Image: Courtesy of New Rattitude, Inc. Rat Terrier Rescue100% of your donation goes towards the rescue & medical care of needy dogs.
Image: Courtesy of New Rattitude, Inc. Rat Terrier Rescue
Image: Courtesy of New Rattitude, Inc. Rat Terrier Rescue

Frequently Asked Questions
About Adopting from New Rattitude


Q: When/how can I drop by to meet the dogs?
A: Unfortunately, you can't. New Rattitude doesn't have a central shelter location. All of our dogs are in private fosterhomes, so to meet a particular dog, you will need to wait until you are put in touch with that dog's foster parent. Once you have begun communicating with the dog's foster parent, you may arrange a mutually-convenient time to visit. It would be your responsibility to go to the dog's fosterhome or other nearby location.

Q: How do I verify that a particular dog is available?
A: Dogs profiled on our website are indeed still available for adoption; we mark them "pending" as soon as an application is approved. However, a particular dog could have applications in process. Since we don't know whether an in-hand application will make it through to approval, we don't want to discourage you unnecessarily. If you apply for a dog that already has previous applications, your application can still be accepted for processing. If the dog IS approved for adoption by a previous applicant, an Adoption Coordinator would work with you to find another dog (perhaps one that isn't even profiled on our website yet) that is a great match for your household and the characteristics you're seeking.

Q: How can I tell if a particular dog is a purebred Rat Terrier or a mix?
A: Usually you can't tell for sure. Rescue dogs almost never come with "papers" and we seldom have much knowledge of their backgrounds. New Rattitude rescues dogs that we believe to be Rat Terriers or mixes that are predominantly Rat Terrier, but there is no guarantee about any dog's heritage. You can learn more about the breed and ask questions to the dog's foster family or the New Rattitude Adoption Team, and we will answer to our best ability, based on our familiarity with the dog in question.

Q: Someone told me that since I have a male dog I should only adopt a female, or I have a female I should only adopt a male, so that I don't have two of the same sex. Is that true?
A: Many people do hold the view that males and females tend to do better together than same-sex pairs, because a male dog and a female dog will tend to see each other more as companions and less as competition. However, for dogs that are spayed/neutered (as are all New Rattitude dogs), the gender is usually less of a factor than is overall personality. While it's true that serious dog fights are more often between dogs of the same sex, same-sex dogs often form very close friendships.

Q: I want a young puppy, because someone told me that older dogs do not bond to people very fast. Is that true?
A: Adult dogs come to rescue from a wide range of backgrounds and sometimes it does take them a while to settle in and learn to trust their humans. In almost all cases, however, an adopted dog that is shown patience, consistency, and tender loving care will come to bond tightly with you. In fact, many rescued dogs who knew hardships in their former lives will demonstrate a particularly strong appreciation and gratitude for their new home. (See Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog.) It could take a few days or perhaps a few weeks to develop that bond-- or sometimes it's a matter of just a few hours -- but whatever the length of time, it will be worth it.

Q: If I am interested in more than one dog, do I need to fill out more than one application?
A: No. Submit just one application, but enter the names of all of the dogs in which you're interested. Or instead of particular dog names, you may write in characteristics that are important to you, such as gender, age, weight, activity level, temperament, etc. If your application is being processed but you decide a particular dog is not a good match after all, discuss the situation with your assigned Adoption Coordinator, who will help you find a dog that is a great "fit" with your household.

Q: Can I adopt two dogs at the same time?
A: New Rattitude policy prohibits two dogs from being adopted at the same time, unless the dogs have been designated as a bonded pair (which the website bio would indicate). There is always a period of transition after bringing in a new dog, and even the most prepared, experienced adopters can find it's quite an adjustment. A newly adopted dog deserves as much of your time and one-on-one attention as possible during this transition period, as each dog has unique needs in regard to training, socialization, and playtime. This gives the best opportunity to establish the household rules, routines, and expectations, and for you and the dog to grow to trust each other and bond tightly with each other. Such a firm foundation greatly increases the chances of the adoption being a perfect "furever" fit. By waiting until a new dog really settles in, you'll be in a better position to evaluate whether you'd truly be better off with a second dog and, if so, you'll also be better able to determine what temperament and traits would be most compatible. Because of this, New Rattitude requires a minimum one month waiting period before applying to adopt a second dog.

Q: Can I adopt if my current pets are not spayed/neutered?
A: New Rattitude believes that spaying/neutering is a basic responsibility of all conscientious pet owners, so that is one thing we look for in considering a prospective adopter. In addition to preventing more pet animal births, altering your pet improves health, longevity, and behavior for your pets. If, however, your pet has a medical reason for not being altered, and your vet can verify this, or if it is a show dog that must be intact for competition purposes, this requirement may be waived.

Q: What other vetting do my current pets need in order for me to qualify to adopt?
A: We need to verify that all current pets are kept up-to-date on required vaccinations and annual testing. This includes rabies vaccinations for all pets; distemper/parvo vaccincations for all dogs; annual heartworm test for all dogs; FRCP for all cats; and feline leukemia test for all cats. Additionally, all dogs must be on monthly heartworm preventative.

Q: Can I adopt if I don't have a fenced yard?
A: Many Rat Terriers do fine without a fenced yard as long as they receive adequate exercise and potty opportunities through leashed walks/jogs. Some individual dogs, though, are more high energy and do require being able to run freely on a regular basis. Restricting a young, high-energy dog from being able to burn off energy often leads to behavior problems. If you do not have a fenced yard, you may want to consider an older dog or one whose profile indicates that it has a relatively low energy level.

Q: Would my adopted dog need to be an indoor dog?
A: Yes. The terms of New Rattitude's adoption contract specify that the adopted dog will be an indoor pet that will not be left outside overnight or in inclement weather, nor kept chained/tied, nor left outside unattended at any time except in a securely fenced yard.

Q: What if I live in an apartment?
A: If you live in an apartment, you will need (1) a letter from your landlord or apartment manager to state that pets are permitted; (2) to be sure that a dog's barking would not cause problems with your neighbors; (3) to be prepared to take the dog out for leashed walks and potty time multiple times a day; and (4) a plan for taking the dog with you if/when you need to move.

Q: How old do I have to be to adopt?
A: Since our adoption contracts are legally binding documents, you must be at least 21 years old. While we believe that children and teens may be truly wonderful and loving companions for a dog, they are usually not prepared for the life-long commitment that we expect of our adopters. If you are 18 - 21 you may apply, but a parent or guardian will need to participate in the applications process and sign the adoption contract.

Q: Can I adopt a dog as a surprise gift for someone else?
A: No. Adopting a dog is a lifetime commitment, and it is crucially important for the person who will end up being the dog's owner to be integrally involved in the adoption process so that she or he can understand the dog's needs, agree to work with the dog on obedience and training issues, consent to the financial obligation (particularly of regular vet care), and have a home visit to ensure that the environment is safe and suitable for a rescued Rat Terrier. Those things require the future owner's explicit advance agreement. Dogs who are given to other people as gifts are more likely to be returned or given away within a few months, and we are not willing to take that risk.

Q: Can I fill out an application for someone else who doesn't have Internet access?
A: Yes. However, the application should be filled out in the name of the actual adopter, including his/her phone number(s), so that we can contact him/her for the phone interview and home visit.

Q: What happens if someone else has already applied for the dog I want?
A: Many people do withdraw their application or decide on a different dog before processing is complete, so we will accept 2 or 3 applications simultaneously for the same dog and work to find the best possible family for the dog. Each applicant is considered equally, and even if we decide that another applicant fits the dog's needs better, we will help you to find another dog that is as good a match for YOU as the one you originally selected.

Q: I want to adopt but am going out of town in the next month or so; can you hold the dog for me?
A: No. That isn't fair to the dog, the foster home, or other interested applicants. If you know that you'll be going on a vacation where you can't take your new dog with you, please wait until you return before applying to adopt. We will not "hold" dogs for anyone not ready to take receipt immediately upon being approved.

Q: I am ready to adopt now, but I'll be moving in the next few weeks. Should I have my Home Visit at my current place or the new (unfinished) place?
A: Your Home Visit should be done at the location where the dog will be living long-term, so if you know you'll be moving soon, that would be at the new location. But please don't apply to adopt a dog if a major move is just ahead of you. This makes for a very stressful transition for both you and the dog. Please wait until you are settled into your new home and new routine before you apply to adopt.

Q: What does the adoption fee cover?
A: All New Rattitude dogs are up-to-date on vaccinations, spayed/neutered, wormed, heartworm tested, on heartworm preventative, and microchipped. Each will come with vet records, a collar and leash, and a collar ID tag with a unique identification number and our toll-free Lost Dog Hotline so that we can help in the retrieval process if the dog were ever to get lost. We will provide assistance with transition issues, training advice, and support for as long as it is needed.

Q: Is the adoption fee negotiable?
A: No. We do set the adoption fee as low as we can to stay operational and help cover our costs of caring for the dogs we save. On average, it costs us significantly MORE than the amount of the adoption fee to provide each dog complete medical and other needed care. We do recognize that many loving applicants have financial hardships. Nevertheless, we have to recognize that folks who are not financially able (or willing) to cover our modest adoption fee are likely not able (or willing) to provide the on-going vet care that we consider essential for responsible pet ownership.

Q: How long does the approval process take?
A: It generally takes us about a week to contact your references, do your phone interview, recruit a Home Visit volunteer, schedule the home visit, and finalize the decision-making. Sometimes we can finish more quickly than that--in just a couple of days--if we can reach your references quickly and if you live in an area where we already have an experienced Home Visit volunteer. Sometimes, though, it can take 2 weeks or even longer if we run into problems. You can help minimize the time the processing takes by: ensuring that your application is complete and accurate; providing alternative phone numbers for yourself and your references; ensuring your references are not on vacation or otherwise unavailable; letting your references know in advance that we will be calling and urging them to take/return the calls; being flexible when scheduling the home visit; and communicating candidly with the dog's fosterparent to help them get to know you and your household.

Q: Once I am approved, how soon can I get my dog?
A: Once an adoption application is approved, it is expected that the applicant will submit the signed contract and fee within one week to finalize the adoption. If there are reasonable circumstances causing a delay, the applicant should notify New Rattitude immediately so that additional time to comply may be considered. No dog may be released to its new adoptive home until we receive the signed contract and the adoption fee. The most expedient way to handle that is electronically—sending the contract by fax or email and sending payment by Paypal—and in that case the adoption can often be finalized within a few hours. If you plan to mail in the contract and fee, expect it to take at least 3 days before we receive the mailing and authorize the foster parent to release the dog to your custody.

Q: Once the adoption is finalized, how do I get my dog?
A: In most cases you would make pick-up arrangements directly with the dog's foster parent. If you do not live close enough to go to the foster home for pick up, however, you may ask the foster parent to meet you part way and/or get driving help from friends or family. Or, for distances of more than 150 miles, a formal transport -- either by ground (up to 600 miles) or by air -- will generally be needed. Please see our TRANSPORTS page for details and discuss these options with your assigned Adoption Coordinator.


Q: What is included in the adoption contract?
A: Our contract includes a description of the dog and his/her vetting details, our adoption terms and conditions, and signature/payment section. You may preview the terms and conditions of the contract by clicking here.

Click here to go to Adoption Application.