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Beware! Before You Adopt From A Dog Rescue, You Must Know The Correct Answers For The Application?
If you are considering adopting a dog from an animal shelter or dog rescue group, that’s great! Every dog adopted from a shelter or rescue group helps eliminate disgusting puppy mills and, more importantly, saves a dog’s life. Unfortunately, some dog rescue groups make adopting a dog almost as difficult as adopting a child. The first hurdle to clear is the initial adoption application. An “incorrect” answer here will send you home shocked and empty-handed. For this reason, it is important that you read this app BEFORE you fall in love with a specific dog.
Most rescue groups—especially puppy mill dog rescues and breed-specific rescues—require you to submit an adoption application and have it approved before they’ll talk to you or let you see their dogs in person. You will be able to view pictures of available dogs on the rescue website; but until they’ve approved your request, that’s as far as you can go. Fortunately, not all rescues are so terribly demanding; and by comparison, shelters are completely welcoming!
I cannot overstate the importance of this initial application! Please understand that I am an honest person. I don’t lie and I would never tell anyone to lie on an app. Having said that, there are some answers that, if stated on an application, will immediately disqualify you. When you read the application, you will need to determine if any of these apply to you. Then you will have to decide how you want to handle the situation. You can try to avoid having to accept the truth, or you will have to look for a less demanding rescue group.
For the following questions, I will give you the “correct” answer, by which I mean the answer that the savior wants to read or hear from you. I will also give you answers that will disqualify you. If there is any other acceptable answer, I will state that as well. For some questions, I’ll just say NOTB – None of their business – or just tell you to go somewhere else.
Typical “problematic” questions:
1. How much money do you earn? This is one of those NOTB questions. Presumably, they want to make sure you can afford to adopt a dog, but I think the only answer to be given here is “I do enough.”
(Just FYI — some rescues are actually discriminatory; and questions about salary, type of house, where you live, etc. are used to weed some people out.)
2. How much time during the day will your dog be alone?
Disqualification: All day or I work all day.
Correct: NONE. Someone is always at home.
Acceptable: Not much time. I go home at lunch and my neighbor will let the dog out two or three times a day.
3. How much time will your dog have to spend alone outside?
Disqualification: All day.
There is no other acceptable answer.
4. Is your yard surrounded by a 5′ (or 6′) wood fence?
Disqualify: No fence; electric fence; 4′ Chain Link Fence. (I haven’t found any salvage that would accept an electric fence.)
Correct: Yes, I have a 5′ (or 6′) wooden fence.
Acceptable: This will depend on the dog. For an older small dog, a shorter fence may be acceptable.
5. Do you have children? What are the ages?
Disqualification: Infant or children under 6 years of age.
Correct: No children, or all are 10 or older.
Eligible: Ages between 4 and 10 will depend on the dog.
6. What pets do you have and, if you don’t have them yet, why not?
The second part of this question is NOTB! They are trying to find out if you put any pets down or returned any.
7. Where will the dog sleep?
Correct: At home, with us, in a crate.
8. Is everyone in the family enthusiastic about getting a new dog?
Disqualify: Any answer that is not YES.
9. Have you ever returned or given up a pet? This could be phrased: Is there an acceptable reason to return a pet?
Correct: Never. I would never do that.
Acceptable: This can be tricky. If an adopted animal and your pets can’t work things out, you can be re-adopted.
10. Have a pet sitting?
Disqualify: Yes. Most rescuers do not believe there is any acceptable reason to put a dog down. Aggression is never an acceptable reason. Serious injury or illness may be considered acceptable, but this depends on salvation. Some believe in the “as long as they can breathe” philosophy of keeping an animal alive.
Before you bond with a dog, read the adoption application and adoption contract. If you realize that you won’t get approval (small children, live in an apartment, unfenced yard, etc.) or you can’t accept some of the contract requirements, then don’t bother looking at pictures of their pets. Instead, look for another rescue or go to your local shelter or Humane Society.
Puppy mill rescue groups and breed rescuers tend to have an inherent distrust of human beings. Therefore, their requirements are very strict. Rescues that make a concerted effort to save dogs from euthanasia at shelters are more people-friendly and understand that their first goal should be getting these animals into loving homes.
Be patient and check the websites often. Visit your local shelter often. Your perfect dog will find you!
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