Frequently Asked Questions

Where are these dogs from?

We pull all of our dogs from southern shelters. All of our dogs have been tested for temperament. We look for friendly and adoptable dogs of all colors, all breeds and all energy levels. They are transported to Massachusetts and have been in quarantine for 48 hours (per MA state law) before being released to Brown Dog.

When will you be posting new dogs?

We post new dogs every 2-3 weeks. Dogs are posted on our website 2 days before being crossposted on PetFinder. We receive transports of dogs and have adoption days ever 2-3 weeks. At the end of each dogs listing is the date on which they are available to meet.

What is a Brown Dog?

A Brown Dog is a mix of all breeds. Sometimes they are labeled as a hound, a retriever, a black mouth cur, or simply a mutt. If you have ever visited an area with a large stray dog population you have seen the Brown Dog. They are the result of the exponentially growing dog population, the intermingling of breeds, and the lack of spay/neuter in some areas. Brown Dogs aren't particularly special in any way except for the fact that these forgotten dogs always seem to have the most love to give.

I’d love to meet the dog but can I sleep on it, have a few days to prepare, pick up the dog at a later date, put a deposit down and have the dog put on a hold, etc.?

We have to prioritize adopters who are ready to adopt that day because the dogs have already been through so much upheaval. We try to avoid having to make a dog transition to another temporary location (a foster home) if possible. We cannot hold a dog for any period of time. If you meet a dog and want to adopt but are not prepared at that time, another adopter may come forward and adopt the dog.

Can I meet several dogs on adoption day?

We set up one appointment with an approved adopter per dog (in order to avoid a competitive atmosphere). Most of the time, each dog has a meeting scheduled. Adopters can spend as much time as they wish with the dog before making a decision. If any dogs are not spoken for, you can meet them also. 

What has my dog been eating?

Their food has changed many times throughout their journey to you. It is okay to start them on a new food without the normal food transition period. This may cause some stomach upset but that should subside once your dog gets used to their new food. We recommend dog food that lists whole meat as the first ingredient (chicken, lamb, etc.) and not a meat meal (chicken meal, lamb meal, etc.). Grain-free foods are best. Try to avoid most brands sold at your local supermarket as those list ingredients and fillers that are not optimal for your animal’s diet and health. PetSmart, PetCo, Chewy and Petflow offer great options that are sure to make your pup healthy and happy. Research the variety of diet options for your dog. We personally use Fromm and Wellness brands for good quality dry kibble. 

Is my dog house-trained?

It is best to assume that any dog is not housetrained. When it comes to housetraining it is important to set expectations low and hopefully they will be exceeded! Take the dog out frequently and reward the dog with treats for relieving him/herself outside. Just because they’ve been house-trained in one location doesn’t mean that behavior will generalize to another. Dogs are unable to generalize and will act differently in different places and situations. Some adult dogs have never been in homes before. It is not at all uncommon for dogs be “outdoor dogs” in the south. So, please be patient and compassionate as your dog settles in and learns your expectations. Most puppies will need more time and patience to learn house-training—that’s where pee pads and lots of positive reinforcement come into play!

Will my dog need to be de-wormed again?

It is not uncommon for dogs, and especially puppies, to need to be de-wormed once more after adoption. Each Brown Dog has been de-wormed at least twice but some intestinal parasites may still be present. This is not unusual, and can be easily treated.

What is my dog’s story?

There are more than 50 surrenders and rescues a day at most southern shelters. Every dog’s story is not known but it is not uncommon for dogs to be found on the side of the road, dumped inside the shelter fence, or surrendered without reason. Many of these dogs have suffered from abuse or neglect of some kind. We also take extraordinary medical cases for dogs that have been hit by cars, are heart worm positive or are in need of medical attention. We open our hearts to these animals regardless of their stories and try to make their future much brighter than their past. To learn more about your dog's time with Brown Dog visit our A Dog's Journey page!

Do you know the full breed profile of my dog?

We do not know each dog's background information, exact age, or breed. The information provided is based on educated guesses and assessments by veterinarians, shelter staff and foster families. Please keep an open mind when adopting because good temperaments can be found in all breeds. It is not uncommon that mixed breed dogs have a percentage of bully breed in them.

How big will my puppy be when full grown?

There are online growth calculators that might help guestimate the adult weight of your puppy. But because in most cases the parentage is unknown we can only truly guess. A general rule of thumb is that the dog will double in weight from 4 months old.

What is the return policy?

While adoptions are life-long commitments, if the adoption is unsuccessful and the animal is returned within 7 days of adoption, we will refund the adoption fee minus $75.

If you have any other questions please reach out to us at