Thank you for considering adoption from City Dogs Rescue! If you would like to meet a dog that you are considering adopting, we REQUIRE you to first fill out an application. Choose one of three easy ways to apply:
City Dogs Rescue has a thorough adoption process in order to find the best possible fit for each of our dogs (we do not operate under a first-come, first-served model). As an all-volunteer organization, it may take a few weeks before everything is finalized should we find an appropriate match.
Please know we do our best to process adoption applications as quickly as possible. This requires checking references, arranging home visits, and coordinating visits with potential dogs.
We appreciate your patience in the process!
What’s the adoption process? 1. Adoption Application: Interested adopters should fill out an adoption application to indicate they are interested in learning more about a dog and setting up a visit.
2. Adoption Counselor: Applicants who pass the initial screening process will be assigned an Adoption Counselor, who will review the application and have a brief conversation with each applicant to determine his/her needs and preferences, find out about his/her daily schedule, and talk about his/her knowledge and previous experience, if any, with pets.
3. Reference Checks: CDR will call references listed on the application. If applicable, CDR will call the applicant’s veterinarian to ensure that previous pets have been spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and well cared for.
Renters/Condo Owners: For renters, CDR will check with an applicant's landlord to ensure that dogs are permitted and that the dog of interest wouldn’t violate any size or breed restrictions. We also review condo association rules regarding pets.
4. Meet Dog: CDR will work the applicant to set up a meeting with the foster and the dog. Most of our dogs are in foster homes in the DC metro area. We will do our best to find a convenient location. Some dogs are located at City Dogs Daycare, but an appointment still needs to be arranged with the adoption counselor in order to meet any dog.
5. Home Visit: After meeting the dog, if the applicant decides to adopt, then CDR will conduct a home visit. CDR will visit each applicant’s home to see the environment where the dog will live and answer any questions the applicant might have.
6. Adoption Contract: If the applicant is approved for adoption, CDR and the prospective adopter will enter into an adoption contract. The applicant will be required to pay an adoption fee which helps to cover our costs from spay/neutering (age appropriate), microchipping (when available), vaccinations, and any other veterinary attention needed while in our care.
How much does it cost to adopt a dog? Unless otherwise noted, CDR charges an adoption fee of $350 for dogs (including puppies). This fee typically includes health care provided before adoption: Rabies, Distemper, and Bordetella vaccinations (age appropriate), flea and heartworm prevention prior to adoption, spay/neuter procedure (depending upon the age of the dog), SNAP test for parasites, initial health check vet visit when going from the municipal shelter to City Dogs Rescue. We expect all adopters to make their own vet appointment within 3 weeks of adoption.
Where can I see the dogs that CDR has available for adoption? Can I just go to City Dogs Daycare to see the dogs? You may not be able to see the dog of your choice without an appointment, as only some dogs are located at the daycare. All available dogs can be viewed online. If individuals would like an appointment to see any dogs, the first step is to fill out an application.
Does CDR adopt to anyone who applies? No, CDR carefully screens its applicants by calling references, veterinarians, and landlords. CDR also conducts home visits of potential adoption homes. CDR has no obligation to adopt to any particular applicant, and will refuse adoption if it believes that a particular applicant or their home would not be a suitable environment for a CDR dog. Anyone with any history of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or surrendering of pets is disqualified from adopting from CDR. Our goal is to avoid the return of pets to shelters by finding forever homes for them who are capable of providing the level of care and love necessary to support the dogs through their entire natural lives. We typically have multiple applications on each dog and must determine the best choice for each individual dog. Unfortunately, there may be multiple suitable adopters for a dog, and some will be declined if another applicant had a stronger application and background with dogs.
Will CDR allow me to adopt a dog on a “trial-basis”? In certain circumstances, CDR may allow potential adopters to foster a dog for a limited period of time before committing to adoption. This is done on a case-by-case basis.
The adoption fee seems high. Why is it so expensive? In order to make dogs available, CDR needs to pay shelter fees, transport fees, vet fees, spay/neuter fees, microchip fees, costs of medicine, Heartworm and flea preventative treatments, and food costs. Many of our rescued dogs were not cared for adequately in their previous lives and are in need of significant vet care when they first arrive at CDR. CDR is an all-volunteer organization that relies on donations and adoption fees to cover all operating expenses.
What happens if I adopt a dog from CDR but can no longer care for it? Through a careful screening process, CDR strives to find permanent homes for each CDR dog. In the hopefully unlikely event that an adopter is no longer able to care for his/her pet, CDR requires by contract that the dog be returned to CDR.
Where do the dogs come from? Why were they in the shelter? CDR Dogs typically come from overcrowded and/or high-kill shelters. Sadly, many of them would have been euthanized due to lack of space. CDR has established relationships with various shelters and rescues, and has rescued dogs from VA, NC, SC, KY, OH and GA. Most dogs are in the shelter through no fault of their own. Many are stray dogs with no identification. Some are there as a result of former owners who could no longer afford to keep their dog; had a change in their living situation; were neglectful, abusive, or no longer wanted to care for their dog for whatever reason; had other pets that were not compatible with the dog; or fell ill or died. Others are there as the result of irresponsible breeders who couldn’t sell all the puppies or owners who refused to spay/neuter their pets.
Can you guarantee the breed of a City Dogs Rescue dog? For descriptive purposes only, we provide our "best guess" as to the breed(s) of each dog based on size, coat, and body type. However, City Dogs Rescue makes no guarantees, representations, or warranties as to the accuracy of any such descriptions, and prospective adopters should not rely on or make adoption decisions based upon these descriptions. Because our dogs are rescued from high kill shelters, we frequently know little about their backgrounds and it is not possible to accurately assess their exact breed(s).
I work a lot so how would I care for a new dog? Many of our adopters have full-time jobs, but typically provide for a mid-day dog walk through a dog walking service or enroll the dog in doggie daycare. We have several neighborhood services that we can recommend.
I have cats or dogs at home already. Can I find out of this dog will get along with them? We sometimes know about a dog’s tolerance for cats before we receive them based upon shelter records. If we do not know, we can “cat test” the dog to see how he or she interacts with cats in a household. It is important to note that a dog that interacts well with our cat during this test may not necessarily act similarly to your cat(s) in your home environment.
Many of our dogs are comfortable with other dogs. If we find out that a dog does not interact well with other dogs, we will notify potential adopters and look for a home with no other pets.
Is the dog housetrained? Adopters should expect that any new dog will need training with respect to housebreaking. Some of our dogs may never have had any formal housetraining, while others may come trained. Even though some of our dogs may be housebroken, these dogs will often have accidents in a new environment. All new adopters should be prepared to be patient with respect to any housebreaking issues that may arise.
Does the dog have heartworm (or other common illness)? Heartworm can be a serious disease for dogs, but can easily be prevented through monthly preventative tablets. CDR dogs are usually tested for heartworm, and we will disclose to adopters if they are heartworm positive. If they are positive, they will need to be on a treatment protocol.
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City Dogs Rescue
2121 Decatur Place NW The Quaker House Washington, DC 20008 E-mail
City Dogs Rescue has federal tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, effective as of September 21, 2011.