Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Puppies & their adoption donation

All TLC puppies have a $400 tax deductible adoption donation - they will be up-to-date on their shots, microchipped and if over 4 months old, have their rabies shot and licensed for the County of Ventura.  All puppies are either spayed or neutered prior to adoption - no exceptions.

Why $400?

Simply put, puppy adoption finance the hundreds (thousands) of dollars we invest into the other TLC adult dogs (many over the age of five).  So when you adopt a TLC puppy, you are in essence saving two or more dogs - your new puppy and another(s) in need of medical treatment.

Adoption donations are not 'purchase prices'... we are not in rescue to make money but to save dogs' lives in the shelters.  It is not unusual to have $500 or more in medical costs to get an adult healthy, and we've had some $1,500 to $4,500+ vet bills on some dogs we have pulled out of shelters and saved from dying.

Puppies are a LOT of work

Conservatively speaking, shelter staff believe at least 50% of their current adult dogs share these common traits:

         1) The mindset of "I don't want someone else's headaches... I want a puppy so I can start fresh without bad habits"

         2) The dog was gotten as a puppy but the owner did not (or could not) properly house-train, causing them to be dumped at a shelter when the frustration of a dog peeing and pooping in the house became too much.

         3) Cute as a puppy, it grew too big (too noisy, too aggressive) and no longer cute (or the owner no longer had the time to spend), they relinquished the puppy - now an adult dog - to the shelter system.

         4) The puppy was an impulse decision and not thought-out ahead of time.

The first year

The first year of any puppy's life is the most energy-draining, expensive (despite all of the things we get done for any TLC puppy) and labor intensive time of their (and your) entire life.   It is not uncommon to require months to potty train a puppy.  The items destroyed as they cut their new teeth can mount up quickly.  Once the novelty wears off, it is no longer fun to get up at 4AM to let them out when they need to go potty.  Our lives become too busy for daily walks, unexpected pregnancies and job changes occur, etc.

Why is the adoption donation nonrefundable?

At TLC, we make it a practice to foster puppies to pay for our true love of rescue - the older dogs no one else wants.  We know they are probably already potty trained, might have a few bad habits easily corrected, but their marketability and percentage of getting out of a shelter alive are minimal.  We do our absolute best to pull one senior dog for every four dogs we save from the shelters.  As soon as we adopt one dog, we head back into the shelters to pull another one... and usually funding the bailout of that dog with your adoption donation.

We are a rescue and seldom does an adoption donation cover the expenses of the average dog in our rescue.  Our ability to save dogs from dying is funded more by private donations made by generous citizens than from adoption donations.  We, unlike shelters, are not funded by budgets and taxpayer dollars.

Anyone can love and adopt a puppy, but it takes very special people to love and adopt an adult or senior dog... However, if the $400 adoption donation for a TLC puppy is too much for your pocketbook ~~~ AND you are not interested in adopting a TLC adult dog which has a lower adoption donation ~~~ there are THOUSANDS of unwanted dogs in our local shelters that desperately need a home (and will be $50-$100 less, depending if the microchip activation and registration is paid for by the source, the dog has their rabies and license, etc.).   

You, as a taxpayer, have already partially funded the care, maintenance and housing of the MANY shelter dogs available for adoption in our local shelters simply by paying taxes! 

PLEASE take the time and compassion to adopt one!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Adoption donations...

What is included in the adoption donation?

It is TLC's policy to provide several things to each TLC dog/puppy. Not all rescues do this, so when 'comparison shopping' rescue against rescue for the lowest price, make sure you are comparing 'apples to apples' and not 'apples to oranges'...

1) SHOTS: All TLC dogs and puppies will be up-to-date on their shots. We commonly advocate DHLPP which includes the vaccine for Leptospirosis - HERE is a good web page by the CDC that describes a great deal about this zoonotic illness (transferable to humans). Because we do see a lot of interactions between our pets and wildlife in SoCal along with potential risks for this to be transferred via natural water sources, we choose to vaccinate with DHLPP. We vaccinate against Bordetella (kennel cough) and if a booster is needed shorter than a year in future, this information will be notated in your adoption packet.

2) RABIES: All TLC dogs and puppies will have their rabies shot (if applicable) and the certificate will be in your adoption packet. Puppies are not commonly vaccinated for rabies until they are 4 months or older. Should you adopt a TLC puppy before they have turned 4 months old, you as the new owner are responsible to insure this is done. Ventura County Animal Regulation do hold rabies clinics once a month around our county, and the rabies shot is minimal ($5.00 in cash) - please see VCAR or call them for their schedule up upcoming rabies clinics. Weekend shots clinics are also held at petstores in Simi Valley (Theresa's on Saturday from 2 to 4PM, Big Al's from noon to 4PM on Sunday).

3) LICENSE: All TLC dogs and puppies (if applicable) will be licensed for the County of Ventura (required after a dog reaches 4 months old and has had their rabies shot). This license is transferred over to the new adopting owner during the adoption process and is good for the remainder of the term. Approximately 6 weeks prior to its expiration, VCAR will send the new owner a renewal directly.

4) MICRO-CHIP: All TLC dogs and puppies are micro-chipped prior to adoption and this registration is transferred to the new owner during the adoption process. Between 5 to 10 days after an adoption, you will receive notification from AVID of your new dog's registration in their system via letter. Please read through the information submitted and contact them for any necessary changes.

NOTE: Depending upon where you live, ownership is either established by a county license OR microchip registration - that's why TLC does both and transfers both during the adoption process.

5) ADOPTION PACKET: You will receive an extensive adoption packet during the adoption process - not only does it have a large amount of great information, it will also have copies of any sterilization certificates, rabies inoculation certificate, licensing, weights, procedures done on the dog, copies of any medical history, etc. Please keep this in a safe place to refer to when needed.

What are you feeding the TLC dogs?

What diet are the TLC dogs and puppies on?

Depending on who is fostering a TLC dog or puppy, the diet will be different, just as there are MANY different methods and products of pet food products.

If Linda is the foster, she home cooks for her dogs and the fosters alike. She's typed out what she does and we've included it in the Resources section of the TLC under Nutrition - Linda's Home Cooked Diet.

Check to see who is fostering the dog or puppy you're interested in, and ask them for the specifics of their diet.

In general however, TLC advocates the feeding of premium dog foods - less fillers and additives means better health for the dogs, as well as 'less' coming out the other end... what dogs cannot digest well (corn, wheat, etc.), they pass on through their digestive system for us to pick up and dispose of. While the purchase price might be higher on premium dog food, at the end you are feeding less in volume, but of a better quality.

Why so many Chihuahuas?

Why do you have so many Chihuahuas at TLC adoptions?

There are two main primary reasons you'll find a lot of Chihuahuas at TLC adoptions each week (Moorpark PETCO, noon to 3PM):

1) TLC is completely foster based - which means that all the dogs we save from dying in the shelters live with one of our foster families. Some fosters will do any breeds - other fosters prefer to only do specific breeds, depending upon their own dogs at home. Most of our foster families are Chihuahua lovers and fanciers, so that is one of the reasons we have so many Chihuahuas.

2) Currently, the CA shelters systems are killing one dog every 4 minutes and 32 seconds. TLC's mission is to save those in greatest danger of being killed. Only the 'Pitbull' breed has higher kill rates than the Chihuahua currently... hence those dogs who are apt to die first are those you are most likely to find at a TLC adoption event.