MD Charity Campaign Number 27-2879838Combined FederalCampaign #15863
you complete an application some frequently asked questions !
How do I begin the application/adoption process?
What happens next?
Our application review process consists of the following:
After this review process is complete, we will contact you to schedule a home visit.
What is a home visit?
Our volunteer will contact you and ask to set up a meeting at a mutually convenient time for members of the family and any other party that will be a
with your dog. Everyone living in the home should be
for the Home Visit.
A home visit is an opportunity for us to meet you and your family (including any current pets you have), and answer any questions you might have about us, our adoption process, our dogs, or German Shepherd Dogs in general (many of our adopters are first-time dog owners).
Another reason we conduct home visits is to get an idea of what type of dog (high energy, couch potato, kid-friendly, etc.) will be the best fit for you and your family.
Generally, we contact you with 48 hours after the home visit to let you know if you’re approved to adopt.
We will also send you a copy of our Adoption Contract to review prior to meeting any dogs.
How soon can I meet the dogs?
This depends on your schedule and the schedules of dogs’ foster parents. We know this is a very exciting step and do our best to have it happen asap !
Can I meet the dog I’m interested in while you’re processing my application?
Yes, if the dog you’re interested in is attending one of our Meet & Greets or other events. Otherwise, only applicants who have completed the full process and are approved adopters can meet dogs, since such meetings often are held at the foster’s home.
How do I find a dog that will be a good fit for me and my family?
Finding the right dog for you is critically important to us. Our Adoption Coordinator works closely with our fosters to know all our dogs’ personalities and will be able to suggest possible dogs for you.
Our volunteers will help with dog-to-dog meetings if you have a dog, and dog-to-cat meetings if you have a cat.
We are confident we can find the right dog for you.
What happens when I meet the right dog?
Once you meet the dog that is the perfect fit for you and your family, the dog’s foster will review the Adoption Contract with you (and any co-applicants) and have you sign or initial the appropriate sections.
The adoption fee is $300, payable by cash, check, or via PayPal. This fee is due at the time of adoption.
You will receive a copy of the dog’s rabies certificate and any other vetting paperwork, as well as a copy of the signed Adoption Contract, at the time of adoption if possible, or within two weeks of adoption.
What happens if I meet the right dog, but I can’t adopt right away? Will you hold the dog for me until I’m ready?
No, we do not hold dogs for potential adopters. Our mission is to find wonderful homes for our dogs, and if we are holding a dog for an adopter who might not be ready to adopt, then that dog misses out on meeting another family who might be a great match.
Exceptions can be made for a short period after a successful adoption meeting; this is at the foster’s discretion.
What happens if I can’t find the right dog? Will you share my application and approval with other rescues?
Yes, we will share information (with the exception of information obtained from personal references, as that information is kept confidential) with any rescue you choose. In addition, we will accept home visit evaluations from certain rescues to simplify and expedite the application process for you.
How long will my approval be valid? Do I have to adopt a dog right away?
If nothing has changed (for example, you haven’t moved or gotten a pet), we typically keep your approval for one year.
Can I adopt two dogs together?
Generally, no. Most trainers agree that only one dog should be adopted at a time. This allows the dog time to transition and bond with you and your family. Puppies especially need this bonding time, as they can be difficult to train and socialize if they allowed to bond with their littermates instead of their human companions.
We will consider allowing the adoption of more than one dog at a time, however, in instances where we have a “bonded pair” of dogs looking for a home.
Crate Training :
With very few exceptions, we do require use of a crate in the transition period.
This allows the dog to have a " safe" place when you are not at home, as well as place to relax and chill as necessary. Newly adopted dogs need to go through a transition period and having a safe place is a great assist in this .
We are happy to discuss in more detail and here's one of the many excellent articles available online .https://unleashedunlimited.com/why-is-crate-training-so-important/
Why do you accept applications for adoption in certain areas only?
Because we require a home visit conducted by one of our volunteers as part of the application process, we are limited to the areas where we have volunteers. Currently, we have volunteers in most of Maryland, northern Virginia, and some parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Southern NJ and Washington, D.C.
What if I still have questions?
We welcome any questions or comments you might have about our application/adoption process.
Please e-mail us at
*Please note that you are required to fill out your address and contact phone number even though they are not marked as required on this form. If you do not include your full address we will not be able to complete your application. Thanks!