Adopting from Reno Ranch

The struggle is real...

It's sad that there's such a need but I guess we're all lucky to be in an area that's full of wonderful rescues and shelters. Beautiful facilities all staffed with professionals to walk you through the process. You and your new best friend can enjoy a smooth, organized meet and greet and you'll head home happily from the shelter with your information packet tucked under your arm and all your ducks in a row. Happy Tails ever after.

And then there's us.

"Did this guy ever get microchiped? I don't see a rabies tag here. No I don't have any way to take a credit card. That puppy's a boy? Oh crap I'm sorry." And this is IF you can chase me down on the phone and even get a meet scheduled.

If you've adopted from Little Rescue in the Big Woods you already know.

For starters, communication out here is the pits. We're sitting beside a 30 foot hill on one side and huge thick trees on the railroad side. They do a great job of blocking cell signal and sit directly in the path of satellite service. When we bought the place we had Century Link for about 5 minutes then they pulled out. Now we can't even get a land line except through some third party company who really doesn't want to mess with us unless we're low income, which we are, just not officially. The satellite guy says get the railroad to cut the trees down and he'll hook us right up. Yeah, that'll happen. My phone resets itself all the time and dumps my call log. Gmail won't even think about loading. It's a mess. I pull up a picture on my phone, hit share, and hope it ends up on facebook eventually. That's how we roll at the ranch.

The best way to reach me is texting. If you don't hear back that evening please text again. You're not bugging me. I'm not ignoring you. If I don't want to adopt to you I'll tell you and I'll tell you why. Chances are the text either never came through or it got dumped. I don't mean to be disrespectful of your time at all by 'making' you chase me down and I know you have other options but I'm just sayin' ... that's what gets it done if you want one of these dogs. 816.288.1600

We also have to have an application on file before anyone is considered. Our app is short, sweet and pretty non invasive. If you feel we're out of line asking a particular question before you've even had a chance to meet your maybe new dog just leave it blank. I get it.

I love name droppers. If you know someone who's worked with us and they'll recommend you, sing! It's very personal here. I always want to adopt to people who are already connected with this village. One of my happiest happy places is when a going home picture gets posted and here come the comments from all the people who know the new family about what wonderful doggy parents they are. Don't ever be shy about throwing your connections around. We love that and it speeds up the process.

About our adopters ... Our favorite adopters will be stable homeowners with dog experience, plenty of free time, and a vet who doesn't even have to reach for their file to tell me how wonderful they are. Of course we consider everyone but this is where we start. Our dogs are the cutest little scruff muffins but we take the ones no one else wants and there's usually a reason for that. We're picky about where they go.

To all the sweet 18 year olds starting out on your own and leading into your application with "me and my boyfriend" I'm happy for you and YES get a dog! I know there's a sweetpea out there waiting for you, but for the most part these are not starter dogs. That cute Reno Ranch Yorkie you're looking at just wants to hide under the bed and tremble. That adorable 4 pound chihuahua WILL bite your son when you have one and end up right back in rescue - or worse. Please check your local shelter. There is a floppy friendly pound puppy out there waiting, I promise, ready to bolt ouf of his cage and join you in all your upcoming adventures.

I'm a crate hater. While responsible crate training is necessary, I'm not looking to rescue dogs so they can go somewhere and spend 8 hours a day in a cage. If you don't have time to train your dog we might not br the rescue for you. Our 'perfect dog' numbers here are about 1%. We can't always fix these sweet dogs. Sometimes we find the perfect people to take them broken.

I'll just say it - if you're old, like me, have backup. Small dogs can easily hang around until they're 15 plus years old and spoiled senior dogs don't do well in a shelter when mommy can't care for them anymore. Those are some of the hardest and saddest rescues we do. If you have hater kids that won't take care of your baby, get an old dog. And trust me on this one - if you're a 2 full time job family with three kids under the age of 8 that participate in sports and karate, go to church 3 times a week and live in a rental you do not want a 10 week old havapoo puppy. You really don't. 

As far as our timeline/turnover or whatever goes... we're slow. We don't ask our rescue to pay for anything other than dogs. No salaries or rent or cellphones or cars. This allows us the luxury of not having to make choices based too much on finances. I like the seniors, and the bitters, the sick puppies and the shitheads. (yeah we swear here too) and as long as we're able to find great homes for these little train wrecks they'll keep coming. We know they'll probably be here a while when we pull them. We're ok with that. The dogs are ok with it. Yes I know how many dogs are waiting in shelters but rushing them out the door carelessly or  overwhelming this dinky place won't fix that. Changing the laws, educating the masses and raising our kids to be decent people is what will fix that.

I'm aware of some terrible situations out there, even some involving dogs that passed through here, but I've never pulled a dog I adopted out out of a shelter or had a vet call me with a wandering hurt baby chipped to us that was where I put it. Our puppies don't go home to break hearts with parvo or distemper. Of all the bitey dogs we've adopted, nobody that I agreed to take on has ever ended up dead for chomping on a mailman or neighbor kid. We know these dogs and I'm honest with you about their issues and challenges. If you're honest with me I'm usually a pretty good match maker. Our return rate here is super low and when it does happen it's usually because we took a shot and we were expecting it, not because our adopters didn't know what they were getting into.

Our adoption fees are all over the place. We go anywhere from "free to good home" for very hard to adopt dogs and no fees for Seniors for Seniors to whatever I can slam you with for perfect healthy fluffy puppies. I've pulled $400 out of my hat for those kids a couple times and not ashamed of it at all. All the dogs are spayed/neutered, heart worn tested, current on shots and preventatives, microchipped and have received dental work and whatever else they need. If that's not the case, there's a reason why and you'll have access to Doc for the details. Also keep in mind that I don't roll 7's every time. These babies have busted out of here with worms, fleas, and hair cuts that will make you cry. If your dog does slip out of here with a problem I'm sorry, and I'm happy to take care of whatever they need with our vet. Don't call me from Overland Park looking for me to pay a $500 vet bill on my credit card. There's no credit card. Call me first - we'll use my discount. If you can't get me text John - 816-204-8728.

It's hard to make a life decision like this in 20 minutes in somebody's yard so all dogs go home on trial. They're more than welcome back if things don't work out. I'll refund your adoption fee if there's no one else here that you think you can love. We adopt to local homes only except in very special cases so we're always close if there's ever a problem.

I try not to spin out a donation request every time a dog lands here but I do scrounge whatever I can. I'm grateful for every penny we get and any bag of anything that gets donated. That keeps our operating expenses as low as possible and lets us focus on who needs us most rather than who will bring in the highest fees or who can rock the biggest fundraiser with their pitiful story... Yes, we do go there sometimes but we don't like it to override #realrescue. We don't contact shelters or troll Facebook or Craigslist for dogs - we take who we're asked to take. If you'd like to help Paypal is, the address is 6219 Hwy T Camden, MO 64017, and Direct to Doc is Loving Care Animal Health - 816-429-5650.

The last thing to keep in mind about our "adoption process" is it's just me. I'm not here to make money or friends and unfortunately returning calls and answering emails often comes after the feeding and the pooping. So much pooping ... John keeps us on our feet but he won't make decisions or do adoptions. We usually run with about 30 dogs here plus I have family, aging parents, grandkids and a tiny little life. There's ALWAYS an emergency somewhere and there's never anybody to fill in if I can't be here. But in the wonderful hideous fabulous heartbreaking world of rescue what is meant to be always happens. We've seen it time after time. Let's try to relax and enjoy the dogs. No matter what happens, when our heads hit that pillow at the end of the day all of us here in this village can close our eyes knowing we're doing a good thing.

Thank you for caring, sharing, donating, educating, fostering, transporting, volunteering and adopting. For all you do. 🐶🐾❤️