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I went from having no fosters, to having 3, within about 2 days. O_O I was starting to have empty nest syndrome (yes it is possible with only 6 lol) but that didn't last long. I know if any of you are friends with my foster home's page on Facebook, you've probably already seen some of these, but for those who haven't I'll post them here. And also, if you haven't already please feel free to add me... Rescutopia Fostering | Facebook I could always use more chi lovers on there!

This little guy was surrendered to me, as a stray in my own town! What is it with these chocolate chihuahuas that fate brings them to me...!? We are calling him Capone; since he was found on Valentine's day. (Morbid I know; but it SO suits his tough scrapper attitude lol.) We drive 2 hours to deliver him this Wednesday to his new home.




Then there's this lil guy, a chihuahua min pin cross named Bogie. He wasn't here long since I'd already had an Application in on him, before I'd even gotten him transferred to me. We delivered him today and I can already tell he's going to be spoiled rotten. I think that's an unwritten requirement for any family I adopt a dog out to LOL.


And then lastly there's this little angel. She's 8 years YOUNG; a chihuahua pomeranian mix. Her name is Katie... which is my name but luckily I just go by Kat so it's not too confusing, haha. She has the nicest disposition ever; she's so laid back and sweet. And so quiet and low maintenance. Still screening out applicants for her but whoever get her will not be sorry. She may be older but she's got tons of love to give still!




Anyway that's why I've been AWOL... I've been spending more and more time interacting with them, getting them acclimated etc. than I have online... which is why I'm here now at just after 2am. =P Not much free time lately; thankfully it's Robbie's turn for the morning doggie duties so I get to sleep in. Miss you guys!!! <3
 

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I'm new to the forum and have added you on Facebook, always love to hear happy endings to chihuahua stories. I have just taken on a rescue. And I'm desperately trying to make it work as I already had a little chi boy ... Really, really hope it will all work out. xx
 

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I just sent a friend request. It didn't let me add a message this time. My real name's Kristen Roberts.
Thanks for all you do!
 

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Hey Kat, nice to see you. :)
Happy to hear you are keeping busy.
I don't think I ever asked you, but where do you get all these dogs from?
Who "surrends" or "transfers" them to you? How do they find you?
And what is your screening process?
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I'm friends with a woman who operates a rescue up in Wisconsin; and when her foster homes are full or she needs someone to place a dog, they come to me. Many are strays picked up by Animal Control or owner surrenders. That's where the majority of the chihuahuas I foster come from; I used to go by word of mouth just between friends and family but since making this connection I have had my hands full lol. Capone is the first one since Sprocket that I've had surrendered to me directly in a while after an acquaintance of mine found him in town.
The first thing I do is make anyone interested fill out my application; and answer any questions they might have. The app asks for basic contact info as well as other pets, I call their vet as a reference if they have a current pet. I go over the terms and conditions of my adoption process; the main requirements (other than the obvious making sure its basic needs are met, LOL); are:
1.) We will not allow anyone to pick up, or "meet" us to adopt a dog. We'll welcome anyone who wants to visit; but we require delivery directly to the home address that was on the application. This allows us to verify where the dog will actually be living and confirm that what they said matches up, i.e. fenced yard etc. It kinda narrows down our options a little; as sometimes we end up having to travel pretty far but we try restricting adoptions to at least within 2 hours of us because of the cost of traveling. If you are renting, we require the landlords contact information to verify the pet policy of the home.
2.) The dog can never be sold, given away, or taken to a shelter. We stand behind each foster that comes to us in making sure that they don't ever end up homeless again. AND, regardless if it's 1 week or 10 years later; we will refund the adoption fee in full.
I finally found a place online to order leash & harness sets as I send one of each with every dog since I don't want to risk them walking the dog with a collar if they aren't prepared. I'll send a small baggy of Taste of The Wild with them as well; and you can be darn sure I make a point to give a quick shpeel about proper nutrition and to stay away from Purina, Iams, etc LOL.
I'll honestly say about 75% of the people who inquire about a dog I have; don't even make it past the first step since nobody wants to fill out an application. They just want to buy a dog and go on about their business. Which I understand people want some level of privacy so I don't interrogate them or anything; I just do what I can to make sure the people understand the level of commitment involved. I make it clear that I can't guarantee temperament, potty training, good with kids etc. and that's what everyone wants. I get emails all the time from people saying they want to rescue a dog who is 100% housebroken and great with small children. It's like, uhh; not gonna happen folks. I can talk for eons about the dogs personality; but I need people who are willing to actually work with the dog and any behavioral quirks, help it learn to adjust, etc. and sadly those people are NOT common. I seriously have a folder in my email called "Dead Ends" where I move everyone who inquires that I know I'd never give a dog to; just so I have it on record. And you'd be surprised how many people are repeat offenders. I actually JUST got an email inquiring about Katie the chi/pom. In my ad I clarify my requirements; and ask people to tell me about themselves in the email when asking for an app because the goal is for me to know about THEM and why they feel they'd be a good home. I state that I won't reply to one-line emails. And you know what I just got? Literally copied and pasted:

HI IM WILL TO ADOPT HER FOR 25

Seriously.. wtf... and it's NOT the first time this guy's emailed me. That's what I get for using Craigslist; as it's such a double edged sword. It's so high traffic and I've met some amazing adopters through it; which makes it worth the daily reposting each time my ads are wrongly flagged. But the stupid people do seem to be the majority. =P I just have to be very careful with wording and try to discourage people to begin with; but there's always one or two [email protected] who seem to ignore everything I request and email me anyway. =P

ETA: Oh and duh; I forgot the important part. I get everything in writing lol. I have a contract they fill out agreeing to everything mentioned above; and have them sign that if they violate anything and I have to resort to legally taking the dog back that they have to be responsible for all attorney and court fees. Thankfully I've never had that problem yet but it's good to have that backup just in case.
 

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Kat I really admire what you do! These pups you just posted are so adorable! I am so happy there are people like you out there to help these poor babies. Hugs to you! :):):)
 

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I don't mean to grill you too much,lol.;) But as someone who is also involved in
rescue, I get curious to see what others are doing differently from me, because
I'm super tough on my adopters. You didn't mention if you get the dogs vetted
before placement? Do you spay and neuter, or perhaps have a written
agreement regarding it? Do you do any training or socializing? Or is it more of a
quick process where you just get the dog then drive the dog to his new home?
And last question, I promise, do you get any kind of funding? Or do you just
empty your own pockets like me?
 

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I had to laugh as my foster situation balloons like that, too. Sounds like you have a really good rescue organization!!!! We have events at Petco/PetSmart but will not do same day adoptions. So i agree, the process is lengthy with an application, home visit, vet calls, fee, etc., but it weeds out the buyer's remorse. We do not want our fosters to go to homes where they are not 100% wanted and loved. For my own fosters, i put in writing that I will personally stand by the dog for its life, in addition to our rescue organization standing by the dog, I would drive 10 states to pick up some of my former fosters.
 

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...For my own fosters, i put in writing that I will personally stand by the dog for its life...
:thumbright: I love you woman!

Same here, no matter how well you screen people, life happens to the best
of us, this is why it is so important to realize that once we rescue we are
responsible for the life of that dog, in my opinion anyways. No matter what they
can bring the dog or cat back to me at any time, be it 10 years from now, I will
take the animal back without judgement. Luckily all of my rescues are happy in
their new homes, and their owners are not planning on parting with them. Knock
on wood!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I don't mean to grill you too much,lol.;) But as someone who is also involved in
rescue, I get curious to see what others are doing differently from me, because
I'm super tough on my adopters. You didn't mention if you get the dogs vetted
before placement? Do you spay and neuter, or perhaps have a written
agreement regarding it? Do you do any training or socializing? Or is it more of a
quick process where you just get the dog then drive the dog to his new home?
And last question, I promise, do you get any kind of funding? Or do you just
empty your own pockets like me?
Haha I totally understand! All dogs are vaccinated, heartworm tested, and altered prior to adoption. Most of them come to me with some if not all vetting done; but not all. Lets just say when we took Capone and Katie in for the last of their vaccines the employees were trying to decide what to do with my account as it was getting close to the 20 pet limit on their program LOL. Granted most of them just come once or twice and then end up moving and don't come back; but they took a few minutes last time deleting records to make room for more. =P I'm allotted 2 of the Spay/Neuter vouchers per year from IL which I use; and so far I've just had 2 dogs that I couldn't neuter right away that I adopted out on a 30-day neuter contract. Gives them enough time to see if the dog is actually a good match with their home before they make the investment; and I know it gets done as I have a form (with a self-addressed stamped envelope LOL) for the vets to fill out and send back.
As far as how long I keep the dog, it depends on how they do while they're here. If I have a dog who's bouncy and friendly and outgoing and I know they'll adapt easily to change, I might not keep them as long. If I have a fearful one (Like my current foster Frankie, he's very fear aggressive) they usually stick around longer. The goal for me is to do my best evaluating the dogs responses to the environment; and then screening people to find a home that works well. I basically evaluate the lifestyle, how long the dog will be alone; etc. Most of mine go out to single 'work at home' adults or couples without children. I don't do, like, basic obedience training or anything like that. My goal is just to take a dog who's not used to a normal household to acclimate to living with people; housebreaking is a big chore but we have hardwood flooring in most of the house and a strict schedule we stick to and they adjust very well. If on their first day with me they do wonderful and don't show any signs of uneasiness etc. they are adopted out sooner. But as I'm sure you know dogs like that rarely end up in rescue; it's the ones who won't stop peeing on the furniture, nipping the kids, or are only used to living in a crate because the family's never home and was never socialized.
And no, I don't get any funding. Unless you count from my boyfriend LOL. I try using up any vouchers or deals I qualify for but I don't get grants or any tax breaks of that kinda stuff. I don't charge much for adoption fees either; usually just $55. Throw in a small bag of TOTW and a leash, harness, collar and blanket and after transport we pretty much break even. While I'm aware the dog is "worth" more; I'd rather focus my efforts on getting to know the people on a personal level than charging $200 like so many rescues do in hopes to deter the wrong kind of people. I don't use a high price tag to deter them; I use my application LOL. I was shocked to see some of the prices rescues charge on Petfinder. I've known a lot of people who could pay more and would honestly value the dog less. I'd rather they spent any extra money on supplies or food for the dog. It's why I make sure I bring the dog to their home as well; and keep in touch with them too. I get regular updates from the folks who have the dogs I've adopted out already and many are on my foster home's Facebook page so it's not hard to keep posted on how they're doing. And so far I've done a good job with people; as the folks I've chosen go out of THEIR way to tell ME how the dogs are rather than me having to ask. And I'm always there to offer support; any advice I can give. Anyway I think that's about it LOL. I'm off to upload some photos of my latest two.
 
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