to see the current list of our partner veterinarians.
APPLICATION/ADOPTION PROCESS FAQs
If you are a prior adopter, and would like to read our post adoption FAQs, those are on this page after this section.
Q: I don’t live in Wisconsin. Will you adopt to me?
A: We primarily adopt to residents in Wisconsin and Illinois. We will consider other states on a case by case basis. If you are are outside Wisconsin or Illinois, and interested in learning more please email us PRIOR to filling out the application. Unless approved by us in advance, any applications not from Wisconsin or Illinois will be automatically cancelled.
Q: What is your application process?
A: It starts when you fill out an adoption application on our website. Our application coordinator will review, and let you know if she has any questions or needs any additional information. If you have current pets, or have had other pets recently, she will call your veterinarian’s office for a reference check. If you rent, she will call your landlord to verify that it is ok for you to adopt a dog, and to see if you have any breed or size restrictions. Once she is done with those steps, your application will go to our home visit team. A volunteer is assigned, and then that person will contact you to set an appointment. Most of our home visits are done via phone, Facetime or Skype, but some are done in person.
After your home visit, the volunteer will report back to our board, and they will review for final approval. Once the review is complete, you will receive an email confirming your application has been approved.
You can fill out our adoption application here: https://www.luckymuttsrescue.org/adoption-application
Q: What exactly is a home visit?
A: The home visit is our opportunity to get to know you and your lifestyle better. There’s only so much that can be conveyed through an online application, and our goal is always to make the best matches possible. During the home visit, the volunteer will talk to you in more detail about your energy level, your experience with dogs, what kind of companion you’re looking for, etc. The last thing we want to do is send someone who is looking for a mellow companion home with a high energy dog, or a person who wants a running partner home with a couch potato pup.
Many dogs will get more than one application, and sometimes potential adopters may look very similar on paper. Since we don’t adopt on a “first-come-first-serve” basis, but a “best-match” basis, the home visit helps us determine what dog will be the best fit for which home.
If the “visit” is done over phone, Facetime or Skype, they will ask you to send some photos of your yard, and possibly the public areas of your home. During a in person visit, the volunteer may take pictures.
Q: How long does the application process take?
A: We know that once someone has made the decision to add a new family member, they want to get the ball rolling right away. We try to process applications as quickly as we’re able. On occasion, waiting for a vet’s office or landlord to return our call can hold things up for a day or two. Depending on your schedule, and the home visit volunteer working your application, it may take a few days for that appointment to happen. We’ve turned applications around in as little as 24 hours, and we have had some that took over a week. Most take 3-4 days typically, however due to changes related to covid-19 and the increase in applications, it could take up to 2 weeks.
Q: My application was approved! Now what?
A: Congratulations! If there was a specific dog on your application, we’ll let you know 1) if that dog is still available and 2) if based on your application and home visit, that dog is a possible match for you. If so, the foster will get in contact with you to schedule a meeting. If the meeting goes well, the adoption can usually be completed immediately after.
If the dog you originally listed isn’t a good fit, we may make other suggestions, or you can let us know what other dogs have caught your interest.
If you need help finding that perfect match, that’s ok, too! Let us know if you are looking for a specific type of dog, and we’ll do our best to keep an eye out and notify you when a possible match becomes available. Continue to watch our website and Facebook page for upcoming pups, and let us know when someone catches your eye. Your approved application is good for 6 months, so there’s no rush finding the perfect addition to your family!
Q: How do you decide what breeds to list on your dogs’ bios?
A: More often than not, it’s an “educated guess”. With adult dogs, estimating the breed mix is a little easier than with puppies, but it’s still fairly subjective. When breeds mix, the variations can be astonishing. While DNA tests are becoming more detailed and accessible, unfortunately, they are neither time nor cost effective for us to do on the dogs we bring in.
Some organizations have walked away from using breed identifications all together, unless they have documented proof that a dog is a specific breed (a pure breed Lab that was surrendered with papers, for example). We use PetFinder.com for our available dog listings and bios, and their website requires a breed or breed mix be listed, so we don’t have that option at this time.
Q: What will happen at the meeting with my potential dog?
A: You’ll get to meet the dog who will hopefully be your new family member! Everyone who lives in the home should be present at this meeting. We want the entire family on board. If you have a resident dog (or dogs) they should be at this meeting as well. We have had people bring other pets also – we insist on the dogs meeting in advance, but other pets (cats, rabbits, etc) are up to you. The foster will introduce the dog to you, and answer any questions you have. We will facilitate introducing the dog to your dog (if applicable). There is no time limit on a meeting (within reason, of course) and we want to make sure everyone is comfortable.
If the meeting happens at our adoption center, and everything goes well, the adoption can be completed right away, and you can take the dog home that day. All adoptions are completed at our adoption center, so if you and the foster agreed to have the meeting elsewhere, a second appointment to fill out paperwork will be required.
Q: What should I bring to the meeting?
A: Since the meeting is scheduled with the ultimate goal of you adopting the dog, be prepared to complete the adoption and take the dog home from the meeting. You should bring:
* The entire family! * Any resident dog(s) * Collar * Leash
*Crate for the car (if that is how you choose to transport your dog) * Adoption fee
Q: What forms of payment do you take for the adoption fee?
A: Cash, personal check, cashier’s check, PayPal or credit card.
Q: What does the adoption fee cover?
A: Every dog we adopt out is up to date (as is age appropriate) on distemper combo vaccine, and bordatella vaccine. We run a fecal float on every dog we are able. All dogs are given a 5 day course of broad spectrum dewormer. Each dog over 6 months old is heartworm tested and given preventative. They are all microchipped. If they are over 4 months old, they have gotten a rabies vaccine, and spayed or neutered. Pups under that age are sent home with a certificate to have the procedure, as well as the rabies vaccine, done at one of our partner vets (at our expense) once they are old enough.
Per state law, every dog we bring into the state of Wisconsin must have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) that is less than 30 calendar days old. They must also have a valid CVI on the date of their adoption.
Our adoption fees help us cover the costs of this care and the certificates, as well as transportation costs, overhead (our adoption center, office supplies, food, toys, etc) and medical bills for any injuries or illnesses we need to provide treatment for.
Q: I really want to adopt Sparky, but I won’t be ready to bring a dog into my home for a month. Will you hold him for me?
A: No, we do not hold dogs. If we held Sparky for a month for you, that is holding up a foster home that could be saving another dog from death row. And if in that month you change your mind about Sparky, he may have missed out on another potential home.
POST ADOPTION FAQs
Q: I adopted a puppy who wasn’t spayed/neutered yet. How do I get that done?
A: There will be a Spay/Neuter Certificate in the green folder that went home with your pup. You have two options on how to get the procedure done.
1) Contact any of the partner vets listed HERE and make an appointment. Take your pup for their appointment, and make sure you bring their green folder and that certificate with you. Those vets will bill us directly, and we pay the full cost of the surgery. If you choose to do any additional blood work, medications, etc, that will be your responsibility.
2) Make an appointment with your preferred veterinarian. You will pay your vet for the procedure, and submit the certificate and a copy of the receipt to us. We will reimburse you $70 towards the cost of the procedure. The remainder is your responsibility.
You can submit the paperwork via email, fax or regular mail.
Q: How big will my puppy get?
A: It’s hard to say. In most cases our breed listings are assumptions, and not proven facts. And even if we know Mom was a Catahoula and around 50 pounds, if Dad was a “wildcard” that can create a lot of possibilities. The puppy from a Catahoula Mom and a Mastiff Dad will be much bigger as an adult than the puppy from a Catahoula Mom and a Corgi Dad. There are websites that will claim to be able to estimate the full grown size of your pup based on their current age and weight, but they are really hit or miss.
Q: I’m having trouble [housebreaking/socializing/crate training/whatever] with my new dog. Can you help?
A: Check out the resources tab on our website. We have some great documents on working through the issues we see most often.
You can jump directly to the resources page here: https://www.luckymuttsrescue.org/resources
Also, make sure you join our Alumni page on Facebook. You can get advice and support there from Vanessa, our fosters and volunteers, as well as other adopters! www.tinyurl.com/LMRAlumni
One thing we all want to make sure never happens is a bite incident. The vast majority of bites happen as a reaction to frightening or painful stimuli, and are rarely done out of pure aggression. There are some great resources online that will help prevent such an incident, and one that we recommend all of our adopters watch is a video on YouTube called “Stop the 77”.
You can view that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABDrhNBwdpk