Retriever Rescue of Colorado

RROC Policies




As part of our committment to making sure our website offers the most information possible, we would like to provide you with a set of FAQ on some of our policies. Since RROC's inception as a 501(c) organization, RROC has kept an accurate archive of frequently asked questions in order to continually improve our references and make our policies available to volunteers, and potential adopters.

As an organization fielding only a volunteer base, RROC works to continue on its mission to save dogs and make quality use of both our time and yours. Please refer to the information below for reference on our policies which receive the most inquiry.



Q.What if I live in an area where fences are prohibited?

A. We understand that you are unable to control your fence situation at this time, however, the safety concern for our adopted dogs still remains.  They can be exposed to dangerous wildlife or escape the property, exposing them to multiple dangers.

Q. I do not have a physical fence, however I have an invisible fence to keep a dog within my property and prevent them from escaping, would I qualify for adoption?

A. Unfortunately, no.  We do not adopt to homes with invisible, electric, or underground fencing.  Because of a retriever’s prey drive, this type of fence may or may not prevent a dog from chasing wildlife, cats or other dogs. It also allows other wildlife or animals access to the yard.  Please refer to our page on suitable fencing for a list of acceptable fence types.

Q. What if I do not have a fence, but I have a terraced yard?

A. The height and grade of the terraces would be the determining factor in this case.  If it is such that a dog would be able to scale or climb, and eventually escape, then no.  Likewise, if wildlife could enter your yard by climbing the terraces, again no.  If we feel that the terracing does provide a secure boundary for your yard, we may process your application and conduct a home visit for further inspection.

Q. I do not have a fence but I never plan to leave the dog unattended in the yard. Is this acceptable?

A. Unfortunately, because we cannot verify this, and because of the nature of retrievers, we still require a fence. Retrievers have a high prey drive, high energy level, and many of our dogs have come from undetermined backgrounds, therefore we feel that a physical fence is a necessity for the safety our dogs.

Q. I do not have a fence but I plan to secure the dog on a tether, leash or chain so that they cannot get away. Is this acceptable?

A. Again, because of a retriever’s high energy and prey drive it is very possible that the dog would get injured in this type of restraint while trying to chase or capture something that catches its attention.  The chain can get wrapped around bushes, trees or other objects and severely limit the dog’s ability to move, possibly keeping him away from water or shade.
The dog would also be vulnerable to any other wildlife entering the yard, so RROC does not adopt to these applicants.

Q. By RROC's standards, what is considered a suitable fence?

A. Fence definition - Area must be completely enclosed by a fence and must be attached to the house so that a dog can be let out the door, off leash, and not be able to run. This includes ground level patios with no grass. Dog runs and/or fenced areas not attached to house are not acceptable.


3-3.6" height minimum

Chain link

Wood privacy

Split rail with wire mesh -RROC usually accepts homes with split rail fences, as long as the fence is backed with mesh or wire, similar to chicken wire.  With any fence type, our general concern is that the fence is safe and the dog cannot escape through any of the posts.

Wrought iron (as long as vertical posts are close enough together to alleviate a dog getting loose and there is no gap at bottom of fence)

Picket fence (as long as vertical posts are close enough together to alleviate a dog getting loose)

Board and post with wire mesh

Basket weave and lattice


*Fenced common areas that are shared by apartment/condo dwellers are not acceptable.

Electric, either above or underground

Q. We have a fence, but currently a portion of it is broken, can we still apply for a dog?

A. You most certainly may apply for adoption through our agency, and if all looks good on the application, we will conduct a phone interview, however, we will not complete a home visit and proceed with the adoption until your fence is repaired.

* Applicant still qualifies for a senior dog or a younger fence jumping dog (also referred to as a ‘special needs’ dog)

For an article written by one of our RROC founders which inspired our fence policy, click here.

I have reviewed the puppy policy, take me to the available dogs now!





At RROC, our policies all revolve around finding the most suitable home possible for our dogs of all ages and retriever breeds. As part of our committment to finding these homes we maintain policies on the adoption of our "younger crowd". Please check out the below frequently asked questions and answers prior to filling out an application for one of our younger adoptables.

Q. Would I qualify for an 8 wk old puppy if I work full time?

A. Because the puppy period of a dog’s life is crucial to its development and training, RROC feels that an applicant must not leave the dog alone for any more hours than the dog’s age in months.  For example, an 8 wk old puppy (2mos) cannot be left alone longer than 2 hrs.  If you do not meet this requirement, we will not be able to adopt a young puppy to you at this time.

Q. I work all day, but I want to adopt a puppy and plan on coming home during my lunch breaks to let the puppy go to the bathroom.  I do work 8 hr days but the dog would only be left alone for 4 hrs at a time, would I qualify for a 4 month old puppy?
A. Unfortunately, no.  RROC’s policy states that adopters must spend an equal or greater amount of time with the dog than you do away from the dog.  For example, a 4 month old puppy could be left alone for 4 hours, but you must spend at least that time with the dog when you next see them.  30 minutes is not enough care and attention prior to another 4 hour span alone.

We put this policy in place because the return rate of puppies who develop behavioral or physical problems due to lack of care and training is very high.  We try to prevent this to the best of our ability and believe this rule is the means to do it.

Q. I have raised all of my dogs from their puppy stage, even though I was not home all day, and they turned out to be great dogs.  Wouldn’t I be an exception to the rule?

A. Whenever we come across great applicants that may not meet one of our requirements, we do try to look at them on a case-by-case basis.  However, our ‘puppy rule’ is one that we really do not budge on.  We have all the confidence that you would make a great pet owner, however, in RROC’s experience, we have seen too many dogs returned because of problems that develop due to a puppy’s lack of training in its early months.  Even the most experienced dog owners, when gone all day, can run into this problem, so we still abide by the ‘puppy rule’ in this case.

Q. I do work all day, however I have arranged to bring the puppy to work with me until it is old enough to be left alone, will this suffice?

A. We look at these situations on a case-by-case basis as well, but usually, yes.  Once we review your application and get more information about the work arrangements via the phone interview, we will determine whether the work environment is a safe one for the dog.  If it is, we will usually consider that applicant for a puppy.  Please keep in mind that we may need written or verbal consent from the business owner or supervisor, as well as any contact info pertaining to them, to verify these conditions.

Q. I am currently away from my home during the day, but when school lets out for the summer in a few weeks, I will be home all day.  Can I adopt a puppy now?

A. You may certainly start the application process and we can conduct your phone interview, home visit and start the matching process.  However, if we find a young pup to match your wants and needs, that dog cannot go home with you until you are available during the day to watch it.  Unfortunately, it takes only a short time for behavioral issues to form without proper guidance, so it is best if the dog enters into a home where the family can spend the proper amount of time with him/her.

Q. I will not be able to spend the day with my dog, however I have arranged for a friend to watch my puppy during the day while I am at work, will I qualify for a puppy then?

A. Usually, no.  We may look at this on a case-by-case basis, but since we are adopting to you, and not your friend, we cannot verify the care the dog would be in while away from you.  We perform a phone interview and home visit for all of our applicants to ensure the dog is in great care and we may not be able to do that for any friends that may be the pup’s primary caregiver for the majority of the day.

I have reviewed the puppy policy, take me to available dogs now!