FINDING THE RIGHT HOME
(For the person who needs to find the right home
and the person wishing to foster or adopt)
Whether you are forced to find another home for your beloved ME dog or puppy, are fostering only while waiting for someone else to adopt or you determine you are not equipped to care for a special-needs Megaesophagus (ME) dog, you NEED to take responsibility and time to find the loving, safe, ME manageable new home appropriate for your individual dog.
Finding a Home for Your ME Dog
1. Determine why you cannot care for your ME dog
2. Decide on timing for a safe home to be found
3. Agree to help find the best home possible
4. Join an ME support group to get as much management help as possible
(see that Links Page of this website)
5. DO NOT LIST or GIVE AWAY FOR FREE ANYWHERE
IMPORTANT: These dogs are extremely special needs and need the right home to allow them to survive. FREE allows “anyone” to get and use them for whatever purpose they choose including, but not limited to, bait dogs, experimental dogs, dogs who go to abusers, etc.
6. Contact one of us and complete the necessary information so your dog
may be posted (networked) on this website
7. Be ready for the right home when it appears and help transition
8. Be ready to interview someone and reply to all emails, calls, etc in a timely manner
9. Allow some of the more experienced ME folks to help find the right home
10. Ask us for whatever help and assistance you need to help with interview
questions or sources where you may find the best chance of a home
Interviewing Prospective Homes
1. Interview prospects by phone first so you can eliminate poor matches
2. Conduct a second interview in the prospective foster or adopter’s home (not always possible) so you can see how your dog responds to the environment and how they interact with your dog
3. Always listen to your own instincts and don’t fall into the trap of being desperate to rush finding the right home
4. Use the Application to Foster or Adopt form (see that Links Page on this website) to get answers you need
5. Ask us for interview help if needed and we can give suggestions for questions and in some cases make contact with a potential home as well
Fostering or Adopting an ME Dog
Adoption or Fostering Considerations
Adopting or fostering a Megaesophagus (ME) dog is similar to adopting any pet, but there are additional considerations. Instead of jumping in to the decision, you really need to think about all the circumstances surrounding the animal’s needs. One of the worst things that can happen is you find the fit is wrong, forcing you to surrender the animal you’ve just fostered or adopted.
If you’re thinking about adopting or fostering an ME dog, there are a few things you need to ask yourself, including:
1. Do you have the disposable income to take care of an ME dog?
2. Do you have the upfront costs involved with fostering or adopting an ME dog?
3. Do you have a savings account for unforeseen costs? If not, am I willing to start one?
4. What are the additional financial costs? Think about any special medications, treatments or diet plans this ME dog will require.
5. Can you accommodate the animal? This ME dog might need medications at certain times of the day or particular living arrangements. As a caregiver, you’ll need to make sure you are available to meet these needs or find a way to address them before introducing this dog to your home.
6. How will this ME dog fit in with the rest of the family?
7. If you are fostering this ME dog know it may take a long time for permanent placement. Can you allow that time or need a specific date to place in which case this is NOT the best home situation for an ME dog?
General Information for Consideration When Choosing to Foster or Adopt
A successful match between an individual or a family and a dog makes both sides happy. When choosing an ME dog, consider:
1. Time commitment. ME dogs take a lot of extra time due to management protocol. Puppies are generally much more work than an adult dog. High-energy dogs of any size will need more time for exercise. Long-haired dogs need regular grooming.
2. Activity level. Every dog needs fresh air and exercise, but some need much more exercise than others AND with some of our ME dogs, exercise must be kept to a minimum to avoid regurg. Compare the activity level of this dog to what you wish.
3. Grooming. Dogs need to be brushed to keep their coats healthy and free of mats. Grooming also includes trimming nails, checking eyes and ears, brushing teeth (or another option as most ME dogs eat soft foods and don’t chew hard items to help prevent tartar buildup), and even cleaning skin folds for “snub-faced” dogs with wrinkly faces.
4. Travel/Vacations. Going on vacation means figuring out what to do with this ME dog. Options to consider are training a vet tech, family member, friend or hiring a pet-sitter but they will need to be specifically trained and trusted to do exactly what you need done following the ME protocol that works. You should plan on practice times to ensure your trust that the person(s) you use can do what is required.
5. Finances. Costs related to an ME dog are usually significantly higher than for the normal dog (possibility for more medications, more DVM visits, special foods, special items needed for feeding, etc).
6. Family members. All members of your family need to be considered when you choose an ME dog. Very young children are a major consideration. Children tend to leave items or drop food on the floor and these are critical problems for “ground surfers”. They eat the item, then potentially regurg. We have seen several ME dogs needing new homes for this exact problem, so please consider this a critical factor with decision making.
7. Household pets. Many people have happy and successful multi-pet households. This is not always the case, though. Older pets may not enjoy the high energy of a puppy, dominant dogs may not accept another dog and some may not work with a difference in feeding schedule and positioning. Some dogs are not friendly toward cat, and likewise, some cats do not appreciate the companionship of a dog. “Too many” pets is also an issue if they cannot all be properly cared for. Some municipalities may have restrictions on the number of pets permitted per household.
8. Rental housing. If you’re a renter, your choice of an ME dog is especially important. You’ll need permission from your landlord to have a dog – and you need to have it in writing before you go out and adopt one. Also, you need to know how much this dog regurgs if at all. Carpeting takes a lot of time to clean and a landlord may not be willing to even attempt allowing you this option.
9. Where you live. An apartment building with many residents in close quarters may be suitable for smaller and quiet dogs but isn’t the best choice if you’re planning to adopt a high-strung dog or a larger breed that requires more space. A house with a securely fenced yard is ideal, but again this ME dog must only be outside under your careful attention.
10. Ready to foster or adopt. If you have read all the above and are comfortable this dog can fit your life, you will be rewarded ten thousand times over for the bond formed in living with an ME dogs.