Rescue dogs come with baggage.  For some of them, it's easy to forget the past and to settle in with a new family, be that their foster family or their adoptive family.  For others, they have learned in foster care that life can be good, and they take this assurance with them to their forever home.  And for some, their baggage travels with them, requiring patience and understanding on the part of their adoptive families.

Baggage

BeccaNow that I'm home, bathed, settled and fed,
All nicely tucked in my warm new bed.
I'd like to open my baggage lest I forget
There is so much to carry - So much to regret.
Hmm . . . Yes there it is, right on the top.
Let's unpack Loneliness, Heartache and Loss;
And there by my leash hides Fear and Shame.
As I look on these things I tried so hard to leave –
I still have to unpack my baggage called Pain.
I loved them, the others, the ones who left me,
But I wasn't good enough - for they didn't want me.
Will you add to my baggage?
Will you help me unpack?
Or will you just look at my things -
And take me right back?
Do you have the time to help me unpack?
To put away my baggage, to never repack?
I pray that you do - I'm so tired you see,
But I do come with baggage –
Will YOU still want ME?

~Evelyn Colbath (c) 1995
All Rights Reserved

ACES strives to place our setters in homes where they can be successful.  One key component to this success is our application process.  There is a reason that our adoption application is lengthy and our approval process is thorough.  We want to learn all we can about your family and your lifestyle in order to match you with the right setter.  Another key component is the foster home.  Our foster homes are committed to not only caring for their foster setter but to evaluating and learning all they can about that setter.  When you talk to a foster home about a dog, rest assured that they will tell you all that they know about the dog in their home.  The final key component to an adoptive dog's success is the forever family.  When choosing a dog, please be honest about what your family can handle.  Pay attention to the details of a dog's bio; don't just fall in love with a picture.  Listen closely to the foster family.  Don't assume you know the dog from its description on the website or that because a dog looks like your former dog, it will behave the same.  Ask lots of questions, listen to the answers, and take the time to decide if this is the dog for you.

Please also be aware that as diligent as our foster families are, each dog is an individual and its behavior can be determined by environment.  A dog that gets along with a foster family's cat may find it fun to chase your cat.  Your child may act differently around a dog than the toddler in a foster home.  Although the foster family does their best to describe a dog's behavior, remember that their description is based on the dog's behavior in their home, not in every home.  You should always be prepared for some adjustment when your rescued setter comes to your home.  Will you be there to help unpack their baggage?

ADOPTION APPLICATION CHECKLIST

Things you should know before completing the adoption application.

  • ACES is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.  Everyone who works with our rescue is a volunteer.
  • As a token of your sincerity and to defray costs, we require a $10 application fee when you submit your application.  Applications will not be processed until the fee is received.  Once we receive your application and fee, you will receive an e-mail from us within 48 hours.
  • ACES does not adopt dogs as gifts, surprises or through third-party adoptions. Applications MUST be filled out by the person who is going to own the dog.
  • Adoption fees are $300 for dogs that are 1 to 7 years old; $350 for dogs less than 1 year old; and $225 for dogs 8 years and older.  There are NO REFUNDS of adoption fees.
  • All applications will be thoroughly reviewed.  We contact veterinary and personal references and conduct a home visit.  Please read our privacy policy.
  • For the safety of our dogs, ACES requires adopters to have fenced yards, with either physical (traditional) or invisible fencing.  Deaf dogs will be placed in homes with physical fencing only. ACES English Setters should never be left unattended in the yard. We will not adopt to families who leave their dogs outside while they are not home.
  • ACES does not place dogs in homes with children under the age of six years old. This policy is for the safety of the child and the setter.
  • All dogs in the adoptive family must live indoors.  ACES will not place dogs in kennel settings or situations where the dog is kept in the yard, the garage, the closed-in porch or other external structure of the house.
  • ACES will not adopt our English Setters out for hunting purposes.
  • ACES does not adopt to households with unaltered pets. All pets in the adoptive home must be current on vaccinations (or have annual titers) and must see a vet on an annual basis.
  • ACES English Setters must never be allowed off leash unless within a fully fenced, secure area. No amount of training will guarantee that a setter can ever be safe off leash when unconfined. Failure to keep a setter safe on leash or in a securely fenced area may result in serious injury or death.
  • While in foster care, all ACES dogs will be spayed/neutered, will receive current vaccinations, and will be dewormed and tested for heartworm.  Other diagnosed medical conditions will be treated as needed.  Even so, we cannot guarantee the health of ACES dogs.
  • ACES does not hold dogs.  This policy applies to, but is not limited to, unapproved adopters wanting to hold a dog until their application is approved and approved adopters wanting to hold a dog until they can make arrangements for transport.
  • Adoption fees must be paid and submitted with a signed contract prior to transport of the dog.  Adopted dogs must travel home within two weeks of verbal commitment.
  • Volunteer transports may be arranged for distances less than 12 hours from the foster to adoptive home.  We ask that the adoptive family drive at least one-third of the transport distance.  Volunteer transports are not guaranteed.  Transports via commercial airline or commercial ground transport will be at the expense of the adopter.
  • Rescue dogs can take up to six months or longer to settle into their adoptive home.  Please consider the commitment you are making when you adopt a rescue dog.
  • Please read the Adoption Agreement before completing an application.  Signing the Adoption Agreement is a requirement for adopting a dog from ACES.  If you do not agree with the terms and conditions of the Adoption Agreement, then you should not proceed with the adoption application process.
  • ACES reserves the right to refuse any applicant.

Association of Pet Dog Trainers - Dog Training ProfessionalsPlease read the THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW Section above before completing the ACES ADOPTION APPLICATION.