Frequently Asked Questions about SPDR Rescue
Why does SPDR choose to only rescue purebreds?
Where do SPDR rescue dogs come from?
What are SPDR rescue dogs like?
How does SPDR's adoption process work?
What is a Breed Rep?
Once I apply to adopt, how soon will I be contacted?
How do you approve adopters?
What happens if SPDR refers me to a shelter dog?
How long will I have to wait to adopt a dog?"
What if SPDR's Breed Rep refers me to a dog, and I don’t like it?
If I am referred to an individual who is listing their dog through SPDR, and I want to adopt that person’s dog, do I pay them for it?
What does it cost to adopt a dog through SPDR?
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.
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.
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.
If your application was sent via postal mail, allow a few days for it to be processed. Whether postal or online, all applications are forwarded to SPDR Breed Reps usually within 48 hours of receipt. Because SPDR Breed Reps are volunteers, and most have full time jobs and families, patience is a must when awaiting contact from a Breed Rep. Generally speaking, most Breed Reps will get back to you in approximately two weeks, either by mail, e-mail, or phone.
SPDR Breed Reps are responsible for reviewing adoption applications, and finding the most suitable homes for dogs of their breed. Not every home is right for every breed of dog.
The Rep will review your paperwork, and possibly contact you to ask additional questions, in order to determine whether she thinks her breed would make a good pet for you.
If the answer is yes, she will give you information about currently available dogs. If no dogs are currently available that meet your needs, she will put you on a waiting list.
If SPDR receives notification from a shelter about a dog that matches your request, the Breed Rep will refer you directly to that shelter. You would then need to go through that particular shelter’s application process, and if approved, would adopt the dog directly from them. Most shelters can only keep dogs in their care for a very limited time--for this reason, an adopter notified about a dog in a shelter should act promptly.
The timing varies, depending on the availability of the breed(s) you have requested, and/or the specific characteristics you are looking for. The more specific an adopter’s requirements are, the longer it will take to find a dog that meets them.
An adopter who wants a black female longhaired German Shepherd under six months of age will probably have a much longer wait than another adopter willing to consider a German Shepherd of any age, sex, color and coat type. Likewise, SPDR might see 30 German Shepherds available for adoption one year, and only 6 the next.
In short, it is often impossible to know... however each Breed Rep should be able to give you his or her best guess about this. Adopters should expect to spend some time working with the Breed Rep to find the best possible dog for them.
Adopters are under no obligation to accept any dog referred by SPDR. If you feel a dog is not right for you, notify the Breed Rep. The Rep will continue to refer you to other likely prospects until the right match is found.
No. Listers are not selling their dogs, they are placing them into new homes through SPDR’s referral network. If a lister expects to be paid for a dog, please contact SPDR’s message line and let us know which breed of dog and lister is requesting this, so we can follow up.
If you choose to submit your application by mail rather than our 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 or rehome your dog.
Upon receipt of your donation, SPDR will mail you a confirmation document that can be used for tax purposes.