Rescue is not easy—and it is worth the effort
To a rescuer, the expectations of rescue are just a normal part of life. (When I applied to adopt my first rescued Ibizan (RIP Sioraf), I offered information, photos, et cetera, that were not even requested of me. I would have provided whatever else was requested, save an SSN.) Those who argue that they could buy a dog to avoid the screening and rules of guardianship miss the point. The rescued dog an applicant desires is a beloved part of our family. When you apply to a rescue, you are asking a group of volunteers and donors to trust you with an animal who trusts some of those people, an animal to whom those people have given their heart, soul, money, and a huge chunk of their lives. We want these dogs to receive that same level of devotion from their new homes and guardians. If a person finds even the application process too much trouble, that may cause us to wonder how much trouble s/he will find one of our dogs. When it comes to homing, our job is to ensure our dogs land in safe, happy homes with kind, responsible, conscientious people who view their relationship with us not as a chore, but as an opportunity to learn and to ensure the best possible lives for the dogs.
Things to Know before Applying
If you are fiercely rescue-oriented, a Sighthound Sanctuary dog might be for you. People join our relatively small group not simply for the cause, but because they want to support a rescue that truly walks the talk. When we consider an applicant, we are hoping to find a person like us: Someone devoted not only to rescue, rehabilitating, and cautious homing of needy sighthounds, but to protecting and elevating the lives of these animals. When you work with Sighthound Sanctuary, the dog we've rescued and prepared to join you is a dog we help you ensure becomes happier day by day and stays that way throughout her/his life. This is the Sighthound Sanctuary difference.
If you are fiercely rescue-minded, you already understand the importance of screening applicants; before we entrust a life to someone's care, that someone partners with us in the screening process. You might not be familiar with affiliation practices--guardians keeping in regular contact and partnering with the rescue to ensure each dog's well-being throughout her/his lifetime; this practice is one of the things that makes Sighthound Sanctuary special. Experience here has taught us a great lesson: *Ego must step aside for the sake of the dog--before, during, and after placement. Sighthound Sanctuary's umbrella of policies offers lifelong protection for our dogs, and the dogs always come first. If you wish to be part of an 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 gates locked from the inside.
- No dog doors for SSAS dogs. No off leashing outside areas enclosed by secure 6 foot fencing.
- 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, e.g., second story untempered glass, or open windows to unfenced areas are just two of many possible examples.
- These are just some of the requirements. Please email us to discuss your particular situation. To ensure a response, please be sure to include your location (we only do west coast placements); to expedite answers to your questions, please include photos of your yard & fencing as well.
Sighthound Sanctuary's policies are designed to ensure the dogs' lifelong well-being as the top priority; e.g.:
- We place dogs only in areas within a reasonable driving distance (about 4 or so hours maximum) of the sanctuary or one of our permanent rescue partners or volunteers so that the dogs and guardians always have us nearby if they need us. Currently we have established back-ups in Northern California, the central California coast, Washington state, and near our Oregon sanctuary location.
- Guardians must be mature and stable; e.g., student and roommate situations may by nature be too in-flux to be approved.
- Guardians must be willing and able to follow Sighthound Sanctuary rules of placement and guidelines for care, safety, handling, and contact/affiliation throughout the natural life of the dog. These are stipulated in a detailed contract that the guardian signs.