The Adoption Process
If you have seen a BDSC dog that you are interested in adopting or would like to be put on our list for future dogs, the process is as follows:
Step 1: The Application
Each prospective owner fills out an adoption application. The form asks a lot of standard questions to help us ensure a good match. We review your form and contact you if we have questions. The application gives us an idea of what kind of home you have to offer and it also helps us to determine if a certain dog is suitable for your home. A board member will "assign" your application to the dog's foster care provider who will then be contacting you within a few short days.
All applicants must live within 45 minutes of the Buffalo area. Home visits are necessary/required. We usually have no history of our rescue dogs (unless they are owner surrenders) and we are very careful about placing them. These dogs will undergo basic training and basic evaluation before they are put up for adoption.
Step 2: Phone Interview
Based on the responses in the application, and what we know about available dogs or dogs coming into rescue, we make a tentative match. At that point, there is a bit of e-mail/telephone dialogue to tell the prospective owner more about the dog, and to allow us to learn a little more about the prospective owner. If things still look like a good match, we put the prospective owner in touch with the dog contact (the person that has the dog). This might be the current owner, a foster care volunteer, or a rescue colleague. After the dog contact and the prospective adopter talk, we confer with the dog contact and determine whether it seems like a good fit. Then a home check is done.
Step 3: Vet Reference
You must contact your current veterinarian (if you have one) and allow us permission to call and obtain your current pet’s vaccination records. Your pets must be up to date on shots in order to adopt from us. Exceptions will be made on an individual basis.
Step 4: Landlord Reference (if applicable)
Step 5: Home Visit/Meeting
The home visit is a necessary part of the adoption process. One of our reps will visit the applicant's home and see where the new dog would be residing. All members of the household must be present at the time of visit, including any other pets. At this visit, we will ask questions regarding the pet's overall care and the applicant is also encourages to ask questions they may have regarding the adoption. Our reps have a form that must be completed to determine whether the applicant’s residence is approved for a rescue dog. Dogs from shelters can be amazing escape artists. By visiting your home, we can help you identify potential escape routes, and keep your new dog safe and secure. We require that everyone in the immediate family, including your current dog (if you have one) are at the appointment to meet your potential new dog during the home visit. Adopting a dog is a big family decision and requires a commitment from everyone. At the appointment, an adoption counselor from BDSC will help you assess whether the dog is a good match for your lifestyle and your family. After the meeting you must wait 24 hours before deciding if that dog is right for you and your family. If both the rescue and adopters agree that it is a match, we move onto finalizing the adoption. We will leave the adoption contract with you to look over. Once your family is approved to adopt, we will schedule a meeting when you can adopt your new dog.
Step 6: The Adoption
Before you bring your new dog home, you must sign a contractual agreement with BDSC. In addition, a $175.00-250.00 adoption donation is requested. In some cases, the adoption donation might be slightly higher if the medical expenses involved in rescuing your dog were excessive. The adoption donation is non-refundable.
Please remember that adoption contributions barely cover our expenses. Additional donations are greatly appreciated and will help us continue our life-saving work.
Please allow for at least 45 minutes for our volunteers to go over all vetting paperwork, the adoption contract, and anything pertinent with the adoption of your new dog.
You should also expect a "happy-ending" photograph of you and your new family member for us to put in our scrap book.
Step 7: Post-Adoption Follow-up
Our goal is to help you enjoy life with your new dog to the fullest extent possible. We require follow-up visits or phone calls the next day (to see how your new dog did over night), 7 days, 30, 60 and 90 days after adoption. If issues arise, or you just need some good advice, we are happy to do follow-up counseling by telephone. We can also suggest local dog trainers.
NOTES ABOUT OUR ADOPTION PROCESS:
PLEASE NOTE THAT APPLYING FOR ONE OF THE DOGS DOES NOT GUARANTEE ACCEPTANCE AS AN ADOPTIVE HOME. BDSC reserves the right to refuse any application for any reason at our discretion.
BDSC RESERVES THE RIGHT TO VERIFY ANY AND ALL INFORMATION RECIEVED ABOUT ADOPTIVE APPLICANTS IN ADOPTION APPLICATIONS.
BDSC IS A COMPLETELY VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION. WE DO OUR BEST TO PROCESS APPLICATIONS IN AS TIMELY A MANNER AS POSSIBLE, BUT IT TAKES TIME TO DO THIS AND WE APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO E-MAIL US ON THE STATUS OF YOUR APPLICATION.
IF ANYTHING PREVENTS YOU FROM KEEPING YOUR DOG
Sometimes situations arise which can not be helped. If, for any reason, you are unable to keep a dog you’ve adopted from BDSC, the dog can not be given away. All dogs MUST be returned to BDSC Rescue!!!!
It doesn’t matter how much time has passed since the adoption. You must either return the dog to BDSC, or obtain written approval from us to transfer ownership to an approved friend or relative.
ADJUSTING TO A NEW HOME
There is always a transition period when an animal leaves all that it knows and enters a new home. It is not uncommon to see temporary setbacks in training, uncharacteristic behavior, etc. All adopters need to understand this and be committed to working through the transition process. We expect the adopter to follow through with humane training, to have patience if setbacks are experienced during the transition period, and to provide a conducive environment for the animal to properly settle into.
We fully disclose all medical and behavioral issues that we have knowledge of to the adopter. Because we don't have a shelter facility and the animals are fostered in the homes of our screened foster volunteers, we tend to know generally how the animal is in the home. However, we cannot predict how an animal will behave in your particular home.
WHY DOES BDSC WANT ADOPTION FEES FOR THE DOGS?
We do not make money doing rescue work. The expenses are considerable, including care and feeding costs, veterinary expenses, and the time of the volunteers who care for the dogs and administer the rescue program. It is something we do because we love dogs and believe in rescue and want to do something about the millions of dogs that are euthanized due to lack of homes.
Every cent that comes to BDSC goes back into helping other dogs. If we are able to operate without losing a great deal of money, we know we are managing things well. The only way the BDSC can operate and thrive is through donations and volunteer fundraising.
Every dog that comes into our rescue needs care and a loving environment while we try to find them a good home. There is also medical expenses associated with their care.
Included in the adoption donation:
The particulars vary from animal to animal. In general, most BDSC animals have had the following care given before placement:
Vet exam; Updated vaccinations, including rabies; Surgical spay or neuter; Heartworm test; Heartworm preventative; Flea treatment; at least one dose of worming meds; microchip; new leash and collar; vetting folder; a free first vet visit to a vet of your choice; a bath; Temperament evaluation; Housetraining*;Crate-training*;Leash-training*; love and attention!
*(may be underway in some animals)