“Why don’t you expand your adoption radius? You’re hurting the dogs chances.” This is a phrase we hear frequently, because we only offer our dogs for adoption within a limited adoption radius.
We are a volunteer/foster based rescue. We have a “branch” in Maryland and in Michigan, where our founders are located. This is why you will see our dogs adoptable from those two areas. We are a very small rescue, taking in a limited number of dogs so that we are able to give them our full attention to make sure these special needs dogs are getting what they need. Any rescue can take in, network, and adopt out deaf and blind dogs, but because we specialize in these dogs specifically, we take extra care to make sure they are getting off on the right foot.
We like to keep our dogs local to where they are fostered for many reasons:
1) Transporting a dog is stressful and potentially dangerous. Many dogs that come into our rescue have a long transport to get to foster, we don’t want to put them through it again to go to a home. Transport can also put a tremendous amount of stress on puppies during critical development periods, which can have lasting effects. Many dogs (especially adults) can pose flight risks. While transport can be an amazing thing, it’s certainly not ideal for every dog.
2) We require a home check. This helps us to verify that potential adopters live where they say they do, and to make sure it’s a safe environment for a special needs dog. We typically look for things like low-hanging decor, and holes in a fence line. We also check to make sure it’s obvious that adopters aren’t lying about existing pets.
3) We offer trial adoptions. This means that dogs enter their adoptive homes on a trial basis before adoption is official. Especially because we do not require special needs dog experience, this is a great way to ensure it’s a good fit and a dog wasn’t adopted on impulse. If the trial adoption period doesn’t go well, or the dog simply isn't a good fit for that family, we have to figure out how to get the dog back, again. We also like to be on site for introductions so that we can ensure everything goes smoothly and safely, especially when it comes to integrating a dog with existing pets.
4) Our fosters put A LOT of work into the dogs in their home. Being able to connect them with adopters is crucial.
5) Our founders are both trainers. Amanda Fuller, KPA-CTP is a certified training partner through the Karen Pryor Academy and Rose Adler, CPDT-KA is certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. They are always available to do training sessions with adopted dogs and this becomes much harder when they are far away, especially with adult dogs who may greatly benefit from hands-on training.
I also want to add that dogs are safe in our rescue until they are adopted. They are welcome to stay with us as long as needed until we find their perfect home. Our dogs are never at risk for euthanasia simply because they haven’t been adopted yet.
There are so many wonderful rescues that specialize in double merles and special needs dogs. Just because you’re out of our radius, doesn’t mean you can’t find a dog in need elsewhere. We know it’s easy to fall in love with a dog over a photo on the internet, but it’s even better to be able to connect with them in person.
When bringing a dog into our rescue, we make a commitment to that dog that we will do everything in our power to set said dog up for success. Because we deal specifically with deaf and blind dogs, this commitment becomes even more important to us. Please respect this policy and continue to help us network our dogs in such a way that helps them find forever homes.