Bringing a new pet into your home is a big decision. Our animals, especially our dogs, require a lot of time, energy and attention. We at CARE want to make sure that before you agree to adopt or foster one of our animals, you have taken into account the time and energy you will be able to devote to your new dog. To help our potential adoptive families and our foster families in the decision making process, CARE has developed a one of a kind match making process. This process matches your family’s needs and lifestyle with the type of dog that would be best suited to you. After you apply to adopt or foster a dog, you will discuss your unique situation with a trained CARE representative either face to face or by phone. This CARE representative will then recommend dogs that may be a good fit for you. Before you apply to adopt or foster a dog, there are some basic questions you might want to ask yourself:
Is our family ready to accept a dog into our home?
This is the first and biggest question you need to ask yourself before you commit to adopting or even fostering a dog. We have many dogs and puppies who were surrendered at the shelter because their family did not realize the kind of time and energy owning a dog would require. Adopting a pet means that you make a commitment to care for that pet for the rest of his or her life. Many rescue dogs have had a difficult life and some have habits that will need to be addressed. These dogs will require socialization, plenty of exercise, attention and, most importantly, lots of patience. Before you agree to adopt or foster one of our dogs, please take time to think about whether or not your family is ready for this kind of commitment.
Do I have the Time and Energy to train a puppy?
Many potential adoptive families have their eyes set on an adorable puppy. And we can see why. Puppies are cute, cuddly and wonderful! But, they’re also a lot of work. While many of our CARE puppies are potty trained, most have not yet mastered basic commands (come, sit, stay etc.). Teaching them these basics requires at least five minutes a day for each command. Also, puppies are often unfamiliar with the world around them and may bark or become overly excited by new sights and sounds (cats, passing cars, other dogs etc.). As the owner of a puppy, it will be your job to teach them what is and what is not acceptable behavior in your home. If this seems like too much extra responsibility for your family, then a puppy may not be the best fit for you. Luckily, CARE has lots of adult dogs who are already trained and socialized. Remember, the older dogs need loving homes just as much as puppies do!
Is my home equipped to handle a large dog?
Many of our foster families and potential adopters love the big breeds: German shepherds, boxers and Labradors. We agree that these breeds make great dogs, but they often require a lot of room. Large dogs with lots of energy and a drive to be useful will often become frustrated and bored if kept in a small space for long periods of time. So, if you live in an apartment and have a full time job, a large breed may not be right for you. We have plenty of small dogs who love apartments and don’t mind staying in crates. And, the best part is, these guys fit on your lap!
What breed will be a good fit for my lifestyle?
It’s not enough to choose a dog based only on the way it looks. Different breeds have different personalities. Even mixed breeds will carry the quirks of one parent or even both. Breed personalities generally depend on what the dog was originally used for. For example: Border Collies are herding dogs. Because they were originally put to work out on ranches herding cattle, they tend to be very high energy. They usually need lots of hard play and lots of exercise. If you have a calm home and live a mostly sedentary life style, you may want to look at a breed like the Cumberland Spaniel. Cumberland Spaniels are medium size dogs that are bred for companionship. Many Cumberland’s like nothing better than to lay on the couch while having their belly rubbed. There’s lots of information out there about different breeds. We find it’s best to research each breeds personality and needs before settling on one that will fit well in your family.