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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all!! I had a question regarding rescues. It seems like many of you are here are involved in rescues and maybe you can shed some light on my situation. I am looking to adopt a German Shepherd. Don't get me wrong...I know there are some good breeders out there and I mean no disrespect. But I would really like to adopt--there are some terrific dogs out there. Every time I see a dog I like, I will submit an application. Ironically, it seems like the dogs I am interested in get adopted (some say I am an angel)!! I will also do my best to follow up. I know that most (if not all) rescues are run by good-hearted volunteers who are extremely busy. But, I can't help feeling it is me. I submitted and application for a GSD on Wednesday afternoon and I haven't heard anything. I was curious to see if this is "normal processing time" or maybe they just didn't like my application. I apologize if I come off a bit paranoid! Some people told me to lie on my application about certain things (ie letting the dog on the sofa--we wouldn't and some say we should lie and say we would), but I don't think that is appropriate. After all, the main interest is the dog, right? Well, if any of you have any thoughts, I appreciate it. Thanks so much!!
 

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Most rescue volunteers have full-time jobs, their families, their own dogs and foster dogs. If nobody is sick in the house and after everybody is taken care of, they might get the time to respond to you. More likely it will take some time, especially if the rescue verifies references before contacting applicants - this may take days of phone tag. Even customer and techical support people who do this as a full-time paid job often take days to get back to customers about a question.
By lying in your application you will likely end up with a dog you will not be happy with.
Rescues usually process applications in the order they come in and they may also have pre-approved applicants. If you apply for one particular dog, it may easily happen that there are applications that came in before yours.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, RebelGSD for your response. I was just a little worried that something on my application offended the rescue. I thought maybe they thought I was bratty because of the whole couch thing. We also don't have a totally fenced in yard (we have a run area), so I thought maybe the rescue would think we wouldn't let the dog out for a romp. But we love taking walks and going to the dog park!!! Gee, I really do sound paranoid!! Maybe I am thinking a little too much. I did the same thing with my college application!!!
 

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I will say that I was almost turned down because of how I answered something on an application. My fault for how I answered it but here's the deal. We were owned by a husky for 12 years. For 99.9% of huskies, you can NEVER let them off lead unless they are in a secure fenced in back yard. Outside, off lead means something entirely different to me because of this. So I was looking for a rescue pup after we lost our husky and answered a question regarding being outside off lead. I can't remember exactly how I answered but PROMPTLY recieved a reply back that said "Sorry, but we don't adopt to people who let their dogs run around unsupervised." Whoa!

I called her and explained what I meant and she listened and agreed to let me adopt Hunter. But so many rescue organizations will see one thing they don't like and that's it. I'm NOT blaming them here. Irresponsibility is what led a lot of these dogs to come to a rescue and they certainly don't want to adopt out to have them end up at another shelter.

So if you could talk to someone (and yes, they are probably busy so you'll have to do your best to catch them at a good time) and explain your intentions regarding exercise, supervision, training and etc. that would probably help! Letting them HEAR that you will be a responsible dog owner and are knowledgeable about the needs of a GSD will get you a lot of miles with them!

I applaud your decision to adopt. And I agree, there are a lot of good dogs out there that need homes!

Lu
 

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I also do rescue and as much as I try to call someone back within 24 hours and at least touch base with them, it doesn't always happen that way.

I don't think the couch thing is a big deal. My personal dogs are not allowed on the couches, but they are allowed on the bed. My current foster doesn't think the couch rule applies to him and I have kind of let him get away with it.

Some rescues do have strict rules about fenced yards, but most rescues are willing to work with you. If you have a fence jumper a fenced yard is not going to matter. The dog will have to go to someone that is willing to walk the dog. So you see there are always exceptions.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks luanne and jazy's mom! I appreciate the input. The rescue that i have an application at is having a meet and greet tomorrow. In your opinion, will it look crazy if I went? I don't want them to think I am stalking them. The dog that I applied for was listed as urgent, so of course i am a little concerned! he may be in foster care now, but i am not sure....
 

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As a rescue volunteer I know that we don't always get back to folks as quickly as they would like. As previously stated, we also have jobs, families, our own dogs, and then all the things that go with being involved in rescue. I think you'll find that every group operates differently. We don't require a fence (necessarily), we aren't too worried how you feel about the dogs on the furniture. We recognize the trend toward titering. We have an application and standaard questions for a reason; however, there will always be exceptions. Our group uses both a paper application and a personal interview. Your written answer to our question may not be what we typically consider, but in an interview you can explain why you feel this is appropriate for you, your family, an adopted dog.

I can imagine it gets frustrating to see a dog and then find out they've been adopted. (Sadly, there's probably another one quickly taking that lucky dog's place in rescue.) We tend to work on a first-approved first-served basis when it comes to contacting adopters to meet dogs, but that also has to factor in the individual dog and the adopter. Generally I tell potential adopters that the best strategy is to get their application in and once they are approved they'll be contacted when a potential match comes along.

All in all, I doubt it's "you". I think it takes us at least a week to make an initial contact with someone to just let them know we're working on their application. I would never want anyone to lie hoping they can land on the "right" answer. Just be honest and give as much information as you can. It will happen and all the best in your search - thank you for supporting rescue!
 

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Go to the meet and greet - it will give them a chance to talk to you and you a chance to see other dogs.

Ask them to keep your app on file - they will let you know when they have a good match if you are approved.

I think they would see you as committed to adoption - not as a stalker.
 

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By all means, go to the meet and greet, that is what they are for.
You may be able to talk to someone directly instead of playing phone-tag.
 

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Another thing to consider is that they may have not been able to reach all of your references yet. Sometimes we play phone tag back and forth for days trying to get in touch with references.

I agree with the advice you received encouraging you to attend the meet and greet. Go for it!

Best wishes in finding a wonderful dog to adopt and THANK YOU for wanting to adopt a rescue dog!
 

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I found one of the loves of my life in adoption from a (GREAT) GSD rescue. It took three months (home visit-references-person-dog visit). Who cares how long it took?
 

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I do rescue, and in some respects hope my rescue group does not read this. But your comment about a rescue stating they would not allow a dog to run off lease was typical, but nonetheless a bit suprising.

I guess you figured out, that while I foster, my dogs for the most part at some point are allowed to run/play off lease. Once a rescue has bonded, so much depends on the safety of the dog. If the dog will come, and you have a yard or other appropriate place to let the dog run, great.

I am glad you got Hunter.

One quick note. The person that runs my rescue group, always tells me not to let a foster off lease, but she knows I do allow some to run free. As for my success with rescues, darn good, and having the dogs chained constantly just does not sit well with me..
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone for your advice!! It is much appreciated!! I did go to the meet and greet and the shepherd I was interested in was not there, but he is out of the high kill shelter and being fostered which is great!! The lady I spoke with seemed nice, but I think there was a few other people interested in him, so I am not sure what will happen. I just would like him to go to a nice home (preferably mine)!! I think that is the most important thing. Not to sound cheezy, but I am also a hugh believer in fate...if he is meant to be mine, he will be.
 

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There are so many nice dogs in rescue, give yourself the chance to meet them and get to know them. Photos can be very deceiving and there may be a wonderful dog out there waiting for you - whose photo might not be that catchy one. The personality of the dog should be more important than the photo. I have seen many applicants getting attached to a photograph - some dogs are more photogenic than others and this is also a matter of luck.
 

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Thanks for committing to rescue! The process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months depending on the rescue, the location of the dog, etc. Often there are other people interested too. Most rescues don't adopt on a first come, first served basis but instead try to make a good match for the dog. Reputable references also do personal, vet and home checks before adopting to you. Many won't even allow you to meet a dog until those are all done.

It can take a while to find the right dog. It took me a while to find Rafi (the guy in my avatar) and then it was over a month before I adopted him and I wasn't even sure if I'd get to meet him until the week before!

So hang in there. I noticed you are looking at dogs in kill shelters too. I think that's great but please keep in mind that you have no idea what you're getting in those cases. Don't get me wrong--I have pulled (to foster) dogs from shelters before but just wanted to let you know they can be full of surprises.
 

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I really appreciate your comments. Regarding rescue I think there may be some differences among the states; however, my experience acting as a foster for a rescue group has been nothing but positive. The dogs I foster have been just great.
 
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