I Just Want a Dog!!

Updated on November 05, 2007
K.C. asks from Plano, TX
13 answers

I need to vent....
My husband and I want a dog, we have contacted several rescue agencies to no avail. We are a little picky about the breed we want for the safety of our little boy but the breed rescues treat us like we are abusers just waiting to get our hands on some helpless animal! I am sick of filling out applications with the fear that anything I say can be used against me in the application process. We are just normal people, in a normal house, living normal lives...why is this so difficult??!! We went to the SPCA today and I thought we had found a really nice dog...she let my husband and I pet her but then she went CRAZY when my four year old walked up to the cage. This search is quickly becoming exhausting! I don't believe in buying puppies. I have lost faith in this process please help with any suggestions of friendly pet adoption places. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Yeah! We rescued a dog from Second Chance SPCA three days ago. She is a beautiful Chesapeake Bay Retriever mix, about a year old, potty trained, and great with my little boy. We named her Cessna (my husband is a pilot). Thanks all for all the suggestions and advice.

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B.E.

answers from Dallas on

Utopia Dog Rescue! Kinky Friedman, a woman named Nancy and her husband Tony run it and they are not at all like the SPCA. They are very nice and I did not feel interviewed and frowned apon. They have a web site and you can look at the dogs on line and read little bio's. Nancy is very involved with the personality and temperament of each little rescueee and I feel she has a great talent in helping each little doggie find the right home. On the other hand...once she has it in her mind that you are the right one for one of those dogs, you are going home with one! Very persistant!
We have one and she is a great dog. Its a long drive but its a beautiful hill country weekend retreat waiting to happen! (Sometimes they make arrangements to meet you halfway, if need be!) But don't quote me on that! If you speak with her, tell her Wonder Woman is happy and healthy and we are grateful.
Good luck!
Marianne

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J.J.

answers from Dallas on

Hi K.. First of all, Thank you for not believing in buying a puppy! Like Erika, I am also involved in Rescue and have seen many families turned down for just the reasons she mentioned. There are some things that will automatically cause you to be rejected and many others that are "red flags" that you can get around with a good answer/explanation. Please don't take offense at my answers below, but as I don't know you, I'll just list some common things people do or say that can hurt you on applications. Maybe none of these apply to you, but maybe they'll help someone else.

The #1 thing I have seen people turned down for is the "vet check." If you have had animals now or in the past, the rescue group will require you list the vet you used on the application. They will call that vet to verify that you had the pet spayed/neutered, kept shots up to date and kept dogs on heart worm preventative as well as followed doctors orders for routine care and medications. We have turned people down because people feed dogs people food instead of dog food and/or allowed a dog to be obese. (A little extra weight won't hurt, but if it concerns a vet, it will concern us!)

Having a young child may very well hurt your chances with many dogs. It depends on which group you are applying to as to how stringent rules are. Several have a "no kids under school age" rule no matter what, which may have excluded you as a potential adopter immediately. Others go by the particular dog and their knowledge of the animal. It may well depend on which dog you are "applying" for. I have also seen people who put on the form that a young child will be responsible for daily care or that the pet is specifically for the child. I do agree that it can be a great way to teach a child responsibility, but you need to be the one ultimately responsible and say that on the form.

If you don't own your home, you'll need proof your landlord has approved pets. It is also very hard to be approved if you don't have a fenced-in yard. There are a few exceptions for small dogs, but again it is a huge red flag.

Do you both work full time? Sometimes this can also hurt your chances. Most groups have a set number of hours that they expect you to be home. Again, it is usually dependent on the particular dog you want, but if you say you are out of the home 12 hours a day, you'll pretty much be rejected off the bat. People get around this sometimes by agreeing to a dog sitter or doggie day care a few days a week or even just going home for lunches, etc. It is simply something to discuss with the adoption counselor.

Usually applications ask if you are willing to house train and/or obedience train a new dog. Even if you plan on getting one that is already trained, answering "No" to these questions reflects poorly, so always say YES! And keep in mind many rescue dogs are big questions marks in these areas. I have adopted one that they said was not trained, but he has not once messed in the house in 10 years, and another they said was trained who turned out to be only partially trained.

Also, be aware that many rescue groups are 100% volunteer based, so the "service" you receive may not be stellar. You could have encountered an overzealous volunteer that turns down anyone who is not perfect. Obviously perfection is hard to come by. Do you have your heart set on a particular breed? This could hurt you also. For example, you'd be hard pressed to get me to approve a Chihuahua for a home with young kids. (And I have an almost 2 year old and 2 Chihuahuas!) If you just want a good family dog and you have everything above in order, I would suggest contacting a rescue group and telling them exactly how you feel. A good group will want to work with you in finding the right match. Try http://www.fmhs.org/adopt/dogs.asp They are strict (as any reputable group should be), but also fair and try very hard to match dogs to good homes. With them, I highly suggest a phone call to discuss your situation before or at the time you apply. They do adoptions at the PetSmart in Flower Mound. Go in person to talk to them. Even if they don't currently have a dog you are interested in, they may soon. New dogs come in every week. Feel free to email me any specific concerns or questions you may have.

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A.K.

answers from Dallas on

There are a lot of dogs I've seen on craigslist that people are trying to find homes for because they're moving or have moved into an apartment or their child is allergic or some other sad case like that. Have you used craigslist before? If not, I'll walk you through it, just message me.

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S.G.

answers from Dallas on

K.,
Have you found a dog? I just posted that we are needing to find a new home for our blond lab. She is an absolute sweetheart.... check out my posting if you haven't found a dog yet and let me know if you might be interested. Thanks!
S.

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T.L.

answers from Dallas on

DFW PUG RESCUE.. try look on their website.... they have a phone number, nice people.

C.R.

answers from Dallas on

Hi K.,
I was a vet tech for about 11 years and I have some not so good feelings about all the "rescue" places that are out there.
Most try and make it about as intense as a human adoption which is beyond ridiculous! (We have two adopted sons)It's become increasingly difficult to place "rescued" dogs because of so much tape and money involved. Some even tell you if an animal can be outdoors or not! Please.
It's now become very counter productive! Anyway my suggestion would be to either check out you local animal control centers and see if you see anything that interests you. Of course it's not the most popular place if you are seeking a particular breed and can be a bit risky with health issues but you can be surprised by the dogs/puppies that some people have chosen to surrendered and can find a very nice dog.
My other recommendation is to find a breeder. This too is not a popular choice by most dog lovers. Because most feel that it is a big cause of the over population of dogs and are only in it for the money. I don't agree.
Also you have a lot more in your control with deciding what dog's temperament, size, grooming care you want for you and your family.
I don't know how much you are willing to spend or what breeds interests you but you can do alot of homework on the web and find one that interests you.
My family and I purchased a pug puppy about a month ago from a breeder in Irving. I am very happy with our decision to "buy" a puppy. And in short I really don't care what others think, I'm the one caring for this animal not them. :)
Anyway, hope some of this helps you. I understand your frustration and hope you find a good dog for your family.
C.

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C.A.

answers from Dallas on

Well, I have to say, the selection may be a bit more limited than what you are looking for, but I would say look at city animal shelters.

Like one of the other ladies said, these animals are pretty much on death row and I think the process would be much simpler. You just might have to make more repeat visits until you find the right poochie for your family.

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

I know what you mean about the breed rescues. They make it very difficult. Someone posted that Autralian Shepherds are great with children and I completely agree with her. So are shelties,labradors,golden retrievers...
English(not American!) labs are excellent dogs that are not hyper and easy to train so I would highly recommend one for your family. I am thinking of one for mine(or a labradoodle) but we want to wait one more year. I know you don't want a puppy but I would be hesitant with an adult pet around a 4 yr old. The thing is, you never really "know" the animal and it could be temperamental or get annoyed and snap at your son. At least with a puppy, it has grown up with you and you are more confident with its temperament.
I'm sure you have done your research on breeds but I just want to be sure you know to stay away from the aggressive breeds such as pit bulls. My best friend has a terrible scar on her face from being attacked by her own dog(pit bull) when she was 7. They'd had the dog for 5 yrs and all of a sudden it turned on her.
Anyway, I know the house training is a pain but there are puppies that are around 6 mos old and already house trained.
They say the smartest dogs are the giant poodles. There is a new breed of dog that is all the rage right now called a labradoodle or a goldendoodle. Standard size. Its a poodle/lab(or retriever) mix that doesn't shed,has a wonderful temperament,and very intelligent! They are great for people with allergies. Good luck in finding that special new addition to your family! :)
Oh and if you are set on getting an adult dog, try breeders who have retired their studs and queens. They sell them for about half the price. Go with a breeder who has children in their household so that the dog is accustomed to kids.
Here is a great breeder:
http://www.labradoodlebaby.com/parents/expecting-parents....

Labradoodle:
The Labradoodle, originated in Australia by The Guide Dog Association of Australia, when the association received a enquiry from a blind lady in Hawaii, requesting a guide dog that would not aggrevate allergies.
After years of research, the labradoodle is brilliantly developed. They have developed Labradoodles that are consistent in gentle temperaments, allergy/asthma friendly, non shedding coats and wonderful intelligence.
Overall, the Australian Labradoodle is a fun loving, quiet, calm yet comical, loving companion for families as well as a fantastic service animal, being easily trainable, loyal and intelligent.

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S.S.

answers from Dallas on

What kind of dog do you want? My neighbors just today had to give a Doberman Pincher away. She was a perfectly sweet dog but was afraid of other dogs. They have 2 children 7 and 1 1/2. She was good with them just not their other dogs. If you're interested plz email me at [email protected]____.com can get the dog back if it's going to a good home!!! Good Luck!

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L.C.

answers from Dallas on

A friend of mine just had to release a full blooded choc. lab to the city of garland animal shelter. He is a super sweet dog and great w/ kids. Her kids were 3 7 and 10. Good Luck w/ your search :)

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

There was a post by a lady in the last couple of days who has an Australian shepherd that she very possibly may have to find a new home for. Australian shepherds are EXCELLENT with children, and they are also very protective of them!! Some of the answers to her post mentioned the Australian rescues, and since Australian shepherds "require" being outside to get enough activity and sunshine, I don't think you'd have as much of a problem getting one through them, if you are not able to take the other mom's dog. (She is not 100% sure about giving her away, yet.) Aussies also tend to have a very long lifespan, as well. We just lost my husband's aussie about 4 years ago, at the age of 18 1/2!! I've had great experiences with them, too many to get into here, (and this is already getting too long :) ).

Keep checking with the SPCA and the newspapers for puppies/dogs looking for new homes due to the reasons already posted. I've gotten a lot of my pets from the "pound", and loved every one of them!!

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N.B.

answers from Dallas on

K.,

We may be looking to re-home our Australian Shepherd. She is GREAT with kids, current on vaccinations, spayed, housebroken, etc. Please read my post on Mamasource from yesterday for more info about her and message me if you are interested. I believe my request was titled, "Not 100% sure yet, but just putting feelers out"...I have gotten a couple of responses from people who may want her. We will make a decision on whether or not to re-home her this week and will contact all who are interested to have them come out and meet her. We LOVE her. She is a great dog and this is a difficult decision for us. If we do give her up, I want her to go to someone who will love her as much as we do, and since you seem to really WANT a dog, I would welcome you investigate further and see if she is a match for your family.

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