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Frequently Asked Questions


Our adoption fees vary depending on the age of the dog and whether the dog needs heartworm treatment.  All of our adoption fees include transportation to the DC area and age-appropriate vet care, including spay/neuter surgery for all dogs over 6 months of age, DHLPP shots, rabies shots, and de-worming. The estimated costs for adopting Lucky Dogs is provided below:

  1. Puppy (6 months and under) - $400
  2. Young/Adult Dog (older than 6 months to 9 yrs) - $350
  3. Senior dog (9 years and older) - $250
  4. Heartworm positive dog - $450 (This includes treatment for heartworm, which would otherwise cost $500 - $1,200 to treat.)
  5. Cats - $150 for one, $275 for two (We have a few fostered in local homes.)

We accept cash or check payments for adoption fees.  There will be a $25 fee for returned checks.

When you are ready to adopt a new friend, we'll ask you to complete our friendly screening process, which ensures safe and successful adoptions!

  1. Fill out an Adoption Questionnaire
  2. We'll have a brief conversation with you to determine your needs and preferences, find out about your daily schedule, and talk about your previous experience with pets.
  3. If applicable, we'll call your veterinarian to ensure that previous pets have been spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and well cared for.
  4. For renters, we'll check with your landlord to ensure that dogs are permitted and that the dog that you're adopting wouldn't violate any size or breed restrictions.
  5. Lastly, we'll visit your home to see the environment where the dog will live and answer your questions. This is a great opportunity for you to get valuable input on how to integrate your new pet into your home.

This process typically takes less than a week and then you are ready to take your Lucky Dog home!

Yes - as long as we can arrange a home visit, we can adopt out of our area. However, priority will be given to local adopters - especially with puppies.

Absolutely! But, we will need to discuss a plan for exercising your dog, including, perhaps, visits to a fenced in dog park. We realize that different dogs have different exercise needs and that some dogs are a better match for apartment living.  We will work with you to find a dog suitable to your living situation.


You need to be 21 years old to adopt a Lucky Dog.

Nope! However, we strongly urge you not to let your Lucky Dog off leash in an un-fenced area. This is particularly important in the first 2-3 months, when your Lucky Dog might be prone to wandering off - without knowing the way back home!

Yep! We'll just check with your landlord to make sure dogs are allowed in your rental unit. We'll also check on any weight, size, or breed restrictions. This is particularly important if you are adopting a puppy because we cannot guarantee what size or weight a puppy will grow to be.

Absolutely! And, because you are committing to that dog without actually meeting him or her ahead of time, in some circumstances we may be able to offer you a 2-week trial adoption to give you the time you need to determine if this is the right Lucky Dog for you. Speak to your adoption coordinators to see if you qualify. And, please keep in mind, trial adoptions do require a commitment of at least 2 weeks – even if you discover that this particular Lucky Dog is not the one for you. We need that time to find another suitable foster or adopter.

Maybe. We are not a first-come, first served rescue. We try our very hardest to find the best match for our dogs and our adopters. Being first doesn't hurt, but it's not a guarantee. We commit to being as open and honest about the selection process as we can.

Absolutely! We will help approved adopters find the right dog for them. There is no need to reapply or to start the process over again.

Yep! We have a Matchmaking Team dedicated to screening adopters who are not sure which dog they'd like. Once you are approved to adopt, this incredible team will send you suggestions of dogs who might be a good match!

Nope. Unfortunately, the inherent nature of dog rescue means, we cannot guarantee a dog's breed. Many dogs end up in shelters because they are strays. And many more are turned in by owners who don't know or don't share their pet's history. Even when we know the puppy's mom, we only know half of the mix. The best we can do is make an educated guess based on the dog's appearance and temperament.

Unfortunately, no. Because we usually don't know either of the puppy's parents, we have no idea what lies in his or her gene pool! Thus, we try to make an educated guess based on the puppy's size, age, and estimated breed.

Absolutely! In fact, Lucky Dogs over the age of 6 months will be spayed or neutered before they are adopted out. Puppies adopted under the age of 6 months must be spayed/neutered by their adopter by a date agreed upon in the adoption contract (usually within 6 months). Lucky Dog Animal Rescue takes spaying/neutering very seriously, and follows up to make that all of our puppies get spayed/neutered. Puppy adopters should be aware that spay/neuter surgery can cost more than $200.

Let us know - the sooner the better! Small problems that start early-on become big problems as time passes. We have trainers on call and lots of resources to share with you. Moreover, because we have a large pool of volunteers who have been doing this for a long time, we probably have experience dealing with whatever issue you may be facing. Let us help!

Lucky Dogs are lucky for life! So, if for any reason, you cannot keep your Lucky Dog, let us know as soon as possible. We will begin the process of taking them back. But, remember, we are here for you before that decision is made. If you have problems - no matter how small - let us know before they become big! We can then provide you the advice and support you need to fix the problems before they get out of control.

Yes! While our main focus is on dogs, we do have a small number of cats in local foster homes. Most of these kitties come from rural shelters where they have little chance of survival.

The cats in our system are combo tested for FIV and FeLV and are up to date on their shots. All kitties 6 months and older will be spayed or neutered. The adoption fee for all cats is $115, which covers their age appropriate vetting as well as transportation to the DC area.

The process for adopting a Lucky Cat is the same as the process for adopting a Lucky Dog (as listed above).


Yes, yes, yes! In fact, because we do not have a facility, foster homes are the backbone of our organization. Without foster homes, we could not rescue anyone!

As a Lucky Dog Foster, you would give a pet a temporary home - until we find a suitable permanent adoptive home. You give the Lucky Dog a soft, dry place to sleep, yummy food to eat, and lots of play time! You also help your Adoption Coordinator find your Lucky Dog a great home!

You need to be 21 years old to foster a Lucky Dog.

We would be thrilled to have you give your Lucky Dog Foster a permanent home - with one exception. There is a point during the adoption process where we commit to our adopters that they will get a particular dog. If that point has been reached with your Lucky Dog, (i.e., if the home visit has been completed, they have met the dog, and they have been led to believe they will get to adopt the dog), then it is too late. Any other time, though, and the Lucky dog can be yours to keep!

Lucky Dog Animal Rescue will pay for the vet care at one of our approved vet partners. Just call your Adoption Coordinator to discuss before you make an appointment!

No problem! Let us know of your plans as early as possible, and we will find a temporary foster for your Lucky dog!

You can still help the Lucky Dogs! When fosters go out of town, we need people who can foster temporarily to give that pup a place to crash! In addition, we often need places for dogs arriving on transport to stay overnight until the next day's adoption event or until an adopter can pick him or her up. Being an overnight or temporary foster is a tremendous help to our Lucky Dogs.

Have no fear! There is plenty to do.  We always need:

  1. Transporters (from the shelter, to and from the vet, to and from adoption events, etc.)
  2. Adoption Event Organizers
  3. Home Visitors
  4. Fundraisers
  5. Administrative Helpers
  6. Donations!

Contact us at to learn more about volunteering with Lucky Dog!

Re-homing Pets

Most likely!!  We are happy to help families in need to re-home their dogs provided that: (1) the dog meets our adoption criteria, and (2) that you can hold onto your dog until we find him or her a new home.

Please send us the dog's age, weight, breed, medical history, and whether he or she gets along with other dogs, with cats, and/or with kids.  We would also greatly appreciate a picture.  Send this info to us at