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“Why is it so hard to Adopt from a Rescue?”

We know, we hear that a lot.  We’re sorry, but it is mostly true.

There are numerous factors that go into that unfortunate reality.  Please let us try and explain. 

We know what it’s like to get your heart set on adopting a rescue pup.  Those cute pictures on a website and the adorable social media posts.  And you’ve got the love to give, so much that it hurts.  So, why not me?

At least for us here at Cavalier Rescue of Florida, the first aspect might simply be supply and demand.  Recently we brought in a dozen Cavaliers from what was, unfortunately, a backyard breeder, and a fairly irresponsible one at that.  These dogs were terrified and in horrible condition, but that’s another story, one whose headline should be, “Know your breeder.”


But within days, we received over 200 applications to adopt.  This on top of a library of applicants that have been waiting for a match.  So, yeah, supply and demand in action there.


Which leaves us answering the tough question, “Why did I not hear anything back?”  Well, we’re an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit.  Many of our volunteers have full-time jobs and dedicate themselves to every bit of free time in service to the dogs.  And that’s the thing, our foremost priority is to do the right thing for the pups, always they get our attention first.  


So the unsatisfying answer is merely that we don’t have the bandwidth to call each and every one of the unsuccessful candidates.  We say upfront, please be patient, the process takes time.  We keep adopter applications that are promising on file for six months, longer if you reach out again.  But we just can’t call or write to each one, and please know we wish we could have the time to respond.


Then, to be honest, there’s a lot of applications that get put to the side immediately.  Too many don’t take the time to fully complete the admittedly lengthy application online.  If they can’t do that, well, that’s an easy call.


Yet, again one has to understand our guiding principle of doing what’s best for the pup.  We have to find a match for the dog’s needs.  And with so many rescue dogs being seniors or having health concerns and even traumas, we are very careful in placement.  If you get that far, we call your vet and check your references.  We do a home visit.  We weigh how well we have a match for the dog’s fur-ever home.


Most rescues are with us two to three months, some longer, because we are extraordinarily particular about giving them a thorough vetting.  All that while living with one of our many loving fosters, in a home, not a pen.  Pups often see specialists, maybe a cardiologist, ophthalmologist, or neurologist.  We spend an average of nearly $3,000 per dog on vetting, though adoption fees are a small fraction of that.


We hope you can see, rescue is a challenging prospect, on both sides of the ball.  But you know, the reward is truly special when, together, we can bring that pup back to her best health and put her in the arms of the perfect home. 


Cavalier Rescue of Florida is an all-volunteer, non-profit 501(c)(3) rescue, organized to benefit Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in need.  For 24 years now, Cavalier Rescue of Florida, Inc. (CRF), has saved hundreds of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, placing them in loving homes.


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