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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are looking to adopt a rescue dog at the end of the summer. We have a planned vacation at the end of August so it wouldn't be fair to bring a dog home now and then leave her for 10 days next month. We are also looking for a hypoallergenic dog as my hubby has some allergy issues.

About a month ago I contacted three local rescue organizations to ask if we should put an application in now or wait until we return from our trip. All three said to put one in now. That way we could be approved and ready to adopt when we returned from our trip. They also stated this would be good to do since we are looking for a hypoallergenic dog and they usually go very quickly.

So I spent several hours filling out the applications as I gave a lot of thought to many of the detailed questions. A week went by and I had not heard a thing. I emailed all three of them to ask if there was any update on my application. I only got a response from one who said they never received my application. Fortunately I had saved a copy of the application so I resent it and did get a response that they got it.

So now I have been waiting for a month with no further correspondence from any of the rescues. I hate to be a pain and keep messaging them but it seems to me that by now I should have gotten some kind of a response regarding my application. I do realize that many of these rescues are run by volunteers, but seems to me that one month is a long time to wait. Am I being unreasonable? Should I message them again?

Another thing I find very frustrating is that almost no rescue organization will even bother to answer a simple question about a dog unless you put in an application. I have been on Petfinder daily looking at all the sweet dogs that are looking for homes. Sometimes they don't even list a dog's age in the description. Seems to me they should be able to respond to a simple question like how old the dog is without having to put in an application. The other thing that frustrates me is when you open a listing on Petfinder and the rescue is 20 minutes from my house. Yet in the description it will say the dog is in a totally different state that is hours away by plane.

Everyone always says "Adopt Don't Shop" but from my limited experience I can see how people get frustrated and just go and buy a dog instead. It shouldn't be this difficult to want to give a dog a home. Thank you for letting me vent and I would appreciate any suggestion you may have.
 

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Are you sending applications and messages through pet finder? Maybe those rescues aren't fluent with petfinder or don't use it. Have your tried going directly to their website and trying to contact them that way?
 

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A lot of rescues are kind of terrible at getting back to people. They are often flooded with a lot of questions and requests to adopt or surrender a dog. I've seen lots of rescues lack organization.. and I guess I can't really blame them since they are run by volunteers. Then of course there are also times when they have your application but reject it for some reason and never say a word about it to you.

It is frustrating as crap and exactly why so many adoptable dogs don't get adopted.

It has been bugging me lately how rescue organizations pull all the most desirable dogs from pounds where they would have been adopted instantly and easily. Then the less desirable ones (pitty types around here) are always in danger of euth. Then they constantly reject or ignore perfectly good homes because reasons which keeps them from pulling those dogs in trouble due to lack of space. So they yell at the public for buying dogs instead of adopting.

Sorry for the mini rant. You might need to branch out to other rescues as well, one that is willing to work with you. Non-shedding type breeds are very popular and difficult to find in rescue. They are fought over and snatched up in a second around here unless there is something seriously wrong with them medically. I hope that the rescues get back to you. I would try bugging them one last time and at least asking if they got your application.

There is nothing wrong with deciding to buy a dog instead either. Hypo allergenic breeds are not in danger in the shelter systems and are not for lack of available homes.
 

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Dealing with rescues is a pain. I only heard back from one out of three when I applied for a puppy last year...

And ditto on pulling very adoptable dogs from shelters etc. Then people end up paying three times as much for the same dog... when they would have been gone in no time in a shelter.

I'd keep emailing them and contact as many rescues as possible. For what it's worth though... I've had the same issue with responsible breeders... the only people who seem to get back in touch with you in no time are people breeding for money...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are you sending applications and messages through pet finder? Maybe those rescues aren't fluent with petfinder or don't use it. Have your tried going directly to their website and trying to contact them that way?
I sent the applications directly through each rescue's website. I chose three that are close in proximity to where I live. I just like to check out petfinder to see what dog's are available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
And ditto on pulling very adoptable dogs from shelters etc. Then people end up paying three times as much for the same dog... when they would have been gone in no time in a shelter.
Yes I see this first hand in some of the petfinder listings. It says something like "we just pulled this little guy from the local animal shelter". I know some of these shelters charge only like $100 or less for a dog but the rescue is asking $500 now for the same dog. Maybe I need to start making a point of visiting the shelters near my house on a weekly basis instead.
 

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I can totally sympathize with you. Trying to work with any of our local rescues/shelters was beyond frustrating.

Our county shelter transfers pretty much every desirable dog up north, meanwhile the same dogs stay in the kennels here for months (they are a kill shelter, but it does seem like they try not to euth dogs once they get the the adoption kennels). Every time we would visit the shelter, the same dogs were there and I also started noticing that the same dogs would start having notes added to their cage cards like 'no cats!' or 'not good with kids!' or 'must be only dog!', which is fine, but I am also starting to doubt how well these dogs are temperament tested prior to being put in the adoption kennels. I feel like those kinds of things should probably be known before families have a chance to interact. During the times we visited the county shelter, we never saw any puppies there but saw lots being transferred up north (they often times post videos I'm facebook of them loading the animals up for transport).

We had to rule out adopting from the no kill shelter because they required the entire family, dogs included to be there when you pick put a dog. I understand why, but you can't go with just the human family to find a potential match and then bring your dogs to do a meet and greet because they don't do holds (unless you want to pay extra for a 4 hour hold!!). They also wouldn't do a meet and greet anywhere but their shelter location, which I kind of understand, but I have one dog who would NOT be ok meeting a new dog in a strange environment with strange people around. She would warm up much faster and be fine in her own home though.

Another rescue that really bothered me was all run on foster homes. They are at Petsmart every weekend. I was actually really looking into them until I heard one of the foster mom's encourage people to pick up her puppies and hold them because she does not have time herself to handle them. All of the puppies were so stressed out and overwhelmed (and hot!!), it was so sad. The adult dogs are usually being walked around by 'volunteers', not necessarily their foster families, so basically when you meet a dog there's a chance the person holding the leash basically knows nothing about that dog.

Ohh, almost forgot about the one that had a weird Facebook meltdown/drama. That was fun to watch. Ran far away from those crazies.

So basically no advice from me, but looking into all the rescues/shelters around here was really eye opening to me. I definitely understand why people avoid adopting over 'shopping'.
 

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Yes puppies are often pulled by rescues, which is ridiculous, I mean, how long do puppies REALLY stay in shelters before people adopt them? Maybe they think that by removing the puppies, the other dogs will have more chance? It's just really sad all around.

I have the same issue with my dog - could never imagine taking her to a shelter to meet another dog, she'd be way too stressed out... but in my limited experience, most shelters just don't do any temperament checking. They might put a dog next to a cat or other dogs to see how well they do, but that really doesn't mean much... I have kids and a cat so it's a risk I wasn't really willing to take either - at least SOME foster homes have cats and kids and you can be more comfortable with their assessment.
 

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I do kind of wonder what role the recieving shelter plays in the transfers. I'm not sure if they get to pick or if they just tell them how many they cant take and we send them up. One of the only reasons I can see to send puppies out is to help try to prevent them from being exposed to sickness maybe? But then again, they're just going from one shelter to another so I don't know if that really helps.

I do have to admit that I kind of just *assumed* they do some kind of temperament testing because they are a kill shelter. I assumed anything that didn't pass a temperament test was probably put on the euth list because they would be a liability for the county. I am kind of curious how they handle things now.
 

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Sounds like here, either it's crazy expensive, more than just buying a dog to adopt one, or the rescue has so many requirements that few could meet all of them and, actually be approved, then they don't reply to communication for a darn.

People around here, me included, are not paying 225.00 for a mutt and, we aren't fencing our entire property with dog proof fencing - that's crazy when most of us live on farms and ranches.

Rescues need to be more reasonable and responsive if they want the dogs to be adopted and, they need to gear prices to the area, not out price everyone that lives nearby.

It's no wonder people take free dogs from individuals or, buy them from backyard breeders and puppy mills rather than adopt out of the rescues.
 

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I've heard similar frustrations from other people so it's probably mostly because they're just swamped.

However, I would definitely be contacting them again (I would say every two weeks is not unreasonable). They could be taking your lack of follow-up as lack of interest.

Also - if they know you're going away and aren't looking for a dog right now you might not be high on their priority list.
 

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Figure out a reputable breeder and buy a dog. Quite honestly? A LOT of rescues that is exactly what you are doing anyway. "Adoption Fee" is buying the dog. Contracts are rarely worth the paper they are written on.

I was going to do that way back in 2006. I applied and several refused a dog in spite of top references from my vet clinic and others who knew me. Why was I denied? I worked full time and live alone. I had to put my dog in an outdoor kennel part of the day M-F. Apparently you are supposed to be independently wealthy and be home (or have a job from home) to have a dog from these rescues.

In the end, I bought a dog from a breeder and not from a rescue. It was simpler. The dog was mine. Period.

I also learned a few things since then. First and foremost, temperament and confidence in a dog is genetic. A rescue has golly knows what in its gene pool. There can be GREAT dogs.. and then there are those that are a nightmare for the duration of their lives. If you are a first time dog owner it is my opinion that a reputable breeder who understands what you want and understands what their breeding brings to the table is a far better match.
 

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Agreed on lots of rescues being a crapshoot temperament-wise.

But it will cost much more to get a dog from a good breeder than to get a rescue dog.
 

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Agreed on lots of rescues being a crapshoot temperament-wise.

But it will cost much more to get a dog from a good breeder than to get a rescue dog.
Not always true in the long run.
Know one person who got a bulldog puppy at a shelter, between cherry eye, hip and elbow issues, they spent 5 times what a health tested and bred for temper dog would have cost them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you everyone for your responses. At least it seems others have not had the best experiences dealing with rescues as well and it is not just me. I think I will try reaching out one more time since like someone said, maybe since we can't take a dog until the end of August we are not much of a priority.
 

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Yes puppies are often pulled by rescues, which is ridiculous, I mean, how long do puppies REALLY stay in shelters before people adopt them? Maybe they think that by removing the puppies, the other dogs will have more chance? It's just really sad all around.
Regarding puppies, many city animal shelters (as in, open intake - must take all animal type shelters) will reach out to rescues and ask them to take puppies ASAP. I know of shelter managers that will literally be on the phone with a foster based rescue as they are taking in puppies so the pups never set foot in the physical shelter. Technically they are transferred to the shelter and then transferred to the rescue but only on paper.

If puppies come in with momma dog, then definitely the rescue should pull the momma also. Shelters have a high disease risk for unvaccinated dogs and with strays or dumped litters, no one knows how much maternal immunity the puppies might have. Which means even if they vaccinated upon intake or pickup, that vaccine may or may not "take"

So best to get dogs under about 14-16 weeks out of the shelter and into foster homes with fully vaccinated owned animals and preferably fenced yards to minimize risk of contracting parvo or distemper.

Yes, puppies are very desirable for adoption but keeping them in a shelter situation can also mean risking adopting out a pup that has been exposed to parvo and might break with it days or a week after adoption. Sometimes that even happens with litters pulled by rescue and the rescue then foots the bill for their parvo medical care or (far more rarely) makes the decision to PTS rather than an automatic PTS by most any city shelter.

I don't disagree that many rescues can be bad at responding to apps and communicating, some have high volunteer turnover which leaves them lacking on the digital/website side of things, etc. Some are unreasonable about adoption requirements. Many do the best they can with what they have. Some focus on difference breeds, some on small dogs or older dogs, etc.

I think it is best to meet with rescues in person at events where they have booths set up like "Bark in the Park" type things and hand over a paper application and get a direct contact email or two. Being a real person rather than a random and possibly misplaced email helps.

That said, I don't have any issue with someone seeking out a reputable breeder. Reputable breeders and people who do their research are, on the whole, not the ones filling shelters with dogs.
 

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Sounds like here, either it's crazy expensive, more than just buying a dog to adopt one, or the rescue has so many requirements that few could meet all of them and, actually be approved, then they don't reply to communication for a darn.

People around here, me included, are not paying 225.00 for a mutt and, we aren't fencing our entire property with dog proof fencing - that's crazy when most of us live on farms and ranches.

Rescues need to be more reasonable and responsive if they want the dogs to be adopted and, they need to gear prices to the area, not out price everyone that lives nearby.

It's no wonder people take free dogs from individuals or, buy them from backyard breeders and puppy mills rather than adopt out of the rescues.
I suspect that there are more people wanting dogs than there are rescue dogs available.

Importing rescue dogs from other countries has become big business. The first canine rabies case in the US in YEARS came from an imported dog with forged vaccination records.

I compete in a sport with aspirations to go far so I require a dog with certain temperament and physical traits from a reputable breeder. Why would a pet owner want anything less? That $300 rescue comes out of the box spayed and neutered and then you have both unknown health and temperament issues that may far outstrip the $1500 for a dog from a reputable breeder (and I am not talking some designer cross either).

Here are some stories about rescue dogs in the US.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...ant-one/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.63f57052f8e8

http://www.thedogplace.org/SHELTERS/Shelter-Imports_Witouski-102.asp

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018...-rescue-dogs-here-s-what-needs-to-change.html
 

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The first canine rabies case in the US in YEARS came from an imported dog with forged vaccination records.
I'd like to know what hat you pulled that statistic out of...

Texas Department of State Health Services rabies statistics:

1958 - 2004 https://www.dshs.texas.gov/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=23156
2005 https://www.dshs.texas.gov/idcu/disease/rabies/cases/statistics/reports/2005.pdf
2006 https://www.dshs.texas.gov/idcu/disease/rabies/cases/statistics/reports/2006.pdf
2007 https://www.dshs.texas.gov/idcu/disease/rabies/cases/statistics/reports/2007.pdf
2008 https://www.dshs.texas.gov/idcu/disease/rabies/cases/statistics/reports/2008.pdf
2009 https://www.dshs.texas.gov/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=8589943894
2010 https://www.dshs.texas.gov/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=8589946497
2011 https://www.dshs.texas.gov/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=8589964228
2012 https://www.dshs.texas.gov/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=8589975422
2013 https://www.dshs.texas.gov/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=8589986820
2014 https://www.dshs.texas.gov/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=8589997646
2015 https://www.dshs.texas.gov/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=12884902729
2016 https://www.dshs.texas.gov/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=12884910925
2017 https://www.dshs.texas.gov/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=12884922098
 

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I pretty much agree with MastiffGuy and 3GSDs.
I prefer dogs from breeders for reasons of genetic soundness. I fully support people in adopting, but sometimes it's harder to get a puppy and cost can be the same apparently some rescues are high prices. Regardless of purchase price issues can be costly. I'm on another forum where someone just posted about their rescue dog costing them over 5k (dogs only 3 years old). Just a couple days after getting the dog vet visit indicated a problem that was 3k surgery.

In my breed I keep seeing horrible skin issues that are on going and some unresponsive to treatment. Also without relieve expensive allergy testing and in other cases skin / immune problems linked to other diseases. This isn't typical of pure bred dogs from good breeders, but you don't know what you're getting. Another costly issue CCL tears, one adopter found out within a week the dog they adopted needed surgery they had to return the dog. That's nice not to even tell someone adopting the dog. But seemingly from what people are saying with rescue dogs this isn't an unheard of issue and it's costly.
 

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Huh...maybe I'm the only one with good experiences here? I got my first dog from a tiny rescue (one woman getting dogs out of shelters and getting them transported to her). I helped transport her and put in an application to adopt her pretty quickly. I heard back and we worked everything out and she came home to me. We weren't married, were not quite moved to where we could have a dog (but had a place to stay in the interim), and had no yard, much less a fenced in one. We've now had her for 10 years (she's about 12) and she's not had any sort of major issues.

We got our second dog from a breed specific rescue that was pretty stringent in requirements. They DO require fences for most of their dogs (they're high energy, high needs dogs) and now having a fenced in yard and a dog like that I understand! But they're a pretty well-oiled machine with many volunteers and we heard back the night we submitted the application and 4 days later we went to the rescue and met our second dog and brought him home.

They DO require you bring your current dogs unless there is a medical reason why. But it's not a shelter situation (they have an "adoption house" and a huge fenced in area where the dogs can meet. And I do understand why they want them to meet. We actually met two dogs (we were going to meet four, but the first dog we met was really perfect) and got to see how our dog reacted to them both. It was pretty clear dog #1 (Ben) was a great match for her and dog #2 (a 6 month old puppy) was going to be a bit more of a challenge for a 9 year old dog.

I do have to admit I get tired of this "rescue dogs are a mess of behavioral/physical issues." Are some? Certainly. But so are plenty of purebreds. Even from good breeders. I know far too many people with dogs from good breeders who have behavioral issues, can't be around other dogs, scared of people, etc. And I also know plenty who have had structural issues. Two dogs who were in agility classes with my dog, both puppies from reputable breeders, have had to have shoulder surgery (before the age of 1). Meanwhile my rescue dog of totally unknown origin is plugging away just fine, healthy and happy.
 
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