Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue FAQs:

With the large number of amazing Coco’s Heart volunteers, donors and interested adopters, we would love everyone to know that we appreciate your passion and your help to keep Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue the amazing organization that it is! We have processes in place to streamline things as best we can, and in order to make our growing organization be the best it can be, we have processes that help assure our rescue stays top quality! We hope these FAQs, along with our website, help answer some questions! Thank you for choosing to rescue!

A word about our processing fee:
We clearly outline our process for people to read before they apply. Our fee is non-refundable and a one time fee! We want to help find a dog for 100% of our applicants. We suggest researching different rescues and applying to ONE rescue that you relate to their mission and want to support. Don't worry so much about the specific dog's photo that you are drawn to, choose the rescue, not the dog. We value high quality vet care and matchmaking. We value applicants that appreciate our process. It takes patience to go through rescue for your next pet, and it is not for everyone. Some might prefer to go to their local shelter to be able to look at many dogs and bring one home same day. That is great! We are all here to complete one mission-to save dogs and give them stable homes for the rest of their lives!

We will not answer or process an application without receiving the processing fee.

I have paid the processing fee, but have not received the application:
Our application is online found on the ADOPT page. We do not email or send an application.

What does your adoption status's mean on the dogs individual profiles: 
The dogs adoption status's are updated M-F 8am-5pm. If an application comes through after 5pm on a weekday or on the weekend, that may effect the adoption status although it may not be updated yet. We do our best to keep the website as updated as possible but cannot guarantee the dog is available if it is marked as available. We would be happy to make recommendations if needed. If a dog has a pending adoption, we will accept applications for that dog and will put an approved application on their waiting list in the event the dog becomes available again. A pending adoption means an applicant is in contact with that foster dog and their foster family and we focus on one dog per applicant. *A dog listed as available, may not be available if they have an application waiting in queue to be processed. We will move forward with the first approved application*

What are your shelter hours? 
We do not have a shelter, all of our dogs are in separate foster homes, and require an application to hold the dog and set up an appointment to meet the dog you are interested in. 

I just have a quick question about a dog before I apply, who do I contact?
We suggest that you fill out an application. There is no obligation to adopt once you learn more about the dog or meet them. Due to the volume of emails we receive, we give priority to people who have filled out an application. We appreciate people’s interest and enthusiasm with dog rescue, and hope that a serious adopter would take the time to apply and go by our process. It really does work!

Are you a No-Kill shelter?
We are a foster-based organization that prides ourselves on giving our dogs the best possible care. We do not euthanize dogs if they have been in rescue a long time (two of our dogs have been with us over 4 years!). We do not euthanize for high medical bills or needs- we pride ourselves on pursuing high veterinary care for all of our dogs. However, we will euthanize if it is in the dog's best interest to end suffering. We do have a low tolerance for aggression and will euthanize if a dog has an unprovoked aggressive history or bite-history. Prior to euthanasia in those instances we consult with veterinarians, professional trainers, and behaviorists. Each situation is unique and we treat each situation as such. If you have questions you are welcome to reach out to our director anytime!

What is your phone number?
We do not have a public phone. We document all our correspondences using email. Very often, all questions can be answered on our website. You can also ask a question in your application. Details about a specific dog’s weight, personality, etc. will be answered if you are the first applicant in line for that dog. We appreciate people’s understanding about the high volume of interest, and why we need to communicate via email. It allows us to be fair and keep inquiries in order.

Why are your adoption fees so “high”?
Our adoption fees are non-negotiable, and are the same whether you are a part of Coco’s Heart as a volunteer or not. Our adoption fees go toward our high quality vetting, and keep our rescue going! More information on what goes into our fees and vetting can be found in the adoption section of our website. We also help sponsor and fund spay surgeries for unaltered females found on the reservation. Each spay/exam for the dogs we provide on the reservation costs our organization approx $300-350. 

Behind our mission: While, not traditional in rescue, some of our adoption fees are higher in an effort to afford welcoming dogs that need us badly. The ones that many other organizations have had to turn away for financial reasons. We, too, would need to turn them away if we could not afford to help them. At this time we need the increased adoption fees to ensure we can be a sustainable organization while continuing to rescue.

We know we cannot save them all, and we understand balance, but we feel right doing what we can to help the dogs that we do. All dogs receive the quality care they deserve and adoption fees go right back into our rescue efforts to serve the dogs that need help the most. Our average cost of care per dog in the first months of 2019 is estimated to average out to $753/dog.

Coco's Heart Dog Rescue relies on adoption fees and donations to fund our rescue efforts. We can only afford to continue to welcome dogs that need extra care (at the rate that we do) if we can fund it. We want to give each dog we welcome to rescue the care that they deserve and while many of them are in reasonable condition when they arrive, many of them have extremely sad pasts and need extra care in order to have a chance at health and loving homes. While they absolutely deserve it- that care has been expensive. Please feel free to email our director with any other questions (ashley@cocosheartdogrescue.org). We appreciate your effort and support!

Do you discount your fees?
Our fees are non-negotiable. If you cannot afford an adoption fee, we suggest that you research the costs involved in dog ownership. Veterinarians are a good resource to contact if you would like to know the costs involved in dog ownership. The adoption fee is only the beginning!

Do you require a fenced yard to adopt? 
We do not require a fence to adopt one of our dogs. We will follow up about your safety plan when your dog is outside if you do not have a fence.

Do you adopt out of state?
Yes. We do not have a radius that adopters must live in to adopt from us. We do still require an in-person home visit of which we have an “out of area” home visit protocol that would be followed. We do not ship our dogs and do ask that applicants are able to come to our area in a timely manner to meet the dog/puppy they are interested in.

Why do you require obedience classes? 
Included in our adoption agreement is a clause that we require our adopters to enroll into obedience classes for all dogs under 24 months old, and strongly recommend it for all dogs. Sadly, 100 percent of all of our young dogs that have been returned to us, the owners did not hold up their end of the contract and did not enroll in a class. Even those of us who have already been through obedience classes before understand how important it is for each individual dog for learning obedience. It is also fun! We feel strongly that obedience classes help strengthen bonds, communication, and enhance basic obedience. Regardless if a person has completed an obedience class, each dog should enroll in a class to ensure they receive the benefits of the classes. It may seem silly..but they really do make a big difference! We will follow up to verify the obedience course has been completed and require proof of completion.

What is your adoption timeline?
We process applications M-F, and approval takes 1-3 business days- not including the day of submission. If you apply on a Friday, you may receive a response as late as Wednesday. If you apply on a Monday, you may receive a response as late as Thursday. If you do not hear back in 3 business days, please email Adoptions and/or check your email junk folder. We respond to ALL applications. Our adoption process can be very quick if all goes well, please be ready to adopt when you submit the application. We cannot hold a dog in rescue and request our applicants be able to schedule the home visit and/or meet'n'greet within one week of being connected to the foster family. Our adopters must be able to adopt the dog when the dog is available- we will not hold the dog any longer than one week or more. The meet and greet and adoption timeline depends on when the dog arrived and their age. Our young puppies are posted 10 days to 3 weeks in advance and cannot have meets until surgeries and vaccinations have been completed. With all of our other dogs, the meets and adoptions can happen within days of initial approval, so please apply when you are ready to adopt, as we cannot hold dogs for vacations, moving, etc.

Why do you spend so much on your vet bills?
We have made a conscious decision to use veterinarians to administer all of our exams, vaccinations and care, just as the owner will do once they adopt and take over future medical care. We want our dogs to have the best start possible. For more information about what our veterinarians do when our dogs arrive to rescue, please read the adoption page to learn where our fees go. Our adoption fees reflect our high quality vet care.

Are you a non profit?
Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue is a nonprofit organization,  501 (c)3 status. State of Wisconsin licensed and inspected: 400340-DS

I want to adopt a puppy. Can I meet the litter and choose?
Applicants choose a puppy to set up a meet with based on their website profile. We do not allow visits with our litters until the puppies have had 2 rounds of vaccinations to ensure they are healthy when adopted. Puppies are posted on our website at 6 weeks old but cannot be adopted until they have been spayed/neutered at 9 weeks old. We accept applications on our puppies at 6 weeks and that puppy is held "pending" for an applicant and is on hold until they have had an opportunity to meet the puppy. Many visitors can jeopardize a litter’s health and cause the puppies to become sick. Once the puppy is ready for a meet'n'greet, the applicant can decide if they would like to finalize adoption at that time. Each puppy in a litter will only have one applicant signed up to meet them, we do not accept multiple applicants for our dogs or puppies. In the unlikely event the applicant does not finalize adoption at the meet, we move to the next interested applicant. We focus on only one dog per applicant at a time.

I would like to meet multiple dogs on your website, how do I set up multiple meets?
Our applicants can meet multiple dogs, however, we focus on one dog per applicant at a time. You would set up a meet with your first choice based on the website information and availability. Then, you have 24 hours where that dog is on "hold" just for you. If you decide to meet more dogs, then the first dog that you have met becomes available again to any waiting applicants. A great way to meet multiple dogs in a short amount of time is to attend one of our adoption events.

Can I meet a dog and then adopt when I return from vacation, or on a future date?
Our application states that we cannot hold dogs in rescue. Your application will be processed in 1-3 business days (M-F). Please do not apply until you are ready to bring home the dog. (Our youngest litters may not be ready for a couple weeks, depending on age) Please understand that there will always be a function or a trip, and on our application we ask what your arrangements would be if you have to be away from home. If you cannot utilize your plans for boarding or dog sitting, please do not hold up a dog's possible adoption. We rely on the availability of our great fosters, and delaying adoption means the inability to rescue the next dog!

I would like to adopt two dogs at one time, can I do that?
We do feel strongly that adopting one dog- providing them with a consistent routine, level of appropriate obedience, and getting them acclimated to your life is important prior to bringing home another dog. We recommend waiting six months in between adopting another dog. This will lead to less developed behavioral issues between one of them and will be easier on you to give your focus on one dog at time for training purposes.

I would like to adopt littermates, can I do that?
We recommend researching "littermate syndrome". There is some extensive research that recommends not to adopt littermates into the same family as the puppies tend to build a bond with each other and are unable to bond with the family. They also are much more likely to develop unwanted behavioral issues because of this. We feel based on the research and recommendations from our veterinary clinic to not allow puppies to be adopted into the same family. While they enjoy playing with other, it is important for puppies to be separated so they begin to develop on their own and not rely on their littermates.

I wrote on Coco's Heart Facebook page about an inquiry, I did not hear back?
Our Facebook page is utilized for all of our supporters including fosters, adopters, volunteers, as well as the public. We do not respond to Facebook inquiries-you must E-MAIL to receive the answer to your question. Any adoption related inquiries must be e-mailed to adoptions@cocosheartdogrescue.org and any general inquiries including feedback can be e-mailed to johanna@cocosheartdogrescue.org.

Which dogs will be at your upcoming adoption event?
We do not require our fosters to sign up for events, it is all volunteer. Please stop by to see if the dog you are interested in is there. If you want to meet a specific dog, please apply. You are not obligated to meet or adopt once you apply if you do not feel the dog is a match. We can find the best match for you by reading your application! Our youngest puppies cannot attend events until they have had 2 rounds of vaccinations. 

I have food, blankets, meds, money raised, etc. Where can I bring them? 
Thank you for donating to Coco's Heart Dog Rescue! Donations can be dropped off at our supporter, Angel's Pet World in Hudson, WI. We cannot accept any opened food or medicine of any kind. 

I need a receipt for my donation or corporate donation. Can you send me one?
Thank you for donating to Coco's Heart Dog Rescue! Please email events@cocosheartdogrescue.org to receive confirmation of your donation and a receipt. 

I know a dog that needs help, or a dog that someone can't keep anymore. Can you take it?
Please submit a surrender inquiry found under our Contact page. If we have room (and an open foster), our Surrender Coordinator will return your email. We receive many requests and do our best to take in dogs that need help!

Looking for information on fostering or volunteering?
Please visit the pages for fostering and volunteering under the HELP menu. There you will find information on how you can help, and our applications. We look forward to you helping our rescue!