Below you'll find answers to our most frequently asked questions about adoptions:

Where is your shelter?

Deacon's Hope Rescue is a foster based rescue, meaning we do not have a shelter. All of our pets are placed in foster homes to provide the best environment for our animals. Some have been abused, neglected, or have lived outside for so long that they need help learning what it's like to be in a loving home again...or for the first time. Our fosters go out of their way to give our dogs the love and skills they'll need to be part of a forever home!

WHY DO I HAVE TO SUBMIT AN ADOPTION APPLICATION BEFORE I MEET A DOG?

We ask that you complete an adoption application BEFORE you meet one of our dogs because we only contact our foster families to set up a meet & greet AFTER we've approved an application. We consider your answers to our adoption questions with respect to the needs and personality of the dog you're interested in, check personal and vet references, and verify fencing appropriate for the individual dog before we approve any application. Also, the safety of our volunteers is paramount. In most cases, we're asking them to meet with a complete stranger who's interested in adopting their furry friend. We need to take every precaution available to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the adoption process.

And to those who have issues with giving us ANY information - you can't adopt a dog from any reputable shelter or rescue without filling out a similar application and presenting proof of identity. Our pets aren't products. We don't just give them away for free to strangers.

However, if your concern is simply submitting personal information online, please use the Contact Us option at the top of the page and send us a message so we can discuss other methods of application.

What happens after i submit an adoption application?

Step #1 - Much like applying for a job - we'll look over your application and check your references.

Step #2 - If we feel your wants & needs and home environment is a good fit with the dog you're interested in adopting, we'll forward your application to the person currently fostering your potential new pet.

Step #3 - You'll then be contacted by your pet's foster parent via email, text, or a phone call to set up a Meet & Greet (M&G) that works for all parties.

**Note: Steps 1-3 can take anywhere between 1-72 hours, sometimes even longer. Our entire staff is comprised of volunteers. Most of us have full-time jobs, young children, and busy schedules. We run the rescue in our spare time because we LOVE animals. With that in mind, we respectfully ask that you be patient with us. If 48 hours has passed and you haven't heard from anyone, please feel free to nudge us via our Facebook page or the contact tab at the top of the page.**

Step #4 - The day before the Meet & Greet you'll receive an email from Deacon's Hope Rescue with a link to the adoption contract for your potential pet. We ask that you look over the contract and if you have any questions, please contact gayle@deaconshoperescue.org or donna@deaconshoperescue.org BEFORE the M&G. Our contract explains our refund policy as well as our adopter expectations. Please take time to read the entire document.

Step #5 - If everything goes well at the Meet & Greet - you'll take your new family member home that day! So please be prepared to leave the M&G with your new pet. Before you leave, all you'll need to do is electronically sign the adoption contract (can be done via the link previously sent to your email), and pay the adoption fee via Paypal, check, or cash.

That's it! That's a quick overview of our entire process.

What is your adoption fee?

Our adoption fee is $300.00 for adult dogs and puppies.

Why is your adoption fee so high?

Each and every one of our animals is seen by a vet within days of being brought into the rescue. All of their medical issues are explored and addressed, they are fully brought up to date on any/all vaccinations, they are spayed or neutered, they are heart worm tested, started on flea & heart worm preventatives, and they are microchipped before any adoption can be finalized. Unfortunately, the vetting process isn't free. We use every penny of our adoption fees and donations to make sure each animal we rescue gets the care they need to thrive, even if it means amputating a leg or undergoing a major surgery before they find their forever home. We don't turn animals away, even if they need expensive medical care.

The "average" dog that comes into our care needs roughly $250-$275 in vetting, which covers vaccinations (DHLPP, Rabies & Bordetella), spay/neuter, heart worm & fecal testing, flea and heart worm preventatives, and a microchip. That $275 doesn't cover growth removal, which many of our seniors need because the shelter they came from planned to euthanize them instead of treat them. It doesn't cover sending that growth away for biopsy, which is an extra $185.00 alone. It doesn't cover antibiotics and medicated shampoo for skin infections. It doesn't cover prescription grade food for a severely emaciated pups. And we aren't even thinking about trying to recoup the expenses of daily food, toys, treats, etc. Or crates, blankets, puppy pads, paper towels, transportation costs, and the list goes on and on. Everything considered, we feel our fees are very reasonable.

Why do I need a physical fence to adopt a dog?

We may require a physical fence for some of our rescues for a number of different reasons. Energy level, known dashing behaviors, and ending up in the shelter wearing an invisible fence collar, are just a few of the possible reasons. A physical fence - even in rural areas - is one of our adoption requirements for many of our large dogs. Most of the areas we adopt to also have local laws that require all dogs to be controlled and contained by their owners at all times. Tie-outs break, electronic fences can be ignored, and our experience in rescue has taught us that some people just aren't prepared to commit to taking a dog out on a leash, rain or shine, day and night, for a decade or more. We base our decisions about fencing needs on the behavior and personality of each individual dog, so please keep that in mind when contacting us about waiving this requirement.

How do I become a foster?

Complete one of our foster applications to get the ball rolling! Fostering is an unbelievably rewarding yet sometimes heartbreaking endeavor. Yes, you will likely fall in love with one or more of your fosters. Yes, you might "foster fail" a few times and adopt them yourself. But you'll also learn that finding the right family feels just as good as loving them yourself. That watching the fuzzball you taught to sit go running off to lick the face of his new 5 year-old "brother" - gives you just as much joy and satisfaction. Fostering isn't a perfect science. Sometimes there are unexpected issues or animals that take special handling - but more often than not everything moves smoothly and you get to be part of saving a dog that someone else gave up on. All it takes to be a hero is a single decision to act.

We'll cover all the vetting expenses and provide you with food when we have donations available. All we ask is that you handle transportation to vet visits, provide food if our donations are low, meet with approved adopters, and spoil our dogs with as much love and kindness as you can possibly muster. Together we'll get them ready for a second chance at forever happiness!

For more answers to questions about fostering, please read over our special Foster FAQ.