A fenced in yard is incredibly important when it comes to adopting a dog. They are active creatures that need a safe space to run and play. Dogs cannot be cooped up all day but they can’t be trusted to run loose all over the neighborhood either. A yard helps to ensure that they have a place to have supervised play and exercise time where they won’t be in danger. It’s a harsh, but necessary, requirement for most rescue organizations. If a fence isn’t possible, we strongly encourage adopters to seek other rescues or shelters who do not have a fenced yard requirement, or to select a dog who does not have this requirement listed in their bio. If you are planning to have a fence installed, please have this done prior to completing your application.

There have been some cases where we have made an exception to this requirement, but this does not happen often. All of our rescue dogs reside in loving foster homes until they are adopted, where we get to know each of their individual needs and personalities. Some dogs are runners and some dogs have a lot of energy and need a place to play and run off leash in a safe environment. Each dog has different needs, and when we specify a fenced yard for one of our dogs, it is because this is the type of environment they will do best in. We require a fenced yard for all puppies and most of our adult dogs. A well-socialized, leash-trained adult or senior dog might do well in a condo/townhouse or apartment environment, where all outside activities take place on a leash. We will evaluate any potential exceptions on a case by case basis.

We are often asked if we will make an exception if you train your dog to stay in the yard. Unfortunately, we see dogs in shelters all the time that have been “trained” to stay in the yard. This is just not a safe way to contain a dog. We have seen too many dogs who have been hit by cars for this as well. No matter how much property you own, or how far out in the country you are, a dog will walk into a road at some point and we are not willing to take this risk with the dogs we rescue. We are aware that having a fenced yard does not completely eliminate this risk, but it is definitely safer than not having a fence for them to play in.

Our fenced in yard policies are also often in place to prevent dogs from being left tied out or chained up. Again, we know this doesn’t eliminate the chance that someone with a fenced yard will leave them outside in it for long periods, but that is where our rigorous application process comes into play. We evaluate each applicant thoroughly to determine if their lifestyle and home activities are suited to fit the needs of the dog they are interested in adopting. The fenced yard is only a minimum requirement and does not automatically mean a person can adopt. Our adoption process has many requirements that every applicant must meet.

Many potential adopters have, or will have, an invisible fence. There is no direct yes or no answer to whether or not an invisible fence will be acceptable for a specific dog. Each dog is different, and some may not do well with an invisible fence, where others may learn quickly and be fine contained in one. The potential adopter’s experience with invisible fence is also taken into consideration. The only way to determine if your invisible fence would be a good fit for the dog you want to adopt is if you complete the application so we are able to assess it in its entirety. There is a section in our application where you can tell us about your invisible fence. This will be taken into consideration along with the rest of the application and listed requirements for the dog you are applying for.

We hope this clears up any questions that may arise regarding our fenced in yard requirements. We wish you the best of luck in your search for your new furry family member, whether you adopt them from us, or from another rescue or shelter 🙂