Adoption FAQ

General Queries

Can we come and see or meet the dogs available and see which one we want to adopt?

Please see the adoption page for our adoption process to understand how it works. 

Secondly, all of our dogs are with foster carers as we do not have a center. They are housed with different carers throughout the country. As a result, we only disrupt the foster carers schedules and organize a meet and greet with dogs and prospective adopters once we have received a completed application and photos of the property. 

Profiles for individual dogs are found under “available dogs” if you see a dog you are interested in, please submit an application and indicate who is your preference, where noted on the adoption form. 

If the dogs available currently are not in your area, or suitable for your lifestyle, we are happy to retain your application in the database.

I would like to adopt a Chihuahua as a gift for my mother/daughter/grandchild - How can I do this?
Sorry, we do not believe in gifting live animals, especially our rescue Chihuahuas. We do not adopt Chihuahuas out as “gifts”. As our dogs have already been surrendered and need someone who is committed to them from the outset. In addition to this, our adoption forms need to be filled out by the person who will be the “main care-taker” of the Chihuahua (ie. the Adopter). It is the adopter we are assessing in terms of their suitability. If you know someone who is looking or would suit one of our Chihuahuas, invite them to submit an adoption form.

If I submit an adoption application for another dog and I am unsuccessful but placed on the database or I ask to be placed on the database and see a dog I’m interested in on your social media or website what do I do then?

Email us and let us know what dog you’re interested in - no need to submit another form and photos if your circumstances are the same.

Do you adopt to full time workers?

When we assess applicants, we look for the best home possible for that dog. Many of our dogs have quirks that would mean daytime companionship is a must. It is not that we do not accept full time workers, but truthfully, a dog needs to be fairly independent to have an owner away for 6-8 hours each weekday and being a rescue, we do tend to get those dogs that have quirks, rather than happy go lucky independent dogs. See the adopter requirements on the dog profiles, found under “available dogs” to determine whether/not a dog needs a part-time worker or someone who is retired. 

It’s also important to consider whether or not you could really provide all that a dog needs, if working full time or extended hours. We receive many surrenders from those who are full time workers and begin to feel "guilty" having to leave their dogs at home.

How strict are the adopter requirements? (For example: the profile says no cats but I have a dog savvy cat!)

The reason we have Adopter Requirements is to ensure that we find the most suitable home for the dog listed. We do not feel it is fair to put a dog in a situation where they will have to adjust to a new family and surroundings without certainty there is a high chance of the adoption working out. 

In terms of the above example, we feel that placing a dog that has a history of not being cat friendly in a home with cats is setting them up to fail. We feel this only puts the dog under the stress of having to adjust to new people and surroundings unnecessarily. Furthermore, when a dog leaves foster care, usually their place is quickly filled so if it doesn't work out, we may have issues locating another foster carer in order to have the dog returned into the care of the Trust. As such, the adopter criteria is strict. Please check that you are a match for the prospective dog before you apply.

Can I foster a dog to see if it fits in with my family?

Foster forms are to be utilized for those who strictly wish to foster not adopt. 

We do not offer a foster to adopt programme. We do however, offer a one month trial on all adoptions to see if a prospective dog fits into our life and family. If you want to add a dog to your family permanently, please see the adoption process page for information and an application.

Can you call me to discuss a particular dog with me over the phone? I'm looking to adopt.

We do not contact prospective applicants via phone to discuss individual dogs without the adoption forms and supporting information. 

As you can appreciate, we receive a large volume of queries daily and all of the information we require from you in order to consider you as an applicant is noted on the form. As volunteers who work full time outside of the Rescue, it is a more efficient way of us confirming whether you and your family are a match for any particular dog. 

Accordingly, if you are interested in any of our dogs, please submit your application and if you are a match for the dog, we will be in touch  to progress this. 

Does it cost to adopt a dog from NZCR?

Yes. The fee is payable in full prior to the day of adoption,  All fees are to be paid to our Westpac Account - New Zealand Chihuahua Rescue Trust 03-0823-0074502-000  

If you wish to pay cash on the day, please inform the rescue prior as we check the trust account the day before the adoption and will not be able to complete the changeover if the fee remains outstanding.

What determines the adoption fee as I notice they aren't all the same price? 

Our adoption fees for each dog are listed on their profile under "available dogs". Older dogs or those who have ongoing health issues may be  assigned a lesser fee to reflect the fact there will be ongoing regular costs associated with them. 

Why do you charge an adoption fee?

The adoption fee assists us with: transport costs for dogs being surrendered from all over NZ, de-sexing, micro-chipping and registering the dog on the New Zealand Companion Animal Register ("NZCAR"), vaccinations, flea and worming, Council registration, disposables (such as bedding and crates) and any extra necessary medical care required. For example, we also complete dental work on dogs that require it and orthopedic surgeries fairly regularly. All of these treatments cost and we need to ensure that we recoup even a small percentage of these costs.

We never "make" money from adoptions and all of our team are Volunteers. As such, the full adoption fee goes towards the dogs in the care of the Rescue. We pride ourselves on being able to confirm that when a dog leaves our Rescue, they have had all of the medical treatment they require and obviously, this costs money to complete.

For more information - see the table of expenses located at the bottom of this page.

Why do you charge what you charge? Do you think it's a little high?

Firstly, see above for information on what determines an adoption fee. 

Secondly, see above for why we charge an adoption fee. 

Lastly, it should be noted that as a breed specific rescue we face a couple of unique challenges relating to the Chihuahua breed. Such as the fact that many of the dogs surrendered to us require costly orthopedic surgery (for example surgery for a single or double patella luxation) and a full dental with extractions. This means we may have a higher fee then some all breed rescues just to recoup a portion of the costs we spend on each dog that comes into our care. 

Our dogs come health checked, de-sexed, vaccinated, micro-chipped and registered with NZCAR, registered with the Christchurch City Council, flea and wormed and with any further issues unique to the specific dog addressed. Clearly this works out to be better value for money overall. For example, you can pay $1,500 on TradeMe for an 8 week old Chihuahua or Chihuahua cross puppy without a fraction of that work having been completed.

For more information - see the table of expenses located at the bottom of this page.

Do you allow adopters to pay-off fees? 

No. Adopters need to consider their financial circumstances prior to applying. Any dog will require a constant stable source of funds in terms of vaccinations, ongoing Council registration and veterinary care at some point in their lives, etc. We need to be sure that the Adopter can provide for the dog in any and all ways, including financially. 

Adoptions Outside of Christchurch

Do you adopt dogs outside of Christchurch (where you are based)?

Yes - some dogs are fostered in other parts of the country, including the North Island. We have homed dogs in other parts of the country prior. See "available dogs" for information as to where individual dogs are located.

We would be open to flying some dogs  (those who would be minimally stressed with the process) to the North Island and other parts of the country. However, understandably, if you are interested in a dog in the South Island, this process can be complicated and costly given we are based in Christchurch.

A prospective adopter would need to travel to meet the dog they were interested in, where the dog is being fostered. This is to a make sure the dog and Adopter are a match prior to the dog flying to their location.  We will then organize to complete a home-check in your location, with another rescue. If approved, flights for the dog and a crate would need to be arranged and purchased at the Adopters expense. We also need to keep the cost of return flights in our trust account, in the event the trial does not work out and dog has to be returned. We ask that the return flight “bond” is paid upfront so that the Charity does not have to spend its minimal funds getting a dog returned. If the one month trial period is successful, NZCR refund the cost of that additional flight to the adopter.

So what costs are likely involved?
The adopter will need to make their own way to meet the dog and meet the costs associated with this. Secondly, the adopter will need to deposit the price of an airline approved crate (Approx. $100.00 depending on dog size) into our trust account. Together with the cost of a flight for the dog to their location (please check costs with AirNZ - these have recently increased), the adoption fee of the dog (as per the website) and the price of a return flight, should the trial not work out (will be the same price as above - please check with AirNZ). As discussed above, the latter flight fee will be returned if successful. An alternative to purchasing a crate would be depositing the price of hiring a crate with "Move My Pet".
What dogs are available where I am?

Please see the available dogs page.

I don't see many dogs become available where I am?

We have a process for adoptions (please see the adoptions page). If you are interested in adopting from us but are not located in Canterbury, please feel free to submit an application. If approved, you will be added to our database for your area. In the event a dog becomes available in your  particular area  we contact foster and adoption applicants who have already submitted forms. As such, sometimes these dogs do not get advertised via the website or social media as they are homed with someone who has placed themselves on our database. 

Who pays for the flights if the dog is to be flown?

As above. The adopter will need to pay for a airplane approved crate for the dog to travel in and the flight fare. We also ask for the return flight fee upfront in the event the adoption does not work out and the dog has to be returned into our care.

Will I still have a home check?

Yes, we will liaise with other organizations in your area to have a home check performed.

Do you adopt to other countries?

No, sorry, New Zealand only.

Post Adoption

What do I need to buy for the dog prior to the trial beginning?

We will bring an Adopter pack with some goodies inside. We will also provide a mini ACANA bag of dog food and a voucher for your next bag of ACANA dog food. We will also bring any beds and bedding the dog has been using to provide a sense of familiarity. It is the Adopters responsibility to purchase general items such as: a crate, leash, harness, food and water bowls and the essentials of dog ownership.

What about Council registration? 

The dog needs to be changed into your name with your local Council. We will inform the Council once the dog is confirmed as adopted (ie. after the trial period). This is when the legal ownership of the dog officially changes.

Are the dogs micro-chipped?
Each dog in the care of the Trust is micro-chipped and added to the New Zealand Companion Animal Register. The Trust (or Managing Trustee of the Trust) will remain as a contact on the dog’s microchip. This is a fundamental term of adoption. The Adopter will be added to the database also but cannot, under any circumstances, remove the Trust’s details from the microchip.

How do I know when to next flea and worm or vaccinate the dog I have adopted ?

Dogs come vaccinated and their vet book will be provided to you, please consult this for their next vaccination date. In terms of flea and worm treatments, we will notify you in the letter confirming the adoption of the last flea and worming treatment.

How do I get the 30 day Pet-N-Sur trial or sign up for pet insurance? 

If the dog you adopt is under 6 years of age, please see the Pet N Sur link under "How you can help us". If the dog is over 6 but under 12 and you would like to take out pet insurance, please see the same link.

Do you offer ongoing support to Adopters? 

Absolutely, yes! Trust dogs and their Adopters are part of the NZCR family. If you need anything please get in contact with us. We also love to receive updates and photos!

Have you adopted from New Zealand Chihuahua Rescue?

Please join our closed Adopters and Foster Carers Group on Facebook here: 

Information on Expenses relating to our Rescue

What do adoption fees go towards?

How much does it cost to make a dog fit to adopt?

Please see the below table, updated as at 18 September 2018.