Things to consider

The fact that you're thinking about adopting from a rescue as opposed to buying means you're a responsible and caring person. But before you make that decision to bring a furry friend into your life, take a moment to think over these questions: 

Why do you want a dog? 
If it is because your children want a dog, you may end up regretting your decision if you don’t wholeheartedly want one yourself. Why are you considering a puppy mill rescue? Make sure you and the rest of your family are ready for the potential challenges and have the patience to help your new pet.

Do you have time for a dog? 
Dogs can’t be ignored just because you're tired or busy. They require food, water, exercise, care, and companionship every day of every year. Many dogs in shelters are there because their owners didn't realize how much time it took to care for them. Puppy mill rescues often require an extra time commitment to help them adjust to being family pets. Have you researched and thought about the needs of a puppy mill rescue?

Can you afford a dog? 
The costs of pet ownership can be quite high. Licenses, training classes, veterinary care, grooming, toys, food, and other expenses add up quickly.

Are you prepared to deal with special problems that a dog can cause? 
Do you have a lot of special and breakable items around your home? Would accidents from animals who aren't yet housetrained, or are housetrained but become anxious and regress be a source of stress for you?

Can you have a pet where you live? 
Many rental communities don't allow pets, and many communities have restrictions. Make sure you know what they are before you bring a companion animal home.

Is it a good time for you to adopt a pet? 
If you're a student, in the military, or travel frequently as part of your work, waiting until you settle down is wise. If your children are young and require a lot of care, or if your family is very busy and away from home a great deal, a puppy mill rescue is likely not going to be a good fit for you.

Are your living arrangements suitable for a dog? 
Do some research on the Havanese breed. That way, you'll ensure you are adopting a dog who will fit into your lifestyle and your living arrangements. Do you have a fenced yard? If not, are you prepared to leash and walk a dog several times a day? Our puppy mill rescues remain flight risks throughout their life and you must be prepared to either keep them fenced or on a leash at all times.

Who will care for your pet while you're away on vacation? 
You'll need either reliable family members, friends or neighbors, or money to pay for a boarding kennel or pet-sitting service.

Can you be a responsible dog owner? 
Obeying community leash and licensing laws, and keeping identification tags on your dog are all part of being a responsible owner. Of course, giving your dog love, companionship, exercise, a healthy diet, and regular veterinary care are other essentials.

Finally, are you prepared to keep and care for a dog for his or her entire lifetime? 
When you adopt one of our mill rescues, that is the commitment you are making.

Though some of these questions may seem negative, it’s critical to the happiness of your adopted Havanese and your family that you consider all of these things beforehand. Our rescues have usually had a very difficult life before we rescue them. We work hard to find adopters who will give them the wonderful, happy life they deserve. Providing that life is the commitment you make when you adopt one of our Havanese rescues.

We think the following quote, from fellow rescuer Diane Morgan, is very important to consider before you apply:

"Lassie and Cleo and Rin Tin Tin and Toto don't show up in rescue. We don't get the elegantly coiffed, classically beautiful, completely trained, perfectly behaved dog. We get the leftovers. Dogs that other people have incompetently bred, inadequately socialized, ineffectively "trained," and badly treated. Most Rescue dogs have had it. They've been pushed from one lousy situation to another. They've never had proper veterinary care, kind and consistent training, or sufficient company. They've lived outside, in a crate, or in the basement. They're scared, depressed and anxious. Some are angry. Some are sick. Some have given up. But we are Rescue and we don't give up. We never give up on a dog. We know that a dog is a living being, with a spirit and a heart and feelings. Our dogs are not commodities, things, or garbage. They are part of sacred creation and they deserve as much love and care and respect as the next Westminster champion. So please, please don't come to rescue in the hopes of getting a "bargain," or indeed of "getting" anything. Come to Rescue to give, to love, to save a life -- and to mend your own spirit. For Rescue will reward you in ways you never thought possible. I can promise you this -- a rescue dog will make you a better person."


The welfare of our rescued Havanese is our top priority. This involves following a process which ensures each rescue is matched with the adopters best-suited for him/her. We do not operate on a “first come first served” basis. Listed below are some guidelines to familiarize you with our adoption process:

  1. You must be 21 years or older to adopt. Also, we do not adopt to families with children under the age of 6. 
  2. Please fill out and submit an Adoption Application so that we can learn more about you and your family. This must be printed out, fully completed, signed and mailed with a $25 check payable to HALO for processing costs. Our address is: P. O. Box 787, Huntley, Illinois 60142.
  3. When your application is received, we will contact you to schedule a telephone interview. This normally takes around 30 to 45 minutes. If we believe you are potentially a good fit for one of our dogs, we will then contact your references and your veterinarian.
  4. The last step before we can approve your application is a home visit. We will arrange to have this at a time convenient for you. We ask that if possible, all family members be present.
  5. If you are approved to adopt, and there is a particular dog you are interested in, we will explore with you whether that dog is a good fit for you. If another dog is a better fit, we will let you know. We’ll give you an explanation as to the temperament of the dog and why we feel he/she is the right one for you. We will then arrange for you to contact the foster family. If you want to meet the dog before the adoption, that can be arranged at that time too. We do not allow applicants to meet our rescues until AFTER they are approved. 
  6. The actual adoption takes place at the foster home. You will sign a contract of adoption and pay the adoption fee, which can generally be found in each dog’s listing. This only partly offsets the costs for the vet care received by each dog – dental exam and cleaning, spay/neuter, vaccinations, heartworm testing and medication, fecal test, general vet exam and anything else required by each individual dog. 

Adopt Us!

See below for the most up-to-date list of Havanese available for adoption from HALO. Or to view our adoptable dogs directly on the Petfinder website, click here.