Ready To Adopt?

When you make the decision that you’re ready to adopt a dog, the excitement of the idea becoming reality, and the fun of imagining the great times you and your dog will have in the future, are absolutely thrilling. But then you can get overwhelmed – there are so many dogs to choose from, how can you possibly pick one? Or maybe you’ve always dreamed of that particular breed of dog? Either way, we have a few things for you to keep in mind as you start looking.

First of all: What energy level do you want? Look at yourself (and be totally honest): are you the very active type or do you prefer to take it easy? Do you really want to go for long walks every day for the next several years? It’s vital that you choose your new dog based on what fits your lifestyle. If you work long hours, an adult dog is a better choice than a puppy. If you travel a lot, you may want a small dog to take along. If you lead a busy life, do you really have the time (and patience) to train a puppy? If you laze around at home watching TV a lot, a couch-potato dog may fit into your life better than one who is full of energy. Just think about how much playing, walking, or training (working) you really want to do with your new dog.

Secondly: Do you rent? If yes, make sure to check with your landlord about breed and size restrictions. Also, ask if you’ll need to put down a pet deposit or incur a monthly rent increase.

If you’re a homeowner, you don’t have to worry about permissions or fees, but you do need to check with your homeowners insurance company. Insurance companies vary tremendously on how they view dogs or whether they cover them. Some companies will simply say “that’s fantastic, enjoy your new dog,” others will ask “what breed of dog?” If your dream dog is a larger and more powerful breed (Pit Bull, German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler, etc), you may get a disappointing response. But don’t despair, you still have options. Your insurance company may still allow the dog, with certain restrictions. Or, you can switch insurance companies and give your business to a dog friendly company.

Thirdly: The breed question: Rescue dogs are often mixed breeds. Sometimes that includes clearly recognizable breeds, other times you’re in for a lifetime of guessing. But they all have one thing in common – they’re all dogs, and somewhere back in time they all came from wolves. At some point, humans and wolf-dogs intersected and, as humans usually do, we picked what we liked best of individual dogs and started breeding for specific traits. From there, breed groups of dogs were created, each with a different purpose: working dogs, hunting dogs, herding dogs, companion dogs etc. Each of these groups of dogs possessed very specific traits, and these traits often remained fairly consistent within the breed. For example, since Huskies were bred to pull sleds for hours on end in freezing weather, they tend to have very high endurance, a thick coat for warmth, and the desire to run and roam all day every day. However, in our citified life, this means a Husky will need tons of exercise and extra help to stay cool in the summer heat. The German Shepherd was bred to protect and work, so if his desire to work is not met, he can become somewhat destructive. Retrievers were bred to retrieve birds during hunting and similar activities, often bird-rich in marshlands, so don’t be surprised if your Retriever is squirrel-obsessed or jumps into every pond he sees. Poodles (having hair, not fur) don’t shed, which makes them great for people with fur allergies, however the term “hypo-allergenic” is not completely correct: allergies can also be caused by dandruff from the dog’s skin, or by saliva. Also, because they don’t shed, their coats get easily matted, so they require a lot more grooming than a short-haired dog.

Think about your favorite breeds, then do your research to see if the breed you thinking of is the right temperament fit for you. A few minutes on the internet can give you a wealth of knowledge to point you in the right direction.

That said, much MUCH, more important than the breed is to consider the individual dog. Dogs have their own personalities, including energy level and temperament. Not every dog of a certain breed is exactly the same, and with a mixed-breed dog, it takes some time to figure out which “side of the family” he/she most resembles, if any! Again, even with a pure-breed, you may not find the exact characteristics that the breed’s standards suggest; it certainly possible to find a lazy Husky, an aloof Havanese, a complicated Labrador, or a timid Doberman. Dogs are a mix of many different qualities, just like us humans.

So with all that said, be aware of the breed heritage, but more importantly, pay attention to the individual dog’s energy level, temperament, age and needs.

If you are considering adopting a pitbull or pitbull mix, that’s fantastic! These dogs are by far the most misunderstood breed, their usually sweet temperament contradicted by their bad reputation.

Shelters have an overwhelming overpopulation of these amazing dogs, and they are often overlooked for the wrong reasons. Because of their reputation, it’s very important to be an advocate for this breed by learning more about them.

There is more great information about their history and temperament here: www.badrap.org/breed-history and www.vrcpitbull.com/pit-bull-facts

Photos by Wendi Marafino Photography


Ready To Adopt?

When you make the decision that you’re ready to adopt a dog, the excitement of the idea becoming reality, and the fun of imagining the great times you and your dog will have in the future, are absolutely thrilling. But then you can get overwhelmed – there are so many dogs to choose from, how can you possibly pick one? Or maybe you’ve always dreamed of that particular breed of dog? Either way, we have a few things for you to keep in mind as you start looking.

First of all: What energy level do you want? Look at yourself (and be totally honest): are you the very active type or do you prefer to take it easy? Do you really want to go for long walks every day for the next several years? It’s vital that you choose your new dog based on what fits your lifestyle. If you work long hours, an adult dog is a better choice than a puppy. If you travel a lot, you may want a small dog to take along. If you lead a busy life, do you really have the time (and patience) to train a puppy? If you laze around at home watching TV a lot, a couch-potato dog may fit into your life better than one who is full of energy. Just think about how much playing, walking, or training (working) you really want to do with your new dog.

Secondly: Do you rent? If yes, make sure to check with your landlord about breed and size restrictions. Also, ask if you’ll need to put down a pet deposit or incur a monthly rent increase.

If you’re a homeowner, you don’t have to worry about permissions or fees, but you do need to check with your homeowners insurance company. Insurance companies vary tremendously on how they view dogs or whether they cover them. Some companies will simply say “that’s fantastic, enjoy your new dog,” others will ask “what breed of dog?” If your dream dog is a larger and more powerful breed (Pit Bull, German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler, etc), you may get a disappointing response. But don’t despair, you still have options. Your insurance company may still allow the dog, with certain restrictions. Or, you can switch insurance companies and give your business to a dog friendly company.

Thirdly: The breed question: Rescue dogs are often mixed breeds. Sometimes that includes clearly recognizable breeds, other times you’re in for a lifetime of guessing. But they all have one thing in common – they’re all dogs, and somewhere back in time they all came from wolves. At some point, humans and wolf-dogs intersected and, as humans usually do, we picked what we liked best of individual dogs and started breeding for specific traits. From there, breed groups of dogs were created, each with a different purpose: working dogs, hunting dogs, herding dogs, companion dogs etc. Each of these groups of dogs possessed very specific traits, and these traits often remained fairly consistent within the breed. For example, since Huskies were bred to pull sleds for hours on end in freezing weather, they tend to have very high endurance, a thick coat for warmth, and the desire to run and roam all day every day. However, in our citified life, this means a Husky will need tons of exercise and extra help to stay cool in the summer heat. The German Shepherd was bred to protect and work, so if his desire to work is not met, he can become somewhat destructive. Retrievers were bred to retrieve birds during hunting and similar activities, often bird-rich in marshlands, so don’t be surprised if your Retriever is squirrel-obsessed or jumps into every pond he sees. Poodles (having hair, not fur) don’t shed, which makes them great for people with fur allergies, however the term “hypo-allergenic” is not completely correct: allergies can also be caused by dandruff from the dog’s skin, or by saliva. Also, because they don’t shed, their coats get easily matted, so they require a lot more grooming than a short-haired dog.

Think about your favorite breeds, then do your research to see if the breed you thinking of is the right temperament fit for you. A few minutes on the internet can give you a wealth of knowledge to point you in the right direction.

That said, much MUCH, more important than the breed is to consider the individual dog. Dogs have their own personalities, including energy level and temperament. Not every dog of a certain breed is exactly the same, and with a mixed-breed dog, it takes some time to figure out which “side of the family” he/she most resembles, if any! Again, even with a pure-breed, you may not find the exact characteristics that the breed’s standards suggest; it certainly possible to find a lazy Husky, an aloof Havanese, a complicated Labrador, or a timid Doberman. Dogs are a mix of many different qualities, just like us humans.

So with all that said, be aware of the breed heritage, but more importantly, pay attention to the individual dog’s energy level, temperament, age and needs.

If you are considering adopting a pitbull or pitbull mix, that’s fantastic! These dogs are by far the most misunderstood breed, their usually sweet temperament contradicted by their bad reputation.

Shelters have an overwhelming overpopulation of these amazing dogs, and they are often overlooked for the wrong reasons. Because of their reputation, it’s very important to be an advocate for this breed by learning more about them.

There is more great information about their history and temperament here: www.badrap.org/breed-history and www.vrcpitbull.com/pit-bull-facts

Photos by Wendi Marafino Photography


Our Adoptable Dogs

Our rescue dogs are temperament tested by us at the shelter and selected based on the potential we see in them. From there, they live in experienced foster homes where we get to know our dogs intimately, and we immediately begin working with them to give them guidance with whatever they need most.

We put our dogs for adoption once we feel they are ready to come home with you, by which time they will be well on their way to living successfully in a home. They will have been through crate-training, house-training, and will be used to being out-and-about in the world, walking on leash, riding in cars, and so on. Of course, we will give you all the help you need for a smooth transition for you and your new dog.

We are very serious about the success of our dogs in their new homes, and we will support you as needed.

If you are interested in any of our current dogs or are looking for a dog elsewhere and would like our help with suggestions, kindly fill out our ADOPTION APPLICATION.

You can also check out our Shelter Adoption Consultation service.

Testimonials

Nick and Jackson

Nick and Jackson

I had been looking for a rescue dog for quite some time before finally finding Jackson through Mia. I had become discouraged with my search running in to many obstacles in the rescue community. I had the exact opposite experience with Mia.

When I applied online for Jackson, I got a response within hours. I met Jackson for the first time the following day. Another couple was also competing to adopt him, but Mia was forthright about what qualities and environment Jackson would need to make the best transition. I appreciated her honesty and was so glad that I was ultimately selected two days later.

Jackson had been neglected by his previous owner and was very shy around people. Mia was very clear about what to expect and how to handle him. Her experience and instincts told her he was a smart dog that wanted to be social if only given a little time…and she was right! Before I took him home, she had me ease him into the transition. Over the course of a week, I visited her house four times to take him for walks and play with him so he could get used to me. Building on the training foundation Mia had already started during her time with him, he easily took to training and any signs of his shyness were nearly gone after six months.

Like all new owners, I had uncertainties and questions during the first few months as challenging situations arose. I called Mia frequently for her guidance and read articles that she suggested. Her advice was invaluable and completely on point. For example, during one of my first days with him, he refused to get in his crate. Not wanting him to become more fearful of people (me especially), I was afraid to force him in the crate. I called Mia and since we had been together for a few days already, she said “now he’s just testing you…you have to be the master and guide him into the crate.” I did so and there was never another issue with it.

I could go on and on about the multiple calls and her great advice. To be succinct, Mia always took my calls and patiently coached me to a solution. In my opinion, her understanding of dog psychology is spot on and I use it to this day. I may be slightly biased, but he is the best behaved dog I know.

I still enjoy staying in touch with Mia…now sharing Jackson’s successes and adventures rather than challenges. I am madly in love with him and he’s a blessed addition to my family.

Testimonials

Nick and Jackson

Nick and Jackson

I had been looking for a rescue dog for quite some time before finally finding Jackson through Mia. I had become discouraged with my search running in to many obstacles in the rescue community. I had the exact opposite experience with Mia.

When I applied online for Jackson, I got a response within hours. I met Jackson for the first time the following day. Another couple was also competing to adopt him, but Mia was forthright about what qualities and environment Jackson would need to make the best transition. I appreciated her honesty and was so glad that I was ultimately selected two days later.

Jackson had been neglected by his previous owner and was very shy around people. Mia was very clear about what to expect and how to handle him. Her experience and instincts told her he was a smart dog that wanted to be social if only given a little time…and she was right! Before I took him home, she had me ease him into the transition. Over the course of a week, I visited her house four times to take him for walks and play with him so he could get used to me. Building on the training foundation Mia had already started during her time with him, he easily took to training and any signs of his shyness were nearly gone after six months.

Like all new owners, I had uncertainties and questions during the first few months as challenging situations arose. I called Mia frequently for her guidance and read articles that she suggested. Her advice was invaluable and completely on point. For example, during one of my first days with him, he refused to get in his crate. Not wanting him to become more fearful of people (me especially), I was afraid to force him in the crate. I called Mia and since we had been together for a few days already, she said “now he’s just testing you…you have to be the master and guide him into the crate.” I did so and there was never another issue with it.

I could go on and on about the multiple calls and her great advice. To be succinct, Mia always took my calls and patiently coached me to a solution. In my opinion, her understanding of dog psychology is spot on and I use it to this day. I may be slightly biased, but he is the best behaved dog I know.

I still enjoy staying in touch with Mia…now sharing Jackson’s successes and adventures rather than challenges. I am madly in love with him and he’s a blessed addition to my family.


Benjamin and Mascot (now: Jackson)

Benjamin and Jackson

A simple google search is what brought me to who would become my best friend I named Jackson. I had been visiting shelters and searching online for weeks to adopt a dog when I came across Jackson’s posting online. After some correspondence with Mia, we scheduled a time for us to meet and discuss not only the possibility of Jackson’s adoption but also my capabilities and expectations as a responsible dog owner.

The honesty with which Mia communicated about what Jackson’s needs and temperament would be like was quite refreshing. It was clear that Mia weren’t just trying to unload dogs as quick as possible but were diligent in finding a suitable forever home for their dogs.

Mia informed me that due to Jackson’s age and breed (stubborn bulldog mix), that he would be a bit of a handful at the beginning but with the proper training and attention his bad habits would clear up and all of the effort would be more than worth it. She was right on all accounts. Jackson was a lot of work, but I was prepared for it as Mia had accurately communicated with me the reality and expectations of my adopting Jackson.

Six months later now and I couldn’t have asked for a more loyal, loving, and downright fun, dog!


Benjamin and Mascot (now: Jackson)

Benjamin and Jackson

A simple google search is what brought me to who would become my best friend I named Jackson. I had been visiting shelters and searching online for weeks to adopt a dog when I came across Jackson’s posting online. After some correspondence with Mia, we scheduled a time for us to meet and discuss not only the possibility of Jackson’s adoption but also my capabilities and expectations as a responsible dog owner.

The honesty with which Mia communicated about what Jackson’s needs and temperament would be like was quite refreshing. It was clear that Mia weren’t just trying to unload dogs as quick as possible but were diligent in finding a suitable forever home for their dogs.

Mia informed me that due to Jackson’s age and breed (stubborn bulldog mix), that he would be a bit of a handful at the beginning but with the proper training and attention his bad habits would clear up and all of the effort would be more than worth it. She was right on all accounts. Jackson was a lot of work, but I was prepared for it as Mia had accurately communicated with me the reality and expectations of my adopting Jackson.

Six months later now and I couldn’t have asked for a more loyal, loving, and downright fun, dog!


Ron and Lexie

Ron and Lexie

I adopted a rescue dog that had been tested and selected by Mia at East Valley Shelter, and then fostered by Samantha. I needed a dog that was a good match for my running and walking hobby, and could also get along with a cat.

I was introduced to Lexie, a beautiful 9 yr. old Rottweiler/Shepherd mix. I was given an opportunity to meet this terrific dog and walk her a few times, prior to bringing her home. Once I got her home, I had contact with Samantha who really helped with the transition. She was an encyclopedia on both the dog she had fostered and also on dogs in general. I have had dogs for most on my 59 years and I learned a tremendous amount about dogs through the support I got.

I am a better owner and I know the dog is benefiting from this as well. I can’t imagine getting a dog any other way now!


Ron and Lexie

Ron and Lexie

I adopted a rescue dog that had been tested and selected by Mia at East Valley Shelter, and then fostered by Samantha. I needed a dog that was a good match for my running and walking hobby, and could also get along with a cat.

I was introduced to Lexie, a beautiful 9 yr. old Rottweiler/Shepherd mix. I was given an opportunity to meet this terrific dog and walk her a few times, prior to bringing her home. Once I got her home, I had contact with Samantha who really helped with the transition. She was an encyclopedia on both the dog she had fostered and also on dogs in general. I have had dogs for most on my 59 years and I learned a tremendous amount about dogs through the support I got.

I am a better owner and I know the dog is benefiting from this as well. I can’t imagine getting a dog any other way now!


Joi and Diego

Joi and Diego

I have wanted a dog for my entire adult life. But it was important to me to wait until I could really make it work with my busy lifestyle. After opening a new retail store I really wanted to have a shop dog, meaning a dog that could come with me to work every day and be social with my customers, yet calm and well behaved.

I told Mia exactly what I was looking for, and one day soon thereafter she called me and said I just got the perfect dog for you. She found me Diego.

I was a bit of a nervous mom the first few weeks but we both settled in quickly, got to know each other and established a great routine together. He is the perfect shop dog and he steals the hearts of every client that walks in the door.

He is the most wonderful dog and my best friend.


Joi and Diego

Joi and Diego

I have wanted a dog for my entire adult life. But it was important to me to wait until I could really make it work with my busy lifestyle. After opening a new retail store I really wanted to have a shop dog, meaning a dog that could come with me to work every day and be social with my customers, yet calm and well behaved.

I told Mia exactly what I was looking for, and one day soon thereafter she called me and said I just got the perfect dog for you. She found me Diego.

I was a bit of a nervous mom the first few weeks but we both settled in quickly, got to know each other and established a great routine together. He is the perfect shop dog and he steals the hearts of every client that walks in the door.

He is the most wonderful dog and my best friend.


Bette and Sebastien

Bette and Sebastien

I had been looking to adopt a dog for about a year, but was having trouble connecting with one. The minute I saw Sebastien I knew he was the dog for me and my family. My daughter-in-law and I went to meet him and the connection was instantaneous. Mia was great about informing us about Sebastien’s past and his prior fear aggressive behavior that had been very challenging when Mia first got him.

She had worked with him for months, and he was much improved and ready to be adopted by the time we met him. Mia helped us continue to work with him, so that he had the best environment to thrive. To this day I still communicate with her to keep her updated on Sebastien’s progress. Sebastien is the perfect addition to my family.

Thank you Mia!


Bette and Sebastien

Bette and Sebastien

I had been looking to adopt a dog for about a year, but was having trouble connecting with one. The minute I saw Sebastien I knew he was the dog for me and my family. My daughter-in-law and I went to meet him and the connection was instantaneous. Mia was great about informing us about Sebastien’s past and his prior fear aggressive behavior that had been very challenging when Mia first got him.

She had worked with him for months, and he was much improved and ready to be adopted by the time we met him. Mia helped us continue to work with him, so that he had the best environment to thrive. To this day I still communicate with her to keep her updated on Sebastien’s progress. Sebastien is the perfect addition to my family.

Thank you Mia!