Post # 1
As some of you may remember, I put my elderly dog down this past summer. Love everything else in life, covid has complicated many things. Some, although heartbreaking, were expected, I haven’t been able to pet dogs due to social distancing. I know, such a small thing, but I think other dog lovers understand. Somedays it’d just be nice to hold a furry face in my hands.
So here’s a recent, unexpected covid hump. Adopting is wild. Like dogs are going quicker than houses here–and houses are going under contract in 24hrs. Today I filled out an application to get, not a dog, but approval to adopt. I also was required to provide 3 references and write a short essay on how I would handle end of life care for a pet. That application took about an hour to complete, and I won’t know if I am approved for 1-2 weeks.
I’m trying to take this all in stride and not be disheartened when shelters/rescue nonprofits explicitly post on their websites “we are not answering or returning calls at this time.” But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a tiny bit worried. We’re trying to adopt in the next month or two due to work breaks for winter. I anticipate it’s going to be even worse come December with Christmas.
Have any of you experienced this? Or do any of you work for shelters/rescues and have any advice? I’m not sure how to navigate this effectively. I do have my search set to a radius that extends to smaller surrounding towns.
Post # 2
I’m a doggy foster and also volunteer with a few local rescues. I havent had what youre experiening NOW, more so during the summer. I had dogs that would go up for adoption and within 10 minutes had 50+ applications, and within 2 hours had 500+ lol. It was actually insane.
I would recommend what youre doing – get pre-approved. Where I am, we work with alot of the canadian prairie provinces’ reserves. The biggest rescue I work with probably has 100+ puppies in care right now. They will go up for adoption by litter after their surgeries and will get snapped up immediately.
Are you applying with multiple rescues? I would check and see who is adopting within a 3hr drive or so. My last dog actually went to a very specific family *9* hours away! So many good rescues are willing to work with the right adopters. If you guys are committed, serious and have some perks (large yard/dog experience/etc) they will def work with you. Newbies are less likely to get special treatment, but they are also normally the ones that *only* want a 8wk old puppy.
Post # 3
We adopted our now 4.5 month old puppy in August. We started looking online around April and sent in so many applications and was heartbroken everytime they went with somene else. We took a break in June & July just because I was spending so much time and energy on applications. We got really lucky and found a rescue 2 hours away with puppies (we didn’t want a puppy in the beginning), and fell in love with him when we met him. It was really stressful but I just have to remind myself that if we had been approved for a dog right away, we wouldn’t have our puppy, because he was only born in June.
Post # 4
I was in the same boat, but over the summer. I definitely got discouraged due to someone else getting approved first or just not receiving an answer. My advice is to keep doing what you’re doing. I applied to multiple rescues and if a rescue followed up, even if it was a no, I thanked them for their time and asked them to keep my file. One particular puppy I applied for I was originally told had a family. About a week later they emailed me saying one of the families dropped out and they remembered my email and asked if I was still interested. I’m not sure how much me thanking them for their time helped, but the coordinator did tell me she specifically remembered me and was happy she could offer me the puppy. Sorry I don’t have any better tips/advice, but you are not alone! I kept telling myself that the right dog would come along.
Reggie is sending positive puppy vibes your way!
Post # 5
I also wanted to add:
Many rescues are very wary of adopters returning dogs once life goes “back to normal”, so thats also probably why they are being extra strict. We were very worried that we’d receive a ton of returns once work/school/etc started back up.
Post # 6
Yes! It is crazy, and honestly it really, really troubles me. We lost our 11 year old rescue dog suddenly and unexpectedly this Fall and it is nuts how hard it is to adopt (especially when you have 3 tiny kids so really need a dog known to be safe around children). I was talking with a rescue the other day, and we were talking about how concerned we are at the huge spike there will be in dogs (and cats) dumped once COVID is under control. She told me they are already starting to see it – people who got a “quarantine puppy” and now the pup is 10 months old and untrained and they don’t want to deal with it anymore.
Anyway, yes – same experience. We are just trying to be patient which isn’t easy 🙂
Post # 7
I foster for a rescue and it’s legit insane how fast dogs are going. We had a ‘rescue jackpot’ foster (easiest dog in the world) and her listing was up for only a couple hours and she got FIVE HUNDRED applications. Insanity.
They basically throw out anything not pre-approved and then do a quick check for major compatibiility flags (e.g. dog is aggressive with children – make sure no children) and then it goes to the first person in line.
My rescue actually had to put really strict rules into place about foster failing because people were trying to cheat the system by getting approved as fosters so they could then have advance warning on what dogs were coming up from the south to try to get applications in faster (all our dogs come from high kill shelters in the deep south). Seriously, so crazy.
Fortunately we haven’t started seeing an increase in returns, but I would say just stay patient and yeah, it’s super tough right now. It IS starting to slow down a little bit though so there is glimmer of hope there!
Post # 8
Not sure where you are in the country – but if you’re not super picky about dog, a lot of horse people are headed south to the Carolinas / Virginia and “Ditch Puppies” are notorious down there. Every year I have friends go down for the winter to continue training and they find abandoned puppies and try to find them homes back north in New England. May be worth getting onto some equestrian FB groups (e.g. USEA Area 1) and posting to ask. But most people don’t head south until late Dec / Jan.
I believe the south is USEA Area II and III so you could also look for those FB groups and post asking if people have abandoned pups looking for homes?
Kind of feels like the doggy black market lol
Post # 9
Thank you all for your input, especially the foster care parents’ perspective! This is really so helpful to hear that there is light, and it is possible.
It’s helpful to know too that there are a few things on our side as well. I have a dog friendly office and could work from home as needed pre-covid, we have a high fenced yard and trails/fields in our neighborhood, and prior long term pet experience.
Post # 10
I’m sorry to hear you lost an oldie too this year. No matter how long our pets live, it’s never long enough. Thank you for sharing your perspective on the limited dogs that do well with children. That has to be even harder!
Wishing you the best as you continue to search❤️
Post # 11
Thank you, and OMG Reggie! He looks like the sweetest dog 😊 I believe your kindness stood out too. I imagine there’s a lot of frustration on the side we’re on, and I can easily see someone having a bad day, getting the news they didn’t get yet another pup and losing it on the poor shelter worker.
Post # 12
thank you for all of your input! I will emphasize I could work from home whenever pre-covid. I hadn’t really thought of that perspective of people taking pets back.
Post # 13
I adopted a cat in March. I certainly didn’t plan on adopting a cat at the time, especially during quarantine, but we knew the family that needed to re-home the cat and I was very concerned for her safety if we didn’t take her and do it quickly. The father in the home is physically abusive and reporting to DCF the abuse he was dishing out to his kids proved fruitless a couple years prior. I wish we could have rescued his kids too but that’s a different story. Anyway, the little girl in the home was a classmate of my daughter’s and she mentioned on a group discord account that her cat needed rehoming. I know there are a lot more cats than dogs, so right away I know that aspect is different. But I think you may have a chance at success by using the social media loop in reverse. In your shoes, I would spread the news that you’re looking for a dog and that if someone is needing to re-home their pet due to health issues or financial hardships that you would be happy to provide a loving home. I’m guessing that the fostering community might object to this approach as they want people to be screened etc but I think you may reach people who want to re-home but are averse to handing their dog over to a shelter. It’s what I would do. But I would insist on meeting and observing the dog before taking it–if one ever became available even.
Post # 14
We got our rescue dog in September from Romania after applying to two charities who rehomed Romanian dogs in our country (Scotland). The process was really quick for one charity but didn’t hear back from the other until we’d actually already had our new pup for a week and that was to organise a home check with them! So it definitely varies from place to place.
We lost our westie in march at only 8 years old and I definitely felt resentful of all the people rescuing dogs who are likely to just re-home them or dump them when they have had enough when there are people who are offering a loving home to a new dog in honour of their previous companion. Anyway, if there’s a foreign rescue option I would definitely consider it, but you might also be worth contacting local vets who sometimes have strays handed in.
Post # 15
We adopted a dog in June. We were lucky that it didn’t take too long from when we started putting in applications and when we got a dog. I believe because we went through the local Humane Society instead of a rescue it moved faster.
I began stalking the Humane Society and rescue sites in early June. We were particular about what dog would work for us because we have a toddler and two cats. We began putting in applications in mid-June and missed out on probably three or four (As a side note, the Humane Society always reached out to say the dog we were interested in was adopted, the one rescue we tried didn’t contact us at all).
Then the Humane Society got in eight beagles at once. Our last dog was a beagle so we put in applications for a few of them that fit our family. We were selected to for a meet and greet with one of the dogs and ended up adopting him.
We had to act super fast in submitting applications. I literally checked the site five times a day to see if any new dogs were posted. They took dog bios down after the dog recieved a good number of applications so you had to be quick. We also didn’t want a puppy so that made it easier as well.