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Adoption Frequently Asked Questions

I want to adopt. Can I have someone call me to discuss it before I apply?

If we adopt a dog, but it doesn't work out in our home, can we bring it back?

If I've already adopted from AGSDR and want to adopt again, do I have to go through the entire adoption process?

If I’ve already been approved by another German Shepherd Rescue in the area, do I need to go through the approval process for AGSDR?

If I want to adopt a dog, but I'll be out of town for awhile, can I ask AGSDR to "keep" the dog for me until I get back?

I really have to have a particular dog I saw on the web site. If I'm first to apply for that dog, do I get him?

My dog is not acting like it did at the foster home's house. Am I doing something wrong?

I want to adopt. Can I have someone call me to discuss it before I apply?

Please do not contact us and ask for personal assistance until you’ve gone through all of the information contained under the Adopt category of the menu to the left of web pages and then filled out an application. Our resources are stretched and we simply don't have the time to answer questions from people who are not serious about adopting from us. Please fill out an application as your FIRST FORM of contact. We will process it, and the personal assistance will follow that. We do not allow you to visit with dogs before you’ve completed the process anyway, out of respect for the privacy and security of our foster homes. Asking for a special exception will only waste your time and ours, and that takes resources away from rescuing dogs. Be considerate, be helpful, be patient, and we’ll do our best to process your application quickly without undue delay.

If we adopt a dog, but it doesn't work out in our home, can we bring it back?

While this does happen occasionally, it is our responsibility (yours and AGSDR’s) to make every effort to find the right match for your household the first time around, and it is your responsibility as a new owner to obtain the training, assistance, and equipment to successfully integrate your dog into your household.

If you are an approved adopter, fall in love with a dog from the web site, and it’s simply not the right dog for you (in AGSDR’s opinion), then we will discourage you from adopting that dog! If you insist anyway and we approve the adoption, you will be held responsible in full for proper integration into your household.

Remember that these dogs are living, breathing, feeling, emotive, sentient beings, and are not disposable or exchangeable, any more than an adopted child would be disposable or exchangeable. Dogs are a responsibility, and are often inconvenient. Please be willing, able, and sure, that you are up to the challenge before you bring a new dog home. AGSDR loves our dogs, but we can’t be the “safety net” for 100+ new adopters every year. Thoroughly evaluate your REAL preparedness, commitment, and ability to own a German Shepherd Dog before you adopt.

If I've already adopted from AGSDR and want to adopt again, do I have to go through the entire adoption process?

In most cases, no. Please fill in an application, submit it electronically per the instructions on the web site, and put a notation that you are a previous adopter, including the dog and date. You will generally be re-approved without further delay. Depending on how long it has been since your last adoption, we may do a vet check. And if you've moved, we may do a home visit. But generally, neither is the case.

If I’ve already been approved by another German Shepherd Rescue in the area, do I need to go through the approval process for AGSDR?

It depends. Fill in an application and submit it electronically per the instructions on the web site. Put a notation that you are approved by another Rescue. Cut/paste the contact information and approval letter from the other Rescue into the notes section of the application. Upon verification, you may be pre-approved at AGSDR.

If I want to adopt a dog, but I'll be out of town for awhile, can I ask AGSDR to "keep" the dog for me until I get back?

Unfortunately, no. We don't have kennel or boarding facilities, and our foster homes are always full. We don't have the financial resources to provide homes for dogs for any longer than necessary. When you are ready to adopt, then adopt. If you go out of town, arrange pet sitting or kenneling for your dog. If this is not the right time for you to adopt, wait until you come home.

In addition, we do not hold dogs for anyone, including approved adopters. If a specific dog is important to you, you need to make the effort to see that dog as soon as you can. There is often more than one person interested in a dog at any one time. Experience has proven that the interest of the dogs is not served by placing them on hold, even for a short time.

I really have to have a particular dog I saw on the web site. If I'm first to apply for that dog, do I get him?

No. We do not place dogs on a first come, first served basis. Our main goal is to act in the best interest of each dog. We will evaluate all interested potential homes based on the needs of the particular dog. Most of these dogs have been abandoned and neglected, and we do everything within our power to make sure the home they go to is truly a "forever home" where they will be not only be loved, but well cared for physically and emotionally.

Our foster homes weigh heavily in placement decisions as they have the knowledge and insight into the needs of their particular foster dog. We believe a dog's foster family knows that dog's temperament and personality best. They will be your greatest asset (and ours) in helping to determine if their foster dog will be a good match for your family.

The foster's assessment of the dog/adopter interaction and interview with the potential adopter will be taken into serious consideration in any determination of approving a specific adoption. The AGSDR Board of Directors has final approval of all adoptions.

My dog is not acting like it did at the foster home's house. Am I doing something wrong?

There will be an adjustment period when you first bring your dog home. You will receive more information about this in a packet we provide our approved applicants. Adjustment varies from dog to dog, and depends on the situation they may have come from and how long they have been in their foster home. There are too many variables to put on one general page, but once you are approved and begin visiting the dogs, please discuss how long it took the dog to adjust in the foster home. This will give you a good indication of how long it will take them to adjust in your home.

The adjustment period can range from hours, days, weeks, or up to a few months. In most cases, these dogs have been abandoned, ignored by their previous owners, or turned in to a shelter, having little interaction with someone who cares about them. Others, we are amazed that no one came to look for them in the shelter! Most are extremely receptive to attention, but new situations are stressful, and this is why we suggest you always take it easy the first week...always allow the dog to come to YOU and don't push the dog into accepting you immediately. This can make a huge difference in the dog's perception and can greatly reduce their anxiety and stress level (and yours!). Our fosters work hard in gaining the trust of these magnificent dogs, preparing them to "re-enter" a world where they will be loved and accepted. Any of the AGSDR volunteers are never more than a phone call or email away to assist you should you need us. In most case you won't! But if the need arises, you can be assured of our life long commitment to these precious dogs.

Last Update : 02/14/2016
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