Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter
From 14 July 2003 Issue
WHAT JILL KNOWS
Adopting Out A Rescued Dog
I rescued a pit bull mix a few months ago from a man who had tried to starve the dog to death. When the dog didn't die, the man shot him in the leg and grazed the dog's skull. The dog recovered beautifully with veterinary care and lots of attention. I socialized Dapper by taking him everywhere -- stores, leash walks, to the park, car rides, the beach, etc. He's a GREAT dog!
A woman expressed interest in adopting Dapper, but I am not sure about her. She mainly seems interested in getting a pit bull for free. I had Dapper neutered, so he cannot be used for breeding, but what if she just wants him so she can look "cool"? Is there some precautions we should take when adopting out a pit bull mix? You seem to know about the breed. Thanks!
Shafer in Ct.
Dear Shafer in Ct.,
Thank you for rescuing Dapper! I recommend requiring a huge deposit on all pit bull and pit bull mixes, i.e., $100. and up, with a large adoption fee of at least an additional $100. They can have their deposit back after a year of responsible companion animal care. NEVER give away an animal for "free" because that attracts undesirable people, especially bunchers (People who round up animals to sell to labs to experiment on. Horrible!!). Also, have them sign an adoption agreement, which gives you permission to check on the care and condition of the animal at any given time. The contract should be worded carefully so that if they do not take proper care of the animal, you can retrieve him/her if necessary.
Also, request a couple of forms of ID from the person (driver's license, passport & other picture IDs), with multiple references. Call or go meet ALL the references to carefully check them out. Ask many questions. Get a reference from their veterinarian. Ask the vet if the potential adopter has taken good care of their prior companion animals. Ask the vet what became of their animals? Did they die from old age or from neglect or being hit by a car? Then, go visit the potential adopter at their house and make sure everything is O.K. there (i.e.; fenced yard; pets allowed by landlord; they will arrange for suitable care if they cannot make it home to walk dog; how many animals they currently have; Will the dog get along well with the other animals? Is the person an animal collector, with dozens of "pets"? Is there a possibility the dog will be fought by the person?; Are they at work all day an unable to walk or take proper care of the dog? Will they crate the dog all day while they are gone -- if so, that's no good! Will they give him all his vaccinations and in a timely manner? Etc.)
Don't be afraid to say "NO" to people you are either not sure of or have a bad feeling about.... The dog's life depends on your good judgment! If you cannot find a good home for Dapper, do NOT settle on a "sort of O.K. home" ....instead, please bring him to an animal shelter.
Thank you for caring about the animals!
Love and paw pats,
Companion Animal Behavior Consultant
What Jill Knows, Copyright 2003
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