How To Adopt A POOCH Dog
Things To Think About Before You Adopt ANY Dog
We are glad that you are thinking about sharing your home with a dog from Project POOCH.
Unfortunately, it’s been our experience that sometimes people think they want a dog but after a while they change their minds and bring the dog back to us. This is difficult for everybody – for the people who thought they were ready to adopt and found they were not, for the youths in the program who care deeply about the dogs they train (and who often have issues about abandonment and rejection based on their own experiences), and especially for the dogs in need of a permanent bond with a human and a "forever home".
Before you visit the kennel, before you pick out a dog, before you pay the adoption fee, we ask that you seriously consider the following:
- Adopting a dog is a long-term commitment of 10-20 years
- Adopting a dog will be a continuing expense. In addition to the initial adoption fee, can your budget afford dog food, toys, grooming and medical treatment? Normally you can expect veterinary care for your dog to cost several hundred dollars a year, but if the dog develops a serious medical problem, the cost can be higher.
- Adopting a dog means including the dog in your family and life planning. If you decide to move to another city, are you willing to take the dog with you and find a new home that will also accommodate your pet?
- Adopting a dog means providing daily activity and exercise. If the people in your family are too busy or too tired to take the dog for a walk every day, the dog may develop behavior problems. It’s trite but true that "a good dog is a tired dog."
- Adopting a dog means providing both discipline and affection. Project POOCH dogs have been trained and earned their Canine Good Citizen Certificates. But if no one maintains and reinforces their training, the good habits they’ve learned may be forgotten. Likewise, dogs need affection and attention. Ignoring and/or sending them to live in a backyard are forms of animal neglect.
- Adopting a dog means that everybody in the family shares the commitment. Are all of you equally willing to feed, exercise and take care of the dog? If a new baby is born, will the family dog suddenly become an intrusive nuisance? If your teenager leaves to attend college, will the family dog suddenly become the "backyard dog"? What about your other pets – are you sure that they will accept the new dog?
- Adopting a dog means housing choices may be constrained. Sources of pet-friendly housing:
Zillow Portland pet-friendly page
Zillow Oregon pet-friendly page
Zillow Washington pet-friendly page
Trulia - includes filters for both small and large dogs
Hotpads - includes filter for dogs
- Different dogs have different needs. Some are high-energy and require vigorous exercise and a sense of purpose, while others are low energy and perfectly content to lead the life of a "couch potato". As part of the adoption process, we will help you determine what type of personality will be the most compatible with you, your household, and your lifestyle.
If you find a Project POOCH dog you like and who likes you, we will bring the dog for a home visit to give you (and the dog) an opportunity to see if he or she fits in with the rest of your family, including your family pets.
We think it is well worth your while to take your time to thoroughly discuss and carefully consider before agreeing to take one of our dogs to be your dog "til death do you part."
STEP 1: Adoption Application
After reviewing with your family Things To Think About Before You Adopt ANY Dog, fill out and submit an Adoption Application.
If you would prefer to print and mail the application, you may download a PDF of the form. The mailing information is on the form. Adoption Application (Adobe Acrobat PDF document).
Please remember: Sometimes two completed applications and deposits come in at the same time. In such cases, the applications will be reviewed and there may be visits to the homes of both potential adopters in order to find the best home for the dog being considered. There may be other reasons in which an application is denied, too. Project POOCH staff reserve the right to make the final decision regarding the best placement for the dog in question.
STEP 2: Kennel Visit and Submit the $50 deposit
Note: We are unable to have visitors to the kennel at this time due to the ongoing COVID pandemic (updated 1/11/2022). Visits can be scheduled to meet a dog, however, the visits will occur in the parking lot at MacLaren. Please call the kennel, 503-981-2570, to discuss the current process.
Call our kennel (503) 981-2570, to make an appointment to meet our available dogs. Please note: Project POOCH's kennel is located inside MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn, Oregon (2630 N Pacific Highway, Woodburn, OR 97071). Kennel hours are 8:30 am-2:30 pm daily with a break between 11 and 12 noon. Visits are by appointment only. Kennel visitors can skip the line by knocking on the gatehouse window at their appointment time.
- If no home visit is made, the $50 application fee will be returned.
- If a home visit is conducted but you are not selected as the adopter, the fee is non-refundable; however, it can be used to cover the cost of another home visit if you are interested in adopting a different POOCH dog.
- If you are chosen as the adopter, the $50 will be applied to the final $300 adoption fee.
Remember that a Home Visit Deposit
does not guarantee placement.
STEP 3: Home Visit
We will schedule a home visit where we'll bring the dog to your home. This will give us, you, and the dog an opportunity to see if he or she fits in with your home life. Please note: A key milestone each youth and dog must achieve is passing the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test.
Typically this must be accomplished before the home visit can take place, and it definitely has to be complete before a dog can go home. As such, there may be some time between when an application is accepted and the time of the home visit.
Important to understand:
When there are multiple applications for the same dog, Project POOCH will choose a few finalists for home visits. Finalists are not selected based on the order in which the applications are received. Our goal is to find each of our dogs the home that is best for them, so we carefully select finalists based on each dog's specific needs, interests, and quirks. We make our decisions carefully by consulting the trainers and kennel managers who work closely with the dogs on a daily basis
STEP 5: Trial Visit
You and the dog you want will have an overnight or weekend visit to "see how it goes." (Like having a date, before you agree to go steady.) If the POOCH dog doesn't fit in with resident animals there will be no overnight.