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Old 12-04-2009, 12:14 PM
 
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I don't know if this has been brought up before, but has anyone adopted from these types of groups?

I have been looking into a few, both locally and nationally, and the all seem to have very dogmatic and even antagonistic policies.

In addition to the typical requirements of a home inspection, fence installation, and income proof, a local rescue group requires that adopters enroll in an obedience program (regardless of the dog's prior training) and schedule a vet visit within 14 days of adoption--and that you fax proof of this to them. I presume the reason they don't indicate the consequences of failing to do this is that they don't have any legal right to confiscate your animal or take any other action. I don't object to the principal of their rules, but the attitude in which it is presented is a huge turnoff for me.

Another rescue group has a six-month waiting period 'to make sure you really want it'.

The 'local adoptions only' really seems extreme to me too. I get that they want to do a home inspection. But a home inspection isn't going to prove that a dog will be well-cared for. And while perhaps a local adoption would be preferable, if a dog has been in foster care for a while, wouldn't it be wise to open up the adoption process to people from further away?

It really just makes me wonder about the priorities these groups have. Sometimes I feel like these are just people who want to own pets, but call them 'fosters' so they can solicit charitable donations for their care.
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Arizona
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I agree that some of these rescues are totally over the top. Not to mention the high adoption fees that are charged for pure-bred and designer dogs that obviously weren't wanted by their previous owners. I can understand a lot of things, like keeping the communication line open between adopters and the rescue, and doing a home inspection before the dog is adopted out. I can also understand wanting previous breed experience for some of the more challenging breeds, but ultimately, the goal is to find a good, loving, forever home for the pet. I'd recommend continuing your search. Keep in mind that purebred dogs also end up at county shelters and in non-breed-specific rescues.
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:36 PM
 
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
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I adopted from a breed specific group. I had no problems with them. I filled out an application. I know they called my references, not sure about my vet (didn't ask). The foster mom came about a week later with my boy, basically for a home check, and left empty handed. They didn't have a requirement of taking a training class. I actually took him to my vet for a check up after I adopted him just for my own piece of mind.
I know my local animal shelter requires vet visits within a week, and they also say home checks for fence but they never did it. I have heard others complain about other shelters and rescues in my area because of strict requirements. I guess I understand why they do that as they do not want the dog to come back again. I adopt an animal to give them a permanent home, until death do we part. A lot of people do not do this. These rescues just want to give these dogs stability and a permanent loving home. And you are absolutely right that home inspections will not guarantee a good home. What I think they should do is check on the adoptive homes every so often, more often. But unfortunately they don't have the amount of people to do that.
There was also one group I had a bad feeling on, like they were just trying to push the dogs out the door whether they were a match for you or not. Left a bad taste in my mouth so I looked elsewhere. I would definitely adopt from the rescue where I got my boy from, and I would recommend them to anyone else who was looking for my breed of dog.
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:42 PM
 
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My experience was where I would take in a German shepherd dog but did NOT want a medical or temperamental nightmare because I had just lost two dogs [one 15 and one 14] in the previous 3 years and just wanted to add a new family member [we had a 7 year old GSD at the time]. I had the fence, the income, the experience with the breed but they wanted me to take a rickety,unstable, half-starved, old dog. They got very insistent. I have a heart but.....goodness not at that point in my life.

I go to her house to return him [I have him a try and he became combative with my other dog once he got ok being around my house] and there is a beatiful young GSD, solid build, good manners, etc. and I asked about him. "Oh he is going to a teenage boy cause he needs to play and a teenager will run a lot"

You know. A dog experienced teenager can be great but they often have fleeting interests......and also often let dogs get away with more than they should. I did not gather from talking with her that there were any plans for this dog other than 'he needs a kid" [BTW, my kids are grown and I spend a lot of time with my dogs and work from home].....

So that was my foray into rescue. Now my current working dog is not a rescue but he is recycled. He was not big enough or agressive enough to make it as a patrol dog and most departments don't want a single purpose detection dog.......So I got him for a good price and he has been the best dog I have ever ever ever had.
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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I just had to re-home a dog. Due to the circumstances, I had criteria that were very difficult to meet, but I realized during the process how many things I needed to be comfortable with before placing the dog. A vet check within 14 days is completely reasonable IMO. I commend the rescues that have strict criteria. They have it because they are the ones dealing with the "returned" or abandoned animals in the first place when they provide food, shelter, foster homes, etc. Most of the ones I am familiar with have "consequence" clauses in the contracts used for the adoption, so they do have recourse. It's all for the best interest of the animal. I thought it was a bit silly, too, until I had to find a home for my dog. Only then did I realize how many factors affect people relinquishing their pets, and that's what I wanted to prevent. I also volunteer at one of the large shelters in the area and have spent a lot of time at the county shelter. It's unbelievable how many people are there to drop off their dogs, just unbelievable. It's so sad. Making sure the home and adopter(s) are compatible is prudent for all involved.

That said, I agree with you that a six month waiting period is pretty bizarre.

Last edited by didee; 12-04-2009 at 03:08 PM..
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
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The rescue group you're describing does seem especially cautious. Maybe their policies were lax in the past and they had a bad experience. You never know. But I do know that foster parents are saints, they care a lot for the dogs and really go out of their way to help them. If my SO would let me, I'd have a house full of fosters

Please don't let this one rescue turn you off of rescuing in general. Just look at a different group or like flkingfan suggested look at shelters. In my experience of volunteering with shelters, they do get a lot of purebred dogs, if that's your preference. Try petfinder.com if you haven't already. It's great if you're looking for a specific breed in a shelter/rescue.
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:32 PM
 
Location: ROTTWEILER & LAB LAND (HEAVEN)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redjan1225 View Post
I agree that some of these rescues are totally over the top. Not to mention the high adoption fees that are charged for pure-bred and designer dogs that obviously weren't wanted by their previous owners. I can understand a lot of things, like keeping the communication line open between adopters and the rescue, and doing a home inspection before the dog is adopted out. I can also understand wanting previous breed experience for some of the more challenging breeds, but ultimately, the goal is to find a good, loving, forever home for the pet. I'd recommend continuing your search. Keep in mind that purebred dogs also end up at county shelters and in non-breed-specific rescues.

Couldn't agree more.
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
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My questions is what breed of dog? When I started rescue, it was breed specific. I highly and very strongly recommended training. But my reason was legal. I wanted to be able to support the fact that I adopted a dog that was well behaved to a family that was highly encouraged to take an obedience course. If anything happened and that dog ever bit anyone, I had my butt covered. However I didn't demand it. I was very happy when people did, just from a responsibility aspect.

Another thing to keep in mind is if you're adopting from a rescue up north in the pacific west, they have very few highly adoptable dogs compared to the south. Rescues there usually adopt dogs out very fast compared to what we can do down here. Because of that they know they can be more strict. I don't have that luxury. For me, I want to know the dog is going to be an indoor dog at least most of the time. I will not adopt to someone that's going to leave them on a chair or in a fenced yard during the heat of a summer day or the middle of the night in the dead of winter. I expect them to be a part of your family.

I want to know they've got a good vet ref so they're going to keep the dog vaccinated and if an emergency ever arises they will do their best to get that pet proper vet care.

Aside from that, I never do any income checks. I don't think that's my business. I do home checks so I can see that the home his properly kept and safe for a pet. If it's an exotic pet I want to know they've done their homework and have an area properly set up for it.

I also do not require a fence. Plenty people walk dogs on leashes every day. Just because you don't have a fence doesn't mean you're a bad pet owner. Some sub-divisions don't even allow them. So those people shouldn't be allowed to have a pet?

I think when you start getting too strict you wind up pushing some people to back yard breeders. That's something we should all be trying to prevent. And let's face it, if someone wants an animal to abuse, they're not going to go through all the time and expense to adopt a pet when they are given away for free with no questions every day in the local papers.
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Most of the ones I am familiar with have "consequence" clauses in the contracts used for the adoption, so they do have recourse.
My point is the fact that just because they have something in writing doesn't mean it is legal or enforceable. There are all kinds of contract terms that are written and signed that courts cannot and will not enforce: non-refundable deposits on leases, non-compete employment terms, etc.

Even if the clause about obedience classes and vet appointments was enforceable, the rescue association couldn't simply trespass onto your property, walk into your house, and take the dog from you. Contract violations aren't determined by one or the other party to the contract, they are determined by a judge. The rescue group would have to go to court and prove they were 'harmed' in some way. If they proved such harm, the compensation for that harm would be monetary only. The dog would still remain with the adopter unless the state filed a separate claim in a separate court and proved to a separate judge that the owner was mistreating the animal, and then custody of the animal would be given to the state, not the rescue group. It all just seems like scare tactics to me. Which doesn't feel very ethical.

The clauses about returning the dog to the rescue group rather than a shelter, if necessary, are the same way. Although the reasoning behind these clauses seem honorable to me, I don't see how a court could enforce it. And I would have to wonder about any rescue group who invested the effort to follow each of their adopters to know if you turned your animal into the shelter, and then track you down and sue you for breach of contract. Its all very big brother-ish.

Quote:
Just look at a different group or like flkingfan suggested look at shelters.
Problem is, there is really no overlap of rescue groups for this breed. Because of the 'local adoption only' policies I can't go to another group. I've offered to pay for transport expenses, to send a video tour of my home, answer additional questions via telephone or email, but none will play ball. I know for a more popular breed like labradors or dalmatians there would probably be multiple rescue groups in my area so I could just work with another if I wanted to.

Quote:
My questions is what breed of dog?
Keeshonden. I've mentioned them on the dog branch before. My family had them as a kid and I've done a lot of research so I'm very certain this breed is the best match for me. Looking at petfinder you can see that most shelters don't even know what they look like: Keeshond resuls. I mean, do they think I'm an idiot? These dogs aren't even keeshond mixes, they are just mutts. I really wish petfinder had a 'report' feature where these kinds of listings could be reported and removed by moderators. There's nothing wrong with mutts but they should be accurately advertised as such.

After sorting out all the shelters, you'll find there are only a handful of breed-specific groups, and they all have the issues I've mentioned above. Most don't have more than a few dogs in their care and they don't have any information about how the group is run, about success stories, about ongoing involvement of adopters with their group. It really makes me wonder about their legitimacy.

It is really unfortunate when obviously they have dogs in their care that need good permanent homes but I feel like I'm going to end up going to a breeder. I'm trying to remind myself that some of the rescue groups' wording and rules may just be to cover their own butts and they may not be as harsh or demanding as they appear on paper to be.
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:39 PM
 
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Have you spoken directly to the rescues which have dogs you are interested in? (Keeshonds are so beautiful!) If you make contact and establish a relationship, maybe you would make progress.

Are you philosophically opposed to their terms or unable to meet their adoption criteria, or both? If you meet their criteria to adopt and want one of their dogs, why not just suck it up and go along with the process? And if you don't, talk to them and see if they would be flexible if they otherwise thought you would make a great owner. My point is not to cut off your nose to spite your face over a philosophic difference when you truly want to adopt a dog which needs a home.

P.S. I don't recall the exact details, but I think Ellen deGeneres had an adopted dog removed from its owner because she violated the adoption contract terms. Most rescues have lawyers help them prepare their contracts, and I have heard of other instances of enforcement, so I don't believe your comment about lack of enforcement is correct.
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