Frequently Asked Questions about SPDR Rescue
Why does SPDR choose to only rescue purebreds?
Where do SPDR rescue dogs come from?
What arrangement does SPDR have with local shelters?
What are SPDR rescue dogs like?
Does SPDR handle puppies?"
How does SPDR's adoption process work?
What is a Breed Rep?
Why doesn't SPDR handle all breeds?
What does it cost to adopt a dog through SPDR?
What should I do if I've found a lost or abandoned purebred dog?
Many people looking for a new dog are looking for a specific breed (a purebred). Meanwhile, the Humane Society of the United States estimates that 3 to 4 million dogs enter animal shelters every year, and roughly 25% of these dogs are purebred.
SPDR forms a valuable link between individuals looking to adopt purebreds and our volunteers with breed-specific expertise. Working with a breed expert helps an adopter find the right dog.
Purebred dogs handled by SPDR typically come from two places: Private individuals who need to place their dog into a new home for various reasons, and Puget Sound area shelters.
When an SPDR Breed Rep contacts you about an available dog, you may be referred directly to a private individual or to a specific shelter. Occasionally, breed reps will have dogs in temporary foster care and you may be referred there to visit the dog.
For nearly 20 years, SPDR has been honored to maintain positive working relationships with local Puget Sound shelters. Each week, SPDR conducts routine visits to many area shelters to identify and report all purebreds to our Breed Reps. If there is an available dog at a shelter that fits an applicant’s request, a Breed Rep may refer an applicant directly to a shelter to see the dog. In these cases, the adopter must complete the shelter’s paperwork and be approved by the shelter before adopting the dog. Because most shelters can only keep dogs for a limited time, SPDR’s relationship with shelters increases the overall numbers of dogs adopted.
A dog available for adoption through SPDR is typically healthy and of good temperament, with an average age between six months to five years. The range of breeds handled by SPDR varies from year to year, depending on the availability of dogs and volunteers, but typically includes approximately a hundred different breeds. SPDR requires all dogs to be spayed or neutered.
SPDR rarely handles dogs under four months of age. If you feel that a young puppy is right for you, indicate this on your adoption application. Be aware that you may have a longer wait before a purebred puppy becomes available.
As an alternative, our Breed Reps are sometimes able to recommend responsible breeders. Check our Breeds page to see if we currently have a Rep for the breed of your choice, and if so, contact SPDR's message line and leave a message for that Breed Rep, to see if they may have any specific recommendations for puppies.
A person wanting to adopt through SPDR must carefully review SPDR's Terms of Adoption before filling out an Adoption Application. The application may be filled out online for a faster response, which also avoids the $5.00 processing fee. The forms may also be printed, filled out and mailed to SPDR's post office box, along with a $5.00 non-refundable processing fee. All applications received by SPDR will be forwarded to the appropriate Breed Representative(s). Because Breed Reps are volunteers, and many have full-time jobs and families, patience is a must when awaiting contact from a Breed Rep. Most Breed Reps will get back to you withing two weeks, either by e-mail, phone, or mail.
A Breed Representative (“Breed Rep”) is a person who has extensive first-hand knowledge and experience with a particular breed, including the specific health, behavior, and personality traits of that breed.
He or she is responsible for evaluating dogs of a specific breed for adoptability, reviewing adoption applications, screening prospective homes for that breed, and providing ongoing guidance to adopters when needed. SPDR typically has Breed Reps for close to a hundred different breeds.
SPDR's rescue approach utilizes volunteers called Breed Representatives, who typically possess extensive first-hand knowledge and experience with a particular breed.
Few individuals have this level of experience and are willing to volunteer long hours. For that reason, certain breeds may be unrepresented for a period of time, until a new Breed Rep steps forward for training. SPDR greatly values our Breed Reps for their ongoing commitment and willingness to give so generously of their time in this role.
If you choose to submit your application by mail rather than using our easy online application process, there is a $5.00 processing fee to help SPDR cover the immediate costs of handling your paperwork--photocopying, mailing, and phone calls.
No matter how you submit your adoption application however, if we are successful in helping find a dog for you, we ask that you make a tax-deductible donation in the $50 to $400 range. Your Breed Rep may discuss a specific amount with you, based on the costs incurred in readying a dog for adoption.
SPDR is a registered Washington State charity and a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. As such, we depend on your donations to continue operating. Our Board members and Breed Reps are volunteers, and receive no compensation for the time they spend helping you find a dog.
Upon receipt of your donation, SPDR will mail you a confirmation document that can be used for tax purposes.
SPDR does not handle found dogs. A found dog has the best chance of getting back home if you take it to your local shelter. If no owner claims the dog, SPDR will refer suitable adopters for the dog to the shelter when possible.