This section is seperated into 4 sections: Urgent Dog Questions, Fostering Questions, Adoption Questions, and Miscellaneous Questions. Please read through the respective sections thoroughly and completely to find the answers to the most asked questions.
It is our hope that this will answer any questions you may have quickly.
Q: Why do you gas dogs?
A: Thunder's Angels does not gas does. The organization works to save dogs from shelters which are still forced to use gassing as their form of euthanasia. When you see an urgent dog listed on our Urgent Page with an expected gassing date, that is the information obtained from the shelter where the dog is being held. We repeat, Thunder's Angels does not gas dogs!
Q: I live in Kansas (or some other far away area). Why can't I adopt one of the urgent dogs?
A: Thunder's Angels does not adopt to anyone outside of a 90 minute driving distance from Harleysville, PA. Also, the dogs that are listed as urgent are often located in shelters that are simply animal control facilities without formal adoption programs - that means that the dogs are not vaccinated, spayed/neutered, or given vet care or behavioral evaluations until they come to us. The dogs need time in our foster care system to undergo these things so that we can find the best home for them to ensure that their future is happy.
Q: If I can't get the dog through your organization because of your rules, can I at least know where the dog that I am interested in is being held?
A: The dogs that are listed as urgent are often located in shelters that are simply animal control facilities without formal adoption programs - they are typically very rural and underfunded and they do not have the means to adopt to people who live outside of their local area. Because of this, in an effort to still save as many dogs as they can, they send dogs to approved and licensed rescues instead of offering them to the general public. This also works to ensure the safety of the dogs to prevent them from getting into the hands of dog fighters, animal abusers, or those who are just plain not a good fit for the dog. By allowing the dogs to go to rescues like ours where they are given time in foster care, the dogs have a better chance of finding a permanent home to live the rest of their lives.
Q: I would like to adopt the dog directly from the shelter, can I do that?
A: Per the answer to the previous question, unfortunately, the majority of shelters that Thunder's Angels pulls dogs from do not have adoption programs.
Q: I want to pull a particular dog from a particular shelter; can you get that dog for me?
A: No. Thunder's Angels rescues last chance dogs from gassing shelters. The organization pulls dogs only when it is financially feasible, and when a foster home is available to accept the dog. We put a lot of time and effort into building relationships with the shelters that we rescue from so dogs are only pulled by the organization from shelters that we currently work with.
Q: Can I request a certain type of dog be saved?
A: No. Thunder's Angels rescues last chance dogs from gassing shelters, and cannot guarantee what types of dogs are pulled - we take the leftovers that remain after all other rescues and adopters have taken. The ones that are leftover and have no other means of escaping the gas chamber are the dogs that we rescue. You can see a list of dogs that are currently available for adoption by visiting our Adoption page.
Q: Do I have to have a home visit to foster?
A: Yes. Like potential adopters, Thunder's Angels requires all foster homes to undergo a home visit before we place a dog in your care so that we can ensure it is a safe and suitable environment.
Q: Can I foster if I live more than 1 hour away from Harleysville?
A: No. Because our foster dogs need to be taken to vet visits, meet and greets, and home visits in this area, and since we may need to quickly get to you in case of an emergency, we ask that all fosters live within a one hour driving distance from where we are based.
Q: How long are dogs typically in foster care?
A: The time that a dog remains in foster care varies, depending on the dog. We do ask that all dogs remain in foster care for 2 weeks before being posted for adoption (so that we can assess their temperaments and health status). Once they are posted for adoption, some dogs are adopted within the month while others can take many months before they find the right home. We focus on finding the best fit for a dog so depending upon a dog’'s individual needs, the time needed to find the right home will vary.
Q: How do I know if the dog I want to foster is going to get along with my dogs, children, or cats?
A: Since the dogs that we rescue are coming from a shelter environment, Thunder’'s Angels does not know the dogs’ history prior to them getting to the shelter unless the dog was dropped off by someone who was willing to give information about the dog (which rarely happens). The only information we have is the information given by the shelter. All dogs are thoroughly temperament tested with adults and are considered to be non-aggressive before being rescued but beyond that, we can make no guarantees about their personalities. We ask that fosters separate the new dog from all family pets and children for at least 3 days after arriving off of transport so that the dog has time to calm down and so that you have time to observe them. After that time, the dog can be properly introduced on leash to other family pets and children to ensure the safety of everyone involved, including the foster dog. For more information about how to properly introduce dogs to pets and children please visit our Education/Training Page.
Q: If I agree to foster an urgent dog, how do I know the dog is healthy?
A: Prior to being transported to our rescue, all dogs are taken to a veterinarian for a rabies vaccination and to obtain a health certificate in order to travel. Once in foster care, additional treatment (altering, heartworm testing, further vaccination, etc) will be given -– we do this so that during the first few days in foster care, you can observe the dog for any common ailments (such as worms, kennel cough, etc) and then those issues can be addressed at the upcoming vet visit. This is also why we suggest waiting at least a week before formally introducing your foster dog to your other household animals,– but we realize that in some cases that is not possible, so we ask that prior to fostering, you ensure your personal animals are healthy, and up to date on all vaccines and heartworm/flea preventative to protect them from anything that the foster dog may be ‘carrying’.
Q: What if I decide I want to adopt my foster dog?
A: Thunder'’s Angels requires fosters to fill out an adoption application and go through the same process that any other adopter would be required to undergo in order to be approved for adoption –- this includes an interview to discuss the dogs particular needs, remitting an adoption fee and signing an adoption contract. Foster parents are given first consideration when choosing an adoptive family for the dog but because we are seeking the best fit for a dog’s individual personality, we do not guarantee that fosters will be approved for the adoption of a particular dog.
Q: What if I have to go out of town and my foster dog hasn't been adopted yet?
A: We are sometimes able to arrange for a temporary foster home to care for your foster dog in your absence but this is dependent upon availability so we unfortunately cannot guarantee assistance with these arrangements. When a temporary foster is not available, Thunder'’s Angels requires foster parents to make arrangements for their foster dogs when they are out of town (boarding, dog sitting, bringing the dog with you, etc). The arrangements must be pre-approved by Thunder’'s Angels to ensure the safety and well-being of the animal.
Q: What if I want to help but can't foster?
A: We always need help with the “behind the scenes” aspects of rescuing. Please visit our Volunteer Page for more information.
Q: Do you have a shelter?
A: Thunder's Angels is a foster-based rescue - we do not have a central location or shelter.
Q: When can I visit you?
A: Because we do not have a shelter, we do not have regular visiting hours. All of our dogs are living in private foster homes. If you would like to meet a dog in foster care, you must complete an adoption application (found here) and if approved by the organization, the foster family will arrange for you to visit with the dog you are interested in.
Q: Do I have to reside within 90 minutes of Harleysville if I want to adopt from you?
A: Yes. Thunder's Angels requires a home visit as part of the application process and since we are a volunteer-based organization, we are unable to adopt to people who live outside of this radius. We also are unable to adopt to families outside of that area since rescue dogs can become easily lost and we must be able to provide lost dog assistance in case of an emergency this would be near impossible to do if an adopter lost a dog and lived far from our volunteer base. Although we would love to be able to expand our adoption areas, at this time we do not have the resources to do so.
Q: Why is your adoption fee so high?
A: Our adoption fees vary by dog. Sometimes dogs are free, sometimes they cost $75, sometimes $375. The adoption fee attempts to cover the costs of bringing the dog into the organization, but does not cover all of the cost. Nearly all of the time the adoption fee does not come close to covering the costs we incur while rehabilitating the dog. The fee recoups a percentage of the costs of spay/neuter, vaccinations, heartworm testing and treatment, heartworm preventative, and flea/tick treatment, just to name a few general expenses. Sometimes dogs require various other medical treatments such as surgery and medications which can cost us thousands of dollars. So that every dog has a fair chance for adoption, Thunder's Angels determines the adoption fee for each dog not based upon their medical history but based upon the demand for such a dogs age, size and breed. We rely upon adoption fees and donations in order to help the organization to continue running, and to save more dogs. Please visit our Donation Page for more information.
Q: Why do I need to let you into my home for a home visit?
A: We require a home visit to ensure that your home will be a good fit for the dog you are looking to adopt. Since all dogs are different from others, the volunteer visiting your home will simply look for certain things to ensure the dog you are applying for will be comfortable in your home. If other animals are in your home, this time is also used to ensure the potential adoptive dog is properly introduced to the other animals to make sure they get along.
Q: What if I don't have a vet reference?
A: A vet reference is required for anyone who currently has pets in their home, or who has previously had pets. There are no exceptions.
Q: I would like a housetrained, hypoallergenic, low energy, fully obedience trained yorkie puppy for my family. Can you get one for me or let me know when one is available?
A: First, good luck finding a low energy puppy who does not pee on your floor. Second, Thunder's Angels takes last-chance dogs from gassing shelters, so we never know which types of dogs we'll be saving. These are rescue dogs that have been tossed out by their previous families - the people who were supposed to love them most. They are not perfect and require a commitment of time, energy and patience. It is extremely rare to find a "perfect" dog. If you are searching for a perfect dog, then perhaps having a dog may not be for you.
Q: What kind of dog is he/she? Is he/she purebred?
A: Thunder's Angels rescues dogs from shelters, and we do not have any idea of the pedigree of the dogs unless someone dropped the dog off and gave information (which is rare). The breeds of the dogs are posted as relative educated guesses (based on appearance and temperament) made by the vets used by Thunder's Angels and the members of the organization.
Q: What if I want to adopt but am not sure if I can commit?
A: In some instances, Thunder's Angels is able to offer a foster-to-adopt option for potential adopters. You must have an approved application and home visit before this option is offered. We understand there may be factors that cause some to be hesitant about bringing a dog into the home (allergies, added responsibility, other animals, interaction with those in the home, etc.) This program offers the opportunity to have the dog in your home for a 3-7 day period of time before the adoption is finalized. Although we offer this option, it is not an invitation to "try out" or "test drive" a variety of dogs.
Q: If the adoption doesn't work out, can I give the dog back to you?
A: Yes. Per our Adoption Contract, if an adoption does not work out the adopter is required to give the dog back to Thunder's Angels Dog Rescue. To view the adoption contract in its entirety please go to our Adoption Policies page.
Q: Do you require a fenced yard to adopt?
A: Since we are an all-breed rescue, we do not have an overall requirement for fenced yards. Fenced yards are required for certain dogs based on their activity level and demeanor. Please read the dog's individual profile for information about the dog and whether that particular dog will require a fenced yard for adoption.
Q: I would like to give a dog as a gift. Why won't you adopt to me?
A: Dogs are living beings, not material objects. They require a firm commitment. Since we are seeking permanent homes for these dogs, Thunder's Angels does not allow adopters to give dogs as gifts, especially if the person receiving the dog does not know they are receiving the dog.
Q: I just brought my dog home and he/she is not acting like the foster family told me he/she would. Did you lie to me about this dog?
A: There will be an adjustment period when you bring your dog home. Thunder's Angels is an organization which prides itself on being honest and upfront about all dogs to the best of our ability. All dogs are thoroughly temperament tested and observed while in foster care. All information about the dog is given throughout the adoption process and at the formal adoption, along with a packet of additional information with various tips on helping your dog adjust. Please allow at least a few weeks for your dog adjust to their new surroundings and feel free to contact the previous foster family for tips on how to make the dog comfortable during the transition.
Q: Can I surrender my dog to you?
A: No, Thunder's Angels is not an open intake shelter and we do not take owner surrender dogs. If you need help in finding ways to keep your dog as part of your family (training issues, financial problems, etc) please email us - we will be happy to help you and provide advice on how to retain your pet! In some instances, when an animal must be surrendered, we are able to provide you with a courtesy posting on our website and other sites like Petfinder and AdoptAPet so that you can gain exposure for the dog and screen potential adopters on your own.
Q: Where do you rescue your dogs from?
A: Thunder's Angels is dedicated to rescuing dogs primarily from gassing shelters throughout the country. We most often rescue dogs from Ohio, West Virginia and North Carolina. For more information on which states still allow gassing shelters please click HERE.
Q: I sent you an email, why haven't I heard back from you?
A: Thunder's Angels sometimes receives hundreds of emails each day, and unfortunately, we are unable to answer every single message. We do read all messages but sometimes it can take up to 2 weeks to receive a response. Our ability to respond will be directly dependent upon how many dogs we are rescuing at that time and how backlogged things get. We greatly appreciate your patience and we are sorry for the inconvenience.
Q: Why don't you have a phone number?
A: Thunder's Angels does not have a central location, and is a volunteer-based organization. To respect the privacy (and time) of our members, we ask that all initial correspondence be done through email.
Q: Do you need help cleaning kennels or training/walking the dogs daily?
A: No. Thunder's Angels does not have a central location or shelter, thus, there are no kennels to clean and foster parents walk/train the dogs in their own homes.
Q: My dog just died and I have used supplies and a half empty bag of dog food, can I give them to you?
A: Thunder's Angels does not accept used supplies, and we do not have space to stock food. There are, however, certain things that are needed, such as, monetary donations, unopened Frontline and HeartGuard, new leashes and collars, etc. Please visit our Donation Page for a complete list.