Do you know of a heeler in need?

If you found a dog, see a dog in a shelter, or need help with your own heeler, please check out this useful information before you contact us.

You found a dog 

Did you find a heeler or heeler mix? Here are several things you should do.

You noticed a heeler in a shelter

You may work for or volunteer at a local Texas shelter and have discovered a heeler in need. Provided the dog appears to be a purebred heeler (adult dog's ears must be erect), send the following information to

  1. Photos or a link to the dog’s information
  2. Information on the dog’s temperament—nice with people and other dogs—and general health
  3. Any history you may have on the dog—owner surrender, stray, etc.
  4. Shelter name and shelter contact

In addition, you may post on our Facebook page to give the dog additional exposure. The dog must be in Texas or immediately surrounding states and be more heeler than not. Photo and shelter contact info must be included. Also post on Save A Heeler and other heeler-related pages on Facebook.

Your heeler has behavioral problems  

If you are having a behavioral problem with your dog, don’t assume someone else will be willing to take it on. And don’t assume having the dog go live on a farm will solve behavioral issues. It won't. We hear that a lot. Instead, try these things:

Consult with your veterinarian to ensure a medical issue isn’t behind the dog’s behavior. Spaying and neutered also reduces the risk of the pet roaming, marking and demonstrating other undesirable behaviors. Find a low-cost spay/neuter clinic near you.

Take a look at common dog behavioral problems and how to treat them.

If you have a fence jumper, here's an easy DIY fence fix, and another with detailed instructions.

If your dog is aggressive, or has nipped or bitten someone, get a professional behavioral evaluation before giving away your pet. Check with state and local laws about liability in rehoming a pet with prior knowledge of aggression. Do not try to find a new home for an aggressive animal without professional help.

Here’s a thoughtful article with advice about people-aggressive dogs.

You are having some financial difficulties

Here are some resources in case you are having difficulties paying for your dog’s general care or in an emergency:

Can't Pay for Your Pet's Care? These 12 Programs Can Help.

Best Friends Financial Aid for Pets

Are you having trouble affording your pet?

Helping people find money to pay for veterinary care

You are a victim of domestic abuse

If you need a safe escape from domestic violence, here is a resource to help you find housing for you and pets. Just plug in your location. 

You are moving

Take your beloved dog with you! Move smart and plan ahead. Before you select a new place to live, make sure it is pet friendly. There are lots of pet-friendly housing options. Check weight and breed restrictions. Select a place that accommodates your lifestyle and your dog's lifestyle. Talk to potential landlords about paying pet deposits in installments.

If you are in the military being deployed or have other service commitments, contact Dogs on Deployment, PACT for Animals and Guardian Angels for Soldier's Pets.

You need to rehome your heeler

With so many heelers in Texas shelters risking euthanasia, TCDR doesn’t have foster space available for owner-surrendered dogs. We will however take back any dog adopted from TCDR. If you adopted a dog from TCDR, contact us.

If you have made up your mind to rehome your heeler, here are few tips:

  1. Where did you get the dog? Contact the dog’s original breeder, owner, shelter or rescue group to see if they will take the dog back or if they have any restrictions about rehoming.
  2. Alert friends, family, coworkers and your veterinarian to see if they would be interested in adopting your dog.
  3. Post the dog on pet websites, in the classifieds, as well as community and pet supply store bulletin boards. Be honest about your pet’s behavior—good and bad. Unfortunately there are people who seek out dogs to use for bait dogs, fighting dogs or to resell or “flip.” Charge a reasonable adoption fee to deter these people. 
  4. Screen adopters carefully. Ask potential adopters for personal and vet references, examine living arrangements, have them sign adoption contract. Here are a lot of great tips to help you with the process. Follow up with the adopter to ensure all is going well.

Again, in general TCDR cannot take owner-surrendered dogs. We can however, offer to courtesy list your dog on our website if these criteria are met:

  1. Dog is a heeler or predominantly heeler mix
  2. Dog is spayed/neutered and up to date with vaccinations (low cost spay/neuter options)
  3. Dog has not bitten anyone
  4. You and your dog reside in Texas or immediately surrounding states
  5. You are committed to screening all adopters and to keeping your dog until it is adopted

What TCDR offers is a website advertisement. The dog does not become a part of our program. Potential adopters will contact you directly and you will be responsible for screening adopters. We’ve been able to help a number of people place dogs this way.

If all the above criteria are met, email this information:

  1. Six very good quality, in-focus photos of the dog taken in good lighting. Tips for taking good photos.
  2. A descriptive write up about the dog. Focus on the dog and his/her behavior, training, and skills. This needs to be something that can be copied and pasted. No editing will be done by TCDR. Tips for writing a good pet bio.
  3. Your full name, email, phone number and ZIP code
  4. Optional: Take a video of your dog. Upload it to YouTube and send the link. People like to see the dog in action to get to know it better.

You need to take your dog to a shelter

Taking your dog to a shelter should be a last resort. Owner-surrendered dogs are often the first dogs to be put down when space is at a premium. Select a shelter carefully. Make sure the shelter has an adoption program (not all of them do). Find out their success rate. Don’t assume a no-kill shelter is the best option.

Never dump a dog anywhere to leave the dog to fend for itself. This is not a solution. ​