Things to Know before You Apply:
If you are fiercely rescue-oriented, becoming one of the select few Hound Sanctuary adopters might be for you. The reason people decide to join our relatively small group of exceptional adopters is not only that they believe in our cause, but that they want to be associated with a rescue group that truly walks the talk. When we consider an adopter applicant, we are hoping to find a person like us: Someone excited to support work that not only rescues, rehabs, and homes needy sighthounds, but also protects and elevates the lives of these animals throughout their lives. When you adopt from Hound Sanctuary, the dog we've rescued and prepared to join you becomes a dog we help you ensure becomes happier day by day and stays that way throughout her/his life. This is the Hound Sanctuary difference.
If you are rescue-minded, you already understand the importance of carefully screening prospective adopters; before we entrust a life to someone's care, that someone partners with us in the screening process. You might or might not be familiar with the practice of keeping in regular contact with each adopter and each adopted dog throughout her/his lifetime; this practice is what makes Hound Sanctuary very special. Experience here has taught us a great lesson: *Ego must step aside for the sake of the dog--before, during, and after adoption. Hound Sanctuary's umbrella of policies provides lifelong protection for our dogs, and the dogs always come first. We know that if you are seeking to be part of a truly animal-protective cause, you'll be excited about our special efforts in this regard, and we'll be equally excited to welcome you!
Sighthounds are special dogs with unique abilities. Therefore, there are key requirements for their protection:
- A private, securely fenced yard around at least part of any home or place where the dog spends time is required.
- In almost all cases, all fences must be at least six foot high solid fencing all the way around, no climb, no dig, with locked gates.
- No dog doors are allowed for dogs adopted from Hound Sanctuary.
- It is our policy to avoid placing a dog in an environment where children will be present.
- We do not place dogs in homes where they will have access to dangerous situations such as second story untempered glass, or open windows to unfenced areas.
- These are just some of the requirements. Please email us to discuss your particular situation, with photos of your yard & fencing.
An upsetting statistic making the rounds in rescue is that only 1 in 10 dogs born in the USA will find a forever home. How is that possible? It's simple. Most dogs are surrendered (or worse) by their owners at least once during their lives. Sadly, it is rare that a dog is born, adopted, and lives her entire natural life with the person who originally adopted her. Example: I have a rescued 12 year old purebred Ibizan hound. He was sold by a breeder as puppy, but his original owner at some point passed him off to a family member, who eventually passed him again to someone else, who did the same, and so on and so on, until one day he found himself on the east coast, running in the streets, chasing cars and barking, being threatened with death and shot at by neighbors. This is one of the reasons Hound Sanctuary is so careful with adoptions. We want to ensure that when we do place a dog, that dog has found his forever home. If some fluke of nature should ever transpire, we want to have ensured that the forever guardian will have remained in regular contact with us as an HS family member and thus we will be right there, ready to welcome the dog back into our fold. While our goal is for every adopted Hound Sanctuary dog to be a happy, safe, and well, forever-adopted dog, nevertheless, a Hound Sanctuary dog will always have his/her sanctuary home with us, since our first priority is always the well-being of each dog.
Hound Sanctuary's policies are designed to ensure the dogs' lifelong well-being as the top priority; e.g.:
We place hounds only in areas within a reasonable driving distance (4 to 6 hours) of the sanctuary or one of our permanent rescue partners or volunteers so that they always have us nearby if they need us. Currently we have established back-ups in some of California, Washington state, and Southwest Canada, as well as our Oregon sanctuary location.
Adopters must be mature and stable; e.g., student and roommate situations may by nature be too in-flux to be approved.
Adopters must be willing and able to follow Hound Sanctuary rules of adoption and guidelines for care, safety, and contact/affiliation throughout the natural life of the dog. These are stipulated in a detailed adoption contract that the adopter signs.
Steps to Adopting:
Usually, the steps are application, personal interview/s, home check and reference checks, then if you are approved, execution of a detailed, rigorous adoption contract, payment of your minimum expense reimbursement, and the dog joining you. (Some dogs may require pre-adoption visits to get to know the adopters before the big move.)
Meeting the Dogs:
To avoid broken hearts of applicants, unnecessary stress on dogs, and needless overwork for us, meetings with the dogs come only after you have been fully approved; if no match seems made during these meetings, your approved application may remain active with us as appropriate. If we were to set meetings with everyone who asked, without having first processed an application on them to ensure they were serious about adoption, we could easily spend most of our time doing just visits, leaving little time to care for the dogs and other rescue and sanctuary work.
Cost to Adopt and What it Includes:
Each dog comes with her/his walking harness, 24 hour ID collar, microchip, vaccinations, and sterilization; most also have received basic behavioral training by us in preparation for adoption (we teach you how to continue that; it is your responsibility to continue it and ask us for help if you need it). For dogs rescued locally, the minimum expense reimbursement is usually $250 to $300 unless there were unusual rescue/ care/ treatment costs. For international rescue cases, we spend well over $2500 on each rescue, plus care expenses until adopted, which can sometimes bring the total between $3000 and $5000; for these dogs, you reimburse us for a relatively small portion of that: For dogs we rescued using air transport and more extreme rescue costs, the Minimum* Expense Reimbursement is $600. Since this amount comes nowhere close to covering what it costs us to bring one of these sweethearts to safety, if you have the means to reimburse for more of your dog’s expenses, we ask that you do so. This policy is on the honor system--we do not wish to investigate your level of wealth. The recommended *sliding scale is as follows: For adopters who earn more than $100,000 per year, the expense reimbursement should be at least $1000 per dog; for adopters who earn more than $200,000 per year, the expense reimbursement should be at least $1500 per dog. If you make more than several hundred thousand dollars a year, you should not only reimburse fully but consider becoming a sustaining donor. If you pay more than the Minimum Expense Reimbursement, the extra amount is treated as a donation.
A $50 donation, to be applied to your minimum expense reimbursement if you are approved and adopt with us at that time, is required with your application; it is to help fund our time to process your application and is non-refundable. If after going through the screening process with us you are not able to adopt at that time for some reason other than our non-approval, we may elect to keep your application on file for a later date. If you have any questions or concerns about this policy please feel free to email us before applying. It is not our intention to convince those who have no chance of being approved to apply; therefore, we will try to answer any questions you email us before applying to help you ascertain your qualifications. We take our responsibilities regarding dog placements seriously and so are very cautious during this process; by applying with us you understand and agree that there is a fair chance you will not be approved even though you have paid an application fee, answered all questions, allowed home and reference checks, etc. We realize this may seem daunting, but the fact is that we are first and foremost a rescue and protection charity, and it is our job to make the best decision for each dog, and to help you make the best decision as well. We believe that if you have come this far, you care about animals just as we do, so we trust you to understand this.
Rescue is expensive—and worth every penny
It is obvious, we hope, that we rescue because these dogs need help and protection. Those who argue that they could buy a purebred for $1500 miss the point. When you apply to a rescue/sanctuary, you are not buying a dog; you are asking the rescue to trust you with an animal it gave its heart and soul to rehabilitate, as well as its funds. The rescued dog you desire, as explained above, was very expensive for us to rescue, vet, rehabilitate, train, and care for. When you buy a $1500 puppy, the seller probably is profiting from breeding or selling puppies--otherwise, why breed and sell them? Rescues like Hound Sanctuary do not make a profit on dogs; we lose money on every dog--sometimes we lose thousands of dollars on each dog. We do not do this for money. We do it to save dogs from suffering and to ensure they land in safe, happy homes with conscientious people, whom we ask to reimburse a fair portion of the dog's expenses.
Choosing the Right Hound:
We aim to have our dogs with us for a while before placing them. This allows us to get to know each dog’s personality and behavioral tendencies, which helps clarify their needs and increases the likelihood of a good match with an applicant. We will cat test when possible (indoor cats only), but applicants must understand that while many of our dogs have been fine with cats, there is never a guarantee and therefore adopters must always take precautions. We will help with this.
Welcoming Your Hound:
Often, it will be in the best interest of the hound and you for you to meet and spend some time with her/him one or more times before the hound leaves the sanctuary and makes the big move to you.
The Principle behind the Policies
Our job is to save and protect dogs; this is the reason behind all of our policies. To adopt these tender dogs who have been through too much to ever have to go through any further difficulties, one must be prepared to make adjustments and steadfast commitments for them just as for any new family member. In return, you get not only affection and loyalty like none before experienced, but you get to be part of the story of a saved life, and you help save other lives as well since every dog you adopt makes room for another to be saved from abandonment or torture. We know of no better deal.
Hound Sanctuary is also here to help you prepare for and work with your adopted hound, and will be here to help whenever you need assistance with her/him; moreover, if ever you can no longer properly care for or keep her/him, you return the hound to us and we ensure that s/he is properly cared for. This is part of your adoption agreement.