Frequently Asked Questions
The FAQs below answer the most common questions asked by potential adopters. Please feel free to contact us if your question is not answered below.
I’ve seen a Caring Hearts Rescue dog I like on the Caring Hearts Rescue website, Petfinder.com, Adopt-a-Pet.com, or another website. What do I do next?
The first thing to do is complete our application by visiting this link:
We will check your references and our Adoption Team will discuss your application.
If the Adoption Team thinks the dog is a good match for you, a volunteer will call you to discuss the dog in greater detail. If the Adoption Team feels it is not a good match, you will receive an email from us within two weeks.
If you are approved for adoption, we will arrange for a volunteer to come to your home for a visit. The purpose of the home visit is to meet the prospective adopter(s) and to see the environment in which the dog will live.
Finally, we will arrange for you to meet the dog. In most cases, if you want to proceed with the adoption, you can usually adopt the dog that same day.
Can I come visit the dog I'm interested in before applying?
Like most rescues, we do not have a physical facility or shelter where you can come and meet our dogs. All our dogs are housed in private foster homes. To meet a dog, we ask you to complete an application. If you are matched with the dog you are applying for, you will have an opportunity to meet the dog during the rest of the application process, usually within a week of being approved. We do occasionally have adoption events at local venues such as pet stores where you can meet some of our dogs (check our Facebook page or Events section of our website for more information).
Can someone call me on the telephone? I have questions about one or more of your dogs.
We suggest that you complete our application and put your questions in the Comments box at the end of our application. If a dog is matched with you, a volunteer will call you to provide more specific information about the dog. During that discussion, you will have the opportunity to ask all the questions you have about the dog for which you are applying.
I understand that your rescue only adopts to homes in the inner suburbs of the Washington, DC Metro area.
How do you define the “inner suburbs of the Washington, DC Metro area”?
We are defining this area broadly as including the District of Columbia, Fairfax County, Montgomery County, close-in parts of Prince George’s County, close-in parts of Prince William County, Arlington County, Alexandria, and close-in parts of Loudoun County. Even if you live within this area, we reserve the right not to consider your application if we have no volunteers available to conduct a home visit to your neighborhood. If in doubt about whether you are within our service area, please ask us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why do you have this policy?
We require a home visit as part of the adoption process.
We are a small, all-volunteer, local organization and have only a few volunteers at any given time who can conduct a home visit.
Most of our volunteers live in the Northern Virginia area. Sometimes we don’t have any volunteers who can conduct a home visit outside Northern Virginia.
Each of our dogs receives multiple applications. We give priority to applicants who are local.
Do you ever make exceptions?
We are very sorry but we cannot make any exceptions. We know this policy will disappoint some applicants but we are asking that you respect our policy.
Why does your rescue not adopt to families with children under 11?
We're very careful when there are young children in the household because we will not risk the safety of a child. Many of our dogs are fearful, were abused in the past, or come from unknown backgrounds. Therefore, we do not know how they will react around children. Even the best behaved dog can snap or bite if stressed.
It’s been a day/a few days/several weeks since I applied and I have not heard back from your rescue regarding the status of my application. What’s going on?
We try our best to keep up with the many daily email inquiries and applications that we receive but sometimes we fall behind. However, we do strive to respond to every application within two weeks. Please know that we appreciate the time you took to complete our application and understand how anxious and excited you are to bring a dog into your family.
I want a small breed dog from Caring Hearts Rescue but don’t know which one to pick. Can you help me?
It is hard for us to make suggestions about a suitable dog unless we have had the chance to review your application. Please take a look at all our available dogs. Complete an application, indicate which dogs you are interested in, and we will help you select a suitable dog after you have been approved for adoption.
What is the adoption fee for a Caring Hearts Rescue dog?
The adoption fee for puppies and dogs of any age who have had extensive veterinary care is $400. The fee for all other dogs is $375.
Thank you for your interest in a Caring Hearts Rescue dog. Millions of dogs find themselves homeless each year and we are grateful that you have chosen to adopt one.