About Our Rescue Group...
How We Work
Where we get our dogs:
Most of our dogs come from animal control facilities (also known as dog pounds or "doggie jail"). They have either been found as strays or abandoned there by their prior owners. We also accept dogs directly from owners who no longer want them - most of the time, it's due to a change in their family circumstances and they find that the dog simply no longer fits into their plans, but sometimes it's truly an unfortunate set of events that require them to relinquish a beloved pet.
How do we choose which dogs we accept:
There are three main criteria we use to determine which dogs come into our organization for rehoming.
First, and most importantly, is the temperament of the dog. In an ideal world, this would be the only criteria we would apply to accepting a dog for rehoming. We try to get as good a behavioral assessment as we can prior to committing to taking the dog. If a dog is still with its owner, we require that the dog be assessed by a professional selected by us before we will agree to accept the dog.
Second, whether we have an open foster space available. This, sadly for many dogs, is simply a matter of lucky timing. We have no physical facility, so we have to wait for a dog to be adopted before we have a foster space available (although we dream of having a facility some day). Foster space is definitely the bottleneck in our ability to save more dogs.
Third, if we have a way to get the dog transported from where it is to where the foster home is located. We sometimes have a dog in one state, but the open foster space is in a different state. If we have volunteers to help transport, we have to incur expense to board the dog for at least two weeks, get its vaccinations and have a health certificate issued in its home state before we transport the dog across into another state for fostering. If we have the funds and volunteers available, we can save the dog.
Where are the dogs located:
Once a dog enters our program, he or she lives in a foster home. Our foster homes are in many different states. The dog lives as a member of the foster family until he or she is adopted. The foster parents learn all about the dog and can give potential adopters a detailed description of the dog's personality and quirks.
What keeps us going:
WE LOVE PHOTOS AND UPDATES! Hearing that our dogs are doing well and that you're happy with them is what keeps us going in this otherwise fairly grim business. Please keep us posted on significant events or just whenever you happen to think of it. We love to hear from you!
Our Adoption Process...
The first step to be considered to adopt a dog through Echo Dogs White Shepherd Rescue is to complete an application. The Application can be found at the Adoption drop-down menu on the navigation bar above or by clicking here: Echo Dogs Application Form
The application is sent electronically to our processing team, where references are checked. (Yes, we really do call your references!)
We will call and speak with references listed on your application. The information provided to us by your references is kept strictly confidential. We believe that we get honest information by assuring references that we will not disclose to anyone the content of our conversations.
You should call your references to let them know that they may be contacted by Echo Dogs. Occasionally, we have encountered some references, such as veterinarians, who are reluctant to speak with us unless they have your permission. It is easier for all of us if you let them know to expect our call.
No application can be approved without veterinary and personal references.
After your application has passed through the reference checks, we will work to get a home visit set up. Either an Echo Dogs volunteer or someone who has agreed to help us (usually another rescue group or animal shelter volunteer) will contact you to set up the home visit. We will contact you to let you know who will be working with you to find a mutually-convenient time for conducting the home visit.
Home visits are not scary!! This is often the most nerve-wracking part of our application approval process -- but it needn't be. The home visit is designed to accomplish three main goals: 1. To verify that the information provided on the application is true and accurate; 2. To determine whether the home has the ability to provide a safe, loving environment for a dog through Echo Dogs; and 3. To help determine the personality of the dog that would best suit the home and family.
After your application has passed all reference checks and the home visit, you are approved to adopt one of our dogs! However, not every dog is appropriate for every home. We will work with you to find the dog that is best suited for your home, family and lifestyle. We want you to get a dog that will enrich your life and delight you and we want each one of our dogs to have a home and family that thinks he or she is the absolute best dog on the planet.
Our Adoption Coordinator takes over at this point in the process. She will look at your application and home visit report and will send your application to the foster home that has a dog she thinks you might be interested in. The foster home will either call or e-mail you with some information about the dog. You should ask as many questions as you feel necessary to understand whether this dog is the "one" for you. If you don't think one sounds just right, just let the foster home or the Adoption Coordinator know and we will look for a different dog. If you can tell us why a particular dog didn't appeal to you, it will help us look at other dogs in our program that might be more suitable.
Please do not feel pressured to adopt any dog that you aren't absolutely comfortable about adopting! Each of us loves our foster dogs, but we realize that he or she might not be the right dog for every family or home. We do not feel offended or hurt if you decide you would rather adopt a dog other than our personal foster dog. After all, our goal is to get our foster dog into a home where she or he will be truly treasured.
"I WANT THIS DOG..."
When you have found the dog that you want to adopt, let the foster home or the Adoption Coordinator know and the Adoption Coordinator will work with you to finalize the adoption.
"...BUT HE'S SO FAR AWAY"
We understand that our dogs are often in places far away from the adopters. Depending on the distances involved, we have various options available, which we can discuss prior to finalize the adoption. Bear in mind, that the transportation, depending on the distances involved, the speed with which you want to receive the dog and sometimes just plain luck, may involve some additional expense and almost always require you to drive some distance to pick up the dog.
We ask for each of our adopters to make a minimum donation to Echo Dogs to adopt one of our dogs. Currently, we request a minimum of $300, which is roughly equivalent to the average veterinary expenses we spend on our dogs.
Each of our dogs, at the time of adoption, will be current on their vaccinations (DHPP, rabies and bordatella), have a negative heartworm test and fecal exam, will have been spayed or neutered and have a microchip implanted. We keep each of our dogs on Heartgard or Interceptor and Frontline Plus while in foster care.
Many of our dogs have received considerably more medical treatment than the above, depending on what they need when they arrive into foster care. If a dog has a chronic condition that is diagnosed while in our care, we will inform you of the diagnosis and the course of treatment that the dog has been receiving while in our care.
WHEN IN DOUBT, JUST ASK
We gladly answer any questions about our process, or any of our dogs. Just ask!