Adoption Process

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How It Works

Thank you for your interest in adopting a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog through Ridgeback Rescue of the U.S.

Ridgebacks that become available for adoption are dogs that are referred to our rescue for many reasons. Usually, they range from 1 to 6 years of age. We do get the occasional “senior citizen” who is desperate for a loving retirement home, and puppies come into our custody from time to time. Our average expenses for each rescue dog are over $600. We request an adoption fee for each dog. Fees can range between $100 and $1000 depending on the lineage, age, and health of the dog. Of course, at all times, donations are gratefully and gladly accepted. 

Our first priority for Ridgebacks released into our care is their health. Dogs go to a veterinarian for a thorough medical check up and are vetted as recommended. Vaccinations are all brought up to date, the RR’s temperament is evaluated, and we attempt to learn any past history on the dog. The Ridgebacks are then placed in experienced foster homes, where they are gradually integrated into the family. Foster homes provide a safe, nurturing environment with basic obedience training while teaching rescue dogs the basic rules of living in a home. Foster families get to know their foster dogs in order to help with placement in a permanent home from our pool of approved applicants. All Ridgebacks from our rescue must be neutered or spayed. To balance our efforts to prevent the indiscriminate breeding of Rhodesian Ridgebacks, while maintaining the health and integrity of our rescue dogs, and after seeking the advice of numerous veterinarians and much discussion, the RRUS Board of Directors currently recommends spaying by nine months of age and neutering by twelve months of age. This means that on rare occasions, young dogs are placed intact with contractual obligations to spay or neuter at the appropriate time at the expense of the rescue.  

Many times Ridgebacks in your immediate area are just not readily available for adoption. Your wait for the right Ridgeback may be longer than you hoped. Please be patient. We strive to match the right dog with the right family at the right time. We do not fly or ship dogs to adopters; however, if you are willing to travel to adopt a dog from outside your home state, you could find a Ridgeback in your home sooner than you think.

PLACEMENT CRITERIA

Our dogs are NOT placed on a first come, first served basis. We take great care to see that the right dog is placed into the right home at the right time. We take into account the wants and needs of the prospective adopters and the temperament and needs of the dog.

We are looking for permanent, loving homes where the Ridgeback will receive top quality care and be appreciated as a companion dog and member of the family, HOWEVER…..A RIDGEBACK IS NOT THE BREED FOR EVERYONE. Before you decide to be owned by a Ridgeback, we highly recommend that you acquaint yourself with this elegant and extremely intelligent breed.

Our overview of Rhodesian Ridgebacks is available here.  Additional information can be found on our Educational Resources page. Adding a Ridgeback to your family is a big commitment. We encourage you to learn as much as you can and meet as many RRs as you can prior to applying. Contact us if you need to locate a Ridgeback in your area to meet.

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Application Review and Approval Process


All adoption requests must be made in writing, via the RRUS Adoption Application and submitted through this website. In the event an interested party does not have a computer/internet access, a paper Adoption Application can be completed and returned to the Applications Coordinator via US Mail. Please contact us for the paper application if this is your situation.

An overview of the steps involved in the application and approval process is as follows:

  • Applicant applies to adopt a Ridgeback Rescue dog by completing an Adoption Application

  • Our volunteer Applications Coordinator reviews your application and contacts you, if necessary.

  • A volunteer screener contacts you to discuss your application.

  • The volunteer screener will check the references you provide, including your veterinarian and non-familial references.

  • A home check is scheduled and conducted at your home. ALL FAMILY MEMBERS AND PETS MUST BE PRESENT. (NOTE: At present, home checks are conducted virtually).

  • You will be notified of your application status by our Applications Coordinator. If approved, you will be placed on the RRUS Approved Adopters list which is available to all RRUS foster homes for consideration in placing their rescue dogs.

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Please Be Patient

Foster homes review approved applicants and contact those who they feel may be a good fit for their respective foster dog.  At no time do we give foster home contact information directly to any applicant (approved or not).  Please be patient and know that you will be contacted when the right dog is available for your home.


YOU AND YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY (PETS INCLUDED) WILL BE ASKED TO MEET THE DOG YOU ARE CONSIDERING ADOPTING PRIOR TO ADOPTION. THIS MAY REQUIRE EXTENSIVE TRAVELING TO DO SO.  

Please indicate on your application how far you and your family members are willing and able to travel.  We generally expect adopters to pick up their dog and do not provide transportation. In some rare cases, we may be able to provide assistance. 

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