue is a great choice. I really had no issue with a home visit. I did put in a application with a rescue and was accepted. Here in New York we have some great rescues.

Then there is the state run shelters which that are high kill. They are mostly pits mixes. They have basically come and you get a dog, within reason.

We also went to aspca which is a great organization but 90% of the dogs had a no kids requirement.

We ended up finding a great dog in north shore animal league. It was busy so application took about 4 hours. They called references and also our vet. It felt like forever cause at that point we stayed with the dog the whole time and just really couldn't see leaving with out him. I had my kids with me so felt even longer cause they were getting hungry.

My oldest son (14) has a long day at school between getting there early to study and also baseball practice or games daily. 7am to 7pm is a short day for him. The 1st thing he does everyday when he gets home is say hello to Cooper and plays with him. I could just see the difference when he use to get to now. So much happier. I love to watch how much they have bonded. Those 2 take more naps together then anyone. Lol. Anyway my point is any process will be all worth it.
 

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I can understand that you might not want someone coming to your home, but please consider that many times all these rules are for a reason, not done for ****s and giggles. In-homes are mostly done with the rescue I volunteer for to make sure the person isn't a hoarder and that what they claim on the app is true. It's other people's mistakes that sometimes makes the genuine people pay, but if you really want to adopt from a rescue that truly cares about their dogs (not just pushing dogs out the door to just about anyone), then you should feel no problem going through the adoption process. We have adopted out dogs to people in apartments, they were very active people and spent a lot of time outdoors and such. There may be specific dogs that we will not adopt out to apartments, but those are mostly special cases. Going through the process also gives us an indication that the person is truly interested in adopting, not just falling in love with a cute face on a computer screen. It helps us weed out the ones that don't want put in an effort because in the end, it's the dog that pays by being put in a crappy situation or being returned to rescue or a shelter. In homes are normally not that long anyways, maybe half an hour or so. Sometimes longer if the people get along well and simply chat away together. As a foster home, I had to go through the exact same process as a potential adopter; fill out an application, phone interview, vet check, reference checks, and in-home. I ended up adopting 2 fosters and had no issues with the initial application even though my yard was not fenced at the time. Some rescues look at apps case by case and are not as black and white as others, so I can only speak for my experience which has been great thus far.

Well it's not about the home visit itself that concerns me. It's more about the idea that I could have someone kind of being invasive into my private life, oh hey what do you keep in this dresser? How much money do you make? I'm just afraid of someone coming in and just looking for a reason not to adopt to me. Which really wouldn't be hard no matter who you are. I mean I have a job so that instantly makes me ineligible in some of the rescues I've looked at. I probably won't know until I give it a try I've even been considering volunteering this summer if I have the time available/if that's even an option just to sort of get a hands on feel for how these places work. I just feel like I have an unearned negativity towards it so maybe that'd help
 

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Well it's not about the home visit itself that concerns me. It's more about the idea that I could have someone kind of being invasive into my private life, oh hey what do you keep in this dresser? How much money do you make? I'm just afraid of someone coming in and just looking for a reason not to adopt to me. Which really wouldn't be hard no matter who you are. I mean I have a job so that instantly makes me ineligible in some of the rescues I've looked at. I probably won't know until I give it a try I've even been considering volunteering this summer if I have the time available/if that's even an option just to sort of get a hands on feel for how these places work. I just feel like I have an unearned negativity towards it so maybe that'd help
We adopted our dog from a rescue and I thought similar to you in the beginning.
A home visit? Probably looking in all closets, food items, fridge?
Let me tell you about our experience...
First off, I applied at several rescues, because I had seen several dogs online that I wanted my husband and I to meet. I had a phone interview with all of them and I was soooo surprised! Hardly any formality, more chit chat, some specific questions here and there, but mostly just confirming what I had written in our application.
We visited one dog (at the rescue leader's (how ever that's called) home), not for us, too hyper, no calming down even after 20 minutes. It was a bit awkward, more standing around watching the dogs (her own and the potential adoptee) than talking. We left after 30 minutes (with a little 5 mins walk of the dog) knowing this was not our dog.
2 days later we went to an adoption event (mind you, in the meantime I got messages and calls from our references that this lady from that rescue called and asked this and that and they answered this and that). I planned for us to look at 2 dogs. The first one was not interested in us at all. No connection, no click. The second one was soooooo fearful and shy she hid behind her handler, didn't even come out for treats.
So I went to talk to one of the ladies about the dogs and she asked me if we looked at Bri yet. No, we hadn't, I saw her picture and profile online, but she looked really rough. She was an angel! It clicked right away! We talked with her foster dad and after around 20 minutes we knew this is our dog.
The "rescuers" came together to talk about our case (the show was staged in a petsmart, so there were many more puppies and dogs and people around us, but it felt weird anyways).
These 5 minutes were really long! But they came back saying they'd come by our house the next day to do the home check and bring the dog to see if she is comfy with us.
We didn't have a doubt in our mind, so we went and got all the supplies we needed for her (got some tips from her foster daddy), including a lot of child proofing stuff for our cabinet doors!
It took us until 11pm that night (we came home at 4pm) to proof everything we thought was important.
The next day we were anxiously awaiting them. They let us wait 2 hours, but when they were finally there, it took about 20 minutes and it was all over. It was a nice chat, sitting in the living room, no closet looking, no checking of the child proofing, not even entering the basement or 2nd floor, just a quick look in the garden and then they were on their way. We had to follow them back to petsmart to sign the papers (a legal thing, because petsmart is their sponsor) and then we had a new dog (with a 14 day trial period, but obviously we didn't have any issues)!
They also helped a lot in the aftermath with infos about good vets and trainers and check in once in a while how Bri is and if we have any questions.

All the other rescues were very understanding that we found our dog and all of them offered their help if any problems should arise.

I am glad we took the rescue route, yes, it is a bit intimidating and yes, they want to know a lot about you, but (granted if you're lucky like us and don't "pick" a shady one) you have the "safety" of a whole network behind you if anything should go wrong or if you need help. I have no doubt in my mind if I would call Bri's rescue today and asked them to place her for the weekend because we have a family emergency, they wouldn't bat an eye and take her (I have friends for that, but just as an example).

Okay, this got really long, sorry :)
 
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Well it's not about the home visit itself that concerns me. It's more about the idea that I could have someone kind of being invasive into my private life, oh hey what do you keep in this dresser? How much money do you make? I'm just afraid of someone coming in and just looking for a reason not to adopt to me. Which really wouldn't be hard no matter who you are. I mean I have a job so that instantly makes me ineligible in some of the rescues I've looked at. I probably won't know until I give it a try I've even been considering volunteering this summer if I have the time available/if that's even an option just to sort of get a hands on feel for how these places work. I just feel like I have an unearned negativity towards it so maybe that'd help
I reputable and "down-to-earth" rescue will not be going through your personal belongings; closets, drawers, nor fridge. If they do, you need to put a stop to that and ask them to leave. As a person who highly supports rescue, I can understand your doubts and it is normal to feel a little uncomfortable at first. If the rescue you choose to adopt potentially through is not one of the crazy ones that make it close to impossible to adopt from, they will not be prying into every detail of your life. Mostly things like what your activity level is like, is your home suitable for the dog you are wanting to adopt; for example just say you wanted to adopt a senior dog with arthritis and your home had many stairs, maybe your home would not be the best place as the dog would have a hard time getting around. That is the type of things they look at. The rescue I volunteer for even has a foster home that lives on a boat!! :) and he is a great foster home that socializes his fosters a lot and exposes them (smartly) to so many new environments and people, etc. He cares so much for our fosters and his own dog that the fact he lives on a boat is secondary. I had no fenced in yard for years in the beginning of fostering as well. They didn't decline me because when they did the in-home they saw that I had plenty of space and nice places to go for walks and hikes right on my property. Not all rescues are so highly strung, you just need to do some research and get a feel for how they work. When they did my in-home it was mostly just a short run through of my home and checking out the property, was not more than half and hour. When I've done in-homes in the past, I wasn't there for very long either, but there were instances where it was a bit longer because the adopter and I hit it off and enjoyed having a longer conversation about our pets, the dog they want to adopt, and random other topics. They'd offer tea and we'd do the whole "dog-talk" that real dog lovers LOVE to have with other dog-lovers. :) We can all help you find a good rescue or local shelter to you if you wish. :)
 

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I got my current dog (see avatar) from a nearby shelter, about forty-five minutes from where I live. Most of their dogs are actually housed in foster homes, after being vet checked etc., while awaiting adoption. They are also temperament-tested. As a result, it's kind of the best of both worlds: the process of adoption was fairly simple, and you can still get some idea of how the dog did in the foster family's situation. In my particular case, my dog had not been with them long enough to have been placed in a foster home (he was scheduled to be placed in one within the next day or two--he'd been neutered and they had kept him at the shelter while he was recovering from that). I felt I had to move quickly because he was a smaller dog with the temperament I was looking for, but they still let me take him on a leash around their grounds to see how he did on leash, what commands he might know or could catch onto quickly etc. I also saw him interact with other dogs, cats, and other people of various ages. I probably spent a good ninety minutes to two hours doing all that before I brought him home. They also take back any animal that doesn't work out, and they're a no kill shelter with a lot of strong, consistent support from their town and the surrounding area.

When I was looking, I also checked in with a couple of rescues, some of which were more helpful and supportive than others (but then, the reason I went out of town was that, after having adopted two dogs from our local shelter, I couldn't even get waited on when I went there the last time--I was bypassed for people who came in with kids, and I've heard from others that there seems to be a "family" bias there now, which, as a single person, I find unfortunate and just plain ridiculous, as having a family or not having a family doesn't guarantee anything when it comes to responsible pet ownership). Ultimately, I don't think there is a general rule for which is better/easier, shelter or rescue. They all have to be judged individually. And, of course, no matter how well run either is, if they don't have the dog you're looking for, it doesn't matter.
 
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