How To Adopt A Rescue Dog

Getting a pet is a significant responsibility. Our family has been wanting to get a dog for some time but a combination of circumstances meant we had to delay that decision. But we tracked a couple of different puppy adoption agencies waiting for the right dog to appear. Here's the process we went through.

Our Selection Criteria

We already have a couple of cats so finding a dog that was going to fit in with them was important. And while we have a reasonably sized backyard, we felt that a big dog would not be comfortable.

My wife and I both run regularly so finding a dog that we could run with us was important as well.

Our kids are aged between eight and 21. Finding a dog that everyone could get along with was also important.

My wife and I have had dogs before and were comfortable with working dogs and labradors.

Where Did We Find Jack?

Fortunately, we have a friend who has been fostering rescue dogs for a while and put us on to a group called Pawfect Pals Animal Rescue. The regularly post through Facebook with descriptions and pictures of dogs with notes about breed, history, temperament and other important information.

We looked through the listings regularly.

As we have been planning to do some landscaping in the backyard and needed to get a section of fence replaced, we'd decided to wait a few weeks but we saw the listing for Jack. After a family discussion, some of us went to visit Jack with his foster parents on a farm north-east of Melbourne. During that visit, the kids got along really well with Jack and we were able to see him interact with other animals. We went home - Jack followed us to our car - and had a chat and decided to bring Jack home.

Getting Started

Pawfect Pals sent someone over to our place to check out the property to make sure it was going to be a suitable environment. After passing that inspection, we were allowed to bring Jack to our home where he immediately made himself part of the family. Pawfect Pals calls that first month a trial so if for some reason the adoption doesn't work out there's a way to send the dog back without abandoning it.

Jack was eight months old when he came to us. He was fully immunised and had been microchipped and desexed. And, other than a couple of "accidents" early on he's already housetrained.

At the end of the one month trial Pawfect Pals contacted us to see if we were prepared to commit to keeping Jack. Ae said yes and they did the paperwork to formally transfer ownership to us.

What Did The Process Cost?

Once we committed to bringing Jack home for the one month trial, we paid a $400 fee. That's actually quite inexpensive when you consider the vet charges for immunisation, microchipping and desexing.

Obviously, there have been some further expenses like food (we order online and have a recurring order for all our pet supplies that are delivered on a schedule), a kennel, dog beds, some toys and a lead. We have an off-lead park close to home and a number of other owners recommended a Halti lead as it gently discourages the dog from pulling when walking.

And now that Jack's ownership has been transferred to us, we'll have registration with our local council as well.

A Few Tips If You're Considering Pet Adoption

Here are a few things I think are worth considering if you're contemplating pet adoption.

  • Think carefully about your living situation and how a pet fits in
  • Don't jump the gun and go for the first animal you see and like
  • Make sure there's a trial period so you can be sure you and the pet are a good match
  • Make sure everyone in the family understands a pet is a shared responsibility
  • If you have other pets, give them time to adjust to a new companion

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