Q: Can I meet the dog prior to adoption?
A: The majority of our dogs that transport to Massachusetts from Mississippi and Alabama are adopted PRIOR to transport. After working closely with an adoption coordinator to match you with a pup if you don’t have one in mind already, prospective adopters first “meet” their pup while they are still in the south through photos and conversation with our southern team. Once you decide that this is the pup for you, it travels north on our next scheduled transport and your adoption automatically becomes part of our unique Foster2Adopt™ program. Though we are confident in our matchmaking skills and your commitment, should this adoption not be a good fit, you may return that pup back to us within the first two weeks. Some of our other pups are already in Massachusetts and can meet you in their foster home, or at our “meet & greet” adoption events which are scheduled almost monthly.
Q: Where are you located?
A: Our facility is located in Groveland Massachusetts and we are not open to the public.
Q: If you are not a shelter, what does “foster based” mean?
A: When we rescue an animal, our goal is for that dog or cat to remain on an upward trajectory from the moment of rescue. The best place for a rescue to heal, decompress, and come into its own is in a home environment. This also enables us to assess its needs and personality to make the best match possible with our adopters. Foster homes are critical to our ability to rescue. We have foster homes in the south and throughout Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. If you have a temporary place for a dog or cat to land, please consider fostering - an animal’s life depends on it.
Q: What breed are your dogs and how big will this puppy be?
A: Occasionally we do end up with a purebred surrender, but our adopters will tell you that our southern mutts are the best dogs they've ever had. The full grown size of any of our puppies is an estimation based on a visual determination of their breed mix and age vs. weight when rescued.
Q: I like a specific dog, but I won’t be ready to adopt for another month or so, can you hold the dog?
A: Our ability to rescue and respond to intake requests is based on how many dogs we can place into foster and forever homes in the north. Maintaining a moving pipeline of animals from the south to the north ensures our southern rescuers can continue in their daily rescue efforts. When our pipeline clogs, even temporarily, at-risk animals in need of rescue are left on the street. This is a sad reality and for this reason, all of our adoptions are on a “first come, first serve” basis.
Q: I am looking for an Emotional Support Animal, do you have any that would be a good fit?
A: While we know that a special dog will make a wonderful companion and we are willing to consider all potential adopters, we do not have any dogs that are trained as emotional support animals. Some of our dogs come from horrific situations, have absolutely no training to serve as a service or emotional support dogs, and most do not know what it is like to live within a family unit. There are, however, organizations that have dogs specifically for this purpose and we encourage you to do the research to find a pup that is the best fit for your needs.
Q: I live in Timbuktu, can I adopt from you?
A: Our pups endured a long journey to Massachusetts to bring them to safety and we limit our adoptions to within New England.
Q: What is the adoption fee?
A: The adoption fee is $525 for puppies and adolescents up to 18 months / $485 for dogs over 18 months and includes all age appropriate vaccinations, deworming, microchipping, and their spay or neuter.
Q: Can I get a discount on the adoption fee?
A: Our adoption fees does not cover the entire cost of vetting, any additional medical care or medications, food, care, and supplies for each of our pups. We rely on fundraising to compensate for those deficits and cannot reduce this already discounted fee.
Q: What do I need to do to adopt a dog?
A: The approval process always starts with our online application. While working closely with you to match you to a pup, we talk to your references and will also coordinate a brief home visit to ensure your house is a safe and happy home. It’s a painless process and we promise that you don’t even need to clean your bathroom! Please visit our Adoption Info page for more details.
Q: How long does the entire adoption process take?
A: Shortly after filling out the online adoption application, you are connected to an adoption coordinator. This entire process may take anywhere from 48 to 96 hours depending on your responsiveness along with your references. Once you are approved and if your pup is in the south, we will connect you to the southern rescuer or foster family. We transport animals approximately every 3 weeks and your pup will be available for pick-up 48 hours after arrival into Massachusetts. If your pup is already in the north, we will schedule a private meet & greet at the foster’s home. Or maybe you want to attend a meet & greet adoption event where you can meet many dogs, make your own love connection, and then take one home. Keep an eye on our events page and our Facebook page too!
Q: What is ISO?
A: ISO stands for Isolation and is sometimes used interchangeably with Quarantine. The Massachusetts Department of Agriculture (MDA) is our governing body and requires that every animal coming into the state (as part of a rescue organization) have a USDA health certificate (within 10 days of travel) and once arriving in Massachusetts, spend 48 hours in a MDA Certified Quarantine facility. At the end of their quarantine, our animals are given a general wellness exam by our veterinarian and if given a clean bill of health, are free to be released to their foster or forever home.
Q: Can I go visit my dog while he/she is in ISO?
A: No. We are an isolation facility and not a shelter. Our volunteers have gone through training to follow sanitation and safety protocols and we cannot make exceptions to this rule. If volunteering at our ISO interests you, we always need volunteers. Please visit our volunteer page for more info!
Q: When and where can I pick up my dog?
A: If you’re adopting a dog that is transporting from the south, and with as much advance notice as possible, you will be given a specific date, time, and address to pick up your new pup from our ISO facility. Your adoption coordinator will stay in touch with you throughout the approval and adoption process and will communicate any upcoming dates or changes.
Q: What do I need when I pick up my dog?
A: Please bring a leash and harness and all the love you plan to give this new pup! Our puppies and dogs may not leave our facility without a properly fitted harness and 6’ flat leash. Retractable leashes are dangerous and not considered appropriate for pick-up or ever recommended for use in general. Our Pup Essentials shop is filled with our favorite must-haves for any dog home.
Q: Will I get any paperwork when I pick up my dog?
A: Yes, your dog will come with a robust adoption folder which includes its veterinary paperwork from the south as well as the general wellness exam before release from our Massachusetts facility. This folder also contains many adoption resources on training, transition, and best practices for safety and wellness to get you and your new pup off to a great start!
Q: Will my pup need a bath?
A: Maybe! These dogs had a long journey. They transported for 24 hours and then stayed in our ISO for 48 more. We do try to bathe some that were worse for the wear, but others could use a scrubadub once settled in your home with warm water and a mild and all-natural dog shampoo. It is normal for your dog to have small scratches or skin imperfections but nothing that some TLC can’t fix. We also recommend fish oil for a healthy and shiny coat!
Q: My dog has worms! What do I do?
A: It is 100% normal for dogs and puppies to get parasites. You would too if you ate poo! We have a whole deworming protocol but often the stress of transport and transition can suppress the immune system and it is common for parasites to re-emerge. Remember to bring a stool sample to your first appointment with your veterinarian to ensure your pup is parasite-free. If not, parasites are easily treatable and is not worthy of panic.
Q: What should I feed my dog?
A: Your adoption coordinator will include what food your pup has been eating prior to pick-up day along with links and resources for purchase. We also recommend fish oil as a first supplement for a healthy and shiny coat!
Q: My dog has diarrhea, is this normal?
A: Yes, diarrhea can be caused by stress, change of diet, and sometimes parasites. Your pup has experienced multiple transitions in a short period of time and it is very common for dogs to have diarrhea. Look for any blood or mucus in the stool as this may indicate something more serious and you should seek the advice of your veterinarian. But if your dog is not lethargic, drinking, and staying hydrated, then cook up some bland diet (great info HERE!). This will firm up their movements and your pup will love you for it too! A dog’s diarrhea can take anywhere from a couple of days to a week to become formed, hard stool.