Okay, so you’ve brought your foundling home, and you’ve put up Found posters. You’ve checked Craig’s List. You’ve checked all the local vet’s offices and shelters. The dog has no microchip and no identification.
Looks like you’ve got yourself a dog. Now what?
Well, you have two basic choices. A, you keep him. B, you don’t.
If you’re going to keep the dog, you have a number of things to consider.
- Will he get along with your existing pets (and human family members)?
- Will your landlord allow you to have him?
- Is your home suitable for this pet?
- Can you afford to get him vaccinated, microchipped, and neutered?
- Can you afford to treat any veterinary problems?
- Does he have any serious behavioral issues?
If your situation does not allow you to keep the dog, then you have a whole different set of questions to answer.
- Can you find him a home yourself?
- Can you foster him until you do?
- If so, will your local shelter or a rescue group allow you to do a courtesy posting on Petfinder through them?
- Can you afford to get the dog fully vetted so that potential adopters know what they are getting?
- If you can’t foster the dog, can you find a rescue group that will take him? Or a foster home?
- Are you willing or able to make a donation to the rescue group? (It makes it more likely that a group can afford to take him.)
If you can foster the dog while you find him a home, your best bet is to get a courtesy listing through a local shelter or rescue. If you can go through a shelter’s foster program, you can probably take advantage of their foster veterinary services, which may get you reduced cost vaccines and spay/neuter. They can also often microchip the dog for you at reduced cost.
If you foster the dog through a shelter, then you will probably be largely responsible for vetting potential adopters yourself. You’ll be making a commitment to help find the dog a home and to keep him until you do. You may need to participate in adoption events to help make the dog visible to potential adopters.
If you foster through a rescue group, they will probably vet adopters through their application process. Depending on your arrangement with them, you may or may not have much say in who gets the dog. It is less likely that you’ll need to do adoption events, but you may be asked to do meet and greets for potential adopters. Ask up front what the rescue group’s approach to this will be.
Regardless of what path you take, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you got the animal off the streets and on the road to a loving permanent home.