Wait to adoptThis question is frequently asked by people waiting to adopt a dog.  You completed the Application to Adopt, you were visited by a member of the Home Visit Team, you received a Letter of Approval, but you have been waiting for many months and still no dog. There are several reasons why it sometimes takes a long time to get a dog.

In the last few years, the economy has rebounded from a recession resulting in significantly fewer families needing to relinquish their dogs.  Most breed specific rescues nationwide are experiencing the same shortage of dogs.  However, the number of families wanting to adopt has somewhat remained the same.  When you are approved to adopt, you join a pool of other people waiting to adopt.  So what is the pecking order in that “Pool?”

RAGofAZ is the match.com of Golden Retrievers; there is no alphabetical or numerical list.  Questions are asked during the Home Visit and during interviews with people surrendering a dog.  All information is entered into a database.  When we receive a dog, its characteristics are compared to all waiting families’ requests in order to make the right match for each family as well as the dogs.

What you ask for will determine how long you wait for that “Perfect” dog.  If you want a 2 to 4 year old, blond, female, trained, and totally healthy, so do a lot of other people, but we rarely get dogs that fit that description.  So how do you get a dog faster?

1. Be flexible.  Be willing to consider both genders, all colors, and a dog a few years older.

2. Medical Issues:  At least consider possibilities of dogs with minor health problems that can be controlled with medication.  All dogs will eventually develop a medical issue in their lifetime that requires medication.

3. Training:  Even if a dog is previously trained, behavior and obedience must be continually reinforced.  There are several resources to assist you with training.

4. Foster:  Request to be a foster.  Chances are the dog you get to foster won’t fit the description of what you are looking for, but there is a good chance that dog might show you other possibilities.  Most fostering is short term, but you get the right of first refusal if the dog you foster decides to choose you for his/her family. Please note, over 90% of our dogs get placed in adoptive homes immediately, so there may also be a wait for fostering, but it is still an option.

If you have the patience to wait, you will know you are getting the right dog for your family.