Frequently Asked Questions

Message from Molly

In most cases, Saving Grace dogs come from the most rural, underserved, and impoverished areas, across North Carolina. Nearly all of our dogs come to us from animal control facilities without health or behavior history information. There is often exposure to infectious diseases in these facilities. Few have received prior veterinary care or monthly parasite preventatives prior to entering the Saving Grace program. Our care includes vaccinations,, spay/neuter, parasite prevention/treatment and more. We do our best to identify any abnormalities or behavior concerns and address and treat those concerns prior to adoption to help ensure that dogs adopted from Saving Grace have the potential to become great family companions. Despite rigorous screening, we are unable to guarantee that an individual dog is completely healthy or has no behavioral concerns at the time of adoption.  Unfortunately, some conditions or behaviors may not be evident prior to adoption, or may be easier to identify when in a home setting with a routine caretaker rather than in a shelter environment with multiple volunteers caring for different animals.

The adoption fee pays for a portion of treatment and screening but it’s important to understand that veterinary care beyond wellness visits may be required after the adoption takes place.  All veterinary care, training, or behavioral  following adoption is the responsibility of the adopter/owner.   Because of their background, it is possible for adopted dogs to be diagnosed with infectious diseases including parasites, or less commonly with more severe underlying medical conditions, congenital/developmental puppy problems, or behavioral concerns after adoption. , It is the decision of the adopter/owner if they want to take on the time and expense required to provide follow-up veterinary care or behavior modification.  If an adopter/owner is unable or unwilling to provide this care, they may  return the dog to Saving Grace.  We will do our best to provide care and training for returned dogs with the resources we have available.  

All dogs should be taken in to a local veterinarian within 72 hours of adoption for a wellness exam and to establish a relationship with a veterinarian. If the adopter does not feel satisfied with the health of the dog, Saving Grace will take that animal back. We want our adopters to be happy with their new companion and this includes their ability to provide care for the needs of the animal.

Saving Grace is committed to bringing dogs from underserved communities together with families willing to help  these puppies and adult dogs  to reach their full potential to enjoy healthy, happy lives and provide loving companionship.

Thank you for helping us to continue to serve dogs in need.

Planning Your Visit to Saving Grace

Want to visit Saving Grace? Here are a few answers to questions you may have like where are we located and so much more… follow this link!

Why do you charge an adoption fee rather than give the animals away for free?

The average medical expenses for an animal at Saving Grace are approximately $400. We want to make sure we are adopting out healthy animals and providing all necessary vet care. Each animal is given a routine physical, spayed/neutered, microchipped, dewormed and given needed vaccines. They are tested for heartworms and treated if necessary.

You’ll find that if you call any veterinarian’s office, typical vet fees for similar services would far surpass the adoption fees. Once you learn more about Saving Grace Animals for Adoption – you’ll not only understand why … you may even choose to get involved!

Every wonder how much it costs to care for a dog?

Why does my pet need to be spayed/neutered? Can I adopt an intact animal?

Spaying and neutering helps stem the tide of overpopulation. It does not make animals fat and lazy, harm their health, or hurt their personalities, as some people mistakenly believe. Spaying not only reduces the stress and discomfort females endure during heat periods, but also eliminates the risk of uterine cancer and reduces the chance of mammary cancer. Neutering makes males far less likely to roam or fight, and helps prevent testicular cancer.

You are helping to alleviate the dog and cat overpopulation problem. Each year, millions of unwanted dogs and cats are euthanized at shelters across the country. Although pet behavioral problems are the main reasons animals are given to shelters, many orphans are the result of accidental breeding by free-roaming, unaltered pets. The more pets spayed or neutered, the fewer dogs and cats will have to be destroyed.

All animals adopted through Saving Grace are already altered before adoption. There are millions of unwanted dogs, puppies, kittens and cats euthanized in shelters each year and Saving Grace is committed to reducing the population of unwanted animals

Is there a trial period to take the pet home and see if it 'fits' with the family?

Saving Grace makes all efforts to make sure that a good match is made between adopters and dogs before adoption. Most of the dogs at Saving Grace have been in transit from being stray, to a shelter, to Saving Grace and are eager for a permanent home that will provide them with consistency. When they are returned, they have to once again acclimate to Saving Grace and then another home. Due to this, we do not offer a trial period.

Can I adopt a pet for someone else?

No. Only the person who will be caring for the pet is allowed to adopt. This is in the best interest of both the pet and the adopter. If you really want to make the adoption a “gift,” we recommend a gift certificate. Selecting a pet is a very personal decision and the recipient will appreciate being able to make his or her own choice.

Do I need any experience to be a volunteer?

No. Saving Grace is always looking for volunteers with any level of experience as long as they love animals! We are willing to teach dog care and training to anyone willing to learn. There are also lots of volunteer opportunities that greatly benefit the dogs but don’t involve contact with the dogs.

Find out more> 

What plants are harmful to pets?
  • Plants affecting the gastrointestinal tract – azalea (azalea, rhododendron), bulbs (amaryllis, tulip, daffodils, castor bean, english ivy, mushrooms (fly agaric and death cap), precatory beans, solanaceae (potatoes, tomatoes, ground cherries, woody nightshade, black nightshade, christmas cherry), english walnut
  • Plants causing stomatitis and glossitis – ornamentals (dieffenbachia or dumb cane, philodendron), wild flowers (jack-in-the-pulpit)
  • Plants affecting the nervous system – nettle (catnip), nicotiana (tobacco), taxus spp (japanese yew), marijuana, parasympatholytic (jimson weed, thornapple, trumpet vine), hallucinogens (morning glory)
  • Plants affecting the blood and cardiovascular systems – oleander, cyanogenic plants (apples, cherries, plums)
  • Plants affecting the dermis – cactus, burrs, poison ivy
How to make heads or tails out of flea preventatives:
  • Flea infestations are very common in this area and pose a real health risk to your pet. Once on your pet and in your home, fleas can be extremely difficult to eradicate. So how can you avoid all of these problems? Prevention is key, and year round treatment is a necessity. There are a multitude of products, from over the counter medications (not recommended as they are not as safe or effective) to those sold by your veterinarian. This overview will help you learn what to look for in a flea preventative based on your pet’s lifestyle.
  • Topical products (those that you place directly onto your pet’s skin) revolutionized the treatment of fleas. These products work by inhibiting nerve transmissions in insects, causing paralysis and death of the flea. Some products contain additional ingredients called insect growth regulators that target other flea life stages to increase efficacy. The most common products are Frontline, Advantage, K9 Advantix and Revolution. Frontline and K9 Advantix are the only products that also kill ticks. K9 Advantix has additional tick repellant activity that is helpful if you plan on taking your dog into wooded areas with high tick burdens. Caution: this product is toxic to cats and should be used with caution if your cat and dog have contact with each other. Frontline Plus (not Frontline Top Spot) has an additional ingredient to kill the larval and egg stages of the flea in addition to killing the adults. Revolution is the only topical that also will protect dogs from heartworm disease in addition to some intestinal de-worming action, although it has almost no activity against ticks. All the topical products work even if your pet swims, however bathing can severely decrease their efficacy. These products are all absorbed into the hair follicles and sebaceous glands of the skin, so if you bathe your pet with a soap based shampoo, it will strip the product away. Your veterinarian can advise you on a safe shampoo to use with a topical product.
  • There are also several oral flea preventatives on the market. One benefit of these products is that they avoid the messiness associated with the topicals. The other benefit is that some of these products produce a very fast kill of adult fleas. The downside to these products is that they have no activity against ticks. These products include Program, Sentinel, Capstar and Comfortis. Program was the first oral preventative on the market and can be purchased over the counter. It works by inhibiting the development of flea eggs. It does not have any activity against adult fleas, which is problematic for dogs with flea allergies. The active drug in Program (lufenuron) is now found in Sentinel, a monthly heartworm and flea preventative. This drug is ideal for small breed dogs that do not have high exposure to ticks. Capstar was the first oral medication to have a very fast flea kill (within 30 minutes of ingestion). It is very safe and can be used in animals as young as 4 weeks. The downside is that it only works for 24 hours, making it cost prohibitive as a first line preventative, although it is a good adjunct product when trying to get a flea infestation under control. Comfortis is the newest drug on the market, debuting in 2007. It starts killing fleas within 30 minutes with all adult fleas dead within 4 hours. It lasts for one month and can be used either alone as a preventative or in conjunction with topical products if needed for severe infestations. It is very effective, but cannot be used in animals under 14 weeks of age.
  • So how do you know what to choose? Is your dog large or small? Do they spend most of their time indoors or outdoors? Are they in the city or the country? Do you walk on sidewalks or go hiking? Do you already have fleas in your environment? All of these are important factors that you can discuss with your veterinarian when considering the preventative strategy that’s best for your dog.

By Alison Klaitman, DVM
Colony Park Animal Hospital

I live out of town, does Saving Grace ship dogs?
  • We send many lucky dogs home with happy adopters who have come to visit from out of state. But unlike puppy mills or many questionable breeders and rescue organizations, we never ship dogs. This protects you and it protects the dog. Here’s how:
  • In your internet search for your new companion, it can be easy to be duped by slick websites, promises, and adorable photos. But buyer beware! Many of the very dogs we rescue come from businesses and so-called rescues who keep the dogs in cruel conditions. They make their money shipping to you, sight unseen. Then the dog endures a potentially traumatizing journey. Once the puppy or dog arrives with health trouble or temperament problems like aggression, fearfulness or separation anxiety, you might feel obligated to keep him or her. You have just supported a cruel and possibly illegal practice and helped keep them in business. And you’ve got a sick or unstable dog on your hands to boot. (For more information on why to avoid internet pet sales and shipping, please read Consumer Scam: Internet Pet Sales.)
  • Our out-of-state adopters come to meet their new dog and us. That allows Saving Grace to invest time and care to make a good match for the dog, and you should invest the same time and care in making a good match for your family. What’s a road trip between friends, when you will share up to fifteen years of your lives together?
I just made a donation. Can I get a copy of your IRS Letter?

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