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Finding Your Next Best Friend

What Adopters Are Saying About Their Cortez Rescue Dog

Hi Cortez Rescue Now that it’s been several months, we wanted to reach out to say thank you and give you an update on Bubbles. She is truly such a blessing in our lives. We are so grateful for your help. She has really blossomed, is so open and happy in her new home. She is very healthy and gets plenty of compliments from both the vet and groomers. She is even starting to get friendly with some of the neighborhood dogs. We love her so much. Thank you again.

Tika did great on her drive up the Baja in July. She was such an easy traveler. She and Perla are great together. It has helped Perla a lot. Perla likes Tika and is acting younger. They do not like to be separated. We love Tika very very much. Thank you for rescuing her and taking care of her. David is so happy we kept her. Thank you again for an incredible job you do for Cortez Rescue. Carlene

Hello, I rescued Shrek, now Ruxin, last year. I just wanted to share with you that we absolutely LOVE Ruxin and he has been the most perfect addition to our family. He and my other dog Stella love each other and we are all just so thankful for him! Please share with his foster parents and thank them for us! He is so loved! Thank you, Katie, Thomas, Stella and Ruxin ❤️

Cujo aka Kaiser has made it to his new home on Vancouver Island. He’s fit in fantastically with his new young family. The weather is beautiful in the PNW right now so no shock to his system. He misses his foster parents ( now grandparents) and will be able to visit his cousin Teo whenever he wants to. He’s loving the walks and hugs. His new BFF is a 2 1/2 year old boy💞. BC

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The Adoption Process


Step 1

Finding your Dog. At Cortez Rescue we are as interested and concerned as you are about finding the best match dog for you. Some of our dogs are currently at the Cortez Shelter, some are in Foster homes, and some are with our Partner Groups. All of Cortez adoptable dogs are listed on our Adopt-A-Pet page. Once you have found a dog or puppy you are interested in, send an email to and we can let you know where the pet is located. Dogs and puppies are viewed at the Rescue Shelter by appointment only. Email us if you'd like to visit.


Step 2

Once you submit your email of adoption interest in Step 1, a Cortez Rescue staff member will follow up with the Application and the Home Check list.


Step 3

  • Return the Completed Forms
  • Phone Interview with Home Check List
  • Submit Adoption Fees
  • If In Area Adoption - Bring Pup Home
  • If Out of Area Adoption - Cortez Makes Travel Arrangements
  • Join the Cortez Families Facebook Group

Training - Some Do's & Don'ts

As you probably know, training your dog has numerous benefits, for both you and your pooch. Training is crucial to him living happily with you and other family members, it helps avoid unwanted behaviors and it enhances your bond with your pet. There are a few basic do’s and don’ts that can help set up your dog — and you, of course — for success. Training should be fun for the dog, not a scary and unpleasant experience. Don’t get frustrated if you have a bad training session. Learning isn’t linear and your dog may fluctuate in his progress from day to day. Stay calm, keep the big picture in mind and do your best with the dog you have in front of you. If it’s not working, then stop the session and try again later or the following day. Remember, this is about establishing long-term behavior for a long-term relationship. So take it slowly, and above all, have fun. Seek help from a qualified professional for challenging behaviors. Dogs are complex beings and may exhibit behaviors that are beyond the scope of the average person to change, if you find yourself in this situation, it may be helpful to find a qualified professional to address a specific challenging behavior.

Things To Focus On Doing

Take baby steps. Have a clear idea of the behavior you want and then break down the training required into small, attainable steps.

Dogs learn better and enjoy training sessions more if they are successful and receive a reward. (Hey, who doesn’t?) If your dog doesn’t seem to be “getting” what you’re asking of him, think about how you can make the training process slightly easier. For example, if you are trying to teach the cue “down” and your dog just sits with a puzzled look on his face, start by rewarding him for simply lowering his head and then increase the criteria from there.

Be consistent. Dogs are exceptionally good with details. To your dog, “sit,” “sit down” and “Fido, sit” are different cues. With that in mind, make sure you are using exactly the same cue every time you ask your dog for a particular behavior. This strategy will help to avoid frustration on the part of you and your dog, and will help him to understand what you are asking.

Use positive reinforcement methods. Positive reinforcement means rewarding your dog with treats, toys, praise or whatever motivates him. Just like humans, dogs want some payoff for working. You can’t expect your dog to continually work for nothing. With that said, don’t overestimate how much praise means to your pet. (It’s great when your boss says “Good job,” but you also want that more tangible reward — your paycheck.) So, be generous with the treat or toy rewards, especially at the beginning. Once your dog learns a behavior, you can adjust the reward schedule, but you’ll want to keep rewarding him periodically for a job well done.

Things To Focus On Not Doing

Don’t have your training sessions go longer than 20 minutes. Most dogs do best with training sessions of 10-15 minutes, so keep them short. Even five minutes of training can be very effective, especially if you are able to do it multiple times per day.

Don’t start training someplace with a lot of distractions. Like people, dogs learn more effectively if they aren’t distracted by a busy, noisy environment. For example, if you’re trying to teach your dog to sit, start the training in a quiet room in your home rather than at the neighborhood park, where you’d have to compete with animals, other people and noises for your dog’s attention. Once your dog is consistently performing the behavior on cue, you can start practicing a behavior in different environments and situations, until the dog generalizes the desired behavior and can do it anywhere, even with distractions.

Don’t use force, pain, fear or intimidation when training. It can be tempting to push your dog’s butt down when teaching him to sit or to yell “no” when he jumps up on you, but those methods can backfire. Some dogs may react with an aggressive response and others may completely shut down. Plus, it’s not healthy for your relationship with your dog and may even harm the bond you have with him.

Vet Check Ups

Puppies - They're Not Just Small Dogs

Vet Care – Cortez Rescue veterinarians will be administering puppy care. Instructions on continuing care will be provided in your immunization booklet which will detail necessary upcoming shots and dates. After the four-month visit, your dog should be seen annually by your vet for a physical examination, vaccines, parasite test, dental check, and any needed bloodwork or other tests that your veterinarian recommends.


Vet Care – After the four-month visit, your dog should be seen annually by your vet for a physical examination, vaccines, parasite test, dental check, and any needed bloodwork or other tests that your veterinarian recommends. Older dogs may need to be seen more often. Besides taking your dog in for annual checkups, you should also take him or her to see the veterinarian if: She is lethargic, or she is losing or gaining weight. She seems to be having some discomfort. You notice a change in his behavior. You notice a change in her general health. For example, her eyes have lost their brightness or her coat has lost its luster. Remember, regular veterinary care is an essential component of your pet’s good health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do I Need To Pay For A Street Dog?

On occasion we are asked about our adoption fees and why we are charging an adoption fee for a street dog. At Cortez Rescue the adoption fees are aligned, on average, with what it costs to receive, treat, fully vet, sterilize, feed and care for our dogs. While fees are generally lower in Mexico than the US or Canada, the costs are still significant and commonly our dogs come in ,malnourished, with parasites, injuries, mange or other health issues that require veterinarian care. Just as a rough basis of comparison; in the US a Vet visit is $50 minimum, worming $20, tick/flea care $25, vaccines $150, spay/neuter$200 to $450. Cortez Rescue is a non profit and is not profiting on adoption fees or any other aspect of our operations. We strive to simply cover costs so that we can continue saving the lives of homeless, abandoned, neglected and mistreated dogs.

Can I Visit Cortez Rescue & See The Available Dogs?

Absolutely, you need to make an appointment by emailing We also have community events that our dogs attend, check the events page for current happenings.

Do I Have To Pay Extra To Have My Pet Flown To The US?

Transportation fees are included in the adoption fees. Sometimes it takes a while to locate a flight escort. Cortez will continue to care for your dog or puppy while we search for an escort.

If The Dog I Want To Adopt Is In Mexico & I'm In The US, How Do I Get Him ?

After you have completed the required adoption process, our transport coordinator will make your dogs travel arrangements for you. It is a volunteer-based transport as we depend on driving and flying Escort Angels; depending on the time of year and the amount of travelers visiting, it can take a week or a few weeks. We stay in constant contact and give you as much notice as we can about your sweet pup coming up to you.

Can I Adopt A Cortez Rescue Dog If I Live In Canada?

Yes! Adoptions to Canada are November 1 thru May 15. Alternate arrangements can be made after May 15 through Seattle to Canada on Alaska Airlines.

I LOVE My Cortez Rescue Dog!! I'd Like Everyone To Know How Great He Is; Where Can I Send Updates?

We love to hear from our adoptive families and receive updates with pictures. You can send updates to Cortez at and /or post to our Cortez Families FaceBook group page, or send us a message through Instagram.

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