Hi Jess -
You're in the North East and you are applying for a "puppy".
Here in the Northeast (I'm in Vermont) there aren't that many puppies
available at rescues and shelters any more. Spaying/Neutering is the
common practice now in most pet homes and there aren't enough puppies
to meet the "adopt a puppy" demand. Some rescue groups and shelters
have taken to flying batches of pups in from less "enlightened"/more
puppied areas to meet the demand.
And, as others have pointed out, rescue groups and shelters are
mostly staffed by overworked and overwhelmed volunteers.
If you know you want a "collie" type puppy (using collie in its
most general and all encompassing definition) then I'd say contact
shelters nearest you and if there are all breed rescue groups with
representation in your area contact them as well. Also contact Collie
rescue and Aussie rescue (and maybe BC rescue too) - all three have
breed rescue groups/contacts in New England and all three get mixed
breed as well as "looks like purebred but we don't know" animals.
Then work with the groups that actually have the time to respond to
you. Let them know what you are looking for.
If you are very specific - "we want a tricolor female under 5 months
of age who likely won't grow to be more than 50 pounds" you'd best be
prepared to wait. If you're more the "we'd like any healthy, sane
'collie' under 2 years of age who won't eat the house cats" then you
might have a dog well before Spring.
I work with National English Shepherd Rescue and we don't get nearly
the volume of dogs the other breeds do (thank doG!) but you can fill
out an application for us too if you want. As Karen pointed out,
there might be a 4 month old ES pup who needs rehoming, although that
pup is in Texas and would have to fly on up to New England....
National English Shepherd Rescue