1. Step One - Submit an Adoption Application and Supporting Information:
Simply complete the adoption form (downloadable from the below files) and submit this via email to the Trust. As part of the application, we require clear photos of your property (ie. backyard, fencing, boundaries, entries and exits). If you are renting, we will also require written consent from your landlord or Housing New Zealand (see below files for a template approval form to provide to your landlord).
Notes about submitting an application and pointers:
Where are the dogs you have available?
The dogs we have available can be found at the above link under "dogs in our care".
If I have already applied to adopt prior, do I need to submit another application?
No, unless any material details have changed (ie. new pets, people in the home, working hours, address etc). You will need to find and check your old application and consider if it is still up to date. If the information is still all correct, email us and tell us that you have previously applied and note the dog you wish to be considered for now. Please make sure you review the dogs' profile and meet their adopter requirements first.
Why do you not accept applications by phone or requests to call the Rescue?
We do not have a rescue phone number. As you can appreciate, we receive a large volume of queries and would the forms streamline the process for our organization. All of the information we require is noted on the form. We are volunteers who work full time outside of the Rescue, so it is a much more efficient way for us to confirm whether you and your family are a match for any particular dog. We also do not contact prospective applicants via phone to discuss individual dogs without the adoption forms and supporting information.
What happens once I submit the application?
If we feel that you are a match for a dog in care, we will be in touch to progress this. If we do not have a match for you currently, we will email you back and confirm if you have been placed on the database. We reserve the right not to enter into arguments or reasoning in terms of why we have not selected a particular adopter. As noted above, we are looking for the most suitable match.
2. Step Two: Meet and Greet and Home-check:
If you are considered a good match for a particular dog, a team member will be in touch to organize a "meet and greet" with your prospective dog and you at your home. A Trustee will also attend alongside a foster carer. At the meet and greet we will also conduct a home check and make sure fencing is complete.
We do apologize, but due to the large amount of correspondence and applications we receive, we only make contact with those we wish to progress to the meet and greet stage. We aim to respond to adopters we wish to progress to the meet and greet stage within 14 working days. If you do not hear from us in that period, we have chosen to progress other applications unfortunately.
If there are no dogs that currently match your criteria but you are approved, we will advise you that you have been added to the database in the event that a match is found.
What happens after a meet and greet?
Once the meet and greet has been completed our team will meet to discuss which home is the best match. If other applicants are being considered for the same dog, this may take a week or so. We are all Volunteers who fit rescue commitments around normal full time working schedules.
If you are waiting to hear as to whether or not you have been successful, please email the trust email and either the foster carer that you met or a Trustee will respond to you.
Will I know why I've been declined?
We are looking for the home that best matches the dog at hand. If we do decline you, please do not take this personally. This does not mean you are not a great dog owner or cannot provide a great home for the dog. It simply means that we do not feel the dog is a perfect match for your circumstances.
We do not enter into arguments backwards and forwards or provide in depth explanations as to why your circumstances are not the best match in comparison to others. We are simply trying to choose a home based on the limited knowledge we have of each applicant and our dogs. Please do remember this and treat Rescue team members with respect and courtesy, even if their news is disappointing to you.
If successful and all parties feel the dog is a match for the family, the dog will go on trial with the prospective Adopter.
PRIOR to the trial, we require the signed trial agreement (this will be emailed to you) and the full adoption fee is to be paid to the Trust and must be received as cleared funds. This fee will remain in the trust account throughout the duration of the trial period. Please do take care to ensure the fee is paid into the trust account prior to the day the dog is organized to be dropped off to ensure it will be cleared in time. We do not release dogs without the fee having been received, sorry no exceptions. All fees are to be paid to our Westpac Account New Zealand Chihuahua Rescue Trust: 03-0823-0074502-000
Once the fee is received, we will inform the foster carer who will make contact with you to determine a mutually convenient pick up/drop off day and time. They will bring with them the adopter pack, any beds/bedding the dog has and favorite toys, any items that were with them when they were surrendered, and their vet books / a supply of any medications they are on.
You need to ensure that you have organized your own: crate, leash/harness, food (ask the foster prior for the food they are on and continue this to prevent upset stomachs). The Trust retains their Julius harnesses, crates and any other items, for use on the next foster dog.
We will also send you out our "adoption handbook" prior to the beginning of the trial. Please ensure you read the information noted inside as we do expect that you have done so, once we bring the dog to your property. The manual contains information specific to the dog you are adopting, but also guidelines for introducing a rescue dog to your home and family. It is extremely important that they are not overwhelmed and that they are integrated correctly. Please do review and consider this information.
Trials are for one month. During this time our Team will check in regularly with you, please feel free to make contact with us also to provide updates or ask for any support or advice you may require. It is important that you are honest and communicative with us, so we can assist where needed.
In your adopter pack, you will receive a voucher for a discounted session with our dog trainer. We recommend that you utilize this. We also recommend that you complete the Preplan insurance form inside the adopter pack. Rescue dogs have a largely unknown health history, you never know if/when they will become ill, we recommend ALL adopters take out pet insurance.
Each dog is registered with the Council and will be changed over by us when the trial is confirmed. We organize both the registration and the microchip changeover.
How do we confirm the adoption?
We ask that you email us periodically during the month to let us know how things are going with your new family member. We may also check in with you if we haven't heard from you to make sure all is well. You're welcome to send updates and photos as/when you like (even past this one month - we love seeing happy adoptions!!).
Before the end of the trial, we will contact you to see whether you are happy to confirm the adoption. If so, you will be advised in writing (we send out a formal confirmation of adoption letter) that the trial period has concluded and the trust is happy to deem the dog successfully adopted!
At this time, we will change the registration with the Council and add you to the microchip of the dog and they are officially a member of your family, congrats!
What if it doesn't work out?
In the event that the Adopter, or the Trust, terminate during the trial period, the dog is to be returned into the care of their foster carer and the adoption fee is refunded to the Applicant in full. Unless there are travel charges or veterinary expenses to deduct (see adoption agreement for more details). All items supplied with the dog must be returned.
Please let us know if things aren't working out. We can provide contact details of a trainer for you to engage, or organize to have the dog taken back into care.
If there is a genuine reason why this dog is not the right fit for your family, this will not prejudice your application for another dog. We have swapped dogs out for another in the past and had the second dog be successfully adopted. The family needs to be a right fit for the dog, but also the dog needs to be a correct fit for your family too! Keep in touch with us and be honest about how things are going.
Please Note: We do NOT provide harnesses, leashes, bowls, crates and the like when dogs go on trial. You will need to ensure you have all of these at the time of trial. These items are retained by our foster carers for other dogs in the care of the Trust. It is the Adopter's responsibility to purchase these items prior to the dog arriving for it's trial.
PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR OUR ADOPTION FAQ - THIS CONTAINS MORE INFORMATION ON THE ADOPTION PROCESS, FEES, OTHER COMMON QUERIES, REGISTRATION AND MICRO-CHIPPING, AMONG OTHER THINGS.
If you have any queries, please see our adoption FAQ first - this is located via the link at the bottom of the page. Then email us via the contact form on our website if your question is not answered by our FAQ.
PLEASE NOTE: The adoption forms CANNOT be downloaded to a tablet or mobile phone - you need to access via computer.