Unfortunately, CCHD Rescue is too small to take most of the dogs out there -- we do not have a shelter and only limited space in our foster homes. Below is information intended to help owners and others who are trying to place a dog in a new home.
DO YOU NEED TO RE-HOME YOUR DOG? Before you read further, consider this: do you really need to re-home your dog? Is there any way you can keep him or her? There are so few good homes out there, and it can take quite a while to find a place where your dog will be truly happy. If you are having a behavioral issue with your dog, consider trying to work on the problem first. Consult your veterinarian, ask for a referral to a trainer (preferably one that knows your dog's breed characteristics), or even call your local shelter where the volunteers may be able to advise or refer you. Often times a behavioral problem can be fixed if the owner is willing to make a change: give the dog more exercise, be firmer about rules, make sure the dog gets more attention. Remember: exercise, discipline, affection. If you can provide these in adequate measure, you may be able to fix the problem and keep your dog from having to go through the trauma of re-homing!
CCHDRescue is very familiar with dog behavior, especially herding dog behavior, if it’s an issue you would like to work through, shoot an email. We are HAPPY to save your relationship with your dog. We offer services free of charge.
If you can't keep your dog, here are some things you can do to put the word out there and to ensure that it goes to a GOOD home:
Tips for Placing a Dog Well:
1) Make sure your dog is healthy, up to date on vaccinations, and spayed or neutered. Never place an unaltered dog -- you're just asking for it to be used for backyard breeding, and contributing to the pet overpopulation problem. Good adopters will want a healthy, vaccinated pet, so if that is what you are offering, you stand a better chance of finding that good adopter.
2) Do NOT give a dog away for free! If someone isn't willing to pay $50 or $100 for a lifetime companion, are they going to be willing to pay for food, vet care, etc? Your dog has value, and the adopter needs to show that he or she is making a financial commitment. Furthermore, "free to good home" ads get answered by people looking for bait dogs for pitbulls, and by laboratories looking for dogs to use in testing. So that good free home may be a life of hell for your dog.
If you don't want to seem to be selling your dog by taking the money for yourself, ask the adopter to make a donation to a local animal rescue group -- have them make the check to that group, then you can deliver it yourself and feel good that you helped a group that is also trying to save and re-home unwanted pets!
3) Screen potential adopters with care. The saddest thing we see in the shelters are dogs turned in after having been recently re-homed to people who clearly weren't really good adopters. One of the most common reasons these placements fail is that the adopters have not gotten landlord approval to adopt. You can do what the shelters do: require them to give you their landlord's name and number, then call and confirm that they have permission to have a dog. Call the county tax assessor's office to confirm that the person they claim is the landlord is really the property owner, too -- a common scam is to lie and give another person's name as the landlord. If the potential adopter says they own their home, call the tax assessor's office to confirm that too. People will lie about that also, to avoid having you check with their landlord.
Make sure the new adopters are a match for your dog. Do they plan to exercise the dog? Will they allow it in the house? Do they have other pets? If they do, your dog needs to meet those pets before you hand it over, to be sure that everyone gets along. Ditto for children or other members of the family -- everyone in the family needs to meet a dog before you re-home it, to prevent the dog from clashing with a frightened child or a husband who is being given a "surprise" gift that he doesn't want! NEVER ADOPT OUT A DOG AS A SURPRISE GIFT!
4) Do a home check as part of the adoption. Can you really give your dog to someone without seeing the conditions in which it will be kept, if their fence is really high enough, whether the family takes care of its possessions, etc? If you are nervous about going to a stranger's house, take a friend.
5) BE HONEST. People are tempted to lie or withhold information about a dog because they feel a need to place it, and are afraid an adopter will say no if they know the full story. NEVER LIE. The truth will come out pretty quickly, whether the matter is behavioral or physical -- and then your dog is all too likely to end up in a shelter, maybe a not-so-good one. Wouldn't it be kinder to just euthanize your dog yourself, than to condemn it to the stress of repeated relocations and shelter time that still ends up with it being put down? Sometimes people will take a dog with a behavioral or health issue, because they have a big heart and a willingness to rescue a needy pet. They deserve to know the truth, and your dog deserves a new family that is taking it on with full awareness.
How to Find a Good Adopter:
1) If you are not experienced, you are actually better off having a rescue group help you place your dog -- they have application forms, as well as experience screening people. Some breed rescues will help you by having you keep the dog in "foster" while they take applications, do the initial screening, etc. If you have a purebred dog or even an obvious mix-type, contact the nearest breed rescue and ask if they can help. To find the breed rescue nearest you, search google with "[breed] rescue [state]" as your search parameters. If they won't do the screening, they may at least put your dog up on their website, as we do on ours. Email them to request information on how to list your dog on their sites.
If you have a local shelter that is no or low-kill, see if you can get your dog in there. Shelters not only know how to screen adopters; adopters know the shelters exist, and will look their first for that new dog to take home. Ask your vet if she knows of any good no/low kill shelters in your area. They may have a waiting list, but it will be worth it if you can get your dog a better home.
2) List your dog on Craigs List (www.craigslist.org). Yes, this might freak you put, but 90% of the dogs we adopt out, are from Craigslist ads!!
Click on your city or area, then on "pets." Make sure your header is appealing – Example: "Friendly Young Border Collie for Adoption!" and that your listing is full of helpful information about your dog as well as a story that will make your pet "come alive" for the reader. Good pictures are a must, a link to more photos (create an online album on Google, Facebook, Flicker, Photo Bucket, and video (say, on youtube). Once you do get a response, be sure to screen well using the tips for placing a dog well, above. A good generic application is available for copy and paste, for you at the end of this tutorial.
3) Put up signs at pet shops, feed supply stores, vets offices, etc. -- a good photo, a few brief details, contact info. Not everyone is online, and sometimes good adoptions come from random encounters with people at pet-friendly locations.
4) Work every situation! Talk to every new person who seems interested in your dog, to friends, to family, etc. Send out an email to everyone you know, with information about your dog. You'd be amazed how often someone will step up through this word-of-mouth advertising.
You can read the Courtesy Listings’ and ads from the ‘Available Dogs’ on www.cchdrescue.org
Once you have your ad comprehensively built, we are happy to post in our courtesy and listings. When you go to resources prepared, you have a better response in helping with re-homing your dog.
Show people you love your dog, you believe in your dog, and others will as well.
If after reading this tutorial, you have questions, please, ask: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a generic application you can copy, paste, print or email in a word document.
Thank you for reading before sending your dog to a bad situation.
Copy & paste this: Application:
DOG ADOPTION APPLICATION
DOG NAME: KENNEL CARD #:
Birth date: ___________________
Spouse or partner’s name:_____________________________________________________________
Home street address: _________________________________________________________________
Home phone:_______________work phone:________________ cell phone: _____________________
Email address: _____________________________________
Are you (check one): working?____ Retired?____Attending school?____Homemaker?____Other?____
Do you own your home? (check one) yes_____ no_____
If renting, what is your landlord’s name and phone #? (required, if you rent):
(Check one): Is it a house? _____ Condo? _____ Apartment?______ Mobile home: _____________
Name of other adults in the household and their relationship to adopter: _________________________
Number of children and their ages: _______________________________________________________
Time you or another adult is usually at home (check one):
home all day ____ out part time___ away 7-10 hrs daily _____
Household activity level in my home is usually (check one): low ____ medium ____ high _____
Do you have a fenced yard? yes__ no___ Type of fence: ___________ height at lowest point _________
PET INFORMATION—CURRENT PETS IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD:
Type of pet (cat, dog, etc) and breed type Age sex spayed/neutered? Name
Name of veterinarian or vet clinic you use: _______________________________ City: _____________
Who will be responsible for your dog(s) if you are on vacation or unable to care for them in the event of an emergency? _______________________________________________
Dog experience (check one): 1st-time owner ____ have had dogs in the past____ experienced _____
Where will your dog be kept primarily during the day? ________________ at night?________________
No. of hours dog will be left alone daily ________ Are any family members allergic to pets? yes___ no__
Is anyone in your home nervous or unsure of dogs? yes ___ no ___ please explain: _________________
Please describe the temperament, activity level, and special qualities you are looking for in a dog: ______
Are you aware of the costs of owning a dog, such as medical care, vaccinations, license fees? Yes__ no__
The new owner of this dog understands the risks of owning this dog and freely accepts them, and waives any rights to make a claim against the current owner of the dog or file a lawsuit against the same in the event that the dog bites, or causes injury, destroys property or succumbs to health problems that existed before or at the time of transfer.
Signature of adoption applicant: ___________________________________ Date: _________________