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We are unpaid volunteers who use our personal resources to help our dogs. We gratefully accept donations and grants, but the majority of vetting, training, and care is self-funded and no expense is spared in meeting the needs of our dogs and puppies.

We use an application protocol to handle all inquires, which enables us to save and care for more dogs. It is not unusual for a dog to be posted for some time before a placement decision is made. This is NOT a first-come-first-served process, we search for the absolute best fit for each dog’s needs. If you apply for a specific dog and we believe that a different dog - or one that is not yet posted - may be a fit for you, we will let you know!

Discussion about a dog, including scheduling of a home check or other dialogue, does not occur unless and until we've received your completed Adoption ApplicationNO EXCEPTIONS.

NOTE: Please DO NOT apply to adopt a puppy or dog that requires training UNLESS you are prepared to begin that training within the F2A timeframe specified by BDR. If you do not begin training within the prescribed timeframe, the rescue can and will reclaim the dog so that it can be placed with adopters who will make training a priority.

Applicants receive an email acknowledgement. (Didn't receive one? Please check your spam folder!) 

We contact applicants only if clarification is needed or if we'd like to schedule a home visit. During the visit, we like to get to know everyone in the household. We perform a quick, security-focused walk-thru of your backyard. Fences must be “footed” and at least six feet high; gates be padlocked and have a “dog-proof” threshold (cement or pavers). 

Approval is sometimes subject to discussion with other members of the BDR Team. Once approved, potential adopters are invited to meet and get to know the dog. If all are in agreement, a representative of Better Days will bring the dog to the new home at a date and time that will allow everyone to adjust to the new routine. 

On delivery day, a foster-to-adopt (F2A) period will begin, with a signed Foster-To-Adopt Agreement. Some F2A periods last only a few weeks. Many (in the case of young puppies or dogs requiring training) extend for a protracted period of weeks or months. This permits the new puppy or dog to bond with the adopters while they reach important milestones like immunizations, minimum age for spay/neuter, or completion of mandatory training.

During the F2A period, we request frequent updates to show, in photos, video, and words, how the adjustment period is progressing. 

Once the milestones are reached and everyone is confident that the new dog and the humans are a perfect fit, the adoption will be finalized! An Adoption Agreement is signed, the adopter name and contact information is added to the dog's microchip, and the County dog license is transferred to the adopter.

Happy Dogs + Happy Adopters = Successful Placement!

Our adopters become part of the Better Days family. In order to serve as a resource for the development and success of our alumni dogs, we strive to maintain ongoing communication with and accessibility to adoptive families. Microchips remain registered to Better Days Rescue and the the adopters’ contact information is added to their dog's record. We take this extra step in order to be available to ensure the safe status of each dog.

We stand by each dog and will resume ownership and care of a dog if needed.

(Not ready to permanently adopt a dog? Click here for our Foster Application!)



Our puppies and dogs are placed in the Phoenix metro area, for proximity to our rescue (home checks, follow-up visits, visit to finalize adoption) and for access to our veterinarian, trainers, and behavioralists.



Discussion about a dog, including scheduling of a home check or other dialogue, cannot occur until we have received your completed adoption application. NO EXCEPTIONS. Humans aged eight years and older only, please.



“Needs companion animal” means the dog requires a home where a similar-sized dog with similar energy level is already part of the family. Other than in the case of very senior dogs, we do not place siblings together because although they have similar needs, they will adjust, bond, and thrive best when placed in separate homes. We DO NOT place dogs in homes where there are unaltered puppies or dogs because we support spay-neuter and because an intact dog significantly impacts the dynamics of dog-dog relationships.



We appreciate the opportunity to get to know everyone who lives in your home, pets included!  Melding a new dog into a family of humans and other animals is both a joy and a responsibility. We do not take chances with people’s beloved pets, so meeting them to determine their energy level, stamina, and demeanor before deciding to introduce them to a new dog is key in our process. We also do a quick walk of your yard to identify any potential safety issues. (See “YARD” section, below.)



Puppies are not spayed or neutered until they are at least six months of age; some larger breeds wait longer. So that puppies can bond with their new families and begin training, unaltered puppies are placed on a foster-to-adopt basis until it’s safe and healthy to spay/neuter. 



We are a tiny rescue and we manage the care and placement of the dogs in addition to our full time jobs. We do not have sufficient resources to respond to individual inquiries and follow-up communications. If you are not contacted concerning your application to meet a dog, it is likely that we are working hard on another placement opportunity that is a closer match for the dog’s needs. We communicate the status of each dog via their profile, which is maintained in a shelter management software system that broadcasts to our Adopt page on this website, as well as to many public pet-search websites. Due to lags in export time (outside our control) the absolute best place to check for current information and status on a dog is here our official website! 


  • • Once a dog begins the foster-to-adopt period, we note “adoption pending” on its profile, and the profile will soon be retired from the site and no longer exported to pet search sites.
  • • Occasionally, due to family emergency or compatibility issues between pets, a foster-to-adopt period does not culminate in a lifetime placement. This results in a dog being re-posted “available” as we review additional applications. Our website is the best place to check for status of a dog!



We DO NOT adopt to students as we have found that they often do not know or anticipate where life will take them.



Adoption of a dog who’s less than two years of age begins with a Foster-To-Adopt arrangement that continues until Puppy Kindergarten (or Basic Obedience) and Intermediate Obedience Training are completed. Training must begin immediately upon starting the foster-to-adopt period. We encourage adopters to use online search as well as references from friends and animal care professionals to identify affordable group training sessions that offer a convenient location and schedule. Sometimes, when using a retail chain, it pays to travel to a location that is a little out of your way in order to gain the benefit of a particular trainer that comes highly recommended!



Although some puppies and dogs are able to function well without an attached, fenced yard, it’s a requirement for most of our dogs. Extremely large dogs, senior dogs, puppies who are still house-training or whose immunizations are incomplete all require a private yard. As do extremely active dogs, those who are overly concerned about strangers, dogs who’ve have always had access to a yard, and those who are vocal when left alone. 

  • • Fenced yard” means, a backyard that is adjacent to and connected with your residence. (It does NOT mean a nearby fenced area/dog park.)
  • • Gates must have padlocks and thresholds (cement or buried pavers to prevent digging.)
  • • Yard and patio must be free of debris and have room for dogs to run and play on a lawn and/or in a shaded area. Please don’t invite us to your home if you have not yet landscaped your yard!
  • • We do not place dogs in situations where there are drained or empty swimming pools, which are a fall hazard and contribute to the propagation of mosquitos. If a dog’s profile indicates that he/she requires a swimming pool, that means “a private, in-ground pool that is available to the dog daily or multiple times per week.”
  • • Please check with your HOA, landlord, and/or management company for prohibited breeds and any other limits on pets before applying to adopt.