We always knew that when we got a puppy we wanted to rescue. The process was easier said than done but in the end we got the cutest puppy, or so everyone says on the street, and are loving life as puppy parents. Being a teacher, we knew we wanted to wait until summer when I would have time to dedicate to training and being home with the little guy.
You’d think that rescuing a dog would be a simple process and that since you want to save a dog, you’d be able to find one with ease. It’s a nice thought but not exactly how it goes. In comes Petfinder.com which is basically a match.com for dogs. You can search by size, breed, gender and location and the dog’s have pictures and corresponding profiles. Here are some of the tips I discovered in the process:
1. Before filling out an application (typically 30-40 questions inquiring about yourself and lifestyle) email the shelter or rescue and ask if the dog is still available. I can’t count the number of times that I loved everything about the dog’s profile and then received a response that they had already been adopted. Inquiring before filling out the application will absolutely save you time. On the application, they will ask you for 2-3 references and typically require them to not be family members. Be sure to have that info handy and inform those who are added to the list. They will be called and quizzed on your qualifications about being a fit pet parent.
2. Don’t be afraid to look outside your immediate area. We live in NYC but the rescue where we found Hudson was in New Jersey. It was challenging to find a small breed and puppy within the city so broadening our search was helpful. Hudson was rescued from a high kill shelter in Georgia and along with his brother was dumped off at 9 weeks old. Our rescue, Poor Paws Rescue, is run by a fantastic lady named Cara and the moment I spoke to her on the phone everything felt right. Poor Paws transported Hudson and his brother, along with many other rescue dogs up to New Jersey. Many rescues will transport dogs so don’t be afraid to broaden your search to more distant locations.
3. Don’t give up! There were times when I was frustrated with the process and it seemed that for one reason or another (obnoxious landlord, availability, Andy working the NBA finals etc.) that we weren’t going to find a pup for us.
4. Be careful of high fees. Adopting from Petfinder will cost you because the fee most likely includes shots, microchip, spayed/neutered (depending on age) and transport if the animal is not in your location. However, some profiles were asking upwards of $800 and seemed more like breeders of purebreds than adoption agencies. Poor Paws’ fee was $275 which included his first round of shots, deworming and transport from Georgia. I remember being in shock when Cara told me the cost because that was by far the lowest I had seen. She simply said she wasn’t in it for the money, her fees are at cost of services and she wants to save as many dogs as she can! How great is she, right?
Petfinder isn’t just for dogs and currently has over 365,000 animals available for adoption. Check them out and save a life!
Saying goodbye to his brother one last time, as you can see he loves to give kisses!
Car ride back to the city just after picking him up in Jersey. He looks like he liked us already, right?
Westside dog gets a westside name. Hudson the puppy meet Hudson the river.
No matter how slobbery, I’ll take any kisses!
First boat ride at the cottage; this guy seriously has no fears!