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frequently asked questions

Before writing us, please read our FAQ. We receive hundreds of emails a week, and most questions fall into one of these categories. Reading the FAQ and submitting your application is the most expedient way to adoption. Please remember we are all volunteers and handle all inquiries as best we can. We try to respond (when appropriate) within 24-48 hours.


Where is your shelter and what are your hours? Pet Rescue does not have a shelter, and we use foster homes. Appointments are made by the foster home or take place at our scheduled Meet & Greet events (see front page of website under "events"). Please submit an application if you would like to meet a pet. Please do not email us about meeting a pet if you have not submitted the application. Most of our foster homes are in Westchester County, NY or southern CT.

How much is it to adopt? All adoption donations are tax deductible. For dogs, adoption donations range from $250-450. Some of the purebred or "designer" dogs (non-shedding) tend to be at the higher range. The donation for most of our adult cats or older kittens is $75. Young kittens (unaltered) are $65. The donation for adult purebreds such as Siamese, Persian, Himalayan and other "exotic" cats, including those of mixed breed that show the dominant characteristics of a purebred, may range from $100-$175. There is a spay/neuter deposit required for puppies ($50) and kittens ($35). This is NYS law. The spay/neuter deposit is returned after the pet is spayed/neutered.

Why is there an adoption donation? Don't these pets need homes? Our pets are examined by a veterinarian, spayed and neutered (when age appropriate), provided with appropriate vaccines and micro chipped. Your adoption donation helps cover expenses for future pets that we will save.

I'm interested in a dog/cat on your site…is he available for adoption? All pets on our site are available for adoption. There may, however, be other applications for that pet. "Pending adoption" means that, in all likelihood, this dog will be adopted within 48 hours. All pets on our site are available and, as you complete the application, you will be asked to select pets of interest. When a pet is removed from the site, he or she is no longer available for adoption. Please be sure you are looking under the "adopt" tab, not the "successes" tab.

What do I need to do to meet this dog? The first step is to complete the application. If you have not completed the application, please do so. Please do not email us prior to filling out the application, as it slows the process, and all information we have about the dog is in the description. As we learn more about the dog, we will update the description. Once the application is reviewed and if it is a good match for the dog, we will contact you about meeting the dog. Your entire family and any current dogs must be present when you meet the dog.

What happens after I complete the application? Our Application Review Volunteers will check the application to see if it is a match for the dog(s) for which you applied. If we need additional information, we will contact you. If it looks like your home will be a match, we will contact your references (references MUST be non-relatives. If you include a family member or in-law as a reference, we cannot proceed with the application.). Please be sure to alert your vet (if applicable) that you have applied to adopt and that it is OK for the vet to share basic information with us. If you do not alert your vet, it slows our process. If you rent, please be sure to provide the phone number for your landlord. If everything checks out, you will be contacted to meet the dog at one of our events, at the foster home or at a location determined between you and the foster home.

How long does it take? Our review process may happen quickly (within two days) or may take up to two weeks. Please do not send repeated emails inquiring about the status of your application as it slows our process.

Did you receive my application? Our website generates an auto response when the application is received and correctly completed. If you received the confirmation email, we received your application. Please check your spam folder for the confirmation before writing us. If you do not choose a dog of interest, you will not receive a confirmation.

I want to adopt this dog, but we are going on vacation…can I adopt him and have you hold on to him until I return? We do not "hold" dogs or cats for people. If you have travel plans or need to adopt a dog after a particular point in time, please check our available dogs and cats when you return. Space in our foster homes is precious. If we hold pets, we are not able to save other pets from peril.

I need a non-shedding dog…does this particular dog shed? When we believe that a dog has a non-shed or low-shed coat, we list it in the description. If it is not indicated in the description, we believe the dog will shed, and you should presume the same. Most of our dogs are mixed breed (if it is a purebred it is noted in the listing) and we cannot guarantee shedding status of mixed-breed dogs.

How big will this puppy get? We are unable to determine how large a puppy will grow. While we usually know the mother, we rarely, if ever, know the father. If size is an issue, we recommend that you adopt a full-grown dog, generally over one year old.

What breed is this dog? We can only speculate on the breed of a dog based on general characteristics and traits. If it is a puppy born in our care, we know the mother.

Is this dog/cat spayed or neutered? Does she have her shots? All pets have age-appropriate shots, are micro-chipped and are spayed/neutered before adoption. Very young puppies and kittens may not be altered at the time of adoption because they are too young for the surgery. Altering then becomes the responsibility of the adopter. We can supply information on low-cost spay/neuter options.

Can I try out the dog before adopting? No. We ask that you complete the adoption process, with the understanding that if it does not work out for any reason, we will take back the dog. In fact, our adoption agreement requires that if, for any reason, the adoption does not work out, the dog or cat is returned to us.

The description indicates "no children" for this dog...but MY kids are really good…can we adopt him? No. We have this listed in a description based on the needs of the dog. It would not be a safe, healthy situation for your children or the dog.

The description indicates "must be an only dog" …but MY dog is really good with other dogs…can we adopt him? No. Please see above.

Can you tell me more about his "story"? For the most part, the dogs and cats are strays or owner turn-ins. If he was a stray, we know nothing more than where he was found. If she was an owner turn-in, rarely do we get a complete or truthful story from the owner. So, while we don't have their "stories," we are trying to figure out as much as we can. Our foster homes work very hard to learn as much as they can about the pet they are caring for and are always glad to share this information with potential adopters. Their goal is to determine what type of home a pet needs to ensure he is a good match for the family.

Why do you have a 90-mile adoption radius? We require that all our pets be returned to us if things do not work out in the new home. Through years of adoptions and some unfortunate circumstances, we learned that if we adopt to people far from our base, the pet is not returned to us. We are firm on this rule. We do not make exceptions. If you are outside our radius, please look at PetFinder.com – their search engine allows you to narrow your search by your zip code. PetFinder only works with rescue groups and shelters – there are no puppy mills on Petfinder. There is a dog or cat in need much closer to your home. We consider Larchmont, NY as our "hub."

Does he shed? Is she housebroken? How is she with kids/cats? All the information we have about a pet is in the description. You must first submit an application. If the application is a match for the dog, the foster home will contact you. You can direct your questions to the foster home; they are the best source of information on the dog's current disposition, habits and needs. If your application is not suited to the needs of the dog, we will contact you about looking at other pets.

You keep mentioning "foster homes"…what are they? Before they are adopted, we try to put the majority of our dogs and cats in temporary homes. This way, we get to know the dog's personality, likes, dislikes and general temperament. We rely on the judgment of our foster homes a great deal. Foster homes are not intended to be permanent homes; our foster homes are all volunteers, and we always need more foster homes. You can become a foster home by filling out an application and when prompted to select "dogs of choice" choose "Foster A Dog." It's a great experience for the whole family.

Why do you have so many "rules" about adopting? Don't these dogs and cats need a home? Why can't I just have this dog – I know I can make it work? We invest a great deal of emotional and financial resources into each dog and cat that we save. Our top priority is finding him a home where he will thrive and become a loving, happy member of a household. Placing him in a home that does not match his needs will not make the dog or new owner happy. We respectfully ask that all potential adopters honor these decisions. We are always willing to work with potential adopters on finding the right match for your home. As our grandmas used to say, "There's a lid for every pot." We try our hardest to make sure the "lids and pots" all match. Work with us and be patient – we will find your lid.