Section 2: Adoption Information
- Where do your dogs come from? I’m worried about adopting a dog when I don’t know his past
- Why do owners surrender a dog? I’m not sure I want a dog that someone else has already rejected.
- Okay, I’m ready to adopt! Now what?
- What happens during a home visit?
- From the time I send in my application, how long do I have to wait before I hear the clickety-clack of little toenails in my house?
- Do you charge for adoptions? What if I can’t afford it?
- I saw a dog I LOVE on the web site. Can you hold her for me while I submit my application?
- I like GSD's, but I really love some of the GSD mixes. Do you ever have any dogs that aren’t purebred?
- I really want a puppy. How often do you get very young puppies?
MAGSR Frequently Asked Questions
Where do your dogs come from? I’m worried about adopting a dog when I don’t know his past.
Our dogs arrive from every place imaginable, but mostly they come from owners, local shelters, and good Samaritans who have stepped in to help a dog. When the owner surrenders a dog, we can learn quite a bit about the dog’s background and habits. Otherwise, we may not have much background information. Some of our surrenders have been abused or neglected, but most are healthy.
Because most of our dogs go to foster homes, we do learn about the dogs before adopting them to a home. Our foster owners typically know the dog well and are actively involved in selecting the right home for the dog.
Why do owners surrender a dog? I’m not sure I want a dog that someone else has already rejected.
People surrender GSDs for many, many reasons--and frequently it has nothing to do with the dog. Often the family has gone through a change: a new baby, a divorce, an illness, or an upcoming move.
Sometimes people are not adequately prepared for the work involved in owning a dog, especially a large dog like a GSD. It’s very hard to say ‘no’ to a cute little puppy--but they don’t stay tiny for long. And unless they properly train him, owners have a hard time controlling a dog as strong and as smart as a GSD.
It’s important to stress that most of our surrendering owners love their dogs. It’s much easier to take a dog to a shelter or just dump her in a wooded area by the road. If someone goes to the trouble to call us and place their dog through us, they are surely concerned about the dog’s well being.
Okay, I’m ready to adopt! Now what?
Terrific! To initiate an adoption, just complete and submit an application, which is found in the Forms section of the web site. Once you submit your application, a MAGSR volunteer will call you to set up a home visit. You can also download the form and send it in here.
What happens during a home visit?
Don’t worry, no one will look under your bed--unless your other dog is sleeping under it! During a home visit, we just like to meet the whole family (including other pets) and see where your new dog will be living.
If that seems intrusive, think of it this way: if you were forced to surrender your dog, wouldn’t you feel better knowing that MAGSR is going to check the new home personally before placing your dog there?
From the time I send in my application, how long do I have to wait before I hear the clickity-clack of little toenails in my house?
Every case is unique and it always depends on how busy we (and you!) are right then. Generally, we process the application, check references, and set up a home visit within a few weeks of receiving the app. Sometimes, it all happens very quickly; other times, not as fast.
Once the home visit is done, we can start introducing you to dogs that meet your adoption prerequisites. At this point, it mostly depends on your requirements. If you want a purebred male, under 6 months, with a black face, you may have to wait a while. If you’re just looking for a good family dog--and you’re more interested in temperament than anything else--better make that supply run to PetSmart, because you’ll have a new family member in no time!
Do you charge for adoptions? What if I can’t afford it?
We do charge a set fee for adoptions, of at least $350. This fee helps to offset the dog's vet bill as all of our dogs are fully vetted before we send them to new homes. If you've had dogs before, you know that $350doesn't come close to covering many vet bills, even if the dog is already spayed or neutered. Vaccinations, rabies shots, heartworm tests and treatments, flea and tick prevention--it all adds up, and that's just for the healthy dogs.
Another reason we ask for a donation is to prevent unscrupulous people from trying to take one of our dogs for resale or worse. Horror stories abound, and rescues live with this fear all the time. We have found that asking for a donation greatly reduces the risk of such activity.
If you can't afford a donation at the time of adoption, then we ask you to seriously consider whether you can afford to own a dog.
I saw a dog I LOVE on the web site. Can you hold her for me while I submit my application?
Sorry, no. We do not reserve dogs--we’ve just had too many “sure things” fall apart in the eleventh hour. If we find a good home for a dog, we jump on it, regardless of who else called “Dibs!” on the dog.
Another thing to remember is that our web site may not be 100% current on the day you look at it. We do update it daily, but it is a rapidly-moving target. So a dog listed on the web site may have just been adopted last night. Conversely, the perfect dog for you may have just come in last night and not be on the site yet!
So it’s wonderful that you like a specific dog, but please try to stay flexible. Rest assured that you’ll never be asked to take a dog that isn’t right for you--we want everyone to go home happy.
I like GSDs, but I really love some of the GSD mixes. Do you ever have any dogs that aren’t purebred?
Sure do. Unlike many rescues, we will accept dogs that are predominately GSD, but not purebred--as long as we believe the dog is adoptable.
I really want a puppy. How often do you get very young puppies?
Rarely. The very nature of rescue implies that the dog has already gone to another home and been surrendered, which typically takes a while. However, we often get puppies in as they near their first birthday. Perhaps, when you think about it, having a young, energetic dog that’s big enough to go all night without trips outside might not be such a bad idea!
But if you’re sure you want a young puppy, feel free to contact us -- we can give you a list of breeders in your area. Please never buy a dog from a petshop! Any petshop! It won’t be any cheaper than a breeder, and you’ll be supporting some of the most inhumane behavior imaginable.