Policies and Procedures of Summit Dog Rescue
Due to the DAILY requests to take owner surrenders - overwhelmingly from young people who adopted dogs & cats that they can no longer care for due to a variety of reasons (graduation, moving, breakup, having a baby, had baby, travelling overseas, etc.) --- we no longer adopt to people under the age of 26 without an SDR Board-approved exception. These exceptions are rare, but if you feel like you are exceptionally stable in your life and situation, please consider asking for an age exception.
Also, due to the high number of applications we get, and limited number of dogs & cats and limited number of volunteers to process applications, we cannot process too many in a given week. We do reject a high percentage of applications that do not seem like a match for one of our dogs or cats. We apologize in advance if your application was not accepted, but we cannot humanly process all the applications we get and also continue our mission of saving dogs.
Adoption to Families with Children 5 and Under
The number one reason we see people relinquishing their pets is a child/dog conflict of some sort. Managing pets and young children together is a round-the-clock, full-time commitment. We always say that "Dogs say NO with their teeth, and cats with their claws." Think how many times you say "No" to your young child or need to redirect their impulsive behavior in a day.
We RARELY adopt out dogs or cats to families with young children (under age 6), so you may want to consider holding off on adopting, or perhaps look elsewhere.
So, our policy is that we ONLY ADOPT OUT DOGS & CATS to people with children age 5 and under with a board review. What does this mean? This means you need to not only go through our typical review process, but in addition the board will review your application and determine whether we place a pet with you. And we would ONLY place a dog or cat with a proven history of being around small children in your home. Even then we make no guarantees about the behavior your adopted dog or cat will have in regards to your children.
You have been approved to adopt! Now what?
You've been through the application, the phone interview, your references were called, and you had your home visit, and the board of directors has approved you to adopt! Now what? Perhaps you applied because a certain dog caught your eye and your heart --- but chances are we got several great applications for that dog and perhaps two stand out as exceptional matches. You might be approved to adopt, so you think "I must be getting Rufus because I applied, and I am approved! Yay!" You put Rufus' photo on your screensaver and are all set only to learn that Rufus went to a different home.
This is one of the parts of rescue that is so hard for all of us. These dogs who sat in concrete cells waiting to be killed come to us --- they get vetted, are photographed, we write interesting descriptions of their personalities, and suddenly they're highly desirable. We never want to disappoint people who are struck by a specific dog's biography and personality, but unfortunately it often happens. So understanding how we work can help.
First, we urge everyone to consider adopting straight from a shelter. Those dogs need you more than any of our dogs do because shelter dog's future is tenuous.
Here is how we work: first we evaluate the dog in a foster home, and sometimes we even have a trainer evaluate the dog if there are issues. We look at all the needs, quirks, and personality traits of the dog and then try to match them with the ideal home. A home with a few dogs, a cat, and people who work from home might be a great fit for Scruffy, but Rambo might need a quieter home with less stimulation and be okay snoozing quietly while his people are at work. We look at your lifestyle, your activity level, the family structure, the other animals in the house, etc., and factor that all into finding the best fit both you and the dog.
You MAY NOT GET THE DOG WHO CAUGHT YOUR EYE AND PROMPTED YOU TO FILL OUT THE APPLICATION, but once you're approved, we'll work with you to find the right fit. Because we're small we ask for your patience in finding the right match.
Before our dogs are placed in an adoptive home, the placement is reviewed by our board of directors who make the final decision on all adoptions. So even though you may have met with a dog and felt like it was a great fit for you, and the foster home family seemed encouraging --- you still need the approval of the board to adopt that particular dog. Why? Because we've been doing this for many years now, and we've seen dogs returned by super enthusiastic, loving people who (once they got their dog home) were overwhelmed by the mundane details that their fantasy dog presented once home: "eats my shoes, poops in the closet, has separation anxiety, lunges at other dogs on leash," --- so the board always makes sure that the actual fit is right on the nuts and bolts level, not just on the heart string level.
We have a more mindful approach than a lot of rescues, but for the people who are patient and find their forever match, they feel it's worth it. But most importantly, it's worth it for our dogs. We love our adopters, but in reality, we are DOG RESCUERS, not Dog Suppliers: we rescue dogs out of our passion to save the lives and souls of these precious beings. That is our mission and goal. We are thrilled that so many human lives are touched and enhanced by welcoming these amazing four legged beings into their homes and family --- and we couldn't do it without the incredible adoptive base we have here in Colorado --- but our first priority is always the dogs. We so hope that you understand and continue to support our mission!