Adoption Application

Please read about our adoption process and our terms of adoption below.

Please keep the information on this page as a reference for you during your adoption process, and let us know if you have additional questions.


By sending us your completed application (electronically),
you agree to the terms listed on this website. 



THE PROCESS (please read carefully before completeing your application)


1.  Click on the application link below (after reading process and faqs).  Please complete ALL sections of the application, or your application can not be processed.  This includes references with up to date contact information, current vet records for all cats, dogs, or ferrets living in your home, and contact information. If we do not receive your vet records, we will not process your application. Additionally, if you are not the owner of your home, you must provide a letter, lease, or rental agreement stating permission to have a dog, and any restrictions such as weight, or breed. If we do not recieve this information, we will not process your application. Owner acknowledgement of a possible adoption is required for Service and ESA dogs as well.
2.  Once we have received your application, it will go into a queue, and will be assigned to a MABCR volunteer.  This volunteer will contact you in order to set up a phone interview.  During this interview, we will review your application and work to get a good understanding of the type of border collie that will best fit you, your family, and your home.
3.  Following your phone interview, the volunteer will contact your references.  Please be sure your references are available and are aware that you have used them as references on your application. If we are not able to reach your references, your application can not move forward.
4.  Once your phone interview and references are complete, another MABCR volunteer will reach out to schedule your home visit.  This visit is typically about an hour, and is simply 'coffee with the neighbors'. This home visit is just another way to help us refine our matching process, and to uncover the type of dog that will best suit your home.  Everyone who lives in your home must be present for the homevisit.
5.  Once your home visit is complete, your complete application will be submitted to our Executive Director.  Our ED will then look for a border collie that will suit your family.  If we do not have an appropriate dog available, you will receive an email stating that your application is complete, but that no appropriate dog is currently available.  As soon as we find a dog that suits, we will contact you. In the meantime, should a dog on our website appeal to you, you can contact us for information. When making your application, please keep in mind that the tighter your parameters for a dog, the more difficult it will be for us to make a match.
6.  Once a match has been made, you will be contacted by email.  You will recive information about your match and along with photos.  You will have the oppurtunity to discuss this match with our ED, and the foster care giver. If you feel the dog may be a match, you will then make arrangements to go to the foster home, or to our main facility in Chestertown, MD. The meet and greet with your potential dog should be done as soon as possible after the match is made.
7.  At your meet and greet, you should be prepared to take your new friend home with you, if you feel the match is a good one.  You should go to the meet and greet with a crate in your car, a 6 or 8 foot web or leather leash, and a check for $300 made out to MABCR. (you should also be prepared at home, for an article on home preparations, please go here) If for some reason, the dog is a not a fit for you, your application will go back into the queue for another match.  There is no penalty for not adopting that dog.
8.  After you take your new dog home, you will receive the adoption paperwork via email.  Veterinary records will be included. Please sign and return (by mail) one copy of your adoption contract.  
9.  MABCR will continue to be a resource for you during your lifetime with your new dog.  We hope you become a part of our MABCR family, and attend trainings, demos, and family fun days, and maybe even volunteer! 


FAQs (if you want to ask it, it's probably here, if it's not, please ask!)


Q: How much does it cost to adopt from MABCR?

A: A $300.00 donation is required when you adopt a rescue Border Collie through MABCR. Adoption fees help to offset the medical care as well as the housing and feed needs of our dogs while they are in rescue. Fees are due at the time of adoption, no exceptions will be made. Should an adopter wish further exams, tests or x-rays, we are happy to provide these at the expense of the adopter; fees to be pre-paid and are non-refundable.

Q: Is the dog spayed or neutered before I adopt?

A: Any animal adopted through MABCR will have been spayed or neutered prior to the adoption. 


Q: Has the dog I am adopting been to the vet?

A:  All dogs in rescue have been seen by a veternarian at least once during their intake process. Depending on the dog and situation, a dog may be seen multiple times. Each dog receives heartworm test/preventative when called for, as well as rabies, and DHLPP inoculations. All dogs are treated for parasites (multiple times if they are here for very long), and are given a general health screening. NOTE: X-rays, teeth cleanings and other non-emergency medical tests and services are not provided for unless requested by the adopter, and pre-paid and are non-refundable. As part of our placement contract, we require that once you have adopted a dog that you make an appointment with your personal vet within the first two weeks for a well visit. We recommend that you follow a regular inoculation program established by your veterinarian to guarantee your dog stays healthy. You will receive a medical history on your new dog (as best as can be determined or documented). Please be aware that most dogs do not come with fully documented medical records or histories. 

Q: Do I have to sign a contract in order to adopt?

A: All adopters of rescued animals will be required to sign an Adoption Agreement. This contract is legal and binding. Please read it carefully (see below) prior to applying to adopt. We will not alter our contract in order to make placement of a dog.

Q:Why can't I just pick the dog I want to adopt from your site?

A: Each border collie has a different personality and different needs from their humans.  While you may like the looks of one of our dogs, his/her personality may not suit you, and what you have to offer a dog.  We have dogs that are high drive, or do not get along with cats, aren't good with kids, etc.  We get to know our dogs and their quirks pretty well, so we know what will work.  Our goal is to make a placement that is going to last.  That is why we put so much effort into getting to know you, and offering you the right dog.  

Since we do not know you personally, the information we gather from the Adoption Process will help us to match you with the right kind of Border Collie for your circumstances. We place Border Collies only into good, loving homes, and we screen prospective adopters thoroughly. Please know that this information is reviewed by a select few volunteers and is never made available to anyone outside of a very small staff of volunteers.


Q:  I have an e-fence.  Is that ok?

A:  We do not place Border Collies who have not previously been trained to an electric fence, into homes where the primary mode of containment is an electric fence. Border Collies do not generally fare well with electric fences, and we will not knowingly place them into that situation


Q:  How long does your application process take?

A:  There are many variables in processing an application.  If your application is complete- that is the best first step.  We do our best to process applications as quickly as possible, however, we are a volunteer organization and sometimes it does take longer than we'd like.  Expect that your application will take 2-3 weeks to process.  Once your application is approved, you should be prepared to meet (and hopefully adopt) a dog fairly quickly. If we do not have an appropriate dog for your home, there is no way to guess when we will have an appropriate dog.  In the event we do not have an appropriuate dog, we will keep your application active until you tell us otherwise. 


Q:  Should I fill out an application to get the process started even if we are not sure we are ready to adopt?

A: No, you shouldn't.  Please be sure that you are ready for the commitment it takes to own a dog before you complete your application. Owning a dog or adding another dog to your family will change your life.  We can help you prepare, but we cannot be sure that you are ready, only you can determine that. The application process takes resources from our volunteers, so please be 100% sure before you proceed. 


Q: Why does everyone have to be home at the time of the homevisit?

A: It is important that our volunteer get a full picture of your home environment, and that includes everyone who lives with you.  We check the yard, fencing, where the dog will be kept, as well as chat with the members of your family about their expectations.


Q: Does it matter that I applied with several rescues?

A: If you have applied with other rescue organizations or are considering another breed of dog, please let us know at the time of application as this will help facilitate the application process with MABCR.


Keep this cover information and the "Terms of Adoption" page for your reference. Please fill out the application form. By sending us the following application (electronically) you agree to the terms listed within this document. 


Please note that we can only accept this application electronically.




Terms of Adoption

1. Return: The adopted dog may be returned to Mid-Atlantic Border Collie Rescue at any time, for any reason. 
2. Transfer of Ownership: The adopted dog may not be transferred to any other person for any reason. If the undersigned adopter is forced to relinquish custody of the dog at any time, said dog will be relinquished only to Mid-Atlantic Border Collie Rescue.
3. Refund: There will be no refund or reimbursement for any expenses incurred by the adopter for the adopted dog, even if it is returned to Mid-Atlantic Border Collie Rescue. 
4. Trial Period: There will be a two-week 'trial' period in which you may return the dog for a full refund of the adoption fee. Within that time it is the adopter's responsibility to contact MABCR to discuss and attempt to resolve any behavioral or health issues that have come to light. We will do our best to help you work through any issues that arise in order to help you keep your newly adopted friend. This trial period is not valid with puppies under 12 months of age unless there are veterinarian diagnosed health issues with the pup involved. Medical records must be returned with the pup in order to recieve a refund.
5. Health Program: The adopter agrees to take the dog to his personal veterinarian within the two-week trial period for a general check up. The adopted dog will be cared for humanely, including adequate food, shelter, water and veterinary care and will be licensed in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which he resides. The dog is to be exercised in a fenced yard or on a leash and is not to be free to roam the streets.
6. Reason for Adoption: The adopted dog is to be kept as a house pet; it shall not be used for medical or any other experimental purpose; it shall not be chained or tied.
7. Loss: If the adopted dog is lost or stolen, the adopter will notify MABCR within 24 hours. 
8. Reservation of Rights: Mid-Atlantic Border Collie Rescue reserves the right to enforce this contract in order to protect the welfare of the adopted dog. It is understood that MABCR may examine and may make inquiry about said dog at any time. If the terms and conditions of the Agreement are not upheld, Mid-Atlantic Border Collie Rescue reserves the right to terminate this Agreement and to reclaim the dog. 

9. Return check charge: There will be a $30.00 charge on any returned checks 
10. During the trial period: the adopter may not 1.) change the dog’s name or 2.) change the dog’s appearance in any way (including trimming or other grooming other than bathing and nail clipping) and 3.) use any type of negative correction including prong collars, electrical correction collars or remote trainers. Use of such equipment or change of the dog’s appearance will result in the loss of the adoption fee as payment for time loss in order to regain the dog’s appearance and/or training in order for the dog to be re-homed.

Click Here for our adoption application: Adoption Application.

Please fill out the application as completely as possible, and click the submit button.

Please do not hit the enter button, as that may cause issues with your submittal.

Please note that due to our process, we can only accept an application electronically.



Sarah Ruckelshaus

Things to have at home and other suggestions prior to adopting a dog



You can help rescued Border Collies immediately by making a tax deductible donation to Mid-Atlantic Border Collie Rescue (MABCR) through PayPal. All donations to Mid-Atlantic Border Collie Rescue go towards caring for rescued Border Collies! You can direct your donation to the Fearing-Lowder Medical Fund or to our general fund. Donations of any size are gratefully accepted.

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