7 Tips for Getting Approved By a Rescue (2024)

Rescues are fantastic organizations that help place many animals in need into homes all across the country.

They’re also notorious for being difficult to attain approval from. It’s the rescues’ job to ensure the pet is going to a home that can provide excellent and life-long care for each animal, so it’s reasonable that their standards are often high. You can help improve your chances of giving a dog or cat a home by taking a few simple steps.Follow these tips for getting approved by a rescue:

Fence in that Yard

A fenced yard is incredibly important when it comes to adopting a dog. They’re active creatures that need a safe space to run. Dogs cannot be cooped up all day but they can’t be trusted to run loose all over the neighborhood either. A yard helps to ensure that they have a place to play and exercise where they won’t be in danger. It’s a harsh, but necessary, requirement for most rescue organizations. If a fence isn’t possible, be prepared to show that your dog will get enough walks to satisfy his exercise requirements.

Research the Breed

Failing to research the dog or cat breed is one of the most common mistakes potential adopters make. Every breed has its own set of common personality and health traits that need to be taken into account. Can you handle the extremely high energy of a Border Collie? How about the medical bills of a hefty Great Dane? Too many people choose a breed of dog because they think it’s cute rather than for its compatibility with their lifestyle. A rescue will know if you haven’t done your research and will reject your application accordingly.

Show Effort

Getting a new pet is a daunting task and it’s important to show that you’re ready for the challenge. Seek out a veterinarian if you don’t already have one to show that you’re prepared. Pick out a trainer as well. Have these resources on hand before filling out the application to show that you know what you’ll need to get off to a great start. This will show the rescue you’re serious about providing a good home.

7 Tips for Getting Approved By a Rescue (1) istockphoto/debibishop

Meet the Pet

Many rescues list their adoptable pets online or in advertisem*nts. Don’t turn in an application based upon a picture and a few words written on Facebook. Take the time to meet with those who run the rescue and schedule some playtime with the animal first. This shows that you’re interested in that specific animal rather than how well he poses for a photo. It’ll also let you see whether or not that dog or cat meshes well with your family.

Ask a Lot of Questions

The rescue wants to know that you’re committed to providing a forever home. Put together a list of questions you have about the animal. You’ll want to ask about any behavioral or health issues that will need to be addressed and be prepared to explain how you’ll handle them. Ask about temperament, previous abuse and what the organization thinks will help set you and the animal up for success.

Provide Detailed Information

When filling out an adoption application, be thorough. Provide as many details as possible about your living situation, family experience and how you plan to care for the animal. Explain your previous experience with raising an animal, including training and exercise regiments. The more information you’re able to provide, the better you’ll look on your application.

Don’t be Discouraged

You’ll likely face rejection early on in your search for a new member of the household. Not every dog is going to be suitable for your family but there’s certainly one out there that would do wonderfully in your home. Don’t become discouraged if your first application is rejected. Continue your search and ask for suggestions from the rescue organizations on animals that might work better for your situation.

Ben Kerns

Ben Kerns is a freelance writer, photographer and outdoor adventurer based out of San Diego. When he’s not busy working you can find him hopping across the world looking for new places to climb big rocks. He’s also fanatically obsessed with funding his outdoor obsessions for as little money as possible.

7 Tips for Getting Approved By a Rescue (2024)


7 Tips for Getting Approved By a Rescue? ›

Be Honest About Yourself

The rescue agency is probably going to ask questions like “Why do you want to adopt a dog?” and “Do you rent or own your home?” Rescues aren't looking for perfection in your answers. They're looking for a full picture of what you'll be like as a dog pawrent.

How to answer dog adoption application questions? ›

Be Honest About Yourself

The rescue agency is probably going to ask questions like “Why do you want to adopt a dog?” and “Do you rent or own your home?” Rescues aren't looking for perfection in your answers. They're looking for a full picture of what you'll be like as a dog pawrent.

How do I pass a pet adoption interview? ›

Be honest in your answers and don't lie about anything that you're asked. It's tempting to write down what you think the rescue wants to hear, but this could lead to you matching with a cat or dog who won't fit well in your home environment.

What is the 3 3 3 rule for rescue dogs? ›

The 3-3-3 rule is a guideline for transitioning a rescue dog into its new home and helping it to settle in. It suggests that the first three days should be used for adjusting to its new surroundings, the next three weeks for training and bonding, and the first three months for continued socialization and training.

What to say when asked why you want to adopt a dog? ›

At the end of our application we also ask, “Why are you looking to adopt a dog/cat?” We aren't looking for a novel, but writing a few sentences about the life you can provide for the animal (previous experience, routines, activities you will include your animal in, etc.) is helpful in our decision making process!

What questions do dog rescues ask references? ›

Scripted Texts Below
  • Have you personally witnessed their care and treatment of animals, and do you feel that they would be a good and responsible pet parent for the pet's entire life?
  • Do they currently have any other pets and how many of each type?
  • Are you aware of any history of rehoming or abuse/neglect to animals?

How do you answer adoption reference questions? ›

Also, a good adoption reference letter should include information such as:
  1. Your parenting skills.
  2. How long your reference has known you.
  3. Information about your marriage or relationship.
  4. Any information about your character.
  5. Your strengths.

What are red flags when adopting a dog? ›

If the person says a third party must deliver the dog to you, it's a red flag. If you aren't allowed to meet the pup in person before you agree to adopt them, it's a red flag! And if the person with the dog says the animal must be shipped to you and you must pay upfront, it's also a red flag!

What do you say in a pet sitting interview? ›

Pet sitting interview questions and answers

Don't expect to impress potential clients with the fact that you once had a pet when you were young. Be specific in sharing the types of animals you have cared for and their unique situations.

What is the rule of 7 for dogs? ›

Eaten from at least 7 different containers • Been held and petted by at least 7 different people • Taken at least 7 one-mile car rides • Been in a crate at least 7 times • Played with at least 7 different kinds of toys • Walked on at least 7 different substrates (grass, gravel, concrete, etc.)

What is the 90 10 rule dog? ›

When it comes to where dog's get their daily calories, we recommend following the 90/10 rule: 90% of calories from a complete and balanced diet, 10% from treats! Treats can be considered the splurge, but more often, the actual act of giving a treat means more to the dog than the actual treat itself.

What is 333 for adopted dogs? ›

Whether you rescue an older dog or a puppy, a lot of dogs tend to follow the 3-3-3 rule when getting acclimated: 3 days of feeling overwhelmed and nervous. 3 weeks of settling in. 3 months of building trust and bonding with you.

How to nail a dog adoption interview? ›

Recommended Interview Questions for Potential Adopters:

If they have any previous pets, ask about them. What happened to them? The best answer is “Yes; It died at age 17.” What you really don't want to hear is that their last pet was hit by a car, died of a preventable disease, ran away, or was turned in to a shelter.

How to answer dog application questions? ›

Provide as many details as possible about your living situation, family experience and how you plan to care for the animal. Explain your previous experience with raising an animal, including training and exercise regiments. The more information you're able to provide, the better you'll look on your application.

What I wish I knew before I adopted a dog? ›

Dogs learn from each other and it's incredibly helpful if one pup can model good behaviors! There isn't any magic when it comes to a well-behaved dog — it takes time, patience, and often coaching from a qualified professional. Taking obedience classes is a great way to build your bond with your dog.

How do you answer a question about adoption? ›

If the question is asked by someone with whom you or your child has an ongoing relationship, you might say, “It sounds like you are curious about adoption and may want to know more.” This response allows you to educate the person about adoption and even give them some resources to refer to.

What to say on a puppy application? ›

In general, puppy applications questions include things like... Your breeder will want to know that you plan to play with or exercise your dog on a daily basis. We can provide an ideal daily schedule for your puppy. Other details to note would be your plans for when you travel.

How do you answer what are you looking for in a dog? ›

You want a dog that will get along with everyone and everything. So, no matter your living situation, if you want to get a dog, you will want one that is friendly, loveable, and affectionate. This is especially true when you are looking for a family dog.

How do you answer what my service dog does? ›

They cannot ask you what your disability is or require medical documentation. So, for example, telling them that your dog is a service animal and that they are trained to remind you to take your medication or to help you retrieve items is all the information you are required to provide.

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