Trying to help a friend adopt... she is getting frustrated!

This is a special section for dogs needing new homes and for inspiring stories of dogs that have found their furever home through Dogster or through the love and energy of rescuers. This is also the place to discuss shelters, rescue organizations, rescue strategies, issues, solutions, etc. and how we can all help in this critical endeavor. Remember that we are all here for the love of dog! If you are posting about a dog that needs a new home, please put your location in the topic of your thread so those close by can find you! Make sure to check out Dogster's dog adoption center!

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Bear, CGC

Yes, I really am- this cute.
Barked: Fri Dec 16, '11 12:01pm PST 
My neighbor and good friend has, after thinking about it for many months, decided to bring a dog into their family. She turned to me for help since she knows I have been involved in the dog world for many years and used to do rescue myself.

Her children are young and just about the same ages as mine (5 and 7). She has a fenced yard and she works from home, owns her home and would be a very good dog caretaker. Her kids have been to my house many times and have learned how to behave with my dogs and I think they would be good jr. dog caretakers.

Unfortunately the 2 rescues I know well do not have any smaller dogs available so I helped her find some other local rescues and dogs that she would be interested in on petfinder... and she keeps getting turned down mainly because she would be a first time dog owner and because of the ages of her kids.

I understand her frustration, I was turned down by several rescues as well and then I found Bear's rescue who took the time to talk to me and take a look at my credentials and references.

She is a smart person. She knows where store pups come from. But she is seriously considering the puppy store option now because after 3 rejections she just doesn't think anyone will ever approve her for a dog she wants. I am losing her to the dark side and 3 rescues have lost an opportunity to place a dog in a very good home.

Any suggestions?
Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
Barked: Fri Dec 16, '11 12:20pm PST 
Has she considered a reputable breeder?- it's often cheaper than the inflated pet store prices, you're not supporting puppymills, get a healthier dog, and you get lifetime support/advice if the breeder really cares about their pups.

Is she really set on a small dog? That might be part of the hang-up with the rescues. Small dogs (as you know) are more vulnerable to over-handling by children and I could see that they might be cautious about placing one as a first-time dog in a family with kids. Many rescue small-breed pooches are scared of kids also.

Maybe if she was willing to settle for a bigger, sturdier dog there would be no more trouble... Plus easier to find, that's for sure.

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
Barked: Fri Dec 16, '11 12:28pm PST 
hug to your friend, and bless her for going to adopt a pup and save a life. And bless you for helping her in the process, it can be daunting when you're new to it (and some rescues just aren't adopter friendly, which is sad).

I'd tell your friend not to give up. I'd look at other rescues in the area or even shelters (even though I understand why adopted a dog from a rescue versus a shelter is preferred). Sometimes contacting a rescue ahead of time and explaining your situation may help, before you apply or even talk about dogs. Even if that rescue doesn't have a good fit at that time, they could very well contact you when a dog that is a good match comes up. Or could your friend foster for a rescue or even just volunteer with a rescue? I know that my volunteer work with Lenny's rescue did help speak for my character and was a way for the rescue to get to know me more as a person.

If there aren't many rescues in your friend's area, then I don't think there would be any judgement if she decided to go the reputable breeder route. But I honestly hope she can find a rescue who is willing to listen and to give a good potential owner a chance.

ETA: I agree with Bruno that smaller dogs are often not allowed to be adopted in homes with small children (the cut offs vary, usually around 7 or 8 years old). A dog who will grow to be 30 or 40 lbs is more likely to be allowed in your friend's home then a much smaller dog at 10 or 15 pounds. How small of a dog was your friend looking to get?

Edited by author Fri Dec 16, '11 12:31pm PST



dog-sitter in- charge.
Barked: Fri Dec 16, '11 12:56pm PST 
A pet shop isn't the 'only' option if you find yourself rejected over and over from rescues or shelters.. like Bruno said, why not try a reputable breeder?
Jake Earned- his wings- 10.02.15

I am Murphy's- Law Embodied! <3- Me!
Barked: Fri Dec 16, '11 1:24pm PST 
That happened to me. Even though I'm probably no where near as qualified as your friend to own a dog by many rescue stanards. Being I'm a renter in a 3 year agreement, have a stable job that pays well, am a student and own my own car. i was denied by several beagle agencies. It tore me up inside. I would go to bed crying because all i wanted was a dog to call my own.

When Jake's picture came up on a local pounds website. I had already said It wasn't in the cards for me to have a dog and had given up searching. But jake was an owner surrender to a 'local' shelter (I had to drive 25miles) to get to this local shelter big grin but when i did they did not have any requirements other then I paid the fee and had him licensed.

If the rescues are giving her trouble tell her to just go to a pound or shelter. Plenty of those dogs need to be rescued and helped. My boy is a great dog and we do amazingly well together. He actually was going to get picked up by a rescue that had denied me. The lady was behind me in line the whole time. But since I was there first I got him. (Being the shelter was a first come first serve no reservations) type of kill shelter.

So i guess long story short. if the rescues aren't welling to let her save one of their lives go to a kill shelter or locally run/ government run pound and try there.

That's where my family was completed. wisheswishes
Bear, CGC

Yes, I really am- this cute.
Barked: Fri Dec 16, '11 1:37pm PST 
Thanks all, I have suggested a half a dozen breeders she could talk to and she has contacted a few. From what she has told me, the breeders she talked to do not have any litters now. They were hoping to be able to use the week and a half that they will be off from work and school to get the new doggie in a routine and settled in, and to let the kids spend some time with the new pup before heading back to school in January.

Dogster is all dog people. We understand the whole deal with waiting for just the right dog and most of us have the patience to do that (it took me a number of months from the beginning of my search to when I adopted Bear). But the general public who are not dog people don't have a lot of patience with being rejected and blown off. After a month or so of not being able to connect with a group that will work with her she is just feeling like rescues are too picky and she should look elsewhere.

I have to admit, I can see her point of view although I certainly do hope she does not decide to go the store route. We have talked about shelters but since there are kids involved she was concerned that there might not be enough information about a dog for her to feel comfortable adopting from a shelter. A rescue seemed perfect because the dogs will have been evaluated by the rescue, for the most part lived in foster homes and you will have a very good idea of what you are getting. I talked to Bear's rescue and they are keeping an eye out for a dog that might suit her needs but they very rarely get smaller dogs and are known mainly for rescuing Pitties.

She is not looking for a 3 pound Chihuahua, she has been looking at fairly substatntial breeds like Shih Tzu, Mini Schnauzer, Mini Poodle, Sheltie, Beagle etc. which are in the 10 plus pound range. Her kids are very gentle with Bear who is 5 1/2 pounds, and they were likewise with my senior Minpin who we recently lost (he was 9 pounds). My kids were raised from birth with small dogs and if the parents are responsible it can certainly be done with success.

I don't know what else to tell her other than "hang in there" and that the right dog will come along. But I am starting to see that there is a reason why pet stores still manage to find a niche. No one likes to be rejected (in this case she is a very successful, educated person and is feeling like these rescues are judging her and saying she is not fit to have a dog), and with cash in hand you can get bouncy, cute, instant gratification at PuppyLove Boutique. I hate it, but I don't how I can convince her to not take it personally and to just keep contacting rescues until she finds the right fit. thinking

dog-sitter in- charge.
Barked: Fri Dec 16, '11 1:41pm PST 
Maybe widen the breeder search past what is locally available? When we were looking for a Minpin (we lived on the east coast), we contacted a bunch of people from the referral list at the breed club who were nearby, but nobody local had any puppies.. in the end, we were referred by the same breeders to Luna's breeder, who was all the way across the country in Washington!
Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Fri Dec 16, '11 2:20pm PST 
You don't have to adopt a dog right on spot when you go to a shelter or animal control. You don't have to take their word for it either. They are FAR less picky. They just want the dogs out so the inevitable isn't forced upon them.

Try visiting a few dogs at the shelter multiple times and gauge it from there. They'll often let them out and let you interact with them in a room.

Or, you said you worked in rescue, would it be possible that if they adopt from a shelter and things don't work out, that you're rescue would take the dog? I know that's a lot to ask for, but something to consider, maybe.

It's sad that the rescues aren't taking this as an individual case. I'm sure there are many instances where they can set a rule in stone and follow it, but I feel when it comes to kids, things need to be looked into rather than tossed to the wind, especially if it's just a size thing and the dog has no issues with kids.

Barked: Sat Dec 17, '11 5:32am PST 
I have to agree with Jake. There are many kill shelters that you could go to and save the dogs life. So many dogs die in dog pounds and kill shelters due to the fact that rescues dont want them or that they have no room so they just die in there.. many and many are great dogs just some one couldn't take care of them any more or they were a stray but belonged to some one they just never came to find them. Before she buys she should go look in the pound.
Bella and- Daisy CGC

I'm a Meanie
Barked: Sat Dec 17, '11 5:47am PST 
I would also remind her that many times the puppy store puppies come with expensive health issues and can develop behavioral issues too.
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