I thought I might tell you all a little bit about how we decided to adopt a rescue dog. From previous post you know I had been wanting a dog for some time. I spent a great deal of time online looking at different websites. I started with our county animal shelter. They have a web site that lists the dogs available for adoption. Just basic information is given on the animal. Mostly because that is all they have! They are not able to tell you about the personality of the animal. Nor do they know about any training the dog may have. This made me a bit hesitant to adopt from the county shelter. Being a first time adult dog owner I needed as much information about the dog as possible.
One thing that I do love about our animal shelter is the have a wonderful program for some of the dogs. It is called Operation Second Chance and is a jail dog program.
This program is designed to save the lives of dogs destined for death in our local shelter. Once here, the dogs reside with the inmates chosen to work with them and those inmates will train them in basic obedience. The inmates will also learn to groom and care for the animals. Not only is the dog getting a second chance, but the inmates are learning valuable social and vocational skills that will help them become more productive citizens once they are released from jail. Hopefully, those inmates involved in the program will not return to jail again once they are released.
The program is at no cost to the taxpayers of Gwinnett County. The care, food, training and vet services for the dogs are all being provided through volunteers and the Society of Humane Friends. Society of Humane Friends is responsible for all adoptions through this program. Please contact the organization if you are interested in giving one of these very deserving dogs a forever home.
I was checking Operation Second Chance web site often. The site is very basic. Very few photos of the dogs. Descriptions are minimal but they get the information across. If a dog that would have fit our household had been available we would have adopted a jailhouse dog in a heartbeat!
I spent some time at PetFinder.com. I like that you can truly narrow your search down to what you want. Most animals have a decent description. They also list the rescue agencies that have the animals. So you can go to their web sites. Providing they have one. I did find this site a little overwhelming at the magnitude, even after I narrowed my search, of dogs needing homes! If you are not an advocate for spaying or neutering your pet go to Pet Finder! You will be once you leave the site!
Searching Pet Finder did eventually lead me to Humane League of Lake Lanier. They have pictures and descriptions of the animals they foster. Each description let me know if the dog was house trained, was good with kids, other dogs or cats. There were a couple dogs that stood out. Dallas and Casey.
I filled out the application, faxed it to them and waited to hear back. Later in the week I received a phone call from the foster mom of Dallas and Casey. After talking about what we wanted in a dog Dallas was ruled out. She needed to be around other dogs. We were only looking for one pet. So we turned our attention to Casey. The foster mom was very honest about Casey being a shy, timid dog which would bring special challenges. She expressed a concern about our not having any experience with shy, timid animals. But, she agreed to do a meeting.
My son and I met Casey for the first time at a local Pet Smart. We walked around the store for a bit allowing her to get use to us before going to a private room. She did not really pay us any attention. She did take treats from us. She did sniff us from what seemed head to toe! This first meeting was not just to see if Casey would take to us. It was also so the foster mom could check us out as well. Understandable! The next day my husband and I went to have another meeting with Casey. After having met all the people in the household we got the thumbs up.
The last thing that happened before we were able to call Casey ours was the home visit. The foster mom came and checked the yard, house and neighborhood. She let us know what problem areas she saw…knick knacks to low, things that could and would be chewed, a couple areas of fencing that needed repair etc.. We filled out the paperwork, wrote the check and Casey became a part of our family!
I hope this gives anyone thinking about adopting a rescue dog an idea of the process. I am sure it is different with each rescue or shelter. However, the basics should be fairly universal.