Cruzan Dog Rescue

Our Pet List

Our Featured Pet...


Our featured pet is Rutger, a BEAUTIFUL purebred, neutered male German Shepherd. Rutger is about 4 yrs old and is from pure German Bloodlines (his parents were imported from Germany). Rutger is housebroken, crate trained, good with other dogs and with cats. He is obedience trained and reliable off lead. Rutger prefers women and has not been raised with children, so he needs to go to a home without young children. Rutger would like to be a member of the family and do everything you do. Please visit Rutger on our adoptable pet list.

Who We Are

We are Cruzan Cruzan Dog Rescue, a private rescue organization. We began by working solely with the St. Croix Animal Welfare League. We had personal contacts on St. Croix and through them discovered the plight of the dogs there. St. Croix is a U.S. Virgin Island, located in the Caribbean. There is only one animal shelter for the entire island, the privately operated Animal Welfare League. The Welfare League takes in about 4,000 cats and dogs a year. Prior to now the adoption rate was only 15%. This means that 85% or 3,400 pets are euthanized every year by the Welfare League because there are simply no homes for them on the island. The problem is exacerbated by pet owners not spaying or neutering their animals and thus flooding the shelter with puppies and kittens at all times of the year. Most of the dogs taken in by the Welfare League are small mixed breeds. Wonderful volunteers who happen to be travelling to St. Croix on vacation volunteer to carry a puppy or two back home with them on the plane to come up North. Our shelters in the Northeast are never lacking for dogs, but are oftentimes full of large dogs. Many people would like to adopt a small dog and our fear is that if they do not find a small dog to adopt in a shelter, they may (1) not adopt any dog at all or (2) purchase a dog from a less than reputable source. Therefore we feel that our little island dogs fill an adoption "niche." These are dogs in great need of homes, dogs who would be euthanized if they were not sent to us. But they are also small to medium sized dogs with lovely temperaments. We no longer place dogs from St. Croix. We now also work in conjunction with Taylor County Human Society in Grafton West Virginia (you may visit their site here on Petfinder as well). There is a similar problem in West Virginia. Each year in West Virginia NINETY THOUSAND anims are euthanized! NINETY THOUSAND! It is just a horrible situation. They have many puppies and young dogs at all times and no homes of course. The majority of the West Virginia dogs are medium sized when fully grown and the temperaments are just WONDERFUL! We also accept dogs from private individuals who are in need of assitance finding their pets new and permanent homes. We have a set of requirements that all dogs coming into our rescue must meet. We will only take dogs or puppies who are: (1) friendly, affectionate and social with people; (2) good with other dogs; and (3) not known to eat cats. We ONLY take dogs who have been evaluated to meet this criteria by the WONDERFUL staff in West Virigina or by our own volunteers. We NEVER take a dog with ANY sign of aggression towards people or other dogs. Once dogs arrive here they are immediately socialized with other dogs, exposed daily to cats and handled extensively. Every dog also starts crate training (i.e., sleeping in a crate each night). EXPLANATION OF OUR FEES: Our adoption fees vary to a certain extent. If an individual dog has incurred much higher than normal veterinary costs while in our care then the adoption fee may be raised to reflect this. Our basic adoption fees cover the following costs that we pay for out of pocket: cost to have dog examined by a veterinarian, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, wormed, treated for fleas/ticks, treated for coccidia, transported to New England. All dogs over 6 months old have been tested negative for heartworm. All dogs receive a new collar and leash. :) The way we usually work is to "pull" dogs from high kill shelters. We arrange to have the shelter's veterinarian give the dog all initial veterinary care (i.e., vaccination, worming, spay/neuter, heartworm check and issuance of health certificate). We then reimburse the shelter for the cost of everything. The dog is then transported by an incredibly dedicated group of volunteers who give up all their free time to save the lives of countless dogs. We reimburse the transport team for travel expenses, fees usually vary depending on size of the animal transported (i.e., the bigger the more expensive). Once the dogs arrive in Connecticut they are wormed again, they are treated for coccidia and, if enough time as passed, given a follow up vaccination. Sometimes the fee we charge covers all the care we provide for the dogs. Sometimes it doesn't. But all the money goes to save more dogs, which can't be a bad thing. :)

Adopting a friend

PLEASE NOTE: SUBMITTING AN ADOPTION APPLICATION FOR A DOG IS NOT A GUARANTEE THAT THE DOG WILL BE ADOPTED OUT TO YOU. WE DO NOT ADOPT PUPPIES UNDER THE AGE OF 3 OR 4 MONTHS TO HOMES WITH CHILDREN UNDER 7 YRS OLD. We are sorry, puppies this small simply cannot tolerate handling from a toddler. If you have a toddler please consider adopting an older puppy or a young adult dog. ALL initial adoption contacts happen via email. We are sorry but we are not able to either make or receive phone calls regarding adoptions at this time. We do adopt out of state, but you must be within driving distance and be willing to drive here. WE DO NOT SHIP. Everyone who is interested in adopting a dog must first submit an adoption application. The way it "works" is that we will send an application to anyone who requests one. We accept adoption applications from interested families. We do NOT work on a "first come first served" basis. We work on a "best home for the dog" basis. When we get an application that we think is a good fit for the dog we set up an appointment for everyone to meet. We do NOT "hold" dogs for people, unless the actual adoption meeting has happened and the adoption paperwork has been completed. Please be aware that we accept more than one adoption application for each dog. HOWEVER, if we make an appointment with you to meet a dog then only you have the option to adopt at that time. REMEMBER there is an endless number of homeless dogs in need of loving homes out there. If your application for one of our dogs is unsuccessful PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consider adopting another dog out there. There are so many dogs whose lives need saving. Any person who is approved to adopt a dog must then sign an adoption agreement. If the dog being adopted is not spayed/neutered the adopter must also sign a spay/neuter agreement. ALL dogs MUST be spayed/neutered. Every dog or puppy that is adopted from Cruzan Dog Rescue comes with our lifetime support. We are always there for you and your new best friend, to answer questions, provide advice, even help with health care if something drastic and unforeseen occurs. At Cruzan Dog Rescue we believe that once a dog comes in to our rescue we are the support system for that dog for the rest of his or her life. We ALWAYS take back any dog for any reason who cannot stay in his or her home any longer. If you are interested in adopting a dog from Cruzan Dog Rescue please email us at: We will then email to you an adoption application to be filled out. It is not too long, but it contains all the important information. We do require a veterinarian reference which will be checked. Once an application has been approved we will contact you and set up a time for you to come out and meet the dog or puppy that you are interested in. WE RETAIN THE RIGHT TO REFUSE ADOPTION AT ANY TIME DURING THIS PROCESS.

Come Visit Us!

We do not accept visitors. We do not have a "shelter" at this time. All our dogs are in foster homes. If you have submitted a successful adoption application we will set up an appointment for you at a "neutral" location. We have found this works best, particularly if you have a dog who will be meeting their new potential brother or sister. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR INTEREST IN ADOPTING A HOMELESS DOG.
Cruzan Dog Rescue
1156 Main Street

Branford, CT 06405

Click here for a list of pets at this shelter

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