FAQ About Adopting a Dog

 

What areas of Houston does Paws for Heroes currently serve?

Paws for Heroes currently serves the area within the shaded green circle.  If you are not certain whether your location is supported, please contact Paws for Heroes at info@pawsforheroes.com.

How does the dog become matched with the military member?

We select the dog after reviewing the military member’s application and conducting in person interviews.  The military member is asked to describe the activity level and size of the dog.  The military member is not involved in the search or selection of the dog.

Can the military member request a certain breed of dog?

Paws for Heroes does not search nor select dogs based upon the military member’s request for certain breeds (such as Boxer, German Shepherd, labrador, etc).  Military members may communicate their size preferences.   The most common type of dogs placed with military members are mixed breeds.  The criteria we focus on is the candidate dog's sociability, confidence, ability to adapt to new environments and temperament.

How is the military member screened?

First, the military member is required to submit a complete an online Inquiry to Adopt a Paws for Heroes Dog.  If the military member is approved to proceed to apply for a Paws for Heroes dog, the military member completes an adoption application.  After the application has been submitted, Paws for Heroes conducts an interview with the military member.  Later, a home visit is conducted to ensure the military member is a suitable candidate to adopt a dog and that the military member’s home environment is a safe, secure and pet friendly environment. The military member must meet all requirements set forth by Paws for Heroes by preparing their home for a dog. The military member must provide documentation from the U.S. government to demonstrate proof of their military status or service.  Paws for Heroes also requires military members to complete computer based training regarding dog's body language and behavior, general pet care and positive reinforcement training.  

How is the dog selected and adopted from the shelter?

Paws for Heroes visits local animal shelters in Houston (or rescue organizations where appropriate) to locate the best match for the military member. This process can sometimes take several months to find the appropriate dog with the right temperament. Dogs that are selected range between 2-4 years old (minimum age is 2 years old).  The dog is not introduced to the military member until the dog has completed the Paws for Heroes program.

What if a military member already has a dog or puppy from a shelter and wants it trained by Paws for Heroes?

Paws for Heroes does not train dogs that are already owned by military member. This is because Paws for Heroes only selects dogs with very specific criteria. Dogs are assessed to determine if they have the appropriate energy level, disposition and confidence for Paws for Heroes' program.  The candidate dog must pass several evaluations before the dog is considered for adoption from the shelter.  Even after the candidate dog is selected by the trainer, the dog will continue to be evaluated over a period of several weeks to ensure the dog is a good match. A candidate could be passed over for consideration if the dog is too active, reactive to new environments, has a high prey drive, allergies, lack of interest in training, fear, resource guarding, thunderstorm anxiety, separation anxiety, etc.

Do you accept donated dogs?

Unfortunately, Paws for Heroes does not accept donated dogs.  This is because Paws for Heroes does not have a facility or kennel to house dogs.  Instead, Paws for Heroes only evaluates and selects dogs after the military member has been approved for the program.  This means the candidate dog goes directly from the shelter into the foster home (see below FAQs about fostering) and then onto the training phase.  This allows Paws for Heroes to save a significant amount of overhead by not having to rent a building or pay staff to operate the facility.

Where and how is the dog trained?

Most Paws for Heroes dogs are trained at board and train facilities after the candidate dog has completed the foster phase of training.  Paws for Heroes only uses positive reinforcement, non-force based training techniques.   Paws for Heroes does not use any type of negative reinforcement or command/correction or choke (prong), remote electronic collar or E-collars.

Are these service dogs?

No.  While we utilize similar evaluation and testing criteria that service dog trainers use, Paws for Heroes does not provide or train service dogs. Paws for Heroes provides professionally trained companion dogs which are similar to an emotional support dogs. The dog is trained to an equivalent of the Urban Canine Good Citizen standard and is socialized extensively with people and in different environments.  For more information on service animals, click here.

How Do I Apply for a Dog?

Please note that you must be a permanent resident in the Greater Houston (Harris County, Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County) Texas area.  To learn about Paws for Heroes eligibility requirements, click here

 

Click here to complete an Inquiry to Adopt a Paws for Heroes Dog.   

What happens if the military member becomes ill after receiving the dog and can no longer care for it?

Paws for Heroes will retrieve the dog from the military member. The dog will not be returned to the shelter. Paws for Heroes will find an appropriate and permanent home for the dog.

Does Paws for Heroes stay in contact with the military member?

Paws for Heroes stays in touch with the military member for life to ensure that each military member and dog match continues to be a successful team.   Paws for Heroes maintain communications with military members through email, phone calls and in person visits.  Each holiday, Paws for Heroes also delivers a Happy Holiday package with cookies for our military members and dog treats and toys for their dogs.  (Paws for Heroes also maintains permanent contact with the military member so that if there are ever circumstances where the military member can no longer care for the dog, Paws for Heroes can find another home for the dog).  Paws for Heroes has found that many military members enjoy staying in touch with volunteers who were a part of their match and remaining in contact with the foster families who have provided a home for their Paws for Heroes dogs.

If you have a question that was not answered, contact us.
 

FAQ About Fostering a Dog

Where do you need fosters?

Fosters are needed for 4-6 weeks in the Houston and surrounding areas such as Tomball, Conroe, Katy, Pearland and Sugarland.

Do you accept donated dogs?

Unfortunately, Paws for Heroes does not accept donated dogs.  This is because Paws for Heroes does not have a facility or kennel to house dogs.  Instead, Paws for Heroes only evaluates and selects dogs after the military member has been approved for the program.  This means the candidate dog goes directly from the shelter into the foster home (see below FAQs about fostering) and then onto the training phase.  This allows Paws for Heroes to save a significant amount of overhead by not having to rent a building or pay staff to operate the facility.

Where do the dogs come from?

Paws for Heroes' trainers visit local animal shelters in Houston (or rescue organizations where appropriate) to locate the best match for the military member.  Dogs that are selected range between 2-4 years old.  Paws for Heroes' trainers focus on is the dog’s sociability, confidence, ability to adapt to new environments and temperament.  Trainers require shelter dogs to undergo a multi-part test which evaluates the dog’s sociability, dominance and reactivity. Dogs that have any type of aggression or anxiety or any behavioral issues are not adopted.  Paws for Heroes only adopts dogs that are affectionate to all people, calm, confident and balanced.  The dogs are healthy, spayed/neutered and up to date on all of their vaccinations. 

What type and size of dogs are typically adopted?

Many of our military members have requested large dogs (50-70 pounds) but we have also had military members request smaller dogs (15-30 pounds). Typically the dogs will be mixed breeds.  If there are breeds which the foster family is uncomfortable fostering, those preferences will be communicated to the trainer and respected.

How do you screen your military members? 

First, the military member is required to submit a complete an online Inquiry to Adopt a Paws for Heroes Dog.  If the military member is approved to proceed to apply for a Paws for Heroes dog, the military member completes an adoption application. After the application has been submitted, Paws for Heroes conducts an interview with the military member.  Later, a home visit is conducted to ensure the military member is a suitable candidate to adopt a dog and that the military member’s home environment is a safe, secure and pet friendly environment. The military member must meet all requirements set forth by Paws for Heroes by preparing their home for a dog. The military member must provide documentation from the U.S. government to demonstrate proof of their military status or service. Paws for Heroes also requires military members to complete computer based training regarding dog's body language and behavior, general pet care and positive reinforcement training.  

What if I already have a dog in my home (or more than one dog)? 

Paws for Heroes will evaluate all potential foster homes to ensure suitability for a Paws for Heroes dog.  Paws for Heroes does not require that the Paws for Heroes dog be the only dog in the foster household.  If the foster home does have dogs in the home, the trainer will properly introduce the dogs so that it is a positive and neutral introduction. 

How long are the dogs fostered? 

Foster dogs have already been “assigned” to their military member so the foster period will only be 4-6 weeks.

Are these indoor or outdoor dogs? 

Paws for Heroes dogs are considered members of the military member’s family so they are primarily kept indoors.  

Can I help train the dog? 

Fosters are required to crate train the dogs. Trainers will provide instructions on crate use. Fosters are also required to help train the dogs for good house manners which means the dog is not allowed on furniture, no begging for food at mealtimes, jumping on people, etc.  Paws for Heroes uses positive reinforcement, non-force based training techniques.   Paws for Heroes does not use any type of negative reinforcement or command/correction or choke (prong), remote electronic collar or E-collars.

 

Are these therapy dog, companion dogs or service dogs?

Paws for Heroes does not provide service dogs.  While we utilize similar evaluation and testing criteria that service dog trainers use, Paws for Heroes does not provide or train service dogs. Paws for Heroes provides professionally trained companion dogs which are similar to an emotional support dogs. The dog is trained to an equivalent of the Urban Canine Good Citizen standard and “good house manners” and is socialized extensively with people and in different environments.

Who pays for food, vet bills, toys and other costs of caring for the dog while the dog is being fostered? 

Paws for Heroes pays for all costs associated with training, feeding and caring for the dog while the dog is being fostered.

What happens when we go on vacation? 

Paws for Heroes will pay to have the dog boarded.

What if there is an medical emergency with the dog? 

Paws for Heroes will pay for costs associated with a medical emergency with the dog.

What happens if the military member becomes ill after receiving the dog and can no longer care for it? 

Paws for Heroes will retrieve the dog from the military member. The dog will not be returned to the shelter or rescue. Paws for Heroes will find an appropriate and permanent home for the dog. 

How do I find out more about fostering?

Email info@pawsforheroes.com or call 832.844.6466.

CONTACT US

Email: info@pawsforheroes.com

Phone:  (832) 844-6466

 

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Paws for Heroes is a GuideStar Platinum Star level participant and is also accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance. 

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Paws for Heroes is a 501(c)(3) and is a registered non-profit with the IRS and the State of Texas.  

IRS Tax ID 46-2770133

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