Adoption Process/F.A.Q

Congratulations, you have made the decision to adopt a dog!  This is a huge responsibility and should be thought out to make sure you have the time, money and commitment to meet the needs of your new companion.  A wonderful free book on what to expect from adopting a rescue dog is:  Adopting a Rescue Dog: The First Seven Days From Shelter to Home

Once you have read this information and are sure you are ready for a new companion, here is our adoption process:

We screen potential adopters very carefully in order to find the best possible match for both you and our foster dogs. No Dalmatians will be placed into homes known to have intact companion animals, let their pets roam free or stay outside unattended, or have exhibited irresponsible care of current or previous pets. All adoptions are expected to be lifetime commitments so please give this a lot of thought before completing an application. We will disclose all known behaviors, health or emotional issues to interested applicants prior to adoption.

Once your references are checked, a volunteer will contact you to discuss potential matches and to schedule a home visit. The purpose of the home visit is not to inspect your housecleaning abilities! It is to see the surroundings in which our foster dogs will live, address any areas of concern and get to know you a little better.   Each of the dogs in our rescue has been failed in some way by their former owners or they would not be with us.  Some are rescued from situations of neglect and abuse, while others were abandoned by their caretakers when the responsibility of a pet became an inconvenience.  We feel very strongly that it is our responsibility to ensure that our dogs never have to endure those situations again.  We don’t want to look in your closets or see a perfectly spotless house!  We only want to verify that you are able to provide a safe and caring environment for a rescued Dalmatian in need.

cleo kathy Thome

While Dalmatians are wonderful family pets and generally get along well with children, we generally do not adopt to families with children under the age of ten years old. Many of the Dalmatians who come to us have an unknown history with children and/or have been in abusive situations which require a quieter environment. If we have a Dalmatian in rescue whose past with children is known or who is currently in a foster home with children, we will note that in their bio. We will consider exceptions to this rule on a case by case basis depending on the experience of the family and age of the children in the household.

*****Due to increasing vet costs, Effective 1/1/2010 our adoption fees will be the following:

Standard Adoption fee :   $250

Mixed bred puppies (less than 1 year): $200 with $50 refundable upon proof of completion of obedience course.

Purebred Puppies (less than 1 year): $350 with $50 refundable upon proof of completion of obedience course.

Seniors (age 10+)  $200

What does this fee cover?

  • Physical veterinarian exam
  • Spay/Neuter (we will not adopt out intact dogs)
  • Rabies
  • Heartworm Test and preventative medication while in foster care
  • Fecal Test and any necessary worming medication while in foster care
  • Microchip implant (for id purposes)
  • Flea preventative medication while in foster care
  • Any other treatment deemed necessary by our vet
  • Urinalysis
  • Reimbursement to the rescue for food, boarding, shelter pull fees, gas & transport expenses.

As you can see, our adoption fee covers a number of costs. Your dog will be covered for all the age appropriate inoculations for the first year. We will send you copies of all services your new Dal received while in rescue.   Once you are approved, we will send you our standard adoption contract Please be prepared to return it along with the adoption fee within 24 hours!  AS SOON AS WE ARE IN RECEIPT OF YOUR CONTRACT AND ADOPTION FEE, YOUR PUPPY IS LEGALLY YOURS and transport arrangements can be made.  Transport will not be arranged until the contract and adoption fee are received


We will consider adopting to families who live in states other than those we currently serve (Ohio and its contiguous states).  All of our same adoption process applies and we will be happy to work with getting your pup part of the way home.  If you are adopting from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana or Kentucky we will ask that you drive at least half way to pick up your new family member.

If you are adopting from a state other than Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky and need to have your dog’s transport coordinated by us, the procedure is as follows: Once we approve your application we will send you both a contract and a request for payment. Be prepared to receive these within 24 hours and to reply within the next 24 hours! AS SOON AS WE ARE IN RECEIPT OF YOUR CONTRACT AND ADOPTION FEE, YOUR PUPPY IS LEGALLY YOURS! You can come to the foster home and pick him/ her up anytime. Or, we will be happy to help you plan your pet’s itinerary. Typically the time from adoption to transport will be 3 weeks. However, it can take longer depending on the distance and our transporters’ schedules (we use all volunteers).  We are now asking our out of state adopters, who desire our help with travel arrangements, to make an additional $100 donation. This helps with transport related expenses. Your pet will come with a vet travel certificate (required by law.) We follow all USDA guidelines for pets crossing state lines.

If the dog has a personality which is suitable to being shipped, we will ship a dog using Continental Airlines if there is a non-stop flight.  All expenses associated with shipping the dog will be the responsibility of the adopter, in addition to the adoption fee (this includes the airfare, airline approved crate and cost for obtaining a health certificate).

This may seem like a long, complex process and our intent is to make it as smooth as possible.  But please remember that these dogs have been in our homes and our hearts.  They are relying on us to find the right home so that they are never homeless again.  We will not place them hurriedly or carelessly – Your understanding and patience is much appreciated.


Is My Rescued Dalmatian a Purebred?

Second Chances Dalmatian Rescue is dedicated to rehoming Dalmatians who have been surrendered to shelters or who were found as strays.  In most cases we never see the AKC papers of these dogs but in our opinion they are purebred Dalmatians and can be represented as such. We will take in dogs that are Dalmatian mixes although it is impossible to tell with certainty what they are mixed with.    It is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a Dalmatian mix and a poorly bred Dalmatian but we do our best!  We don’t have puppies under six months of age available for adoption very often, usually it is when we take in a pregnant female and we have no way of knowing what the puppies are mixed with.  Most of the dogs we get are adults ranging in age from one year to twelve years.

How do I know the temperament of my rescued Dalmatian?

We carefully evaluate the Dalmatians that we bring in to our rescue program.  Once they are a part of rescue they continue to be evaluated.   If we have any concerns about the dog’s suitability for adoption, the Dalmatian is not placed.  We will not rehome a dog that has any history of aggression to people or shows aggression while being fostered.

Why was my rescued Dalmatian given up?

Some  of the dogs we place come from shelters, others come from individuals who can no longer keep the dog.  There are many reasons people give for having to turn over the dog to rescue: moving to a place that doesn’t allow dogs, divorce, not enough money, not enough time for the dog, new baby, allergies.   When we know the reason the dogs have been given up, we will fully disclose that information and all other information we have about the dog

Is my rescued Dalmatian Healthy?

All of the Dalmatians we in get in Rescue are thoroughly checked by a vet before they are adopted.  Whenever possible we get their veterinary records.   They are vaccinated, checked and treated if necessary for worms and heartworm,  spayed or neutered, and treated for any other obvious health issues.  We will fully disclose all known health issues for the dogs that come into our program.

What information do you know about my rescued Dalmatian?

Some of the dogs have more needs than others: some need homes without cats, some need homes without any other pets, and some we prefer to place in homes with no young children since they were not raised with kids.  Some of our dogs are more flexible and do well with kids, cats, other dogs, etc.  .  We make every effort to see how the dog does with other dogs, cats and children but this is not always possible in every situation.  When we do not know their history with children and if they are not in a foster home with children, we prefer not to adopt them to a family with children unless the children are older and the family is experienced with Dalmatians.   We strongly encourage adopters with children to review this website that has some very good information about dog bite prevention:


How do I prepare to bring my rescued Dalmatian home?

The dogs are generally crate trained while they are being fostered and we recommend that anyone adopting a dog have a crate.  We cannot be sure that the dog won’t chew while unsupervised and this is the best way to avoid this. Dogs as a general rule love their crates.  Also remember that the transition to a new home can be stressful for some dogs so even those dogs who are housetrained may have accidents in their new home until they learn the new routine and adjust.  We strongly encourage you to maintain a regular schedule and do some “housetraining 101” for the first few days with your new dog.  You will have a chance to TALK WITH  the dogs foster parents before your dog arrives and they will pass along the dogs current schedule.  We recommend allowing at least 30 days for your dog to adjust – they have been through a lot and need time to learn the new routine.  Any dog that is returned to us during this 30 period will not have the adoption fee returned.

What if I find another dog or change my mind after I have submitted my application?

If you change your mind about adopting at any point in the adoption process, please let us know right away.  We are all volunteers with full time jobs who do the rescue work in the evening and on weekends.  The application screening process takes a lot of our volunteers time so please be respectful of that.

How do I get approved?

The priority of Second Chances Dalmatian Rescue is finding a home that is most suitable for the dog.  The decision on who is to adopt the dog is made by the volunteer fostering the dog in addition to the Board of Directors.  It is our sole discretion to adopt to the best applicant for the dog, not necessarily on a first come first serve basis.  We reserve the right to deny adoption to anyone who does not meet our adoption criteria.

Where can I learn more about Dalmatians?

We suggest the following website for anyone interested in learning about Dalmatians, including some of their health issues.

How often do you update the Available Dogs section of the website?

The following website has the most up-to-date information on dogs available, but is not complete.  (Some dogs are placed without being posted with people whose applications are already on file.)   If you don’t see a dog that might be a possibility for you on the website now, keep checking it every few weeks.  We try to update the website whenever a  new dog becomes available for adoption.

We also have a  Facebook fan page.  If you are on Facebook and would like to join our fan page, click this link: