Frequently Asked Questions
The majority of foster families end up adopting the dog they foster, regardless of its age! Golden Retrievers are such loving, wonderful dogs that one of any age will steal your heart and become a member of your family within a very short time. In fact, families who have adopted senior Goldens rave about what incredible and mellow dogs they are and how quickly they fit right in to the family routine.
A resounding YES!
We consider a Golden a senior at 9 years of age. Most still have plenty of energy and fun and are so VERY loving. Although they may not be with you as long as you wish, you can have many wonderful years together. The sense of joy in giving a senior Golden a home is unequaled.
Goldens quickly bond to their new families. If you have reservations, we will be happy to put you in touch with people who have adopted dogs from a wide variety of age groups from puppies to 15 years of age. The seniors are usually full of mischief, love to take walks and especially enjoy being held and loved. And remember… no housebreaking or teething (in itself a reward).
You will have to have patience!
Puppies less than 6 months of age are occasionally surrendered to Rescue, the youngest we have ever rescued was 2 days old!
Pregnant females that later produce puppies sometimes also come into the program.
Puppies are made available for adoption after they are 12 weeks old. If you want a puppy and are willing to wait for AGR to get one, please submit an adoption application now, so that we can put your family on our approved-to-adopt waiting list. Then, you will be among the first considered when puppies become available.
The very need for AGR is the best reason not to breed. AGR believes that there are already too many homeless and unwanted dogs, so we ensure that all of our rescues are spayed or neutered. There is a canine over-population problem because people breed their Goldens “for the kids,” or to “get money out of the dog,” or because “he/she is so beautiful we want one of his/ her puppies.”
Breeding is a time-consuming, costly venture that is best left to professionals who truly want to better the breed and understand the intricacies of the breeding selection process. Few people make money from responsible breeding. Breeding should be done only after careful evaluation of the dog's temperament, physique and genetic history. Additionally, it is better for the long-term health of the dog for it to be sterilized. Testicular and ovarian cancers are common causes of death in older, “intact” dogs.
All of our Goldens are fostered in members’ homes. We do not have a kennel or other boarding facility.
All Goldens currently available for adoption can be viewed on our website; If none are shown, it means none are available for adoption.
Sometimes arrangements can be made through our Placement Manager to meet with the family that is fostering a particular dog. You must have already submitted an adoption application and that application approved following a phone interview and home evaluation in order to arrange to see a particular adoptable dog.
We also occasionally have Meet-and-Greet events at local pet supplies stores. Due to our rigorous placement process we rarely bring adoptable dogs to local events or pet supply stores.
Because we are all volunteers, many of whom work full-time jobs, we regret we cannot return phone calls to advise you how soon you may expect a Golden. If your application is approved, the waiting period can be anywhere from 24 hours to several months. Our methods are time-proven and successful. We work to match a Golden that will remain in your home for the balance of its life and be a good canine companion. The more you restrict the factors involved in choosing a dog – age, sex, coat color, etc. – the longer the wait may be before we find the perfect dog for you.
The Foster/FWITA/Adoption Application allows you to specify the kind of dog you are willing to foster/adopt – age, sex, special needs or not, etc. It will also tell us about your family members, other pets, family habits, place of residence and give us some idea why you want to adopt a rescued Golden. Based on the information in the application and on feedback from a Home Evaluator, our Placement volunteers very carefully match what is known about approved-to-adopt families with what is known about the rescued dog, so that we can place the dog in the very best permanent, adoptive home.
Every possible effort is made to place a dog with you that fits your preferences, but we cannot guarantee a complete match. If the Placement volunteers match you with a dog that you do not wish to adopt for some reason, the dog will be placed with another applicant, your application remains active, and the process continues.
Once your application is approved, AGR’s Placement Team will be on the lookout for an incoming dog that matches your criteria.
If it is a dog already in foster care and ready for adoption, an appointment will be made for your entire family to meet the dog. Please be on time for this appointment and plan to spend 1-2 hours at the foster home. The foster family has final approval of the potential adoption.
You MUST wait 24 hours after this initial meeting to decide whether or not you want to adopt the dog. If your decision is “YES” and the foster family approves the match, then a member of the transport team will transport the dog to your home.
Once the dog has been introduced into its new environment, you will need to read and sign the Terms & Conditions of Adoption and give a copy of this, along with the adoption fee, to the AGR representative who delivers the dog. In three weeks, if all goes well and the dog has been cleared medically, a letter of adoption finalization will be sent to you.
Yes, you can, by agreeing to be a Foster-With-Intent-To-Adopt. This is the quickest means to find your perfect dog. All incoming dogs are placed in foster homes. Most foster homes become the Golden’s Forever Home. We attempt to place a foster dog within the guidelines you have designated.
Foster families have a right of first refusal if another family is interested in adopting. However, the choice to permanently adopt the dog is your decision. If you decide the dog you are fostering would be better placed with a different family, we abide by your wishes.
You must be an AGR member in order to be a foster or Foster-With-Intent-To-Adopt.
For the dog to go outside alone, a fenced yard is necessary for the dog’s safety. The rescued dog must NEVER be allowed to run free.
If your yard is surrounded by a secure fence or block wall, the Golden may be exercised there off leash. Outside the yard, or if a yard is not available (e.g. FWITA lives in an apartment, condo or mobile home) the dog must be on a leash at all times and must have a collar on with the AGR identification tag firmly attached even after the dog is adopted.
No, many of our foster family members are currently employed full or part time and still provide a quality environment for the dog. However, our first concern is safety: for you, for your family, for your own dog(s) and for the rescued dog. Therefore, any time you are unable to directly supervise the foster dog, you should confine him or her to a small, secure area, preferably a crate (AGR may be able to lend you one if you don’t have one.)
Yes! They thrive on it, and besides, a Golden Retriever is a big dog, and training should begin immediately and be an ongoing process. At the time of adoption, we will recommend some local trainers. All Goldens are trainable and actually enjoy the learning process. Training creates a bond between you and your dog, and will make your Golden a good canine citizen.
No, AGR does not adopt to families that are out-of-state residents.
Being a foster and/or an adoptive family is extremely rewarding, but you should keep in mind that some rescued dogs are not housebroken, may be ill, or may have had little socialization or obedience training.
In spite of these challenges, our foster families and adopters have found that, when given a chance, these dogs not only improve, they flourish. All foster homes receive AGR's Your New Dog manual, which provides information on handling both routine and non-routine aspects of fostering. In addition, the Placement Team, the Behavior Liaison and AGR-approved veterinarians are all available for telephone consultation on problems not covered in the manual.
If you ever, during the rest of your Golden’s entire life, have any questions, problems or just want to brag about your new family member, we want to hear from you!
We will contact you only if you have been approved to adopt and if our Placement Team decides that you are the best fit for a particular dog.
The current status of every dog rescued by AGR is shown on the website. If a dog is listed as Medical Hold, it means there are some medical issues that have to be treated before we would place the dog with a potential adoptive family. If a dog is listed as Adoption Pending, this means the dog has been placed with a potential adoptive family and we are waiting for the dog to “settle in” before we finalize the adoption. This period of time is usually 3 weeks. Finalized adoptions are shown under Success Stories.
Due to confidentiality issues, AGR cannot divulge any other information about the dog. We do not allow a surrendering owner to meet with the dog’s new owner. Such a meeting would be traumatic for all concerned, especially the dog, who would not understand why he/she is no longer with his/her original family.