Save a Golden’s Life

GoldHeart (GH) Adoption Process

We are a small all-volunteer rescue group that takes in about 40 goldens and golden mixes per year and approves around 150 new applications to adopt annually. Absent any major changes in a home, an application approval is generally good for three years from the date of issuance.

GoldHeart routinely operates in parts of Maryland, south-central Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Please visit GH Service Area for a complete listing of the counties we serve. If you live outside these areas, please DO NOT APPLY.  You may find another Golden Retriever rescue online; and here is one site that lists rescues by state.

As discussed in the video, GH strives to place all dogs we rescue in their forever homes. Since they have been through at least one prior home, we want their next permanent home to be their forever home, and our success rate proves that our adoption process works. This process consists of six steps.

  • 1 Application – Complete and submit an Adoption Application with a $30 processing fee (see link above under More Information).
  • 2 Reference Checks – GH volunteers contact your veterinarian and personal references.
  • 3 Home Visit – A GH volunteer and one of their dogs will visit your home to conduct an interview of the family and determine if the home is a good match for the age and activity level requested in the adoption application. The GH volunteer then submits a home visit report to GH’s Adoption Application Coordinator.
  • 4 Approval – The GH Adoption Application Coordinator determines whether to approve the applicant and then sends a written notification of GH’s decision to the applicant, along with details covering the applicable next steps.
  • 5 Finding a Golden – If approved, watch the website to identify Available Dogs that will fit into your home and lifestyle. When a dog is ready for adoption, you will see a Looking for a Forever Home post. You may then express your interest, using the email link in the post, and the foster family will be alerted and receive a copy of your approval file.
  • 6 Adopting a Golden – If you are selected, before you take your dog home, together with the GH foster home volunteer, you will complete adoption paperwork and pay the donation fee and any refundable fees (e.g., for training). Our job does not end when the paperwork is done. Your dog’s foster parents and other GoldHeart representatives will continue to be available to you. We want to help you make the transition of your new fur kid as seamless as possible.

The fee to adopt a dog from GH follows below. All GH dogs are spayed or neutered, up-to-date on vaccinations, micro-chipped, and on heartworm and flea preventative medications. All dogs under 12 months of age are adopted under a GoldHeart Puppy Contract.

  • $850 – under 12 months
  • $500 – 1 to 4 years
  • $400 – 5 to 7 years
  • $300 - 8 to 10 years
  • $150 - over 10 years

Note: Refundable deposits of $150 for training may be required during the adoption process.

Goldheart Golden Retriever Rescue