Things to Know before You Apply:
First, be a Rescuer:
Maybe you've dreamed of being an animal rescuer, but like many people, you spent most of your life making a living. There just wasn't enough left over to spend running around, saving animals from the streets and other horrible places, then teaching them basic house habits, let alone paying for their recoveries, right? Maybe once upon a time you even looked for a job in animal rescue and discovered that those jobs are rare, pay very little, and require much in terms of education, training, and experience. Maybe you tried volunteering for a shelter, but you found it too depressing. But there is another way.
If you are fiercely rescue-oriented, becoming one of the very 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 group that truly walks the talk. When we consider an adopter applicant, we are hoping to find a person like us: One who thinks and behaves like a rescuer. Someone excited to be a part of our efforts, to protect and elevate the lives of these animals.
Second, be willing to convince us:
If you are rescue-minded, you already understand the importance of carefully screening every prospective adopter. 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; to adopt from us, you become familiar with this practice, as it is part of every Hound Sanctuary adoption. Before we put a voiceless life in someone's care, that someone must partner with us to cooperate with the screening process. Experience here has taught us one clear thing: Ego must step aside for the sake of the dog--before, during, and after adoption. The dogs always come first; Hound Sanctuary's umbrella of policies provides lifelong protection for the dogs. We know that if you are in fact excited to be a part of our efforts, this won't turn out to be a problem, and we'll be equally excited to welcome you.
If the above seems wise to you, then please, keep reading! It's quite possible that you have found your rescue family with us.
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 or open windows to unfenced areas.
- These are just a few of the requirements. Please email us about 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 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 day’s driving distance (6 to 8 hours max) 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, Southwest Canada, and Maine as well as our Oregon sanctuary location. We also have a foster dog in Michigan that is available within 6 hours from there OR from Maine.
Adopters must be mature and stable; e.g., student and roommate situations are unlikely to be approved. The dog may live 15-20 years so we look for at least that much stability.
Adopters must be willing and able to follow Hound Sanctuary rules of adoption and guidelines for care, safety, regular contact, and affiliation throughout the natural life of the dog. These will be stipulated in a detailed adoption contract that the adopter signs.
Steps to Adopting:
The steps are application, personal interview/s, home check and reference checks, then if you are approved, execution of a strict contract that contains safety and care rules, and repossession clauses, and liquidated damages clauses for breaches of contract related to neglect, harm, abandonment, death of the dog, or refusal to cooperate with contractually required return/repossession.
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. We trust that once interested parties have thought about this, it's easy to realize that 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. In most cases, we spend well over $2500 on each rescue, plus care expenses until adopted, which can sometimes bring the total between $3000 and $5000; when you adopt from us, you reimburse us for a relatively small portion of that. For dogs we rescued using air transport and similar rescue costs, the Minimum* Expense Reimbursement when you adopt is $600 (local rescues may have a lower adoption MER and will be noted as such). 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 $1000 per dog; for adopters who earn more than $200,000 per year, the expense reimbursement should be $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 when you adopt from us, the extra reimbursement amount will be considered a tax-deductible donation.
A $50 application fee, to be applied to your adoption fee if you are approved and adopt from us at that time, is required with your application; it covers our time to process your application and is non-refundable. However if it is immediately clear that you will not be approved, you may treat the $50 as a donation to Hound Sanctuary. 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 are exceedingly cautious about adoptions, so 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 most of the world cares not at all; those of us who do care are more than willing to spend whatever necessary making up for the masses who do not. We seek like-minded individuals who are prepared to join us in the good cause of rescuing needy dogs. Those who argue that they could buy a purebred for $1500 miss the point and probably are not our adopters. When you apply to a rescue/sanctuary, you are not purchasing a puppy. The rescued dog you desire, as explained above, was very expensive to for us rescue, vet, rehabilitate, train, and care for. If you buy $1500 purebred puppy, the seller probably is profiting from selling puppies--otherwise, why would s/he bother breeding them only to then sell them? But 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 go out and help save dogs from suffering. Once safe, we help them recover and prepare them for a exceptional long life with exceptional people. And we ask those people to reimburse a fair portion of our expenses when they adopt their hounds.
Choosing the Right Hound:
We aim to have our adoptable dogs with us for a while. This allows us to get to know each dog’s personality and behavioral traits, which helps clarify their needs and increases the likelihood of a good match with an adopter. We will cat test when possible (indoor cats only), but the adopter must understand that while many of our dogs have been fine with cats, there is never a guarantee and therefore the adopter must always take precautions. We will help with this.
Welcoming Your Hound:
Often, it will be in the best interest of your new hound and you for you to meet and spend some time with her/him one or more times before taking your hound goes home.
The Principle behind the Policies
Our job is to save and protect dogs. We hope this statement elucidates the reasoning for our policies. To adopt these loving, 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 yet 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, and our exceptional adopters feel the same way.
Hound Sanctuary is here to help you prepare for and work with your new hound, and will be here to help if ever you need assistance with your hound; moreover, if ever you can no longer properly care for or keep your hound, you return the hound to us and we ensure that s/he is properly cared for. This is part of our adoption agreement.