|Barked: Tue Apr 23, '13 7:18pm PST |
|I think for starters I would simply ask your landlord for a copy of the lease and/or a letter granting permission. That is something that shelters and rescues alike are most apt to check, in my experience. Just be sure you have it square with them in some way.
The fenced yard issue....look around is my advice. That is not something uniform in rescue in any regard. The rescue I am an adoptions counselor for right now doesn't, and my previous volunteerism for a breed as high energy as a Boxer didn't require it, either. Indeed, my Boxer rescue people were not enthralled with a fenced yard, viewing them as less incentive for a pet owner to actually exercise a dog.
I am not sure of your region, but many municipal shelters do not require a fenced yard. Also, don't be afraid to cast your net a little wide....a lot of rescues will deal with people outside their immediate region.
Rescues will differ as to what questions they ask, but there are some principle objectives, fundamentally are you a responsible dog owner. Typically, they don't want to see something concerning in your background, such as you brought a dog to a shelter, had one die of heartworm, etc. They will often ask how long during the day the dog is alone, where he will be kept during those times (some will ask where he is to sleep). Rescues typically don't want a dog left alone too chronically, many have concerns dogs may be kept alone in a yard, in a garage, etc. They will have interest of all people in the household and if all are on the same page regarding the dog.
Home checks may literally be just that, going through the home to be sure it is safe and at times advising things that need to be addressed before a dog is released to you (such as a child safe locks on your household cleaner storage), or they may be another step to get to know you better in a face-to-face. When I was with Boxer rescue, they always wanted the home checker to bring a dog to see how the people would react to a dog in their home. It really varies from rescue to rescue.
Cutting to the chase, some rescues are prickly and some just want to be sure you aren't irresponsible, unprepared or insincere. With my particular rescue, for the founder she totally lights on someone who has returned a dog to a shelter, and my one breaking point are people who keep their dogs chained and/or outside while they are away. Anything else, I'd say we are flexible on. I'd more say for us, we are more interested in that you aren't a bad owner versus you are a stellar owner. Working for some New England rescues, it was different.....several I dealt with were cut throat going for the cream of the crop. These things get influenced by regional dynamics. With what I am doing now, we are dealing with dogs from high kill shelters (and more waiting for space to clear in rescue), so that this potential owner isn't going to make them another statistic is what matters most. With New England rescue, where kill rates are negligible if you aren't a Pit Bull, the attitude is more that this dog was let down and so deserves a spectacular home. They are much less "big picture" and much more getting a dog into a dream situation.
What you need to do is shop around. People do that for breeders, and people need to do that for rescues, too. Don't feel frustrated or intimidated by rescues having prerequisites you can't meet....just say they are not for you and keep on looking.
If you need any help tracking down good shelters or rescues to consider, feel free to state your location and I'd be glad to help
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