Question about adopting.

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Barked: Sun Apr 21, '13 5:21pm PST 
I would like to adopt a dog through a rescue. Can someone please tell me what to expect as far as the adoption process goes; types of questions that are asked, home visits and what they look for during the visits and anything else that you may think of?

I currently rent an apartment with my sister in a multi-family house and it does say in our lease that we are allowed to have a dog. (Unfortunately, I misplaced my lease where it does state that.) We owned a dog previously when we moved into this apartment and unfortunately had to put her to sleep last year due to cancer. We are now just starting to think about another dog and don't know if they will check with our landlords or not. Our landlords are kind of flaky to say the least (they can't tell me and my sister apart and we don't even look alike and sometimes they don't even remember our names). They screen their calls and I don't know if they would even be bothered or not to answer their calls/return their calls. We would just hate it if their flakiness would jeopardize our chances with the adoption. We do have plenty of other references we can provide from our family, friends, co-workers and our vet. I don't know if that would be sufficient enough or not.

On another note, while there is a fenced in yard, we don't have use of the yard. With my previous dog, both me and my sister walked her through the neighborhood. There's an elementary school right across the street from us and when school is not in session, we would take her there and let her run off leash since it's all fenced in. We also used to take her to fenced in dog parks as well.

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Sun Apr 21, '13 7:32pm PST 
Is there any way you can contact your landlords and ask for a photocopy of your lease, as you have lost it and it's good to keep one on hand just in case anything happens anyway? Then you can make another copy and highlight the part about allowing dogs.

You can also ask for written/signed consent from the landlord to hand in with your adoption application to the rescue as reassurance that you are allowed dogs where you live. They may contact your landlord despite this, but you can still try to get around any problems with this method and the added reassurance that they can call and confirm it.

Also, many rescues will not adopt to someone who does not have access to a fenced in yard, but some still do on a case-by-case basis dependent on the applicant and what qualities override that. You can go over what you'll do without access to a yard to meet exercise requirements and bathroom break needs in your application, or during the interview process. Usually the home check is more to confirm that you were honest on the application and committed to the dog.

Because it's a multi-family household, you should also make it clear that this decision has been agreed upon by all parties living in the home.

Keep in mind that they may not like the idea of you taking the dog into a school yard, however, as these are often restricted from allowing dogs(by many laws), and could be potential for a safety hazard. Dog specific fenced in parks are better, or on leash walks will be far better for most rescue dogs. Keep in mind too, that many rescues will state whether or not their dog is good off leash and some will have a no-exception rule that they would prefer potential adopters DO NOT allow the dogs off leash.

Many rescues are very strict in their adoption process. Just remember not to take it personally and to show your commitment. If you're willing or want to attend some classes of some sort with the dog, tell them that too! The reason rescues can be so difficult to adopt from is because they want to be sure their dogs are going to the right forever home, and they don't want the dog to end up homeless again, so they'll do everything they can to weed people out to ensure the best possible homes. If they find you unfit, don't take it personally - ask why, then move on to try another rescue, or even a shelter.
Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
Barked: Mon Apr 22, '13 8:25am PST 
On top of what Charlie has said I suggest you read the application forms of the rescues near you before you even look at their dogs. There is no point in falling in love with a dog from a rescue that only adopts to people in homes with fenced yards. Find a rescue that will work with your situation THEN look at the dogs and they don't have one that is what you want don't worry there's ALWAYS more dogs coming in.

Member Since
Barked: Mon Apr 22, '13 9:13am PST 
Thank you so much for your advice. I am open to looking at shelters as well. I didn't know how strict their rules and regulations are either.

I've been checking most of the application processes for both shelters and rescues and notice that they all seem to require fenced yards. I work from home a few days a week and am home to take the dog on walks or if I'm not home, my sister is usually home most of the times during the work week in the afternoons. We have a pretty good routine where she works opposite hours than me during the work week and we're both home on the weekend.

I just want to clarify, that primarily, we always walked our previous dog on leash through the neighborhood. We only took her to the school when school was not in session. I don't know how strict the school's rules are because I do see a lot of people take their dogs on school grounds and the police train their dogs there too. So I figured it was ok so long as the school was not opened and there were no kids on the playground. (Although, I do see some people take their dogs there even when school is opened.) But mostly we do go for leashed walks.

While I understand the reasoning for some of the shelters/rescues regulations, I must admit, it seems a bit discouraging. We always have taken excellent care of our animals and have all paperwork from vet visits from routine care to sick visits and follow up appointments and we also have excellent references including our vet. We always consider them as part of the family and once we commit to it, we're committed for life. Sorry, I really am not trying to rant. I do appreciate your advice though.
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Mon Apr 22, '13 11:32am PST 
It CAN be daunting and discouraging at times, I absolutely agree. I've only lived in a home that had a yard twice in my life, and most other homes I've had haven't had yards. I've also always had to walk my dog out on leash, so it's a little discouraging when a lot of rescues won't look past it, but again, it depends on the rescue. Some will ask "If you don't have a fenced yard..." for clarification. There is one rescue that I DO know would adopt to me, but the reason they would is because I've volunteered with them before. I started off doing a few adoption events with them, then asked about fostering and they allowed me to do that, and they saw how committed I was to the dogs from that. You could always try to start off the route of the volunteer.

Try not to let it discourage you TOO much from trying anyway. There's no harm in trying, and if all else fails, you can have a shelter as a back up plan too. Show that you've done your research, show that you're committed to the dog, and there ARE rescues that will look at it on a case-by-case basis.

Depending on where you live, Tiller(a dogster on here), may be able to help out with finding a rescue.
Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
Barked: Mon Apr 22, '13 12:50pm PST 
Please don't let it get you down. There are rescues out there that will work with you just keep looking. The rescue I foster for adopts to lots of situations, one of my dogs went to an apt where she was going to be walked and given an indoor potty and another to a town house without a fenced yard and is walked.

Barked: Mon Apr 22, '13 2:20pm PST 
How I went about adopting my rescue puppy (Arkane) was the rescue was doing an adoption event at one of the pet stores near here and I printed out an application, filled it out, and took pictures of my home, yard, current dog, and places we might frequent for exercise (for example, I have a pasture that is a few acres but its not connected to my home, its across the street, but we also have a back yard and multiple other plots of land that we go to that vary in size, we go hiking every weekend and i took pictures of the trails, etc). With that being said, I would take pictures of the school yard and stuff so they know that you really do have a place to take him for exercise. If you ever did anything with your previous dog then take proof of that too. I took pictures of Nare being worked on sheep and ducks, his score book for Schutzhund and Rally..
I was probably over-the-top with my approach but was previously denied by some rescues because I'm 18, still in high school and have a part-time job. But every ounce of free-time goes to trying to improve my bond with my dogs.
They were impressed and noted what I was looking for in a dog and put me on a list to call if the kind of dog I was interested in came through. At the time I was looking for a young Doberman but they got a surrendered litter of White GSD pups and.. Well. You know how it goes.
Bella and- Daisy CGC

I'm a Meanie
Barked: Mon Apr 22, '13 7:18pm PST 
Your other option is to not just look at local rescue, but county shelters and such. Based on where you live, an hour or two drive might get you out of the city where things can be more strict and into a rural shelter where they don't get as much adoption traffic.

The other options are a national rescue for a breed. I foster for a national breed rescue. So, they may have a dog close to you. Some breed rescues are more strict but other tend to look at you as an individual, not just an application.

Another option if you live in the northeast is a transport rescue. These rescues find out what kind of dog would work best for you, find it in a shelter in the south, do its vetting, then transport it to you.

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Mon Apr 22, '13 8:09pm PST 
Personally I will never go through a rescue again but there must be good ones out there somewhere if you do your research. We just had bad experiences with rescues making assumptions...some of them are picky, some not. The fenced in yard thing seems to cover both rescues and shelters...but the shelters don't check...rescues often require a home visit.

I would go with a shelter only because the basic questions are:
Do you rent or own?
If you rent you need documentation the landlord will allow a dog
Do you have a fenced in yard?
Yes but of course and they will not come to your house to look at the fence
How many hours will this dog spend outside?
They mean are you going to tie it out for endless hours and no you shouldn't
Then if you have the adoption fee you're good to go

Rescue groups can make you jump through hoops and still not let you adopt...just in my personal experience
Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
Barked: Mon Apr 22, '13 8:53pm PST 
Not all rescues require a fenced yard, but nearly all of them will ask about it. That's because some dogs do need a fenced yard, and by asking the question, it makes it easier to match the right dog to the right adopter.

Generally, shelters are less restrictive than rescues.

All the advice you've gotten is good, and you should consider talking to Tiller if you can.
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