So How Does This Adoption Process Work Anyway?
Before you apply to adopt, please read about how our process works. We get dozens of emails and calls each day with questions about our process. We can’t answer each one individually, so we are hoping that by sharing our process with you, you will be enlightened, and take this decision seriously. We also ask you to be respectful of our volunteers’ time. Reading and accepting the principles below is the first step.
First and foremost, you should know that we receive at least 150 applications for every dog we adopt. This allows us to be very selective. If you are not chosen to adopt, please do not be angry. We work in the best interests of the dogs, and we know what they need best. This doesn’t mean you don’t have a good home. It just means there is a better fit in our applicant base.
We only adopt to Chicago and surrounding areas. Generally speaking, this includes downtown and the surrounding suburbs, NW Indiana and SE Wisconsin (refer to the Adoption Area map). We decide which areas we can cover based on the proximity to our available volunteers and we will not make exceptions. Please don't ask. Because we have more applicants than we do dogs there is no reason for us to look beyond our boundaries for good homes. There are plenty of great homes here in our backyard. If you are out of our adoption area, we will tell you. In this instance please visit rescuebulldogs.org to find the rescue closest to you. Please note that there are many areas that do not have a nearby English Bulldog rescue – particularly in rural areas. If this is the case, we suggest you rescue from your local shelters. None of these things will persuade us to change our policies so please don’t push these issues:
- I can drive to pick up the dog.
- I will fly in to meet you!
- I have a vet or a friend or a rescue group who can vouch for me.
- I can show you pictures of my home.
- I know I am outside of your area but I will pay you more than your listed adoption fee.
We will only consider a home for an “available bully” if your application is on file. So, if you are in our adoption radius and you don't have your application on file with us, we will not respond to inquiries. Please fill out our application on the Adopt page.
You do not apply to adopt a particular dog. Not even if it is the cutest dog you’ve ever seen or is the most perfect creature you’ve laid eyes upon! You are applying to adopt “an English Bulldog” from us. We will help determine which one is the best fit. Trust us, we are the experts at matching beautiful bullies to their perfect homes. Read on to find out how this works. Of course, you can indicate an interest in a particular dog, but we are reviewing your application in general, not just for that dog.
Not all homes are right for rescued bulldogs. Each application is put through a rigorous review process. It must meet several important criteria through multiple phases of review. We will contact you within 2 weeks of receiving your application with some form of indication of the progression of your application, or denial of your application. We are not considering the following types of applications:
- Incomplete applications. Forget your landlord’s or vet’s phone number? We will delete the application.
- Homes that already have several pets. Rescue bullies need lots of attention.
- Homes with children under 10 years old and no dog experience as a family. Please trust us on this. We have enough experience to know why this type of family isn’t a good idea for the dog or the family.
- College students, teenagers, or any applicant not gainfully employed.
- Homes that don’t meet our minimum income requirements.
- Homes with multiple children and multiple pets.
- Homes without air conditioning. We will check.
- And in some instances, homes without prior dog or bully experience.
Principle #6: Our process can be lengthy. But it is worth it. It can also be short. It depends on the workload of our volunteer network. If we decide to move forward with your application, we will move as fast as our volunteers can handle, but we ask for your patience. We all have full time jobs and families too. Generally speaking, applicants that move through the process undergo a thorough review of the online application, reference checks, telephone and in-home interviews.
Principle #7: The bullies posted on our site today are going to homes of applicants that applied weeks ago. As we work through your application, you will move up in the queue. In addition, we are not “first come, first-served” but rather match the needs of the dog, with the perfect family. We try to be respectful of the applicants waiting for the longest amount of time when determining one family over another.
Principle #8: We do not have a facility. You cannot see the dogs. You cannot shop for dogs. We are not looking for families that want to pick the color of their dog, or the ‘cute factor,’ or change the dog’s name, but are looking for families that accept that they are rescuing a dog and are willing to accept this premise in its entirety.