First, it depends on the rescue organization- some do require a fenced yard. Second, it depends on the dog. Some dogs are jumpers and no fence v. tall fence, etc. So I think you can easily see why with some dogs a large fence yard is preferred. But at the same token, often people who have fenced yards, dont take their dogs for walks and some dogs really need a daily walk. So it all depends...
Linda- just be honest and you can ask them about it. A lot of rescues do require home visits as well. While it may seem severe, I know some breeds would not consider someone who doesn't have a fence- my sister in law couldn't get a dog from whippet rescue. But they generally have the rules for a reason.
Many rescues require fences. When I got Dugan from HRI, I did not have a fence. They struggled with the fact that I didn't have a fence with 2 dogs and we came to an agreement that I would put up some temporary fencing and create a play area for the boys. This worked out really well, and rescue was happy with that. I took pictures of it if you want to see it. We decided to get a fence a few months ago, so we took the temporary fencing down and put up a post and rail fence in the entire yard.
I couldn't find too many pictures, but this should give you an idea of what we did. We bought the green wire fencing at the Home Depot and stakes to put it in the ground with. They also make a tool to use to hammer the stakes in, or you can use a sledge hammer or something. Laurie puts up the temporary fencing for all of her playdates. We left it up at our house for the entire winter and never had any problems.
The one we used was 3 feet high. They sell it in all different heights, so if you want higher, you can get it. My boys are not jumpers, so 3 feet worked out fine. I think it came in 100 foot lengths. We bought 2 of them so that we could give them a few hundred feet of space to play in.
Linda, I think that is different for everyone. I did go through a lot of rescues and applications before getting Dugan, so don't get discouraged if the first one you think is right doesn't work out. I really didn't want a young puppy. Brady was 2 when we got Dugan and I wanted a 1-2 year old. But I saw Dugan, and I had a feeling he was meant to be ours. I think you need to decide on what is best for your family and your dog's play style, etc. Brady is a very playful hav, so I knew that he would be fine with an energetic puppy. I think you just need to follow your gut feeling.
If you are considering adopting, you may want to go through becoming a foster parent for HRI. I had been approved as a foster home (although I never have been called on to foster yet) before Dugan came along. This was nice because the home study was done and they already knew all about me. Also, you could end up with a foster and then decide if that dog is the right fit for you.
When we rescued our two we had to put in a fence. But even though we thought we had a great fence one dog still escaped on the third day at our house; he squeezed through the smallest area between the post and the gate. Even a home visit from HRI didn't catch the potential problem; they thought the fence looked really good and so did we. We now have blocked those gate areas with some not great looking wire shelving pieces to prevent that from happening again. It is amazing what really small spaces these guys can get through. We had a baby gate at the top of the basement stairs; one day we were down there, looked up and there stood Jesse. Again, very small space but he got through. Another patch job for us. I really think the wire fence shown here would probably work better than our expensive fence as there are smaller spaces. Whatever you decide, just be aware that these little guys are amazing escape artists. We were so lucky we didn't lose our little guy. I was already pulling up the HRI site to let them know when my husband found him down the street in a neighbor's fenced yard; he had squeezed under their fence! He was so wild then and DH was flat on the cold ground coaxing him; grabbed him and pulled him back under. If HRI would allow it, I'd consider the way less expensive wire fence shown.
I adpoted from HALO Havanese Angel League Organization and they did not require a fence, but they were very concerned about how much time I was going to spend at home with her. Lola doesnt care to be outside if we are not outside with her. She gets to go to the dog park twice a week and we walk her twice a day. But ultimately it all about companionship with these little ones.