What to Expect when Surrendering Your Dog
The first thing to remember is that the rescue volunteers are just that -- *volunteers*. We do this because we love the breed. However, we do have homes/families, jobs, travel, other hobbies/activities, etc. We work our rescue activities around these things, so please be patient/realistic about when we will return a call or an email.
When you surrender your dog to rescue, here are somethings you can expect:
1. You will need to fill out a release form that gives rescue the right to place your dog. If your dog has registration papers (e.g. AKC registration), they will also need to be signed and turned over to rescue.
Included on the release form or possibly on a seperate information form will be questions that ask for details about your dog. Please fill this out completely and truthfully. We cannot help put your dog into an appropriate home unless you give us good information to work with. In most cases, after receiving the paperwork, we will want to make an appointment to meet/evaluate your dog so we can have a better feel for the type of home s/he will do best in.
2. Your dog will need to be spayed/neutered, up to date on his/her shots, and heartworm tested (in areas where heartworm is prevalent) before coming into rescue. If this isn't already done, please make an appointment with your veterinarian to have it done as soon as possible. Under some circumstances, a rescue group will agree to take your dog before these are completed, but in those cases, a donation to cover the cost of having these done will be required.
While dealing with your veterinarian's office, please also obtain a copy of your dog's medical records. This should contain not just a list or receipt for what tests have been done, but also the results of those tests and the veterinarian's notes. These records (with your personal information redacted) will be passed on to the new owners to give to their veterinarian.
3. Your dog will need to stay with you until a new home can be found. Foster homes are the hardest things for most rescue groups to come by and unfortunately, there are not enough of them. In addition, it is easiest on your dog to go directly from his/her old home to his/her new home, instead of having to adjust to a foster home and just when starting to get settled, to have to make that adjustment all over again.
If you cannot keep your dog until a new home is found, your local rescue organization may be able to recommend a local boarding kennel where you can board your dog until s/he can be placed in a new home.
4. When a new home is found, it is appreciated if you can send along some of the food the dog has been eating, as well as a special toy or favorite blanket, etc. The dog will be going to unfamiliar surroundings, and being with people s/he doesn't know. Having something familiar and soothing can be a big help in making the transition.