I am also originally from Connecticut, in fact my DH and I just moved from CT to Philadelphia a few weeks ago! I have 2 Havs who I love to pieces, Carlito and Nico. Lito I adopted when he was almost 2 years old as a retired show dog. Nico I just adopted as a 13 week old puppy.
When I went through the process of looking for an adult Hav, I found two things:
1) It wasn't too difficult to find breeders with adult dogs available on their websites BUT
2) It was a VERY long process for me personally to find breeders who performed ALL of the recommended health testing, participated in AKC conformation events, were in good standing with the Havanese club, and were willing to discuss adopting their adult Hav with someone who had never owned a toy dog and who worked 7 hours a day.
From my limited experience, I think there is a higher level of attachment of the breeders to their retired dogs because they have raised them, loved them, and cared for them for so long that they are part of the family. It took me 10 months from the start of my search until Lito came home to live with me, and that was even with the help of a very reputable breeder who befriended me and put out the word to her fellow club members that I was in search of an adult Hav. I ended up flying to San Francisco to pick up Lito, and it was the best decision I could ever have made
I am sure everyone's experience is different depending on which area of the country you live in, the time of year you are looking, etc., but that is how it went for me.
But I have to say, Lito was worth every second of the wait and more. Getting a good adult Hav from a loving, educated breeder means that you have a dog that is already trained in good manners, pottying, has a health tested pedigree behind them, and has been socialized to live with other dogs and humans.
By the same token, I would be wary and ask a lot of questions as to why the adult is available/being retired. You will need to determine all of the same information that you would if it was a puppy being offered. Sometimes, a dog or bitch develops a minor or major conformation fault, and that is why they are spayed/neutered and looking to be placed. Most of these faults don't affect their health or temperment, they just make them unsuitable for the show ring, which wouldn't matter to a pet owner. Other times, the bitch has to be retired from the breeding program due to age/number of litters and the active show homes can't maintain retired dogs due to ordinances on the number of dogs in a house and things of that nature. However, it could also be a temperment, health or training issue that has caused the adult to be offered to a new home, and you definitely want to determine if that is the case before you sign the papers to bring them home.
Sorry for the length of this post, I'm not sure if this was helpful at all. But I would recommend contacting the Greater NY Havanese Club (GNYCH) and getting breeder contact info from them since they are local, and going from there. One thing I learned through all that research, don't be fooled by fancy websites and the word "Champion", I would say that researching the kennel and dog name on www.offa.org
is the most important thing you can do to verify the health testing performed.