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Frequently Asked Questions

HAR has a Community Assistance Program to help provide high-quality, affordable spay and neuter services through our partner vets. Contact Us for more information.

Our Community Assistance Program helps provide high-quality, free and low-cost services to accommodate families who may not be able to afford comprehensive veterinary care for their companion animals. For more information, Contact Us.

Yes! We’re always seeking volunteers to help in a variety of areas including adoptions, design, fundraising, and outreach. And we can always use volunteers to help us with clerical services, special events, and to provide foster-care homes for recovering sick and injured animals. Please see the Volunteer section for more information on how you can help at Hope Animal Rescue.

We require all adopters to have a meet and greet before adoption, which means we do not permit gift or surprise adoptions. This is because we want to make sure all parties are on board with the dog and understand the individual dog’s needs before taking on a lifelong commitment.

We believe a collar tied to an invitation for one of our weekly adoption events is an exciting way to surprise loved ones about a potential pet. Plus, this allows them to be part of the adoption process (which we think is half the fun!).

Most of our animals are adopted within one or two weeks, 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).

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 $125 and $325 in adoption fees. This does not include the cost of purchasing food, crates, toys or additional veterinary care.

• Puppies (up to 1 year old): $325
• Adult Dogs (1–8 years old): $275
• Senior Dogs (8 years old and up): $125

The cost includes spay/neuter surgery, current vaccinations, preventatives, and a microchip – and of course, a great new family member.

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, however, if it has been more than 72 hours and you haven’t received a response, Contact our executive director and she will respond as soon as possible.

Adoptable dogs are placed in homes with foster families and can be seen by appointment or at one of our weekly adoption Events throughout Raleigh-Durham, NC.

It can be difficult to come across a stray pet because many of us do not have the heart to call animal control, thinking the pet you just rescued from certain death on the streets will only be 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 himself. If you feel threatened, call animal control immediately. Be calm when approaching, and using treats may entice him to approach you. Pay attention to the pet’s body language. If an animal breaks the skin, it is considered a bite – no matter how superficial – and that animal will NOT be placed for adoption at an animal shelter. Protect yourself and the animal. They may be scared and bite out of fear, without normally being aggressive.

  • Before bringing the animal into your home, take steps to protect your personal pets. Keep them 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, and wash your hands before handling your pets. Use caution when interacting with them until you are sure that there are no aggression or food/toy resource-guarding issues.

In Your Care

  • Don’t assume the pet is unwanted. Assume they have a family somewhere, and begin your search:

    • Call animal control. This is always the first place an owner would turn to when looking for a lost pet. Leave a detailed description of the pet in case the owner contacts them to see if their pet has been turned in. If you are unable to keep the pet safe in your care until his family can be found, then you need to take the pet to animal control. Most rescues cannot take in stray animals.

    • Take the pet to a vet or local shelter to have him scanned for a microchip. This is a quick way to identify the owners and their information should be registered to the microchip if there is one implanted in the pet.

    • Post fliers in the area where you found the pet, and at local veterinarians and pet stores. Pass out fliers in the area where you found him. Post the pet to Facebook, lost and found pages, and have your friends share your posts. Note the pet’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.” Never post the pet “Free to Good Home” on Craigslist or Facebook. These pets are often used as bait for fighting rings, snake food, torture, or sold to laboratories for medical research.

    • Do NOT give the dog away! You can be prosecuted for not following legal procedures. You must report the animal to the proper authorities, and either bring the animal in, 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 hard not to assume that the owner is neglectful, but remember that accidents happen – a leash or collar breaks, an unsecured gate, kids left the door open, etc. A skittish dog may not be abused, but scared at being lost and out of his comfort zone. Matted fur might not indicate neglect, but too long on his own in the outdoors. An intact dog might mean that the owner’s couldn’t afford neuter surgery (in which case, you can kindly educate the owner about low cost surgery). 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.

Yes, absolutely! Hope Animal Rescue’s Wish List is made up of items that we use on a daily basis. We always need donations to stay in operation. We have donation drop-off boxes at Pet Supplies Plus in Raleigh (off I-440 and Wake Forest Road), or at Phydeaux in Chapel Hill and Phydeaux in Raleigh. For larger items, or to request pickup, please Contact Us.

Thank you for your generosity!

Our Wish List

  • Frontline Plus or Advantage (Any Size)
  • Dry and Canned Dog Food
  • Puppy Pads
  • Kongs and Nylabones
  • Humane Animal Traps
  • Kongs and Nylabones
  • Healthy Dog Treats
  • Soft Puppy Toys

    We are at adoption events every weekend throughout the Triangle, and gladly accept donations of all kinds. Please check out Events page for details.

    Checks can be mailed to 5008 Miller Drive, Durham, NC 27704.

    Thank you for your support!

    If you need to surrender your dog, submit an owner surrender request and a volunteer will respond within 72 hours. Be aware that it is our mission to save dogs that are already at risk in shelters. Therefore, submitting an application does not guarantee your dog will be admitted into our rescue.

    Rehoming Your Dog

    We realize there may come a time when you feel you must give up your pet for one reason or another, and while we hope you will stop to consider everything that your dog is to you, please remember what you mean to your pet – you are his/her sole protector. Millions of pets across the country will never have a person care enough about them to even attempt to find a safe home.

    Therefore, we hope you will understand why it is our policy not to accept animal surrenders from the public. While you are hopefully exhausting every option, your pet is safe. The innocent dog with the goofy smile who is scheduled to be killed is not safe. Please give your pet every chance possible to be safely placed in a new home.

    If, after all of your efforts, he or she ends up in the tragic predicament of all too many – it is then, with our resources focused on providing a chance to pets facing certain death – rescues will try to help (if we can and your dog hasn’t run out of time).

    Below are resources we strongly recommend you review before making any decisions regarding your beloved family companion:

    *Please note: Surrender requests will only be considered after pictures of the dog have been provided. Thank you for doing your best to ensure your companion finds a safe and loving forever home.

    Interested in learning how you can help Hope? We make it super easy to get involved!


    Your support directly determines how many lives we can save each month. Consider donating online, mailing a check, or donating an item from our Wish List.


    Having temporary, loving homes available directly impacts the number of lives HAR is able to save each day. Fill out a Foster Application online to open your home and your heart to save a life.


    HAR relies on a dedicated volunteer force to implement our mission and enrich the lives of dogs in our care. Sign up to Volunteer today!


    When you adopt a pet from HAR, 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.

    Hope Animal Rescue is proud to be an all-breed dog rescue committed to improving the lives of stray and abandoned pets in North Carolina. We promote compassionate and humane treatment of all animals, regardless of breed, age or species.