A common question we receive from an owner looking to surrender their dog, or an adopter just interested in meeting one of our dogs is “How long does Sedona have a dog before he or she gets adopted?” Knowing the answer to that question is like knowing the velocity and location of an electron (if you waited long enough, we’d get the quantum physics and rescue correlation to pop up in one of our posts). We could give probabilities and estimates, but let’s look at two recent success stories – Clyde and Chewbarka.
Clyde had a lot going for him when he entered our program. He is not particularly old (about 5 to 7 years old), he is a friendly with people and he tends to ignore other dogs. On the flip side, Clyde had some rough edges that needed to be addressed. Clyde liked to chew (and destroy depending on his mood) towels and sheets, he did not like car rides and was not particularly house broken. Weighing his pluses and minuses we would have expected that Clyde would find a home within 2 to 3 months. Clyde’s posting on petfinder and adopt-a-pet was very popular, and of all our dogs, we consistently received the most inquiries every month from potential adopters asking about Clyde. Despite his popularity, Clyde was with our program from inception (in fact we had him for a few months prior to being an official non-profit organization). All told, it took almost 9 months to find Clyde a home, but it was worth the wait for Clyde.
Chewbarka came to us from a shelter in southern New Jersey, looking so sad and unhealthy that the shelter thought he was about 12 years old. Chewbarka cleaned up nicely, and our vet estimated his age closer to 8, but still he was up on the senior scale. He has dry-eye syndrome which requires giving him tear drops and cleaning his eyes two to three times a day. Luckily for Chewbarka he was good with other animals. However, when we first took him into our program we were mostly concerned about just getting him out of a shelter. We did not foresee him getting adopted quickly. Chewbarka never actually made it onto our website as an available dog. We had an approved family meeting one of our other available dogs, and Chewbarka was being walked at the same time the family arrived. That was truly love at first sight. We barely had Chewbarka in our program for three weeks before he was in a very active and loving home.
While the age of a dog will play a role in the length of time they may stay at a rescue like ours, we have found that unfortunately the lowest probability dogs to get adopted are those that are not good with other dogs. A dog like Avery, who has some special needs, would most likely have found a home by now if she was good with other dogs, or at least cats. This is the conundrum that all rescues face, how to find foster homes and forever homes for dogs that will be the only dog in a household. At Sedona, we are actively looking for people who want to get involved in rescue or just curious about rescue but do not currently have an animal in their home. An animal-free home can save dogs like Avery or Vicki that are at the highest risk of being euthanized at a shelter. We provide the medical care and any support needed to foster homes, especially first time foster homes. If you know someone interested in finding out more about being involved in rescue, fostering an adult or senior dog is a good transition into the world of rescue.