…you won’t be walking away with any of our rescues until you have proven yourself worthy.

adoptI touched on today’s subject briefly on our Facebook wall yesterday. Some of you may have seen the following post (reproduced here for those of you who missed it):

What is wrong with people? This guy responds to an ad we have posted looking for blankets and other items as donations to your rescue operation with a query about what dogs we have for adoption because a “friend” of his is looking for a dog. Then he acts surprised when we reply stating there are criteria to meet before adopting, that adoptions are done on an appointment basis only, that a home visit must be done, and that there is a fee involved? 
Our response? (If only in our own brains)

Firstly you moron, we are NOT advertising dogs for adoption on the local buy and sell. We do not do that! 

Secondly, where did you get the idea that our dogs come free with no questions asked? There are expenses to rescue Bozo! 

Our animals have been through enough, did you honestly think we would just hand them over to anyone who asked free of charge? 

Get a grip on reality!

We are in the business of rescuing and rehabilitating society’s forgotten. We do not get paid for this, we do not get glorified for this, nor do we want pay and glorification. We do this for one reason, our love of animals, and a wish to see them get a fair chance at life.

We are NOT in the business of handing out free dogs like party favors! Which is why we would NEVER approve anyone like YOU as an adopter of one of our precious rescues! You like many others do not understand or appreciate the privileges of having a loyal and loving pet by your side.


Yes it was a rant! And why not? For years we in rescue have been struggling to get people to understand that there is no such thing as a free dog! Yet here we are it is 2013 and I still find myself having to explain why someone can’t just call me up and say “I want that dog!”

“That dog”, as you put it has been through hell! It came to me because it was neglected, or abused, or found homeless wandering the street. It was sick and underweight when it got here, it has been vetted, and months of dedication and love have gone into making it whole again. It had a fear of humans, and needed to learn to trust again. I worked with that dog for hours at a time to bring it out of it’s shell and help it to see the world is not such a horrible place after all. Now you think I am just going to hand it over to you, without a reference check, without a home visit, without an adoption fee? Are you delusional?

What is it with these people who want dogs, but think rescues should come free of charge? Are you aware of the cost and care that goes into each and every rescue? Do you think there is a magical rescue fairy who pays all our bills? We work HARD and sacrifice our own needs to meet the needs of our rescues, each and every rescue is a labor of love. When you put that much love and dedication into rehabilitating an abused or neglected animal the last thing you are going to do is hand them over to a stranger without running checks and balances first.

Now I know that not EVERYONE who adopts a dog expects it to come free, some are well aware of the fact that there is an adoption fee and are prepared to pay it. However, many of those people come cash in hand thinking they will pay the fee and walk away with the dog. They are actually surprised when you tell them that a home visit is necessary, or that you require non-family references and will be checking them. Some believe it or not are actually insulted by the fact that you want to check up on them, and will complain about the fact that you wish to see their home before approving the adoption. To those people I say “what did you expect?”

I have spent hours, days, sometimes months rehabilitating this dog. I have worked on every issue, healed every fear and made him whole again. Do you honestly think after that amount of dedicated work I am just going to hand him over to anyone who asks without a single question? Why should I trust you? You do not know me, I do not know you, we met because you saw my rescue dog and thought “I want that dog.” For all I know you could be an axe murderer!

Not a day goes by that I don’t hear the question “why should I pay for a stray dog you picked up off the street?” The answer is a very simple one. You pay for this stray dog because after he was rescued we did the following:

Initial vet check & shots $240.00 Micro chip $20.00 Spay/neuter $250 – 500 Collar $30.00 Leash $20.00 Retraining $200 – 1500 Food $35.00-50.00 per week

Each dog has different needs at intake but these expenses are pretty standard for most rescues. If there are serious medical issues that cost is higher. Now of course we don’t ask that each adopter pay the full cost of rescue for the dog they are adopting, but even an idiot can see why there is a fee involved to adopt a dog.

For those who do not balk at the mention of adoption fees the question is “why do you have to see my home? Shouldn’t it be good enough that I want to adopt a rescue? Why does it matter where I live?”

It matters because we want to be sure that the dog we have worked so hard to rehabilitate will be going to an environment that is suitable, safe and healthy for that particular dog. We do home visits because we are not in the business of trusting everything to an adopters answers on an intake form. How do we know you are trustworthy? You could tell us you live in a mansion and actually live in a tiny apartment with no access to outdoors. We have no way of knowing unless we see for ourselves, and we didn’t go to the trouble of rescuing this animal to  send it to an unsuitable home. We are going to check you out thoroughly and if you complain we are going to assume you have something to hide.

So does that clear up your questions? I hope it does, because we have no plans to change our adoption procedure, and no matter how much you complain, you won’t be walking away with any of our rescues until you have proven yourself worthy. Get it now?

Jus’ Sayin’