Adoption Process

So You Want To Adopt

Your New Best Friend

Rural Dog Rescue will consider adoptive families in the Washington and surrounding areas only. This is simply due to logistics and distance of travel for our volunteers. Our goal is to make the best rescue match, taking into consideration the dog's background and your family's needs. Every dog is different: personality, temperament, energy, comfort with kids and other animals, medical needs and more. We take all these factors into consideration when making a furever-home match. We are very careful about the placements we make. We do our best to match the right dog with the right adoptive home because we want this to be the pet's permanent home.

If you are willing to wait for the right animal to be matched to you, you are an ideal candidate for Rural Dog Rescue. As our success rate proves, these precious dogs are well worth the wait.
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Our adoption process is designed to place each of our dogs in the best home possible for him or her — and to ensure that you and your new dog are a great fit! We use each step of the adoption process to match dogs to a forever family that best fits their personality and activity level. We are not “first-come, first-served.”

1. Submit an Online Adoption Application

We appreciate you wanting to bring a dog into your home. In order for us to find the right pet for you, we need you to submit an adoption application.

2. Phone Interview

One of our volunteers will conduct a phone interview, which typically takes between 15-30 minutes and is a chance for us to learn more about what you are looking for in a dog.

Our volunteer will also conduct a:

  • Background check
  • Personal reference checks
  • Landlord reference (if you rent)
  • Vet reference check (if you have owned a pet in the last five years)

3. Home Visit

Home visits are completed virtually (via Zoom or similar) and typically take between 10-15 minutes to complete.

This allows us to make sure your home is a safe place and good fit for you to adopt or foster a RDR dog. All members of the family or household (including roommates) must be present during the home visit.

4. Pre-Approval

If all goes well with the interview, reference checks, and home visit, the adoption coordinator will be in touch to let you know that you are pre-approved.

Pre-approval means you are pre-approved to adopt (pending a match) with one of our dogs. Additionally, pre-approved adopters can work with the adoption coordinator to request a private meeting with a dog they are interested in.

5. Attend Adoption Events or Request a Private Meeting

You may attend our adoption events and meet our adoptable dogs. Not all dogs attend every event, but pre-approved adopters will receive a weekly email or can check social media to see which dogs are attending the upcoming event. As noted above, pre-approved adopters can also request a private meeting.

Please remember that many dogs have multiple applications, and we use the above process to find the best possible home for each dog. We are not a first-come, first-served organization.

6. Finalize the Adoption

Once you have chosen a dog and the adoption team has determined it is a good fit for you, you will finalize the adoption.

This includes:

  • Paying the $450 adoption fee
  • Signing an adoption contract
  • Reviewing the dog’s vet records
  • Taking an adoption photo


  • Once an adoption application is underway, we are able to discuss further details regarding our available dogs.
  • Rural Dog Rescue is a 100% volunteer, non-profit organization. We will make every effort to schedule your home visit in a timely manner. Please be patient with us…the dogs need our time too.
  • All dogs are spayed/neutered, microchipped and up-to-date on all shots prior to adoption
  • Our adoption fee is $450 and helps offset some of the costs we incur when rescuing our dogs.

Ready to Adopt?

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