ADOPTING AN AKITA
IT IS IMPORTANT YOU UNDERSTAND ONE GUIDING TENET IN OUR PLACEMENT OF DOGS. OUR RESPONSIBILITY IS TO THE DOG IN OUR CARE. WE WILL PLACE THEM IN THE HOME WE FEEL FITS THEM THE BEST.
As you read through this information, we know that the process sounds quite difficult and complicated. Most of our dogs come from shelters and some have had horrendous lives prior to coming to us. Our organization, the individual foster homes, and kennels we use invest a lot of time, money and most importantly, emotion in these dogs. Sometimes they are literally brought back from the brink of death. Our goal is to ensure that their new home is the best home for them. Your application will be considered very carefully to find a dog that will be a good fit for your home, family and lifestyle. In spite of what seems to be an arduous process many people have gone through it and adopted Akitas from us, often becoming repeat adopters as well as friends, and their children have even become our second generation adopters.
If you are interested in adopting one of our Akitas:
- Even if you have previously owned an Akita, the following information which is available on the webpage under "About Akitas..." is required reading prior to adoption:
- Akita Information Packet
- Temperament Revisted
- If you have children, this is also required reading Caring for a Dog Teaches Children Responsibility
- After Reading the information, you may download our application (PDF format or Microsoft Word format), complete it and return it to ARMAC.
- When you adopt an orphan, you will sign an Adoption Contract , possibly amended with special requirements for the particular orphan. By signing the contract, you will be stating that you have read and understood the required reading material listed above.
***NOTE***: ARMAC does not consider electric or "invisible" fencing sufficient to contain an Akita. There are many Akitas who with sufficient motivation will go through the electric fence. This type of fence also does not keep other animals out of your yard. There have been cases of owners shaving their Akitas neck to provide better contact for the collar. The result has been open wounds in the dog's neck. If you have this type fencing and you wish to adopt, you may have to enclose an area of your property with either chain link or wooden/vinyl fencing for the Akita, or walk the Akita on leash.
Adoption Process and Procedures
You must be 18 years of age to adopt. The person who is going to be the owner must complete and sign the adoption application. We do not place Akitas as gifts or surprises. We do not place dogs to individuals in a family home: the entire family must be in favor of the adoption. All family members must come to meet the orphans. If you send in an application, make sure to call your vet and give permission to them to release information to us. Not doing so will only prolong the adoption process
Areas we in which we place: We prefer not to adopt to people living more than a 3-4 hour driving distance from the Washington DC Metropolitan area. We will place further away if we have a person known to us who is qualified to do house checks, interviews and follow-ups in the prospective adopter’s area.
Mandatory reading and adoption application: After you have read all required reading material stated above, and you decide you would like to adopt an Akita, please fill out an adoption application in its entirety, and mail it back to us. If you are renting, please attach a copy of the lease stating that large dogs including Akitas are permitted. If we do not get a copy of the lease or a notarized letter from your landlord with the application, we will not process it until we receive that info.
Personal Information: We do not sell information given to us. Your SSN is not a requirement on the application although we do ask for it if you adopt. All information given in the application or on the adoption contract will be used for adoption purposes only, and will not be released for any other purpose without your permission. This information is not stored in any computer files for those of you worried about privacy concerns. In the 30 plus years we have been operating as a rescue group, we have had no leaks of personal information, nor any complaints about information being released without permission. We will be happy to give the names of previous adopters as references.
Verification of Application contents, home visit and meet/greet: We will check all references and arrange for a house check to be done. Our volunteers have other jobs and familial responsibilities, so it can take as little as 2 weeks or as long as 4-6 weeks to process an application depending on where you live and how responsive your references are. Please contact your personal references and vet (s) to let them know they have permission to release information to us. Only when this is completed and everything is verified, can you come and meet the available orphans.
The Akitas: Our orphans are not located in a central facility. Because they are in foster homes and private kennels throughout the Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC area, appointments must be made to view the orphans. Most of our available orphans are listed on the webpage, but not necessarily all. They are all spayed/neutered, micro-chipped, and up to date on their shots; most are crate trained, some obedience trained, and all have been maintained on heartworm medication. If any Akita has a health issue, we will tell you upfront. We try to be as transparent as possible about any health issues, behavioral issues, background. Prior to us taking any dog, it is tested for food and toy aggression and re-tested periodically while under our care. They are kept in their foster homes for at least one month prior to being put up for adoption, but the average stay is generally 3 months or longer. We can get to know them and their little quirks quite well. Some do well with other dogs; some don't...the same for cats and children. While the people who own the kennels where we board our dogs do their best to observe and let us know about any issues with our dogs, it is not the same as being in a foster home. If you take one of the kennel dogs, you may experience behaviors we have not yet seen. If there are issues, we will try to assist in solving them. We rarely place same sex dogs, i.e., male with male or female with female. None of our dogs are adopted as outdoor dogs, but as HOUSE PETS only. Because some Akitas are not small child tolerant, please note that we prefer to adopt only to families with children over the age of 12 unless the Akita in question absolutely adores children. ARMAC will always be available to you as a support group for the life of your dog. Fee's for adoption are as follows: $350 for dogs up to 1 year; $300 for dogs 1-5 years; $250 for dogs over 5 years.
Final Steps: We will try matching up our current orphans to you and your lifestyle, and will introduce you to the ones who seem to fit best. We are not trying to control your choices. Our obligation to the dogs requires we place them in the home that best matches their personalities. For instance, if we have a dog who does not like cats and you have cats, we will not introduce you to that dog. If you are a novice Akita owner, we will introduce to dogs whose personalities we feel fit best with a novice owner. If you have another dog, we will arrange for your dog and the Akita to meet on neutral territory prior to adoption to make sure they will be compatible. If for whatever reason during the Akita's lifetime the adopter cannot keep the Akita, it must be returned to ARMAC.
We STRONGLY recommend reading the Transitions article on our website to help your new Akita adjust to your home, and if you have other pets, we STRONGLY recommend reading the Introductions article.
If you have any questions about the adoption process, please contact Jodi Marcus at 703-730-0844 or email Jodi@akitarescue.org