Frequently asked questions

How much is the adoption fee?

Our adoption fee is $595. All of our dogs are spayed or neutered, up-to-date on required and age-appropriate vaccinations, dewormed, dosed with heartworm / flea and tick preventative, microchipped, and outfitted in a new collar (or harness depending on age) and lead with a temporary ID tag. Your pup also comes with the option to purchase insurance with a dedicated referral link within 30 days of adoption to protect you from the unexpected. Our adoption fees only curb the costs associated with the rescue, vetting, transport, state-mandated quarantine, and ongoing food and preventatives for those pups living in foster homes until adoption. We rely on donations to cover the rest. Though the feel-good piece of rescuing is saving a life, the adoption fee is also a great value when compared against those same costs should you be paying out of pocket.

Can I adopt prior to a pup's arrival to MA?

YES! In fact, most of our pups are anxiously waiting for their "freedom ride" to Massachusetts to find their forever home. After your application is approved, (more about the adoption process here), you will first "meet" your pup through photos, sometimes video, and a personality description (from our rescue partners down south) to ensure a great match. Our dogs arrive monthly to a 48-hour state-mandated quarantine before they're available to bring home. Throughout this process, your Placement Coordinator will prep you with all sorts of resources as you ready your home for arrival. We work very hard to match our pups with their new humans. We understand that with even all best intentions, not every match is one made in heaven. At no penalty, you can return your pup to Rescue Inc. within 14 days and be refunded your entire adoption fee, minus the payment processing charge.

How can I adopt a pup after it arrives to MA?

Those not adopted before they arrive to MA or those dogs displaced in MA, will live in foster homes until adoption. After your application to adopt is approved and you have been matched with a pup, we connect you with the foster family to hear more firsthand observations and schedule a time to meet. In the interim, your Placement Coordinator will prep you with all sorts of resources as you ready your home for arrival. If it's a love connection, you take your new pup home with you. Our adoption process can be found here.

Are you a shelter?

Rescue Inc. is not a shelter, but rather a foster-based organization. If our dogs are not pre-adopted upon arrival to Massachusetts, they live in foster homes where they continue to learn how to "dog" while waiting for their forever home. This also means we do not have a facility where you can pop in to meet adoptable puppies and dogs. We do, however, will have a dedicated space in Amesbury, MA starting June 1st that will serve as a photography space for our pups, a pick-up location, and limited public "meet & greet" hours. Other local rescues may reserve this space, free-of-charge, to utilize these same resources. Read more about our Rescue Collective here. Our pups are available on a first-come-first-serve basis to our approved adopters. Approved adopters can either pre-adopt a dog before it arrives to MA or meet one of our pups in their foster home (by appointment only). We love our foster homes and can't rescue without them! See the next two FAQs below to read more about your adoption options.

Where do your southern pups come from?

Though we refer to our our pups as "homegrown and free-range" or Mississippi "side-of-the-road-specials", there is a much harsher reality. Many pockets of our country have stray populations of epic proportions. Failure to spay and neuter, combined with a lack of animal welfare laws in many states, burden an imperfect system that is simply not equipped to handle the sheer volume of homeless animals. This leaves animals on the street to suffer, languishing in a shelter, or euthanized. We help fill the gap in these areas and provide options when there are none. Whether a pup is dumped on a highway, born as a stray, or pulled from the shelter at the 11th hour, they immediately transition to our southern rescue affiliates' sanctuary-like properties in Noxubee and Benton Counties in MS. Pups that need medical care are treated by a veterinarian. Those that need time to acclimate are given time to spread their wings a bit while others are ready for home from the get-go (especially the puppies!). Here, they all adapt to living in a pack with others of all shapes and sizes, learn canine social cues, and what it's like to actually have humans be kind to them. And then... they're ready for you.

Do you recommend training?

YES! Positive reinforcement training is essential for your new pup (young or old!) to bond with you while creating a healthy relationship and harmonious home. We follow the work of Victoria Stillwell and her site is a wealth of information for every aspect of training from bringing your pup home and working through any hiccups along the way. This is not a substitute for a training class or one-on-one training, but an at home resource at your fingertips. We also recommend this video as a MUST WATCH for everyone in your family as we strive to keep our pups out of the "77". Too many dogs end up in shelters or back in rescue because their owners failed to follow through on their commitments associated with dog ownership, training included. In an effort to keep our pups in forever homes, a training plan needs to be in place as part of your final adoption contract. Your Placement Coordinator will provide you with a vetted list of training options. Or, if this is not your first rodeo, we are happy to provide you with as much or as little guidance as you need. We do not advocate adverse tranining methods, which include pinch, choke, and electric collars. If you have questions about any of these methods or challenges you cannot overcome, please email us at and we will connect you to our consulting behaviorist.

Will my pup be healthy?

For our pups to tranport north, they are examined by a veterinarian in the departing state to receive a required Interstate Health Certificate. This is a general health check and confirmation that they are free from contagious and infectious disease. Once they arrive north and complete their 48-hour quarantine, they are again examined by a veterinarian and cannot be released unless they are still free from contagious and infectious disease. All pups, regardless of their origin, will have a general wellness check, be spayed/neutered, dewormed, and will have their required and age-appropriate vaccinations. Those 6 months and older are tested for heartworm. And all are dosed with their monthly heartworm and flea / tick preventatives. Your vet may recommend a Lyme vaccine (and we do too!) along with one for Leptosporosis. Scroll above to read more within the "How much is the adoption fee?" tab. You will have the option to purchase insurance through a dedicated referal link, which we highly recomend. Your adoption contract will require you to visit your veternarian within 10 days of adoption for another wellness check and to receive your prescription for ongoing heartworm prevenative. Any known health conditions or behaviorial concerns will be fully disclosed during the adoption process. Please read our protocal on parasites, and what to expect, in the question below.

What if my adopted pup is not a good fit once we are home?

We work really hard to match our pups with their new humans. We understand that even with all best intentions, not every adoption is one made in heaven. At no penalty, you can return your pup to Rescue Inc. within 14 days and be refunded your adoption fee, minus the payment processing charge.

How do you help local dogs?

Though we believe in the plight of the southern rescue dog, there are dogs already in New England that have little to no resources, too. These dogs are also failed by humans, and are absorbed into an imperfect animal welfare system after they are found as stray, dumped, or surrendered. They sadly wait at temporary facilities in various municipalities; and more often than not, nobody comes for them. Even in our short time since launching, we have more than several fabulous success stories of dogs that went from zero options to living their best life with families of their very own. This is the true spirit of rescue. If you can be an emergency + temp placement, please email HELLO@RescueInc.DOG

Why do I have to be approved to adopt?

The rescue of our puppies and dogs is made possible by countless volunteer hours and monetary costs beyond what an adoption fee will ever cover. Our pups have been saved once and we need to ensure their adoption is a permanent one. We strive to hit the balance between finding safe placement where our pups will continue to thrive while maintaining a high level of customer service. We are your partner throughout the approval process.

Tell me about parasites.

Parasites are common and easily treated. We don't panic about parasites, and neither should you. If a dog travels to us from the south, they go through a broad spectrum deworming protocol prior to transport. If your pup was displaced right here in Massachusetts, they also go through a deworming protocol or may have a negative fecal depending on where the dog was discharged from. Stress during these transitions from homeless to home can sometimes weaken a pup's immune system. This increases the likelihood that parasites can re-emerge. Common parasites are hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm, whipworm, giardia, and coccidia, and they can be picked up anywhere your dog travels, including your favorite hiking trail, a Petco, or even in your own backyard. Our adoption contract requires that you bring your newly adopted pup to a wellness visit within 10 days after adoption and WITH a fecal sample. Please expect that even with these best practices, your pup will need another round of parasite treatment.

What are the costs of owning a dog?

In addition to yearly veterinary visits, monthly preventives, food and enrichment, and any needed grooming, daycare, or boarding, YOUR DOG WILL, at some point, GET SICK OR HURT, and you MUST have a financial backup plan. A nationwide pet insurance provider states that every 6 seconds in the US, a pet parent receives a bill of $1,000 or more. We strongly suggest every adopter consider pet insurance. As you ponder your ability to financially care for your pup, beyond the adoption fee, please read the AKC's guide on costs related to pet ownership over the span of your pup's lifetime.

If I pre-adopt a pup before arrival from the south, will I get photo updates?

Please know that the pup you've committed to in the south is safe and cared for by their rescuer until they travel north to us. We know that the arrival of your pup is an exciting time and most folks love updates. Though we strive for great customer service with our adopters, providing ongoing updates and photos of your pup is not possible. Our southern rescuers, combined, often have 100 puppies or dogs in their care and it is simply beyond the scope of what they can accomodate.

Is it safe to spay or neuter our puppy so young?

Pediatric, or Early Spay or Neuter, refers to spayng or neutering companion animals at an earlier age (approximately 8 weeks old) versus the older 6 to 9 month standard. Ethically, Rescue Inc spays and neuters all of our pups prior to adoption to eliminate any opportuity for our dogs to contribute to the gross animal overpopulation problem that is at epidemic proportions in pockets of this country. The Humane Society of the United States reports that 2.4 Million healthy and adoptable animals are euthanized annually. This number does not account for the dumped and stray populations that do not survive prior to rescue. Additionally, we are are Massachusetts licensed rescue and the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture requires us to spay or neuter all of our puppies and dogs prior to adoption unless a veterinarian deems it unsafe due to age, size, or existing medical condition. With today's anesthetics, advanced monitoring equipment, and surgical techniques, not only are these procedures safe for young puppies, but the risk of complication is lower and the recovery period shorter than in mature dogs. The concerns about adverse effects have now been proven unfounded. The American Veterinary Medical Association, the Humane Society of the United States, and the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University, are among the many that support early spay and neuter.

Do you have puppies or dogs available to adopt as Emotional Support Animals?

Rescue Inc does not have puppies or dogs that are trained as emotional support animals or equipped to do so. Most of our pups have been stray or abandoned and have limited to no training and canine life skills. Though we are confident all of our pups make great companions, it is the role of our adopters to provide emotional support to our pups through their transitions from homeless to home, not vice versa. If you are seeking an ESA animal, please research breeders or rescues which specialize in such and we wish you the best with your search!

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon

RESCUE INC, Rebels For The Paws®   copyright 2019