How long does the adoption process take?

It varies depending on the dog and litter, but once an application is being processed it is generally processed within 48-72 hours. If not directly in contact with one of our rescue partners (Ross or Melissa), you would hear from a processing volunteer when they are beginning to work on your application. It is a good idea to contact your references and let them know that we will be calling. For veterinarian references, please call your vet and give them permission for us to speak to them about your pet’s/pets’ care. If you have submitted an application but have not heard back from someone within 5 days, please do continue your search as there are many wonderful dogs looking for homes. At times, we are overwhelmed completely with applications for a particular dog or litter and we are unable to respond to everyone. If you wish to start by first inquiring as to the status of a dog, you can do that by e-mailing, but we do our best to keep our Adoptable Dogs list and Petfinder up-to-date.

Will you hold a dog until our house is bought/renovated/we get back from vacation/school’s out/the next blue moon/etc?

Our process usually is relatively quick, and we are unable to hold dogs for any length of time (generally one week at the absolute maximum). We will not hold them in exchange for additional fees, etc, so please don’t ask. We work for the dog, and it is in their best interest to be in their own, loving home as quickly as possible. If the dog in which you are interested is still available when you are ready to adopt, huzzah! It was meant to be.

I’ve submitted an application for a particular dog. Now what?

If your application is the first one received for that particular dog, you are first in line for the dog while we process your application. We will contact your references and otherwise process your application. If we need clarification on anything regarding your application, the application processor will be in touch with you, usually via e-mail. If no additional information is required, you will hear back from us when the processing is complete. If you have been approved, we will set up a time for you to come and meet your pup. Again, please contact your references and let them know that we will be calling and contact your veterinarian, if you have one, to give them permission to discuss your history of pet care with them.

If your application is not the first one received, we will do our best to contact you to discuss the status of the dog and whether or not you would like us to go ahead and process your application as a pre-approval on possibly adopting a different dog from Canine Commitment. At times, we simply receive so many inquiries and applications on a particular dog or litter that we are unable to respond to everyone. We’re sorry!

I’ve been approved and now I have scheduled a meet and greet. If it’s love, will I be able to take the dog home with me at that meeting?

Any dog that leaves our care must have a current health certificate (issued within fourteen days of adoption), per state regulation. We try to have current health certificates on any dog prior to a meet and greet, though it’s not always possible to do so. If the dog does have a current health certificate and your application has been processed and approved, you are able to adopt the pup at the time you meet them. (Again, we will not hold the pup for a long period of time and generally look to a decision being made at the meet and greet. If a decision is not made at that time, your pup will be considered to be available to other adopters.) If the dog does not have a current health certificate or your application has not yet been submitted and approved, the dog cannot go home that day. We will work with you to schedule pick-up, usually within one week, but sometimes dependent on our ability to get into see the veterinarian. If you are driving from a significant distance, we almost always work with you to make sure the pup will be ready to go home with you that day or will make sure you know if the pup will not be available to go home that day.

Both members of our household work full-time. Can we adopt a puppy?

Ross does not adopt puppies into homes where they will be home alone for a significant portion of the work week. This includes a long work day, even if someone will be coming home midday to let the pup out. For a puppy under the age of six-eight months, Ross looks for homes that have the time to dedicate to a young puppy throughout the day (and even for pups over six-eight months, it depends on how long the workday is, amongst other factors). We know, we all grew up with working parents and pups that were left at home throughout the day. The truth is, it’s just not ideal. Puppies need socialization and training on top of their basic physiological needs. Ross is looking to place puppies into homes where the adopters have the time required to train, socialize, and interact with the puppy throughout the day. It’s wonderful if you are able to get home at lunch to let your puppy out, but I’m afraid it’s just not enough. Ross wants to make sure the puppy has every opportunity to be successful in their new home, and we find that this requirement simply works best. Please understand, we work for the puppy. Please note that Melissa makes her own decisions regarding the pups in her care. You can discuss her requirements with her via e-mail:

If the dog is still listed as available on Petfinder (Adopt-a-Pet, etc), are they truly still available?

We are honest with you and upfront about the status of a dog. Sometimes, inquiries come in at such a quick pace that we aren’t certain what the status of the dog is – we can receive four applications on one pup and yet not have one of them work out. Other times, we believe the dog has a solid adopter, only to find out the person has changed their mind. We do the best we can and welcome any process engineers who can come up with a better way of managing this process.

Can we meet the dog first, before submitting an application?

We are happy to set up a meet and greet at our New Boston location (Ross’ home) without first having an application submitted. We will not hold a dog for you until that appointment, however, unless you submit an application. If the dog is still available at the time of your appointment, we are happy to introduce you to the dog. If the dog has a pending application at that time, we will let you know and cancel your appointment to visit the dog. At Melissa’s home in Manchester, appointments and the requirement for an application are handled on a case-by-base basis. Melissa works a full-time job in addition to the hundreds of hours each month volunteering to help these pups find their way into great homes. Her time is often limited, with back-to-back to appointments, meeting transports, and getting pups to/from the vet in her non-work hours. We do not wish to waste anyone’s time if it is not likely to be a good fit for you or for the pup, and an application is the best way to ensure that doesn’t happen.

What should I bring to meet & greets/adoptions

Please be on time to your appointment!
Weekends and some mornings are very busy for us, and we schedule several appointments back to back. If you are more than 15 minutes late, we may not be able to accommodate you without infringing on the next adopter’s appointment, may not be able to give you sufficient time to meet a pup, or may need to reschedule the appointment entirely. Please remember that these are our personal homes and not public locations or places of business. We thank you for respecting this and not arriving without an appointment, entering a building without knocking, etc. Thank you for understanding!

  1. Leash.
  2. If adopting a puppy from a litter, bring a small towel or blanket that can be rubbed on your puppy’s litter mates or mama dog.
  3. Cash or money order.
What should I have ready at home?
  1. A crate, if planning to crate train (and we highly recommend it, especially for puppies!).
  2. Bowls, toys.  Kongs, Nylabones, rope tug toys, and a variety of other toys are great to have!
  3. A good training book. Check out for their Puppy Primer.  We also love Victoria Stilwell’s articles available on her website at
  4. Food. Check out for information on good food choices.
  5. Good treats for training. Made in the USA (too many recalls with others)! String cheese, carrots, and chopped up organic hot dogs make good treats too.
What will I go home with?
  1. A new member of your family!
  2. A small bag of the food your pup has been eating while with us at CCNE, Fromm’s Family Gold.  You should transition your pup to a new food slowly, over the course of 3-4 days, slowly inversing the proportion of new to old.  (Day 1: 75% old food, 25% new food; Day 2: 50% old food, 50% new food;  Day 3: 25% old food, 75% new food)
  3. A martingale (AKA no-slip or limited slip) collar.
  4. A copy of the signed contract between you and CCNE.  (And the spay/neuter agreement if the dog is not altered prior to adoption.)
  5. Your pup’s medical records.
  6. A valid health certificate from a local veterinarian.


What should I do within the first few days after adopting?
  1. Contact us with an update on how your pup is doing and settling in with you. Send photos!
  2. Contact a vet if you don’t have one already and make an appointment for your pup to see the vet and get established in the vet’s practice.
Do you have a shelter we can visit?

We are two volunteers who run the rescue out of our personal residences. Melissa, in Manchester, has the pups in her personal home and also works a full-time job outside of rescue. Because of that, her time for appointments is very limited and generally reserved for folks who have submitted applications and are ready to meet a specific dog. In New Boston, Ross’ property includes a separate building for the dogs in her care. She is a stay-at-home mom outside of rescue as well, which means her time is a bit more flexible. Typically, if folks want to come and visit some dogs, or simply meet us and talk to us about our rescue and our dogs (which we are most happy to do!), that can be done in New Boston by appointment or prior arrangement. The majority of weekends each year are Open House-style at Ross’ home. Simply e-mail her anytime during the week to confirm. (Sometimes, we don’t have any pups left looking for a home by the time Saturday comes around and gratefully, she does get a vacation once a year!) Thank you for respecting our personal homes and property.

What are your adoption fees? Why?

Our adoption fees for puppies range from $475-$525 typically.  Adult dogs range from $300-$425 typically. Occasionally, we have dogs available at reduced adoption fees for various reasons. Adoption fees are listed with the particular dog’s posting on our website and on, and those fees supersede the ranges given here.
Why are our fees what they are?
We are more than happy to break down the costs! We pay fees to the sending shelter or rescue, a fee to transport each dog up from the south (typically $125-$140 per dog), vetting (including health certificates in the south and another one after quarantine in NH), medications (dewormer, heartworm preventative, flea/tick preventative), collars, and high-quality dog food on each and every dog. We have additional costs including insurance, employees who help us care for the animals and prepare our stellar paperwork, licensing fees, and, of course, the extraordinary vet costs that some dogs incur prior to being adopted. None of these items are free, but we run the rescue as efficiently as we possibly can so that we can keep the adoption fees where they are. We rely solely on donations and adoption fees to cover our costs at this time.