Anyone interested in adopting one of our rescue Great Danes can submit an adoption application to Dames Saving Danes Rescue. Once the application has been reviewed by our Adoption Coordinator, we will be in touch to chat further about the Dane in question. The application asks quite a few questions, and even requires some personal and veterinary references. People tend to wonder about the amount of detail on the application, and so we thought we should explain why we are so particular.

The Danes who have come into our care have either been previously abandoned, abused, neglected or bounced around from homes and shelters. We ask very detailed information because we are trying to find the absolute best home for the dogs and the best matched dogs for our adoptive homes. We want to set both the families and the Danes up for success and we can usually tell from the information provided on the form whether the dog you are interested in would be a good fit for your lifestyle and your expectations. We don’t adopt out on a first come first serve basis, and once your references have been approved, we always conduct a home visit to be able to visualize where the dog will be living.

The Process

  • An Application is received for a specific dog or for the temperament of Dane you’re looking for.

  • The Adoption Coordinator will review each application as it comes in to ensure that it appears to be a suitable home. If not, the coordinator will contact the family to notify them or discuss concerns.

  • Once an applicant is identified as a match, they will be notified and should they remain interested, will be put in contact with the foster home for a discussion about the dog.

  • If all goes well and the foster home feels comfortable with the potential applicant, a meet and greet can be arranged between the dog and the applicants and any existing pets.

  • If all goes well and the potential adopters wish to proceed with the adoption, the Adoption Coordinator will contact the vet and personal references of the applicant and arrange for a home visit at the applicant’s home.

  • A DSD volunteer will meet with the entire family at their home and discuss expectations, safety measures, what to expect in a rescue dog, and what they are looking for in a dog. The volunteer will also verify that they believe the family will commit to a life-long relationship with the adopted dog and can provide a safe and loving home.

  • All members of the adopting family household should be present at the home visit so an informed decision can be reached by the entire household on the acceptance or rejection of a dog. This would preclude the dog from being unnecessarily uprooted due to a household member’s lack of input.

  • There is a potential 24 hour wait period before finalizing the adoption. This allows the adopters time to gather thoughts and supplies and make a permanent, responsible decision. This may be waived under special circumstances, or at the discretion of the DSD team.

  • At the final adoption meeting, the foster home and/or the adoption coordinator will review the ‘Adoption Agreement’ with the new owner. A cheque made out to Dames Saving Danes Rescue or an e-mail money transfer to our Rescue account must be obtained from the adopter at the time of adoption. One copy of the Adoption Agreement should be kept by the adopter. The other copy remains with Dames Saving Danes Rescue

  • The dog’s original medical records and papers (if available) will be provided at the time of adoption or mailed (or e-mailed) shortly after.

  • New adopters must have their dog examined by their vet within two weeks of the adoption. In the event of a pre-existing condition, Dames Saving Danes will cover medical treatment with our vet up to a certain amount. Any issues not detected in the first 2 weeks are deemed to be new and Dames Saving Danes Rescue holds no liability.

  • If diagnosed within the first two weeks following adoption, we will take the Dane back into care should the adopter not wish to deal with a long-term medical issue.

  • We encourage the new owner to contact the Adoption Coordinator with any questions or concerns as soon as they arise.

  • A member of our team will contact the new owner after 3 weeks and 3 months to see how things are progressing.

  • Dames Saving Danes Rescue will not give the adopting family the name, address or phone number of families relinquishing dogs, nor will it give the relinquishing families the name, address or phone number of the adopting family unless permitted by both parties.

  • New adoptive families are encouraged to join the Ottawa Great Dane Walking Group as a support network and opportunity to socialize and exercise their new Great Dane. They will also be directed to Great Dane health, behaviour, and training resources.

Why was my application declined?

Applicants can be declined for, but not limited to unfavourable responses such as the following:

  • Applicant indicates a plan to breed the dog.

  • Applicant refuses the spay/neuter contract of a younger dog that cannot be altered during their time in Rescue.

  • Applicant misrepresents information on the application.

  • Applicant indicates the dog will be home alone for an extended period of time.

  • Applicant’s veterinarian indicates a history of poor care for other animals.

  • Applicant has a history of relinquishing other pets.

  • Applicant will only accept an age or dog personality the Adoption Coordinator feels is unsuited to them (i.e. elderly person who wants a very young and energetic dog).

  • Applicant owns other dogs that are not spayed/neutered.

  • Applicant owns other dogs that are dog aggressive.

  • Applicant rents a home or apartment and landlord cannot be contacted by Dames Saving Danes Rescue for their approval.

  • Applicant has no fence when it appears the dog would be at risk due to lack of fencing (invisible fence is not an adequate safety measure).

  • Applicant’s home is unkempt and potentially unsafe with clutter or bare floors that can be considered harmful to a Dane’s health.

  • Applicant states that the Dane will live outside.

  • Applicant indicates the Dane will be tied by the neck.

  • Applicant indicates they will crate an adult Dane.

  • Applicant indicates that they will crate a Dane puppy for an extensive period of time other than what is considered reasonable for house training purposes.

Return of a previously adopted dog

If, through the follow-up process or telephone call from the owner, we are made aware that a Dane previously adopted despite adequate screening methods, is an inadequate match, the Dane will come back into the Dames saving Danes Rescue program.

We cannot provide refunds of the adoption fee, as in most cases the funds have been used for the veterinary care of another rescue dog.

When possible, Dames Saving Danes Rescue will provide names of qualified animal behaviorists, training facilities or counselors if the owner wishes to attempt to rectify the behavior.

If Dames Saving Danes Rescue learns that an owner has violated the terms and conditions of the ‘Adoption Agreement’, the Board of Directors will review the circumstances and make a decision regarding action to be taken in recovering the Dane in question.