Frequently Asked Questions
Do you provide spay and neuter assistance?
May I adopt a dog as a gift for someone?
We know surprises can be fun, but if you wish to give a pet as a gift, we encourage you to involve the lucky recipient as part of the adoption process. This is because we want to make sure everyone responsible for a pet’s care is on board and understand the individual dog’s needs before taking on a lifelong commitment.
We believe a collar tied to an invitation for a meet-and-greet is an exciting way to surprise loved ones about a potential pet. Plus, this allows them to be part of the adoption process – which is half of the fun!
I saw a dog online and now they are gone. What happened?
Many of our animals are adopted within one or two weeks after being listed online. However, there is no limit to the length of time that our dogs remain available for adoption. In some cases, we may care for an animal for several days, weeks, or months (and sometimes even years).
In cases where a dog has received multiple applications, we may decide to remove their online listing. If you don’t see the dog you are interested in, you can always inquire about them by contacting us. Please be aware that our inbox is monitored by our team of volunteers – we do not have any full-time staff – and it may take 48-72 hours to receive a response. We will respond to inquiries and applications in their received order.
How much does it cost to adopt a dog?
Adoption fees help us provide life-saving care for pets who are in need of extensive medical treatment or additional time to find their new family.
Our adoption fee varies depending on the age, medical, and behavioral conditions of the dog. In general, you can expect to pay between $150 and $375 in adoption fees. This does not include the cost of purchasing food, crates, toys or additional veterinary care.
• Puppies (up to 6 months old): $375
• Adult Dogs (6 months – 8 years old): $300
• Senior Dogs (8 years old and up): $150
The cost includes spay/neuter surgery, current vaccinations, preventatives, and a microchip – and of course, a great new family member.
How long does the adoption process take?
The short answer is: it depends, but we do our best to make the process swift and enjoyable. Most often, the entire process from beginning to end takes a couple days to a week. You can read more about what to expect through the adoption process on our Adopt page.
All of our adoptable dogs are in foster care, so the pet’s foster parent or adoption coordinator will let you know about the best way to meet whichever dog has caught your attention.
After you submit your application, we know you may be excited and can’t wait to take steps to adopt your desired pet. Please allow 48-72 hours for a response before sending a follow-up email. We are an all-volunteer organization, meaning we dedicate time to the rescue in between time spent with families and jobs. We get hundreds of emails every day and do our best to respond to them in a timely manner.
Where are you located?
We are an all-volunteer rescue and do not have a shelter facility. All adoptable dogs live in homes with foster families throughout Raleigh-Durham. Meet-and-greets are available by appointment only. To get started, please submit an adoption application and an adoption coordinator will be in touch to discuss the next steps.
I found a dog. What should I do?
It can be difficult to come across a stray dog because many of us do not have the heart to call animal control, thinking the dog you just rescued from potential injury, illness or death on the streets will only be at-risk of being killed in the shelter. You reach out to all of the local rescues you can find, only to be turned away because of space limitations or policies to not take in strays. So what exactly are you supposed to do now?
The Rescue Mission
Use caution in your rescue mission. You have no idea how the pet may react to your presence. A scared, injured, or sick pet may lash out to protect themselves. If you feel threatened, call animal control immediately. Be calm when approaching, and using treats may entice the dog to approach you. Pay attention to the dog’s body language. If an animal breaks the skin, it is considered a bite – no matter how superficial – and that animal will likely not be placed for adoption at an animal shelter. Protect yourself and the dog. They may be scared and bite out of fear, without normally being aggressive.
Before bringing the dog into your home, take steps to protect your personal pets. Keep the dog separated from your animals, especially if your pets are not current on their vaccinations. Flea treatment is always a good idea so that your pets do not become infested. Wash your hands before handling your pets. Use caution when interacting with the dog until you are sure that there are no aggression or food/toy resource-guarding issues.
In Your Care
Don’t assume the dog is unwanted. Assume they have a family somewhere, and begin your search!
1. Contact your county animal shelter. This is always the first place a pet’s family would turn to when looking for a lost pet. In addition, nearly every community in N.C. requires that found stray pets are reported to the local animal shelter and held for a minimum number of days (usually 3-5 days) to allow time for the pet’s legal caregiver to come forward, before they are rehomed. When you speak with the shelter, leave a detailed description of the dog in case the caregiver contacts them to see if their pet has been turned in. If you are unable to keep the dog safe in your care until their family can be found, then you need to take the dog to the shelter. Most rescues cannot take in stray animals.
2. Take the dog to a vet or local shelter to have them scanned for a microchip. This is a quick way to identify the legal caregivers and their information should be registered to the microchip if there is one implanted in the dog.
3. Post fliers in the area where you found the dog and at local veterinarians and pet stores. Pass out fliers in the area where you found them. Post the dog to Facebook, lost and found pages, and have your friends share your posts. Note the dog’s ability to be around other dogs/kids/cats. Look in the newspaper for a “Lost Pet” ad, or run an ad yourself for “Found Pet.” Be especially cautious if listing the dog as “Free to Good Home” on Craigslist or Facebook. While not common, there have been instances in which pets have been used as bait for fighting rings, used to feed predators, tortured, or sold to laboratories for medical research.
4. Do NOT give the dog away! You can be prosecuted for not following legal procedures in your county. You must report the dog to the animal shelter/animal control and either bring them in to the shelter or hold them for the legally mandated time before attempting to find them a home or keeping them yourself.
Congratulations, You Found the Owner!
Make sure the owner is able to describe any markings not shown in photos, or unique personality traits. Ask for proof of ownership.
Try not to judge. It might be easy to assume that the caregiver is neglectful, but remember that accidents happen – a leash or collar breaks, a gate is unsecured, kids left the door open, etc. A skittish dog may not be abused, but scared at being lost and out of their comfort zone. Matted fur might not indicate neglect, but too long on their own in the outdoors. An intact dog might mean that the caregiver couldn’t afford neuter surgery (in which case, you can kindly educate the owner about low-cost surgery options). It doesn’t take long for a dog out in the elements to become very thin and ragged looking. They may have had someone searching for months for them.
Information adapted from Response-a-Bull Rescue and Shelter for the Misunderstood.
Does your organization accept in-kind donations?
Absolutely! As a non-profit organization, we can always use in-kind donations, and our Wish List contains items that we use daily.
We also have donation drop-off boxes at Pet Supplies Plus in Raleigh or Phydeaux in Chapel Hill and Raleigh. For larger items or to request a local pickup, please contact us.
Thank you for your support!
Can I surrender my dog to Hope?
If you wish to keep your pet but are having a hard time and are considering rehoming your pet, please let us know what kind of help you need. Our Pet Assistance Program can provide direct support or referrals for help whether you need veterinary care assistance, behavior and training help, pet supplies, or other resources.
Our goal is to help keep you and your pet united, but if you have decided you need to rehome your dog, visit our Rehoming resources page for tips on how you may rehome your dog independently. If you are willing and able to keep your pet until they are in their new home, we can give you support in safely rehoming your dog. Be aware that it is our mission to save dogs that are already at risk in shelters, and our ability to take in dogs directly from the public is very limited.
We hope you will understand why our policy is not to routinely accept direct animal surrenders from the public. While you are hopefully exhausting every option, your pet is safe. The innocent dog with the goofy smile in the county shelter may not be safe. Please give your pet every chance possible to be safely placed in a new home.
How can I help save lives?
Interested in learning how you can help Hope Animal Rescue? We make it easy to get involved!
Your support directly determines how many lives we can save each month. Consider donating online or donating an item from our wish list [new link coming soon!].
Having foster homes available directly impacts the number of lives Hope can save each day. Fill out a foster application to open your home and your heart to a homeless dog.
Hope relies on a dedicated volunteer force to implement our mission and endorse the dogs in our care. Sign up to volunteer today!
When you adopt a pet, you save not one, but two lives – the life of the animal you bring into your home, and the life of an animal still waiting for a kennel to open up at a local shelter. Check out our adoptable dogs online to meet the newest member of your family.
Do you rescue all breeds of dog?
We are proud to be an all-breed dog rescue committed to improving the lives of stray and abandoned pets in North Carolina. We promote the compassionate and humane treatment of all animals, regardless of breed, age, or species.