As seen on

Animal Planet Visits Rancho de Chihuahua
“Small Dogs, Big Jobs: The Chihuahua Ambassador”

Our Requirements for Adoption​

We place dogs in loving, secure, safe forever homes only. No human kids under 10 years old in the home, and we do not adopt to anyone under 21. Only the adult(s) in the home. We do a meet-n-greet/interview here at the Rancho. A home check of your home. Five reference checks. And a contract that states, in good legalese, that you’ll return the dog to us if anything happens.

An adopter needs to be able to provide love, of course, and patience, and care. Also quality food, vet care, and monthly heart-worm pills. (So there is financial consideration.)  Can you provide these things? If so, can you provide the other very important thing–time? A dog doesn’t thrive on being left alone all day. He/she may live–but won’t thrive.

We Require:

Indoor homes only. (Indoor/outdoor with a dog-door is fine, if the dog is allowed indoors whenever he/she wants.) Fully fenced property. (We check fences.)  We require the attitude that the adopted dog is a family member, and will be treated with kindness, devotion, and respect at all times, just as any beloved family member would.

If anything should happen that an adopter can no longer care for the dog, we require the dog to be returned to us. (If there is a friend or relative who wants to take over, of course we will give priority adoption to that person, but they will have to go through the checks, first.) We do not recriminate if the dog is returned. That is our promise. We just want he/she safe and back with us. If the adopter is willing to answer questions, great. If not, no problem.

And that’s it.


We hugely appreciate, and hope for, donations, but do not expect them. Dog rescue is not about money for us. Donations make us possible –but we will still adopt if a person chooses not to give, and passes our stringent checks.

Sometimes people feel they are burned by charity organizations–too much goes into human salaries and frivolous waste. We understand/agree. NO donations go toward salaries at the Rancho De Chihuahua because we have NO salaried employees. All donations go toward medical/feeding/bedding/cleaning-products/clothing. (Yep clothing. These are Chihuahuas after all, who live where it snows.)

We love these guys, and want to keep doing this, so donations help a lot. But we do not discriminate if you choose not to give money. Your love, kindness, time, patience and care for the dog you are adopting is what’s important. We get it.

Whom We Adopt To/Our Process

Sorry, we’re picky. We truly don’t mean to be rude. Our dogs have all been abandoned at least once—some several times—and many have been physically beaten or worse. Our hearts’ desire is that each of the dogs coming out of the RDC will never be abandoned, forgotten or abused again, and will live lives full of fun, affection, engagement, and great health.

To this end, we check our adopters carefully.

We look for compassionate, stable, ‘present’ homes, where the dog will be cherished, adored, and not left alone for long periods of time. Most of our dogs could be hurt by small children, (Chis are much more fragile than they think they are) so many are not available to homes with kids younger than 11.

Adopters must have the financial means to care for a dog, including quality food, a home where a dog is welcomed, and access to great veterinary care.

Our process is simple, but not quick—

  • We first have a phone meeting.
  • If this progresses, the adopter visits the RDC, and meets the dog.
  • If this progresses we check personal references, and veterinary references.
  • If this progresses, a home-check is made of the adopter’s home.
  • If this progresses, a legally binding adoption contract is signed and witnessed. The dog MUST come back to us if the adopter can no longer keep the dog. No exceptions.
  • If this progresses, adoption complete!

We like to keep in regular touch with our adopters.

We truly love the great people who have adopted from us—and, though they may seem irritating—our adoption requirements have proven to be best and safest for those we serve—our fosters, and those who love them enough to make them family.