Our Adoption Process...
Here's a little about how things work:
Most of our Available City Dogs are looking for a foster home, as the kennel has only a very limited adoption program (restricted to dogs who are spayed/neutered). A City Dog that is not available for adoption would need to become the responsibility of a rescue (after they agree) in order to leave the kennel. So, we will need to connect you with a rescue in your area in order to go through the process to foster. Once the dog is in the foster home and fully vetted, there is always the option to adopt the dog directly from the rescue after he/she leaves the kennel. We have had many adopters that have partnered with rescues to save dogs from us. Since September 2011, we have successfully connected over 900 dogs with fosters and rescues. Many of those dogs are now in their forever home with their foster family. Many others were adopted by other families, and their foster home continued fostering for the rescue.
What does it mean to foster?
As City Dog Volunteers, our role is to link fosters to rescues. Once a dog is in a foster home, the rescue is responsible for seeing the dog through to adoption. This includes medical care and anything else the dog may need. If the dog does not work out in your home, he/she would have to go into boarding, which costs the rescue $20-30/day. Most rescues do not have the financial resources to cover that. Due to this, fostering is a big commitment. It requires the foster to be flexible and tolerant while a dog adjusts to a new home environment. Dogs need structure, exercise, and affection as they build trust in you and adjust to your home. We don't have any history or background on the dogs that come to CAC. The temperament test (SAFER) is a snapshot of who the dog is at that given time. The dog may exhibit different temperament issues after leaving the kennel and becoming comfortable in your home. If there are issues, a foster should be prepared to work with their foster dog through training(most rescues have a desired trainer they work with), at the cost to the rescue.
The possibility for the public to adopt directly from CACC depends on if a dog is healthy enough to be spayed or neutered. If a dog has kennel cough that is concerning to the kennel staff, they will likely require him or her to go through rescue (which could be a foster to adopt situation), get fully vetted, get 100% healthy, altered and then adopted. Direct adoptions must be in person so that you can complete the paperwork and pay the $61 fee in cash. That fee includes the spay/neuter, license, and a microchip. Dogs that need to be altered cannot be picked up from the kennel until after they have been spayed/neutered. The spay/neuter surgery is not scheduled until you have completed the adoption paperwork and been approved to adopt. So adopting an unaltered dog requires that you make two in-person trips to Cleveland Animal Control.
About Our Dogs: Our dogs are strays and we cannot make any guarantees with regard to behavior, temperament or health of any City Dog. We do not know what kind of home environment they were living in (i.e. with kids, other dogs or other cats), nor do we know if they are house trained. Everything we know about them is based on volunteer and staff observations. It is very hard to tell with certainty whether or not a dog will be good with kids, cats or another dog. If you have kids in the home or another dog, we do require that they be present for a meet and greet with the dog you are considering for adoption.
Heath/Vaccinations: Dogs that are adopted directly from the kennel need to go to your personal vet within 24 hours of leaving the kennel. They do have their DHPP and Bordetella vaccinations, are dewormed once and have a microchip. In addition, unfortunately many of the dogs do get kennel cough. This is not something that is contagious to people at all, but dogs that do have it will need to be on an antibiotic. Something for you to consider is whether this vetting is something that you would be comfortable doing and able to afford. It is a little different than adopting from a rescue. Rescues fully vet the dogs prior to adoption and then have slightly higher adoption fees.
Considerations: Adopting a dog is a lifetime commitment. The cost of food, toys, veterinary care, grooming and other items can easily reach $400 or more per year. You must be prepared for house-training (potty training), and dealing with normal behavior problems such as chewing, barking, digging, etc. Things for you to consider include the financial and emotional commitments required in owning a dog.
Here is a little more information:
These dogs are at a municipal government holding facility. Dogs are held for 3-14 days depending on cause for intake while attempts to locate their are taken. There is no pull fee to rescues for unaltered dogs. In addition, dogs at the Kennel received their DHPP and Bordetella vaccinations, are dewormed, and microchipped. The Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter and The Cleveland Animal Protective League pull from CAC several times a week. The dogs we list cannot go there due to age, sickness, injury, minor temperament issues, or usually solely based on their breed. We try our best to evaluate as many as we can, but the reality is that for every one you see listed there may be two others that are not evaluated. Until we shift the odds and also reduce intake numbers, this is all we can do. The Cleveland Kennel had over 4,000 intakes in 2014 alone.