FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ADOPTION
Are you familiar with the personality traits of Brussels Griffons? The most important thing to know is that Griffs are ‘Velcro® dogs’. They crave your company and attention. Most Griffs are unhappy in homes where they are left for long periods. Griffs can also be stubborn and difficult to house train – even spiteful if unhappy. If this does not appeal to you, we recommend that you consider a different breed.
Are your children of an appropriate age to bring a dog of this size and temperament into your home? Consider the age of your young children. Without meaning to, children can be rough on a small dog, and the noisy excitement young children bring to a home can frighten a Brussels Griffon. They will get snappy or bite to protect themselves if they feel threatened by teasing or rough handling. Even if you feel your children are respectful but are not confident of the behavior of the children of family and friends who will visit, a Griff is probably not the right choice for your home.
Who will care for the new dog? The kids may promise to, but, realistically, will they? And if they don't, who will? When your children move out, are you going to be willing to continue to care for and love the pet?
Can you afford the additional expenses of having a pet? Just like human health care, animal health care costs have skyrocketed. You may get a dog that will require special dog food because of allergies or develop a medical condition. Are you in a position to handle an emergency medical situation?
Are you going to be moving, getting married, divorced, having a baby, or changing jobs in the near term? If so, it would be best to wait until you have settled before you adopt. Rescues have had their share of uncertainty, so we prefer their new environment to be a stable one where attention can be focused on welcoming and acclimating your new family member.
If you are a senior citizen, we respectfully suggest that you consider adopting an older Brussels Griffon. A healthy Griff can live 12 to 16 years, and they do not begin to show their age until about 11-13 years. Many pets are abandoned because their caregiver leaves them to enter a nursing home or passes away, and family members do not want to take the pet in.
Bonus: The temperament and energy level of a senior pet may suit you much better than the energy level and training requirements (house training, don’t chew-on-that training, etc.) of a puppy.
Every rescue is different. Some get along with everything and everybody, while others may have issues with children, other dogs, or cats. Some may even have issues with men or women.
When we are aware of issues, they will be noted in the rescue’s profile. While rescues are in their foster homes, the foster families do their best to work on their issues, but some cannot be overcome.
Please respect the coordinator’s decision if she feels issues will prevent a dog from being a good fit for your home. If a rescue is known to not do well with children, we will not place the dog in a home with children. We certainly don’t want to put a child in danger, and we don’t want to put the rescue in a situation that we already know is stressful for him or her.
If you feel a Brussels Griffon is the breed for you, the first step in the adoption process is to complete the adoption application. Our friendly screening process ensures safe and successful adoptions. Please complete the application candidly, providing all the details and contact information requested. We cannot accept P.O. Boxes or business addresses as home addresses. We cannot process any incomplete applications.
Please notify your veterinarian, landlord (if applicable), and personal references that an NBGR volunteer will be contacting them as part of the adoption process. Some veterinarians require your permission to release information from your pet’s charts. If personal references do not respond, it will slow or halt your review process.
Our adoption donation request ranges between $200 and $500. Minimally, we are trying to recover the costs of veterinary care. Younger, healthier Griffs command higher donations – and they help us pay for our older Griffs' expenses.
Any amounts donated above the requested donation enable us to help more Griffs and to cover the expenses of Griffs who may require catastrophic care, have special needs, or need to be fostered for long terms.
We appreciate people who open their hearts and homes to older or special-needs animals, and we are willing to reduce suggested donations to enable them to adopt.
NBGR is a 501c3 non-profit organization. All of our staff members are volunteers and do not receive any form of compensation.
All Griffs adopted through NBGR have been examined by a veterinarian, neutered or spayed, vaccinated, heartworm preventative, and micro-chipped. In some cases, the rescue may have had other medical procedures or surgery while in our care. All our rescues are heartworm tested and, if positive, have been treated before adoption. NBGR discloses any medical conditions of which we are aware before an adoption.
Sometimes we know very little, or nothing, about the previous care or treatment one of our rescues, may have had – or not had. Although we cannot guarantee our rescues' health, we do everything we can to ensure each one's health and well-being.
We have puppies in our program who are too young to be neutered or spayed before adoption from time to time. Arrangements will be made before adoption for the pup to be altered once they reach six months of age. Altering will be at the adopted family’s expense.
Loyal and loving Griffs come to us from a variety of places. Many are owner surrenders because of various reasons, including owner illness/death, moving, new baby, too busy, no time, can’t house train, not good with the children, etc.
Many are found in shelters where they were taken by their previous owners or when they were found as strays. We also have Griffs surrendered to us by breeders.
Would I be adopting somebody else's problem?
We rescue owner and breeder surrenders, dogs in shelters, and strays. Their backgrounds are varied. None of them are in our program because of a “fault of his own”. Most owner surrenders result from changes in the lifestyle or life situation of the family.
Some, given the abuse to which they were subjected, are fearful – but not defective.
Like others in the general pet population, some may have special needs or physical disabilities – but they are not defective. All deserve to be loved, and most flourish when they are.
You can learn about each rescue by reading his or her profile on our website. Our rescues live with foster families who keep us abreast of each rescue’s progress and any areas in which work is needed.
If you have qualified for adoption and feel your home could be a good match for a particular rescue, the adoption coordinator will work closely with you to ensure you know everything we know.
When your application for a specific dog is received, it is sent to the preliminary review Adoption Coordinator. Then the veterinary, property owner (if applicable), and personal reference checks are made.
If you named a specific rescue, your application would be considered for that rescue. If it looks like your home might be a good match, you will receive a call from the adoption coordinator for a phone interview. This is a good time for us to get to know you better and learn more about the rescue. If it appears that your home could be a good match for the rescue you have named, you will be able to speak with the foster mom for additional information.
Next, a home visit will be arranged. Once the home visit is complete, the adoption coordinator will contact you to make arrangements to complete the adoption.
If your application is not for a specific dog, it is reviewed – but not processed until we have a dog we think may match you. At that time, we move forward with the reference checks, etc., as described above.
Our number-one goal is to act in the best interest of each rescue.
NBGR volunteers go to great lengths to find the best home for each rescue AND to identify the rescue who is the best match for your family. We need to gather a lot of information.
Some of our rescues have been through hard times, neglected, abused, and/or abandoned. Others were just no longer wanted by their previous owners for whatever reason. We do everything in our power to make sure that in their next home, our rescues are loved, well cared for emotionally and physically, and treated as a valued member of the family.
Don’t be offended or annoyed by all the questions. We are a dedicated match-making team looking for exceptional homes. Our review process helps us see what experience you have, and it lets us know your expectations.
When the right rescue comes to your home, you will agree that it is worth every bit of time and effort – on your part and ours.
The process can take as little as a few weeks to as long as a few months. It is hard to predict exactly how long the process will take. We have too few coordinators, but they do their very best to review the applications received, conduct telephone interviews and home visits, check references, and, most importantly, get abandoned and surrendered Griffs safely into our program as quickly as possible.
You can accelerate the process by providing complete and accurate information in your adoption application and by notifying your veterinarians and references that we will be calling them.
NBGR requires home visits to see the environment in which the rescue will live. A walk-through of your home and yard enables us to help you identify and eliminate any potential risks, such as an area along a fence line through which a small pet could escape.
A home visit is an opportunity for us to get to know you and your family members (two- and four-legged) a little better. All household members must be present for a visit.
Volunteers conduct our home visits in the area. If you live in an area where there are no NBGR volunteers within a reasonable driving distance, we will do our best to find a reciprocating rescue group to help.
We adopt families who live in apartments, but we must pay special attention to all circumstances. Are pets welcome in your complex? Will your neighbors be annoyed when these little watchdogs bark at any traffic outside your doors and windows? What is the energy level of the rescue in whom you are interested? Will he or she be able to get the exercise needed to stay healthy? Is the Griff you are applying for leash trained and housebroken for leash walking? Our main concern is to find a Griff who is suited to your living situation.
A cautionary note: Some apartment complexes either do not allow pets, or they require non-refundable deposits. Please review your situation before applying.
We prefer that our rescues be placed in homes with securely fenced yards.
We have rescues in our program who are very fearful and will bolt given a chance, so they need the protection of a barrier. Others were found as strays, and we don’t know whether they were dumped or are escape artists.
Griffs will often chase after anything that runs -- cats, squirrels, rabbits, humans, other dogs, etc. A secure backyard will allow your Griff the freedom to run and play.
Having a fence does not mean, of course, that you can put the rescue in the backyard and go about your business. You need to supervise these little guys at all times because they can get themselves into trouble quickly. You also need to be aware of exterior dangers; small dogs can be snatched up by birds of prey, coyotes, or wild dogs in a split second. Also, know that dogs are being stolen at an alarming rate. You must be responsible for their protection and for keeping them safe at all times.
We have adoptive, caring individuals who live in an apartment, condo, or high-rise or have an HOA that does not allow fences. In these cases – or when a rescue is not in a secure area -- we require that they be harnessed and leashed at all times.
We will not adopt to homes with invisible fences. An invisible fence may or may not keep your dog in the yard, but it does not protect your dog from predators or people coming into your yard. Should you have a power outage, the fence is useless. If your dog were to panic and took a hit running out through the barrier, he or she would certainly not be inclined to come back through.
You must be at least 21 years old to adopt from NBGR.
You will find pictures of the rescue and a profile giving as much information as we have at the time of posting on our website. Although we are sometimes overwhelmed with incoming rescues, we do our best to keep the information current.
All the information we have on a given rescue is in his or her profile. If you are interested in adopting, we require that you complete the adoption application before contacting the adoption coordinator.
This is why: Our staff of volunteers must make the best use of their limited time. In addition to actual hands-on rescuing and placing of rescues, they have many other duties and administrative tasks that require attention daily. Our volunteers also have jobs, families, pets and fosters of their own with whom they want to spend their time.
Once you have completed the application review process, arrangements can be made to meet the rescue. Meetings are arranged through the adoption coordinator.
We never know where or when the next Griffin need will appear. We often place our rescues through previously submitted applications, and they are never posted on our website.
If you are interested in adopting, please complete the adoption application to have your information in our database. You never know; the perfect Griff for your home may show up close by.
Your application will be considered for any rescue you specify.
If the rescue you have applied for is already being adopted or is not a good match for your home, we may suggest another rescue in our program, or we will gladly consider you for future rescues.
Your application will remain in our database. As new rescues come in, we will search our database for applications in your area.
Our goal is to find the best home for each of Griff’s needs. We prefer to place our rescues within driving distance of their foster homes, but there are times when the best-matched home is located further away. If we can arrange a home visit and if the Griff is small enough and stable enough to fly in the cabin of a plane with an adoptive family member, we allow out-of-state or out-of-area adoptions. The adoptive family is responsible for travel expenses.
We DO NOT ship our rescues – EVER.
Please remember; we are here for you. If you are having problems with your Griff -- no matter how small -- contact your adoption coordinator. We will do our best to provide you the advice and support you need to correct any problem before it gets out of control. We also have an informal email group made up of foster parents and adopters that you are welcome to join. This group can be very helpful as there are many experienced foster and adoptive members ready and willing to offer advice on any issues you may be having.
If any issue cannot be worked out, we will ALWAYS take a rescue back into our program. It’s in the adoption contract you sign.
From time to time, there can be situations that prevent someone from keeping an adopted rescue. If, for any reason, you cannot keep your NBGR rescue, let us know as soon as possible, and we will begin the process of taking him or her back into our program.
Our contract, which you sign at the time of the adoption, states:
Should I (we) at any time be unable to keep or care for this dog, I (we) will NOT give her/him away or sell her/him to anyone or destroy (euthanize) this dog, but will contact Vicki O’Neill, Rescue Coordinator, or another Rescue Representative to help in finding her/him a suitable new home.
Griffs are notorious for having skin and ear issues. They often are allergic to wheat, corn, soy, and glutens. We STRONGLY recommend that you feed your Griff high-quality, grain-free food and treats. We will gladly guide you in your selection. These foods will be a bit more expensive, but you will save in the end when you are not making recurring vet visits – and your Griff will be healthier and happier.
We are always in need of loving foster homes. If you aren’t sure that you are ready to commit, long-term fostering a Griff in need is a good way to start. All requirements and considerations for full-time adoption apply to our foster home review process.
Should you find you can’t part with your foster Griff, arrangements must be worked out with the adoption coordinator before she begins the adoption process with another family.
We are always in need of loving foster homes to give our rescues a safe, nurturing place to stay while we search for their forever family. All requirements and considerations for full-time adoption apply to our foster home review process.
Always. We are a small group of volunteers doing everything we can to address a much larger set of challenges – and wishing we could do more.
If you are interested in helping, please click here.