1. What is the adoption process like?
An interested adopter will fill out an application either looking for a potential match or for an Rn'R dog that has been listed as adoptable publicly. Once we receive the application and decide whether or not to move forward we will have a phone interview. If an application is not approved we will be in touch as to why the decision was made. We may require a home check as well as proof of home ownership or permission from landlord or condo association to ensure that a dog is allowed in an adopter's residence. We will require a face to face meeting with all adopters in the home as well as all other dogs within the home in order to establish if the match will be a successful and comfortable one for all involved in the dog's daily life. Once an adoption has been approved the adopter will be required to fill out an adoption contract that includes a commitment to training and updates to Rn'R as well as submit the posted adoption fee. Once all is complete an adopter will go home with his or her new furry family member!
2. What are the requirements to adopt a dog from Rn’R?
We require all adopters to submit our application to us to be considered for adoption of an Rn'R dog. We consider each dog an individual and requirements will vary depending on the dog's age, prior experience, behavioral qualities, exercise and attention needs, any known disabilities or medical issues, etc. We will strive to find the perfect match for each dog and adopter. We look for adopters who will sincerely commit to the care and training requirements needed in order for the match to succeed. We also require a safe and stable environment in which our dogs will thrive.
3. Is it possible I won't get approved for adoption?
Yes, it is possible. We may determine that we don't have a dog that is a match for you, or that you are not in a position to adopt a dog at the time you apply. We want to approve you, and we will work with you and do our best to find a match for you, but we cannot guarantee approval.
4. Why do I have to provide references?
We require references, as do all reputable pet rescue organizations, because we have a duty to our dogs to do our best to ensure their wellbeing. Just as you would not want a child or a loved one to go home with a person or family who is entirely unknown to you, we want to ensure the safety and happiness of our dogs in their new homes. If you rent a residence we may need to confirm with your landlord that you are permitted to have a dog.
5. How much is the adoption fee, and what does it include?
The adoption fees are donations to BnR’s Rock n’ Rescue to help alleviate the cost of care for your new pet. The fee amount varies based on the age of the dog. For puppies (under 6 months of age) the adoption fee is $450. For adult dogs (6 months – 8 years) the adoption fee is $400. A discounted adoption fee of $200 is provided for adoptions of all senior dogs over 8 years old. Rn’R reserves the right to adjust an adoption fee at any time for special situations.
The adoption fee covers a portion of transport, boarding, spaying/neutering (age-dependent), and a variety of vaccinations and health screenings. It also includes support from our training team as well as access to discounted services through Bark n’ Roll, LLC.
6. Is my new dog spayed/neutered and up to date on shots?
The status of your dog's spay/neuter as well as their vaccinations depends upon their age as well as their place of origin. If your dog has not been spayed or neutered at time of adoption we will refer you to a veterinarian that offers a discounted procedure to rescues. We will require proof of spay/neuter from adopter within the agreed upon timeframe if dog is not spayed/neutered at time of adoption. Vaccinations will be up to date for your dog's age and will include Distemper/Parvo combo and Rabies (if over 12 weeks of age). Additional vaccinations such as Bordatella might not have been given at time of adoption is it is not required and depends on dog's lifestyle and owner preference.
7. Is it necessary for me to have a fenced yard?
No, it is definitely not necessary. Although a fenced yard is a great way for many dogs to get good exercise and playtime, all dogs need to be exercised daily, whether there's access to a fenced yard or not. The most important thing is to ensure your dog has a good regular exercise routine so that he/she is exposed to the outside environment and enriched daily. This will help avoid behavior problems and anxiety in general, and will make your dog a happier boy or girl. If you do have a fenced yard that is a great thing, but remember it is not a substitute for daily exercise, interaction, training, enrichment and attention.
8. Can you tell me what breed my dog is?
If we know we will tell you! If your dog has an unknown history or was previously adopted and his/her breed is unknown, we will do our best to figure out the breed, but we may be unable to do so in some cases.
9. How do I know if the dog I want is a good match for me?
Choosing a dog who fits into your lifestyle and your expectations depends so much on matching your expectations with the dog’s individual personality, energy level, breed traits and characteristics, as well as social and behavioral history.
Keeping an open mind to meeting your lifelong buddy may sometimes mean you walk into the shelter looking for a confident Lab/Pitbull mix puppy and instead find that you made an instant connection with a slightly shy Chihuahua/Corgi mix. This is a common adoption scenario that often results in the most successful pairing of human and dog!
Discovering the ideal match is a process that should involve research into the breed types you imagine bringing into your life, patience and thoughtful consideration when interacting with dogs who fit your physical description of the best match, as well as an ability to recognize if your ideas of what you want in a dog fit with realistic expectations of what that particular dog needs to thrive in your environment, and understanding if you are able to meet those requirements. For example, loving the high-energy, focus, intelligence, and agile beauty of Australian Shepherds and wanting to adopt one without having the ability to provide her the daily routine of mental and physical exercise she needs to avoid her developing behavioral issues to manage her boredom or frustrated energy is a signal that regardless of how much you love the idea of adopting this type of dog, there may be another breed/mix that is more suited to your abilities and lifestyle.
A few basic factors to consider to help determine if you’ve met your match:
Body language: How is the dog you are considering responding to your presence? Eyes averted and head turned, curious but shy in approaching, happily greeting with loose body posture and friendly glances, etc.
Initial impressions in a shelter or other temporary environment are not always telling of all aspects of a dog’s personality that will be revealed with time in a stable home environment, but noticing how easily or not a dog approaches you, whether friendly eye contact is made or eyes averted, can help you assess your and the dog’s social comfort level.
Are you willing to commit to the time and patience it will take to gain a dog’s trust who is undersocialized and fearful and may not be able to meet the social expectations you have in mind, or do you feel this would make you anxious? Is a confident, high-energy puppy just your speed or a calm, confident older adult dog?
Energy level: The quiet dog peering at you with eyes wide from his curled up position on his kennel bed may become the most playful, exuberant dog off-leash in your backyard. Understanding breed traits and characteristics of the dog you are considering to adopt is essential to pairing your expectations with what the dog is capable of meeting successfully. Are you a sedentary person who prefers to drive everywhere rather than take daily walks and considering a Shepherd/Husky mix puppy? Or an avid hiker who expects a dog companion to keep up with you on weekly mountain treks?
Home environment/Lifestyle: An active home with sudden changes in environment involving lots of family members and friends coming and going routinely may be ideal for some dogs and highly stressful for others depending on past socialization history, individual personality, and overall temperament. Do you head to every neighborhood event and are a social butterfly wanting a dog as your companion, or do you rarely have guests visit your home and prefer quiet walks on the beach with your dog? Do you work outside of your home five days a week and have the budget to have a dog walker visit once or twice daily? How will you ensure that your dog is engaged mentally and physically every day?
10. Am I prepared to bring home an adopted dog?
Bringing an adopted dog into your home will require patience as your new buddy adjusts to the incredible diversity of smells, sights, sounds, and overall sensory experiences that come with investigating her new environment, as well as the process of trusting that this new home is stable, predictable, safe, and here to stay. All of this will understandably take some time, and will be different for every dog depending on personality, social history, and your commitment to creating positive associations with your dog’s new space.
There is never a need to force or rush your dog into building confidence in her new environment and trust in you and other members of her new family. Allowing her to initiate contact with you on her terms and resisting the urge to shower her with affection if she is still shying away when approached, or otherwise attempting to micro-manage her space as she explores this new world will only keep her guessing as to your intentions of giving her the time she needs to feel safe and secure with you and her new home.
Noticing behaviors that are signals your dog is attempting to manage stress is helpful in keeping you aware of how best to set your dog up for success in her new environment. Shake-offs, one paw lifted, jowl huffing/panting, shaking, excessive sniffing or yawning, lip licking are all signs of stress. Jotting down some of your new dog’s initial triggers that bring on cautious, stressed, or anxious behaviors can help you address these issues right away before they become bigger behavioral concerns.
After an adjustment period anywhere from several days to weeks to months depending on how quickly your dog begins to trust you and her new environment, it is a great idea to consult with a professional force-free positive reinforcement trainer for help in addressing basic behavior concerns as well as specific issues that may have come up from the time you brought your dog home and she was cautiously exploring to the period several weeks later where her comfort level has risen significantly and she is now attempting to counter-surf or hide every shoe in the house every chance she gets. Bark n’ Roll’s training team will be available for support throughout the life of your adopted buddy.
11. Am I fully aware of the financial responsibilities of owning a dog?
The true financial commitment of dog ownership varies greatly based on the health of the dog and lifestyle of the owner(s). You will be responsible for the cost of food and veterinary care of your dog. Vet expenses can cost over $1,000 for the first year for healthy dogs based on vaccination needs and annual checkups. Many pet owners purchase pet insurance so researching this option could be helpful as well. You may also wish to research the cost of daycare and/or dog walking in your area should your dog require these services.
12. What should I do if my new dog is having trouble adjusting to his/her new home?
Take a few steps back (sometimes literally!) and try to assess what may be triggering some of your dog’s hesitation or anxiety in adjusting to her new home. Is she being introduced to too many family, friends, and neighbors too soon for what she is capable of handling socially at this point in time?
For example, she barely has bonded with you yet and is expected to interact with new people daily stepping into the space she hasn’t yet determined is predictable or safe. She is giving clear body language signals telling unfamiliar people to back off, but with good intention to comfort her these signals are ignored and instead she sits frozen in silent fear on the couch while all crowd around her trying to pet her to soothe her.
Noticing whether your dog is choosing reactive behaviors (fight, involving excessive barking and lunging), avoidance behaviors (flight or freeze), or stress-management behaviors (fidgeting about, excessive sniffing/sneezing) in order to try to make sense of her new environment can help you in managing your environment so that your new dog can adjust to it in her own time without too many initial distractions. For example, adopting a dog several days before a big holiday when you’re planning to have a house full of people can cause sensory flooding and social regression. Planning to manage the environment to keep your dog feeling safe and having the ability to choose if she wants to interact or not is imperative to establishing you and other family members as her advocates who will provide assurance and safety during times that may feel socially challenging for her.
Consult with a professional force-free positive reinforcement trainer and/or behavior consultant to help determine if the trouble adjusting has to do with management of the environment, base fears or anxieties that would exist in your dog regardless of her environment, or any combination of factors that you feel are concerning.
13. What should I do if my new adopted dog and I are not a good match after all?
Do not worry! We are well aware that not every adoption works out and sometimes a particular dog might not end up being a good match. No one is going to chastise or judge you if you need to return your dog to us, but we do ask that all adopters spend at least a week with their new dogs before deciding whether the dog is right for you, and vice versa. Many adopted dogs need some time to settle into their new homes before their true personalities come out, and we want to give them all a chance to shine. Many behavioral issues or frustrating situations will disappear once the new dog settles in, and seeking the advice of a positive-reinforcement trainer is a good idea if you are struggling. We are also here to support you if you are unsure what the best course of action is. Under no circumstances is a dog to be re-homed, sold, euthanized or subjected to aversive training (ex. shock collars) without prior discussion and approval from us as per your contract with Rn’R. We will always strive to help you find a humane and appropriate solution for any issues that arise.