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Each week we are contacted by numerous people requesting assistance with finding a new home for their Doberman. If we have space we may be able to take your dog, but keep in mind most of the time we are full. If you need to relinquish your dog you can email us at

Also, if you can no longer keep your dog for financial reasons, please check into Wellpet Humane for discount veterinary services. They offer a discount on their published prices for financial hardship situations.

Some things to think about:

1.  Your dog is your responsibility - bottom line.  

Whether you bought him from a breeder, adopted him from a shelter, took him in as a stray, or assumed his care after a friend or relative could no longer provide for him, this is now your dog. You made a committment to him. He loves and trusts you, and re-homing is going to be a traumatic event for him no matter what any of us do to help.  He is going to have a rough time understanding what is happening to him, even if finding a new home really is the best decision in the long run.  Even if you can't keep him any more, your dog still depends on you to do what's best for him. Now, more than ever, he needs you to make the right choices for his future.  He deserves your best efforts.

2. DO NOT list your dog on Craig's List.

You will not find a good home for your Doberman on Craig's List. This is a guarantee. You may think you can, but you aren't as experienced as rescue groups at interviewing potential adopters, knowing what to ask, what to listen for, what to check or how to handle the adoption. Most of the people looking for dogs on Craig's List are people who know they will be rejected by rescue groups. They know that we will check their references, call their veterinarian and visit their home, and reject them if anything does not feel right. They may tell you that they don't have a local veterinarian you can call (this means they either don't take their pets to the vet, or their veterinarian won't give them a good reference), and they will want to meet you at a public place like a Wal Mart parking lot to get the dog "for your convenience", when actually they just don't want you to see their home, and don't want you to be able to check up on your dog.

It usually takes us at least a couple of months to find a good home for a Doberman with someone who will properly care for him for the rest of his life. If you find a home for your dog with a stranger who responded to a Craig's List ad, it is not a good home. People know what to say to make themselves sound good, and nearly all of them will have bad intentions when looking for a bully breed dog. He/she may wind up being used as a bait dog for dog fighting, or someone may want a cheap guard dog and will just beat the dog to "make him mean". They may send a woman or a family to get your dog and tell you it will be a family pet. Personally, I would put my dog to sleep before I would advertise him on Craig's List.

craigslist

3.  If you turn your dog over to animal control, it may be killed that same day, within a few days, or adopted to anyone who walks through the door.

Shelters were created to care for stray, abandoned and abused animals. They weren't meant to be a drop-off for people who don't want their pets anymore. Shelters on average take in 100 new animals or more each day. There are not enough good homes for all of them!  Only the youngest, friendliest, cutest and best behaved dogs are going to be adopted. Bully breeds like Dobermans rarely find good homes through animal control.

Shelters are required to hold stray dogs for a certain number of days before putting them up for adoption or killing them. If you turn your dog in, they do not have told hold it for any length of time and may kill it as soon as you walk out the door. If your dog is old, has health problems or does not react well towards strangers, its chances of adoption are slim to none.  

Sending your dog to a shelter in hopes that he'll find a good home is wishful thinking. It's more likely that he will wind up dead, or in a home that is so bad he would be better off dead.

4. Doberman rescue services are volunteer groups.  

Our financial support comes from donations and fundraising. We do not receive "government funding" as some seem to believe.  We do not have paid employees. We rely solely on volunteers donating their time and energy.  Basically, we are regular folks who have joined together to help keep our beloved Dobermans safe. Please remember this when you are working with our volunteers.

5. Like most rescues we do not have a shelter or central facility.

Our rescue dogs reside in volunteer foster homes throughout the Atlanta area until we find them a new permanent home.  We have only a few foster homes and as soon as a dog gets adopted there is another waiting to come in.  Because of this, it is extremely rare that someone contacts us to take their dog and we have a spot in a foster home available at that time.

If you absolutely cannot keep your dog and we do not have space, we can advertise your dog on our site, screen/interview potential adopters and pass the info along to you.  We will not do this if your dog has not been spayed or neutered. We can refer you to a low cost spay/neuter clinic. Until your dog is adopted we need you to continue to provide a safe home for your Doberman until he/she is adopted.  This should not be a great hardship and we feel that it is the least you can do to help your Doberman make the transition into a new home.  Although many of the requests for assistance that we receive claim that the dog must be out of the home immediately, true emergencies of this nature are few and far between.  Most often they reflect impatience or poor planning on the part of the owner (i.e. moving to a "no pets" apartment tomorrow but haven't contacted anyone for help until now).  You will receive no sympathy from us in this case. Why did you choose a home that does not allow a Doberman when you own a Doberman? Would you move to a "no kids" apartment complex when you have kids? 

6. Please take a long, hard look at your reason for giving up your dog.

Now is the time for some real soul searching.  Are you being forced to give up your dog or do you just no longer want to deal with him?  We are often told by owners that they are giving up the dog because he "deserves more", or they don't have enough time for him, or he has too much energy.  Remember this is not your pet's fault - he had no say in coming to live with you.  You are the only family the dog knows and being sent away will be hard on him.  If you are his second or third home, this is even worse. Being passed around leads to emotional and behavioral problems that may turn your dog into a fear biter or cause other undesirable behaviors. There is no family with a farm waiting to adopt all the energetic dogs people bought/adopted without thinking about how much time and energy it would take.  With some time and effort, a loving family could be found for your Doberman but is that really necessary?  Is there something else you can do to help make your family and Doberman a better fit?

If he is too energetic, have you tried play dates with other dogs, dog daycare, throwing a ball for him until he is tired (don't do this in high heat or humidity)? How about enrolling him in an agility class?

If he is destructive or too much to handle, have you taken him to an obedience class? We can recommend good classes. Do NOT send him away for training!

If you work long hours, have you considered having a pet sitter come in every day to exercise him?

Remember, adopting a dog is a committment. They do more than eat, sleep and go to the bathroom. They need exercise and mental stimulation and it is your responsiblity to give it to them.

7. If you do end up turning your dog in to our rescue organization, we will need:

  • Current vaccination records
  • Recent heartworm test results
  • A completed owner surrender form, which we will send to you
  • Proof of spay/neuter

8. We will not take any dog who has bitten someone.

Occasionally we hear from people who want to turn in a dog who has bitten a child, attacked another person, or attacks other dogs. Passing this problem along to another family is not the solution. It could result in tragedy for your dog and others. What if he bit a child or attacked someone in his new family? Think of how they may react. They may get so mad they beat him to death. The future is not bright for an aggressive dog.

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