Frequently Asked Questions
Is a dog available for adoption?
We are working applications all the time. We don't know if a dog is available, as there may be applicants, but they have not met the dog. Once a dog is adopted they are removed from the site immediately.
There is no need to ask if a dog is available. The application is easy to use and takes about five minutes to fill out. If you are interested in a dog, please apply.
What does Foster Home Needed mean and is a dog in need of a foster home available for adoption?
Foster home needed means that we are looking for a volunteer to foster this dog.
If you are interested in fostering, please see our Fostering tab.
Any dog that is in need of a foster home is also available for outright adoption.
We do not have a Foster to Adopt program, as that is very stressful on the dogs.
With this being said, we do not prevent our foster families from adopting.
This means that if you commit to fostering we expect that you foster the dog until they find their forever home.
Can we meet the dog before applying or going through the adoption process?
We require that everyone complete an application and be approved prior to meeting a dog. This is for you benefit and ours.
We have an approval process and not everyone is approved. You do not want to meet a dog, get emotionally involved and then find out that you are not approved.
Also, we want to know more about you. Maybe the dog you have seen the photo of, is not the right match for you? We can assist you in selecting the best match for you and your situation.
Our dogs are in private foster homes. Out of respect for our foster family's time and for their safety, we require that you complete an application and be approved prior to meeting a dog. Once approved, you can meet the dog and take them home that day.
How can my dog meet the Fluffy Dog to see if they will be a good match?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions that we get. Yes, your dog can meet the Fluffy Dog, but there is no reason to invest everyone's time in this, if you are not going to be approved. This is why we ask that you apply and be approved prior to the dogs meeting.
Keep in mind, dogs are not like humans in their social structure. If you bring your dog to the foster home to meet the Fluffy Dog, there will be other dogs there. Your dog will be stressed from the trip and being in a new environment. When two dogs meet they should meet on neutral ground. They do not actually meet face to face. This is a very aggressive meeting for a dog. They should be walked toward each other on opposite sides of the street, pass and one walk to the other ones side of the street while they continue walking. This ensures a meeting from the side or the back and they continue walking.
The most important thing is if YOU like the dog. Out of over 2,000 adoptions we have only had one situation where the dogs did not get along. This was in the first 24 hours, which is not enough time to evaluate their behaviors. It is going to take time for the dogs to determine where in the pack they will be. There may be some scuffles. In the end, the dogs may be best of friends or may ignore each other. Either way, you are not going to know this in one meeting and it is not something you can change. It is where they decide each other will be in the pack hierarchy.
If you are going to bring your dog to meet the Fluffy Dog at the foster's home. Please bring two crates. There is not enough room in a vehicle for two dogs that have just met to be uncrated for their and your safety. Please know that almost all our Fluffy Dogs have come to foster homes with other dogs and gotten along with them just fine. If not, it will be indicated on the website. Also, the best match is a male and female, then two males and then two females. Keep in mind there are thousand of female/female pairs that are doing just fine.
Do you hold adoption events?
I am happy to say that our dogs get adopted without us having to hold adoption events. If we are having any, they will be listed on the Adoptable Dogs page.
These events are very stressful on the dogs and it is difficult to get a good idea of their true personalities in this setting.
It is much better for you to apply and meet them in their foster homes.
Are the dogs vaccinated and spayed/neutered?
On the How to Adopt page we have a link to our Adoption Letter. In that letter we disclose all of the vetting and care the dog has received.
Is this dog hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, this is not a question we can answer. Every person is sensitive to different things. It has been said that a purebred Poodle will not affect someone who is allergic to dogs. This is because Poodles have hair and not fur. Keep in mind it is the dander one is allergic to, and not the fur. I have known people who are sensitive to Poodles. Also, as the dander builds up in your home, a person who was not sensitive may become sensitive.
There are breeds, other than Poodles that have a similar haircoat to a Poodle. You can find them listed online. Keep in mind, dogs that are mixes, such as Labradoodles and Goldendoodles, are mixes of Poodles with hair and other breeds, like Labs and Golden Retrievers, that have fur and are known to cause symptoms for people who are allergic. Sometimes Wirehaired Terriers are listed as hypoallergenic. They are referring to a Wired Fox Terrier, which is not the same as the dogs we have listed as Wirehaired Terriers. Someone with allergies will, most likely, be sensitive to our Wirehaired Terriers.
As the listings state, we have no idea what breed our dogs are. If a dog is a purebred Poodle, one will be able to tell that. They will really look like a Poodle and nothing else.
If you have questions, it is best to consult your doctor, as we don't have any way to know what your sensitivities are.
What can I expect from the home visit?
After you apply and pay your application fee, you will be contacted from one of our volunteers to set up a home visit.
We have volunteers throughout WI & IL. They will set a day and time to come to your home.
All family members must attend the home visit.
The home visit is a time for you to ask questions about the process, dog care, to prepare you for what to expect with the adoption of a Fluffy Dog and for us to find out more about your needs.
They will also tour your home and yard for appropriateness and safety for our dogs.
If I apply, do I have to adopt?
If you meet the dog and it's not the right dog for you, you do not have to adopt that dog or any other. You are welcome to take your time looking for another dog. We take in approximately 15-20 new dogs each month.
If you meet the dog and are not sure if this is the right dog for you, we will hold the dog for 24 hours for you. If we do not receive other applications, you are welcome to take as much time as you want to decide.
Please note: We do expect that when you apply, you are ready to take a dog home in seven days. If you are not ready, please do not apply. Wait until you are ready. We always have wonderful dogs and you will not miss out on that special one.
Will you waive the policy regarding adopting to families with children under the age of six?
This policy was created in our first nine months of rescuing. During that time we had five dogs returned. All from families with children under the age of six. Some the child was afraid, some the dog was afraid, but in all it was not a good situation. This and current outside surrender requests has taught us that six is an age when children can begin to understand and respect the pets in the home. It is not that the children are not kind, it is that they understand the difference between a living pet and a stuffed animal. We have this policy written in our insurance policy and will not accept waivers for liability. We do it because it is the right thing to do.
Every week I receive an email like this:
"My husband and I have an AKC Norwegian Elkhound that needs a new home. He is 5 years old, neutered and up to date on all shots. He is a good dog, loves people and gets along well with other dogs (we have one other dog at home). We have a 4 year old daughter at home who was bitten by the dog last night and had to get some stitches. He has never bitten anyone before and only bit her because she got a bit too overzealous (she loves dogs but is at times, like last night, forgets that giving hugs to dogs around the neck and trying to lay on them can hurt them too).
I don't know if you take dogs that have bitten before, but I wanted to at least try to give him a good home. He is truly a good, sweet dog, but would do better now in a home with older children (or no kids)."
It is not the fault of the dog or the child. It is the fault of the parent. Children will be children. They are not able to reason and understand what will make a dog uncomfortable.
Do you adopt out of WI & IL?
We do only adopt in WI & IL. Sometimes we are able to work things in MN.
We do this for a few reasons.
We do home visits for all our adopters. This is done through volunteers and we do not have volunteers in the other states. We want the home visitors to be people that are trained by us, so photos and friends in rescue are not acceptable.
While under our care, our dogs are kept in private homes and loved by foster families. These foster families like to keep in touch with the adopters. Out of respect for the work they do, we keep our dogs close to home. Often times I find them Fluffysitting for past fosters.
If an adopter is not able to keep a dog for any reason at any time, they must be returned to us. A person is much more likely to return the dog to us if they are close to us. The further away, the more chance our dogs have of ending up in a bad situation again.
Why do you not have a facility where we can meet the dogs and can I call for more information?
The answer to these questions is that we are a private rescue organization run by volunteers. We are not a public Humane Society like you might be used to. Those do exist and most are on Petfinder.com. If you are the type of person that needs to meet a dog and speak with someone before you apply, this process may not work for you.
We are volunteers and have jobs and families. We give of our free time to help these dogs on their journey to loving homes. By working through email, it allows us to fit this work in when we can.
We have done our best to make you feel comfortable throughout the process and because we do work through email, you will receive a response within hours of your inquiry.
Our foster families have provided information that is put on each dog's listing about their personalities. Some have videos and others even have blogs with more photos and videos. If you have specific questions that pertain to your unique situation, please email them.
We send a volunteer to your home to discuss what you are looking for and expecting from this addition to your family. This is a much more valuable experience than going somewhere and "seeing" a dog. We are looking to make lifelong matches.
Once you have applied, have had your visit with a volunteer in your home and gained more information, you can make an educated decision on which dog is the best match for you.Our entire approval process and meeting of the dog takes about a week.
Is the breed listed the actual breed or breeds of the dog?
In most cases the answer is no. Most of our dogs come without any information on their breed.
Because of the amount of unsupervised breeding in the south, these dogs could be a combination of ten or more breeds
and one litter can have up to three fathers. We are not breed experts and do our best guess in selecting breeds to associate with our dogs. Please take some time and research the breeds we have listed. You might be able to see how we determined the breeds that we have.
How do I know if this dog will be good with my children?
My first question is how will your children be with the dog? Dogs do not bite children because they are small humans. They bite because of the actions they make, hugging, moving quickly, making loud noises, etc. We will indicate if a dog is not balanced enough to be around children on their listing. These are rescue dogs, so will need time and training to adjust to life in your home. Please see the Doggone Safe link to understand about common sense living with dogs and children.
Do you cat test?
While we don't know the breed of our dogs, most of them are terriers. Terriers were bred to chase and kill small animals.
Yes, they are cute, but might not be best for you if you have a cat. Also, putting a cat in front of them will not tell you how they are with cats.
The relationship depends on your cat in their home environment.
Does your cat run? If so, they will be a lot of fun to chase.
Does your cat have claws? If not, they have no way of defending themselves.
What is your personality? Are you patient and will you allow months for things to settle in your home? If your cat is chased, will you be upset?If you are concerned about the cat and dog relationship, I would not suggest adopting a terrier.
We are able to indicate if a dog may be good with cats if the foster home they reside in has a cat and they have provided us with information on their interactions. This information will be posted on their petfinder listing.
I am not able to keep my dog. Will you take it?
Because of the demands on us from our southern kill shelters, we are not able to take owner surrenders. Our WI & IL Humane Societies are very well run and I would suggest you surrender your dog to them if you are not able to care for it properly. This pertains to dogs that are not adopted from Fluffy Dog Rescue. All Fluffy Dogs must come back to Fluffy Dog Rescue per our contract.