Adoption FAQs

AdoptionFrequently Asked Questions

A person who wants to adopt through SPDR begins by carefully reviewing SPDR’s Terms of Adoption,
and submitting an Adoption Application. The application can be submitted using our efficient online
process at, or by downloading and printing the form from our website and mailing
it to SPDR’s post office box. If you are unable to print the application, you may phone 206-654-1117
and ask to have it mailed to you. The application will be processed by SPDR and forwarded to the
appropriate Breed Rep(s).

A Breed Representative (“Breed Rep”) is a person who has first-hand knowledge and years of
experience with a particular breed. They are responsible for evaluating dogs of their specific breed for
adoptability and screening prospective homes for that breed, in order to make the best match possible.
SPDR has Breed Reps for over 75 different breeds.

On average, you should be contacted within a week for online forms and ten business days for mailed

A Breed Rep’s goal is to find the most suitable homes for dogs of her breed. Not every home is right for
every dog. The Rep will review your application, and contact you to ask additional questions, in order
to determine whether she thinks her breed would make a good pet for you. If the answer is yes, she will
tell about currently available dogs. If no dogs are currently available that meet your needs, she will put
you on a waiting list. If the answer is no she may ask if you wish to consider other breeds.

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 dogs surrendered to Puget Sound area shelters.
When the Breed Rep contacts you about an available dog, you may be referred directly to a private
individual, or to a specific shelter. Occasionally, Breed Reps will have dogs in temporary foster care,
and you may be referred there to visit the dog.

If SPDR receives notification from a shelter about a dog that matches your request, the Breed Rep will
refer you directly to that shelter. You would be required to go through that shelter’s approval process,
and, if approved, would adopt the dog directly from them. Most shelters can only keep dogs in their
care for a very limited time–an adopter notified about a dog in a shelter should act promptly.

The timing varies, depending on the availability of the breed(s) you have requested, and/or the specific
adoption characteristics you are looking for. The more specific an adopter’s requirements are, the longer
it will take to find a dog that meets them. An adopter who wants a chocolate female Labrador Retriever
under six months of age will probably have a much longer wait than another adopter willing to consider
a Labrador Retriever of any age, sex, and color. Likewise, SPDR might see 90 Labrador Retrievers
available for adoption one year, and only 20 the next.
In short, it is often impossible to tell… however each Breed Rep should be able to give you his or her best
guess about this. Adopters should expect to spend some time working with the Breed Rep to find the
best possible dog for them.

Adopters are under no obligation to accept any dog referred by SPDR. If you feel a dog is not right for
you, notify the Breed Rep. The Rep will continue to refer you to other likely prospects until the right
match is found.

No. Listers are not selling their dogs, they are placing them into new homes through SPDR’s referral
network and are not permitted to ask for compensation. If a lister expects to be paid for a dog, contact
the Breed Rep or SPDR’s message line and let us know.

If we are successful in helping you find a dog, we ask that you make a tax-deductible “adoption
donation.” The usual adoption donation is in the $50-$400 range. Your Breed Rep may discuss a
specific amount with you, based on our expenses for the dog you adopt.
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 that can be used for tax purposes.