Q: Can I adopt if my current pets are not spayed/neutered?
A: MCAS believes that spaying/neutering is a basic responsibility of all conscientious pet owners, so that is one thing we look for in considering a prospective adopter. In addition to preventing more pet animal births, altering your pet improves health, longevity, and behavior for your pets. This however is not a requirement.
Q: How do I verify that a particular pet is available?
A: Dogs profiled on our website are indeed still available for adoption. However, a particular dog could have applications in process. Since we don't know whether an in-hand application will make it through to approval, we don't want to discourage you unnecessarily. If you apply for a dog that already has previous applications, your application can still be accepted for processing. If the dog IS approved for adoption by a previous applicant, an Adoption Coordinator would work with you to find another dog (perhaps one that isn't even profiled on our website yet) that is a great match for your household and the characteristics you're seeking.
Q: Someone told me that since I have a male dog I should only adopt a female, or I have a female I should only adopt a male, so that I don't have two of the same sex. Is that true?
A: Many people do hold the view that males and females tend to do better together than same-sex pairs, because a male dog and a female dog will tend to see each other more as companions and less as competition. However, for dogs that are spayed/neutered, the gender is usually less of a factor than is overall personality. While it's true that serious dog fights are more often between dogs of the same sex, same-sex dogs often form very close friendships.
Q: I want a young puppy, because someone told me that older dogs do not bond to people very fast. Is that true?
A: Adult dogs come to MCAS from a wide range of backgrounds and sometimes it does take them a while to settle in and learn to trust their humans. In almost all cases, however, an adopted dog that is shown patience, consistency, and tender loving care will come to bond tightly with you. In fact, many rescued dogs who knew hardships in their former lives will demonstrate a particularly strong appreciation and gratitude for their new home. It could take a few days or perhaps a few weeks to develop that bond-- or sometimes it's a matter of just a few hours -- but whatever the length of time, it will be worth it.
Q: Can I adopt two dogs at the same time?
A: Experts advise against getting two dogs at the same time because the dogs will often bond tightly to one another at the expense of the relationship with the humans in the family. The two dogs need their own time with humans and separate training, socialization, and playtime. There is always a period of transition after bringing in a new dog, and even the most prepared, experienced adopters can find it's quite an adjustment. A newly adopted dog deserves as much of your time and one-on-one attention as possible during this transition period. This gives the best opportunity to establish the rules, routines, and expectations, and to grow to trust each other and bond tightly with each other. Such a firm foundation greatly increases the chances of the adoption being a perfect "furever" fit. By waiting until your new dog really settles in, you'll be in a better position to evaluate whether you'd truly be better off with a second dog and, if so, you'll also be also better able to determine what personality would be most compatible. However there are also scenarios where there are litter mates or dogs that came in together which are a bonded pair. In these cases it would be great for the pair to be adopted together.
Q: What other vetting do my current pets need in order for me to qualify to adopt?
A: All current pets should kept up-to-date on required vaccinations and annual testing. This includes rabies vaccinations for all pets; distemper/parvo vaccinations for all dogs; annual heartworm test for all dogs; FVRCP for all cats; and FeLV/FIV test for all cats. Additionally, all dogs must be on monthly heartworm preventative.
Q: Can I adopt if I don't have a fenced yard?
A: Many dogs do fine without a fenced yard as long as they receive adequate exercise and potty opportunities through leashed walks/jogs. Some individual dogs, though, are more high energy and do require being able to run freely on a regular basis. Restricting a young, high-energy dog from being able to burn off energy often leads to behavior problems. If you do not have a fenced yard, you may want to consider an older dog or one whose profile indicates that it has a relatively low energy level.
Q: What if I live in an apartment?
A: If you live in an apartment, you will need to (1) check to be sure if you are allowed to have pets; are there any breed or weight restrictions?; is there a pet deposit fee that needs to be paid?(2) to be sure that a dog's barking would not cause problems with your neighbors; (3) to be prepared to take the dog out for leashed walks and potty time multiple times a day; and (4) a plan for taking the pet with you if/when you need to move.
Q: How old do I have to be to adopt?
A: Since our adoption contracts are legally binding documents, you must be at least 18 years old. While we believe that children may be truly wonderful and loving companions for a dog, they are usually not prepared for the life-long commitment that we expect of our adopters.
Q: Can I adopt a pet as a surprise gift for someone else?
A: Adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment, and it is crucially important for the person who will end up being the pet's owner to be integrally involved in the adoption process so that she or he can understand the pet's needs, agree to work with the pet on obedience and training issues and consent to the financial obligation (particularly of regular vet care). Those things require the future owner's explicit advance agreement. If you are trying to give a pet as a gift you would need to ensure you have a plan should the receiving person doesn't want the pet.
Q: I want to adopt but am going out of town in the next month or so; can you hold the pet for me?
A: No. That isn't fair to the pet, the foster home, or other interested applicants. If you know that you'll be going on a vacation where you can't take your new pet with you, please wait until you return before applying to adopt. We will not "hold" pets for anyone not ready to take receipt immediately upon being approved.
Q: What does the adoption fee cover?
A: All animals are up-to-date on vaccinations, spayed/neutered, heartworm tested and microchipped.
Q: Is the adoption fee negotiable?
A: No. We do set the adoption fee as low as we can to stay operational and help cover our costs of caring for the dogs we save. On average, it costs us significantly MORE than the amount of the adoption fee to provide each dog complete medical and other needed care. We do recognize that many loving applicants have financial hardships. Nevertheless, we have to recognize that folks who are not financially able (or willing) to cover our modest adoption fee are likely not able (or willing) to provide the on-going vet care that we consider essential for responsible pet ownership.