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Adoption Policy

The Irish Terrier Rescue Network endeavors to ensure that each Irish Terrier in our care is placed in the appropriate loving forever home. The Irish Terriers we rescue do not have the ability to choose their new owners.  ITRN advocates for the dog – we serve their best interest.  Every Irish  needs a hearth and home, but not every home is right for an Irish!  Adoptions are not done on a “first-come, first-serve” basis.  Our goal is to make the best match between the Irish Terrier and the potential family.   ITRN is “” or “eHarmony” for the red dogs.  If a potential adopter is not chosen for a particular Irish Terrier, this is not a judgment on their ability to provide a good home for a dog. It just means that home was not the best match for that particular Irish.  ITRN matches human and Irish based on the lifestyle of both.  Because we strive for successful placements the first time, potential adopters must demonstrate they are able and willing to provide for the needs of their adopted Irish Terrier for its lifetime.

Criteria for Adoption

Potential Adopters

      • Potential adopters must be at least 21 years of age.
      • Potential adopters must provide veterinary references for current and previous pets, including telephone numbers.
      • Potential adopters must have an established residence and agree to completing all the steps in ITRN’s adoption process.

Companion Animals

      • ITRN Irish Terriers are adopted as family members and companions only, not as outside animals or guard dogs.


      • ITRN Irish Terriers available for adoption have been spayed or neutered for the health and well-being of the animal and to make a positive impact on the pet population problem.


      • ITRN Irish Terriers have permanent identification in the form of microchips so that they can be identified if lost or stolen. The adopter must ensure that the adopted Irish is wearing a collar and identification tag with CURRENT telephone numbers at all times.

Pets as Gifts

      • ITRN does not place Irish  as gifts. The person who will be primarily responsible for the Irish Terrier must begin the adoption process and all members of the household must agree to the adoption.


      • ITRN homes must have a fenced in yard at least 4 feet high.  Irish terriers are active dogs and need space to run and play to burn off excess energy – a fenced backyard is the perfect setting for this.
      • ITRN does not support or condone leaving dogs outside unsupervised for extended periods of time.  Irish Terriers thrive in the company of their human family.  Left to their own devices for too long in a fenced yard is an invitation to get into trouble.  Irish become consummate escape artists in the hunt for companionship or as a result of being bored.  They will dig under of scale over a fence in search of entertainment and attention.
      • Considering that most of our  Irish are high energy and have high prey drive, we most often require physical fencing (not electric fencing) for the safety of the dog.   However, we do have Irish in our care from time to time who have successfully lived without the physical barrier of a fence so ITRN’s  fencing requirements are determined on a case by case basis.
      • ITRN is aware there are Irish Terrier owners who have had success with electric or invisible fencing.  ITRN will place Irish with past invisible fence success in homes with this style of fencing.  This is determined on a case by case basis.  Owners advise the following actions to ensure the highest level of safety:
        • Install a quality fence that includes professional training.
        • Frequently check the collar batteries and electrical connections to make sure they are working properly.
        • Install a battery backup in case of power outage.
        • Never leave your Irish Terrier outside alone.


Most Irish Terriers have been crate trained in their foster homes. In a strange new home, their crate is familiar and safe. Adopters  must have a crate, suitable for the size of the dog, in place when they adopt our Irish – many come with their own. The crate will keep your adopted red dog and your household safe during the first few weeks of adjustment. We strongly recommend using the crate whenever the adopter is absent from the home, gradually extending the time the Irish Terrier is allowed unsupervised freedom.

After the initial adjustment period, a dog crate is not recommended for a dog that will routinely be left alone all day. If long term crating is to be attempted, the dog must be well exercised both before and after crating, the dog will also need lots of personal attention, and should be allowed freedom at night (sleeping near his owner). It is also critical that the crate be large enough to enable the dog to fully stretch out, stand up, and turn around easily. The crate must have a clip-on water dish. Ideally, you should arrange to have someone provide an exercise and attention period during the day. To be a well adjusted family member an Irish needs human contact. Whether crated or not, your Irish needs play time, training time, and a time to simply “hang” in the company of his pack (that’s you).


ITRN is very cautious about placing any Irish Terrier in a home with very young children.   While Irish are noted for their loyal and protective nature around children, we place only those dogs who have successfully interacted with children in their past or have been evaluated with children.  The history of many of our Irish remains a mystery so careful consideration is needed.  If an Irish is surrendered by his/her owner, grew up around children, is reported to be good with children and has been tested as tolerant with children, if your children have shown gentleness and compassion towards dogs AND if you are committed to supervising your children with the dog at all times, we will consider placing an Irish with you.

Landlords and Homeowners Associations

No Irish Terrier will be placed where pets are not allowed. Before the time of adoption, potential adopters who rent are required to provide written proof from the landlord that pets are permitted in the residence (e.g. lease, written permission on letterhead signed by the landlord). Owners of townhouses/condominiums must provide contact information for the management company or an officer of the Board to determine that pets are allowed and/or there are no complaints on file regarding current pets.

Consent of Household Members

All adult household members, related or unrelated, including boarders or renters, must be informed and must consent to the adoption of the Irish Terrier. All household members, adult and children, must be present during the home visit.

Other Pets at Home

All animals owned by the potential adopter must be up-to-date on vaccinations appropriate to the age of the dog before the person may adopt another pet. With very few exceptions, all other pets in the home must be neutered or spayed.  All other pets should have previous positive social interaction with other animals.  Regardless of positive social interactions, we do not place same gender Irish in a home.

Adoption Agreement

You will be asked to sign an adoption contract in which you will agree to comply with standards of care, microchip registration, and contact clauses  . If for whatever reason you encounter problems with your new pet that cannot be solved, you are required to return the dog to the Irish Terrier Rescue Network.

Adoption Fee

If ITRN places a dog with you, you will be  expected to pay a $ 400.00 adoption fee.  Do you wonder why we would charge a fee for a rescue pet? Why not just place it in a good home? The answer is because we cannot continue to rescue Irish Terriers without financial help.   The income from the adoption fees and tax deductible donations pays  the expenses  for the next Irish in our care.   Most of our dogs have a sad story to tell, and some have suffered through years of neglect or abuse – because of the fees and donations, we can ensure that their future is bright.   We hope that you too are willing to give an opportunity for a better life to ALL of our dogs by supporting them through adoption fees. Without these funds, our rescue efforts would not be possible.

Medical Conditions

All ITRN Irish Terriers  are adopted on an “as is” basis.  Our Irish are given the highest quality of care and any condition requiring veterinary attention is treated before placement. We  do our best to make the adopter aware of any known medical or health issues.  Once adopted, all medical costs (including necessary dental care, appropriate vaccinations and rabies shots) are the responsibility of the new owner. Please be aware that ITRN cannot guarantee the future health or behavior of any adopted Irish.


In order to ensure your relationship with your Irish  is a successful one, an adopter can expect follow-up phone calls or emails from ITRN with some regularity within 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year after adoption. These contacts are written into our adoption contract  and are not meant to be intrusive or disruptive to  the new “family,” but to offer support to ensure the transition with the new pet is a smooth one.

Please feel free to contact ITRN at any time, for any reason. We will do our best to help you with any questions or problems or assign a mentor to help you through the rough patches. We expect to get updates and photographs – these always remind us why we do rescue in the first place.

Adherence to Local Laws and Ordinances

Potential adopters must be familiar with the legal requirements of their locale and must be prepared to abide by these laws and ordinances.

Final Approval of Adoptions

Final approval of an adoption is at the  discretion of the ITRN Rescue Coordinator. Decisions are made after consultation with other volunteers and the foster home and is based primarily on the well being of the adopted Irish Terrier and suitability of the adopter. We ask that all potential adopters respect the coordinator’s decision.

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