Adoption Application

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If you have never owned a Golden Retriever, we strongly encourage you to review our FAQ page which provides information on what a Golden is and what a Golden isn’t. These are active dogs that love water, shed like crazy – even with the required periodic grooming, and want lots of attention. You also need to be aware that the average cost of providing veterinary care, food, grooming, pet sitting/boarding and supplies for a healthy Golden Retriever is about $3,000 a year.

If you would like to adopt a Golden and are within our service area (see below for more informatoin), please fill out and submit the application. There is a $30 non-refundable application fee that must be received before your approval process can be completed. This small fee will help defer a portion of the costs of preparing our rescued Goldens for adoption. Many of the dogs require vaccinations, need to be spayed or neutered, and may need grooming in the case of extremely matted coats. We encourage you to use PayPal to submit this processing fee. If you prefer, you may send a $30 check to the address at the top of this page.

Note: Effective January 1, 2017, each approved applicant will be granted a complimentary membership for the calendar year they are approved; and for those applicants approved during October – December of the calendar year, the applicant will receive a complimentary membership through the following calendar year.


(1) GOLDHEART supports the importance of altering (spay/neuter) of pets, and generally, will not adopt, foster-to-adopt, or place fosters in homes with intact dogs. If your home has an intact dog, and there is a veterinary supported reason not to neuter/spay, please check with GoldHeart for an exception decision prior to submitting an adoption/foster-to-adopt/foster application by sending an email to If you proceed to submit an application without exception approval from GoldHeart’s Adoption Application Coordinator, your processing fee will not be returned.

(2) GOLDHEART’s all-volunteer team periodically faces application backlogs, resulting in a 6-12 week processing time. We appreciate your patience and understanding, and apologize in advance, but it may be many weeks before we get to your application. If you are interested in a senior, or a dog with special needs currently listed at our website under Available Dogs, please include that you are interested in (dog name and GH#) with your application request.

Absent a backlog, it normally takes our volunteers 4 to 6  weeks from the date we receive an application and processing fee to complete the application approval process.

Again, GoldHeart only operates in parts of Maryland, south-central Pennsylvania, and Delaware.  Please go to GH Service Area for a complete listing of the counties we serve.  If you live outside our area, you may find a Golden Retriever rescue through the National Rescue Committee.

Application options include using the (1) online application for electronic submittal or (2) printing the hard copy **pdf form, completing, and either scan/email to or mail it to GoldHeart  at PO Box 394, Chester, MD 21619.  Payment options are discussed below.

Note:  Please check your Spam/Junk email folder for communications from GoldHeart if you haven’t heard from us within 6 weeks of submitting your application.  We have no control over your Internet provider and how they block/filter incoming email. 

Also, if you already have a dog and want to volunteer to help GoldHeart (we are in dire need  home visit volunteers  throughout our service area, especially in the South – Central, PA and  Montgomery County, MD areas),  please contact

PAYMENT –  You can submit your $30 application fee via PayPal or Check/Money Order. If you use the online form, you will be directed to PayPal during that process. For your convenience, the link below will direct you to PayPal if you prefer to pay online for an application you are either emailing or mailing in (be sure to tell us what the payment is for).