Adoption Program

We believe that opening your heart and home to a shelter dog is one of life's most rewarding experiences. Learn more about our awesome Family Dogs below!

What kinds of dogs does Family Dog rescue?

We rescue great dogs of all breeds, sizes and personalities. While most of our dogs are good old adult mutts, we often have purebreds and puppies available too. We encourage you to pick your new family member based on its individual personality, not breed-specific characteristics which often aren't true.

We evaluate our dogs for good health and behavior and create an extensive profile of each dog so we can help you find a dog that fits your lifestyle. Unlike many larger organizations, we work with our dogs on a daily basis and really get to know them.

Why do we rescue dogs with special needs (blind, deaf, disabled, shy, etc)?

At Family Dog, we make a conscious effort to help the underdogs that otherwise don't have a good chance of making it out of the shelter system. Many people think training blind or deaf dogs is more difficult, but in reality it is just different!

We offer behavior and training support throughout the lifetime of your pet and are happy to work with first time special-needs adopters. We know blind and deaf dogs make wonderful companions and hope you can open your heart to one of our special needs residents.

We also have a program called Loup Garou, where we take black dogs that are overlooked at crowded shelters. Black dogs look "boring" to some people, so they are last to get adopted. We have made the decision to help these marginalized dogs and to educate people of their plight.

Where do Family Dogs come from?

Most of our dogs come from overcrowded California shelters where they have run out of time or are in need of extra medical or behavioral care. We also occasionally rescue dogs from Guatemala, Mexico, Burma, Kauai and Korea, where shelters are few, street dogs are common, and adoption opportunities are scarce.

It is an unfortunate misconception that shelter dogs are "broken" or that there is something wrong with them. On the contrary, our dogs are some of the most loving and grateful animals you will ever come across!

What's included with a Family Dog adoption?

Every adoption comes with a "match-making" appointment where we help you decide if the dog would be a good fit for you and your family. We include advice on training your new companion and tips to make their transition into your life as smooth as possible.

Unlike many rescues, we are happy to work with first time pet owners, families with young children, and elderly and/or disabled individuals. We believe there is a great match for anyone who wants to care for and love a dog!

Our dogs are temperament tested, have been seen by a vet, are up-to-date on vaccinations and are spayed/neutered and micro-chipped as part of the adoption process. We offer training and behavior advice for the lifetime of your pet and are always here if you have any questions or concerns.

If things change and you can no longer keep or care for your pet, we will always take them back into our program. We also include plenty of perks from dog walkers, trainers and groomers on our resources page!

How much are your adoption fees?

Unlike municipal shelters that receive government funding, our operating costs must be covered by adoption donations. We ask $300 for adult dogs and $400 for puppies (for some special rare breeds, we may request a $500 donation). Your donation is fully tax-deductible and helps offset our veterinary costs, feeding, shelter maintenance and adoption program.

We also sell lightly used martingale collars ($15), flat collars ($5), leashes ($5), easy-walk harnesses ($25) and crates ($25) which you can purchase at the time of your adoption. We couldn't save 800 dogs every year without your generosity!

Double your donation if the company you work for offers a matching gift program! Learn more about

How do I adopt a Family Dog?

Please fill out an adoption application so we can get to know you and your needs. Our adoptions manager will respond to you within 2 business days to set up an appointment to meet the dog(s) you're interested in. Our adoption appointments typically last an hour and you can meet up to three dogs. If you find a good fit, you'll take your pup home!

If things don't work out in the first week, your adoption donation can be transferred to a different dog. Our staff and volunteers are always here for support, and we love receiving updates on the new lives of our dogs!

You can also meet some of our dogs, as well as our friendly volunteers, at one of our weekly adoption events. Please email us anytime if you have any questions. We look forward to working with you!