AboutFrequently Asked Questions

Many people looking for a new dog are looking for a specific breed (a purebred). Meanwhile, the ASPCA estimates that 3 to 4 million dogs enter animal shelters every year, and roughly 25% of these dogs are purebred.

SPDR forms a valuable link between individuals looking to adopt purebreds and our volunteers with breed-specific expertise. Working with a breed expert helps an adopter find the right dog.

Purebred dogs handled by SPDR typically come from two places: private individuals who need to place their dog into a new home for various reasons, and shelters.

When an SPDR Breed Rep contacts you about an available dog, you may be referred directly to a private individual or to a specific shelter. Breed reps may also have dogs in temporary foster care, and you may be referred there to meet the dog.

SPDR has been honored to maintain positive working relationships with shelters since 1987.

If there is an available dog at a shelter that fits an applicant’s request, a Breed Rep may refer an applicant directly to a shelter to see the dog. In these cases, the adopter must complete the shelter’s paperwork and be approved by the shelter before adopting the dog.

Shelters may also ask SPDR to take dogs that need more time to become adoptable or rehabilitated into foster care.

Because many shelters can only keep dogs for a limited time, SPDR’s relationship with shelters increases the overall numbers of dogs adopted.

A dog available for adoption through SPDR is typically healthy and of good temperament, with an average age between six months to ten years. The dog will…

  • have had a recent vet check
  • be up to date on immunizations
  • be spayed or neutered
  • be microchipped

The range of breeds handled by SPDR varies from year to year, depending on the availability of dogs and volunteers, but typically includes approximately seventy different breeds.

SPDR rarely receives dogs under four months of age. If you feel that a young puppy is right for you, indicate this on your adoption application, but be aware that a purebred puppy may not become available.

As an alternative, our Breed Reps are sometimes able to recommend responsible breeders. Check our Breeds page to see if we currently have a Rep for the breed of your choice, and if so, click on the breed name to leave an e-mail message to see if they may have any specific recommendations for puppies.

A person wanting to adopt through SPDR must carefully review SPDR’s Terms of Adoption before filling out the online Adoption Application. The forms may also be printed, filled out and mailed to SPDR’s post office box.

All applications received by SPDR will be forwarded to the appropriate Breed Representative(s). Because Breed Reps are volunteers, and many have full-time jobs and families, patience is a must when awaiting contact from a Breed Rep.

Most Breed Reps will get back to you within one week, either by e-mail, or phone.

A Breed Representative is a person who has extensive first-hand knowledge and experience with a particular breed, including the specific health, behavioral, and personality traits of that breed.

He or she is responsible for evaluating dogs of a specific breed for adoptability, reviewing adoption applications, screening prospective homes for that breed, and providing ongoing guidance to adopters when needed.

SPDR typically has Breed Reps for close to seventy different breeds.

SPDR’s rescue approach utilizes volunteers called Breed Representatives, who typically possess extensive first-hand knowledge and experience with a particular breed. Few individuals have this level of experience and are willing to volunteer long hours. For that reason, certain breeds may be unrepresented for a period of time, until a new Breed Rep steps forward for training.

SPDR greatly values our Breed Reps for their ongoing commitment and willingness to give so generously of their time in this role.

If we are successful in helping you find a dog, we ask that you make a tax-deductible donation. Your Breed Rep may discuss a specific amount with you, based on the costs incurred in readying a dog for adoption, the age and health status of the dog, and other factors.

SPDR is a registered Washington State charity and a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. As such, we depend on your donations to continue operating. Our Board members and Breed Reps are volunteers, and receive no compensation for the time they spend helping you find a dog.

Upon receipt of your donation, SPDR will mail you a confirmation document that can be used for tax purposes.

SPDR does not handle found dogs. A found dog has the best chance of getting back home if you take it to your local shelter. If no owner claims the dog, SPDR will refer suitable adopters for the dog to the shelter when possible.