So, you’ve submitted your adoption application, have been approved and now you’re coming out to the rescue ranch to meet your new family member. We are as excited as you are and we know you may have some questions about what to bring and what will happen. Here’s some help.

When will my appointment be?

Because we are located on a personal acreage with a limited number of volunteers, meet ‘n greets are typically held on the weekends. This allows us to offer our undivided attention to you, your family and your new dog. We try to be flexible, but most appointments are made around mid-day on Saturdays or Sundays when Mama Donna and/or the volunteers are available. We are not your typical shelter with regular operating hours.

Who should come to the meet ‘n greet?

You entire family, including your current dog(s), if possible. Some dogs bond more with some members of the family and some do not bond (immediately, at least) at all. Some dogs hit it off right away with one another; some don’t; and some just need time. Having everyone present, meeting in a common area, will help give everyone a feel for the right fit for your family.

Please note: If you are bringing children under 18 years of age, we will need you to sign a disclaimer. Please, ensure that your children are experienced in dealing with dogs, especially Terriers. As you know, they can sometimes be a little feisty. Some of our guys and gals are also just now learning that jumping on people is not a good thing. We want to protect everyone involved.

What should I bring?

If you have a  leash and collar, please bring them. We recommend Martingale collars or harnesses, so these skillful guys and gals cannot get loose and escape. We rely on donations for collars and leashes, so every time we have to send them home with someone, we have to ask for more.

If you have a carrier or crate, it is a good idea to bring it as well. This will ensure that your new dog, who is still unsure about things, will feel safe on the ride home. Also, some dogs ride in cars better than others; having a crate will help prevent many anxiety-based accidents.

If you are planning to adopt, please bring a check, money order or cash to cover the adoption fee. We will not cash the check or do anything with the cash until your trial period is over. The check will be cashed once the adoption is official.

What will happen when I get there?

We will do our best to have a volunteer or two be there to greet you and give you one-on-one attention. We will show you around the rescue and introduce you to either the dog you are interested in or all of the dogs. Please, note that the dogs get excited when they see new faces, so don’t feel overwhelmed. We will then take you and your prospective dog to a neutral area where you can get to know one another. This could mean playing ball in the field or just bonding in a quiet place. Every situation is unique and catered to the best experience.

If you have a dominant or submissive dog with you, we will introduce the dogs on an even playing field and see how they react, making sure no one gets hurt.

What will I go home with?

Obviously, you will be taking home an amazing dog who will hopefully become a permanent part of your family!

We will also send you home with a bag of the current food your dog is eating to help with the food transition. We feed our rescues only high-quality dry kibble–except for the special needs dogs who require a special diet–and recommend you do as well. We also recommend all food/treats you purchase be made in the USA and have limited natural ingredients (no fillers, by-products, etc.). Even though it may cost more than the regular store brands, it will save you money in the long run in vet and dental bills. In the case of treats made in China, it could also save your dog’s life.

You should transition your four-legged family member to a new food slowly, over the course of 7-10 days.

You will also receive your dog’s most recent vet records. At times, these may have to be requested from the vet (depending on which dog chooses you), but we will get and send them to you as soon as possible.

If you agree to adopt on site, you will sign and go home with a copy of the adoption contract.

Do I have to make a decision when I’m there?

Absolutely not. We want you to take your time, be comfortable with your decision, and make things last. If you do not find the dog who works for you, we invite you to come back out another time and meet different dogs.

If things seem to be good with a dog at the rescue, but you need to see how they will be at home, we offer everyone a “trial” period (typically, two weeks, but we are flexible, based on yours and the dog’s needs) to test things out.

We always hope things are successful, but if they aren’t, never fear. We will always take our dogs back. Even if you have officially adopted a dog and things don’t turn out months down the road, we ask that you please contact us about returning them. Please, do not take them to the shelter or another rescue. They have been through so much, and we want them to be as comfortable as possible, if things don’t work out and they need to find another home.

Adoption day is a wonderful day for everyone–for you, for your new dog and for the volunteers!