Please read and make sure you are willing to conform to these policies! If you are unable or unwilling to conform to NEARR's policies, then in most cases we will be unable to proceed with your application.
Retrievers and Children
Because we place a very strong emphasis on safety, we are extremely careful about the retrievers we will place into families with young children. We will only place owner-surrendered dogs who are known to be good with children in a home with children. We will not place any dog that was originally a stray in a home with children.
Fencing requirements for families with children are:
While actively playing with children is great fun and exercise for a retriever, children cannot be expected to provide the only exercise for a dog. Retrievers are extremely active, high-energy dogs that require consistent exercise. Labrador and Golden Retrievers are considered puppies until they are between 2 and 3 years of age. Their delayed adolescence period (which is the most common age during which they are surrendered to shelters or rescues) can prove to be problematic for the dog and for you if you are not prepared to commit to their needs. Behavior problems such as barking, chewing, or digging can frequently be the result of not giving a retriever enough exercise.
The demand for rescued retrievers with "child experience" is high, so the wait to adopt for a family with young children can be lengthy. We do not want to discourage you from considering the adoption of one of our wonderful rescued retrievers, but we do want you to have a realistic understanding of the probable delay.
NEARR does not generally require that NEARR dogs only go to homes with fenced-in yards. However, the following instances will require a properly fenced-in yard for a NEARR dog:
While invisible fencing is a good solution for places where zoning or other limitations prevent a physical fence, it is not the ideal situation for rescued dogs, particularly retrievers:
NOTE: NEARR considers an invisible fence the equivalent to "no fence" in the case of those dogs which require a fence.
Because of the tragedies involving dogs drowning in swimming pools, NEARR has these policies regarding swimming pools:
If you have any other pets in your household:
We strongly feel that all retrievers, being very energetic and intelligent dogs, benefit immensely from obedience training. Training classes also offer a wonderful opportunity to bond with your rescued retriever. You must enroll in obedience classes with your NEARR dog within 90 days of your adoption.
It is rare that we receive puppies into our program, and when we do they are usually retriever mixes (we rarely get dogs under 9 months of age). If you would like a puppy, please go to http://www.akc.org/future_dog_owner/index.cfm?nav_area=future_dog_owners for more information about owning a puppy and for a list of breeders in your area. Please do not buy a puppy from a pet store. These puppies are most likely the result of a puppy mill, where dogs are kept in deplorable conditions, bred repeatedly, and used purely for profit. They also have a statistically higher chance of developing genetic flaws and diseases. (The Humane Society has more information on puppy mills.)
We only adopt puppies to adopters who are home either most of the day or who are willing to make accommodations – puppies must not be left alone for more than 4 hours. Your puppy will also be required to be spayed or neutered at an appropriate age, and we require a spay/neuter deposit that is refundable upon proof of operation.
Special Needs Dogs
At times, we receive dogs into our program who have special needs. NEARR is committed to making you aware of any special needs that any of our dogs may have. In this case, you must be prepared for the cost of treating a special needs dog.
NEARR sometimes receives dogs who have behavioral issues. We usually become aware of these issues while a dog is in foster care. If this occurs, NEARR will be very up front about these special circumstances and will only adopt these dogs out to dog-savvy owners who are extremely committed to training these dogs correctly.
NOTE: The NEARR Board of Directors reserves the right to change any policy at any time. Exemptions to NEARR policies will be decided on a case-by-case basis.