1/21/2024 - Current Adoption Application Status - PLEASE READ

Thank you for your interest in adopting a dog.  GRIN takes great care in matching our dogs with the most suitable families and home environments, and our adoption process has proven to be effective. If our process appears time consuming or complicated, please understand that GRIN has the dogs’, as well as your, best interests at heart. 

To foster or adopt you MUST: 

- Live in GRIN's service area (see map on the right)

- Be able to demonstrate a history of proper vetting in accordance with your veterinarian's instructions including annual heartworm testing and regular heartworm prevention. If you do not meet this criteria please DO NOT APPLY as your application will be rejected.

Note: If you are planning to be on vacation or not available to adopt in the next month or two for some reason please wait until you are available before submitting your application.


Before submitting the application, we need for you to understand the following: 

  1. Many of the dogs that come into our care are puppy mill survivors that have very specific needs. We encourage you to  CLICK HERE  to review this article so that you understand the special needs these dogs may have. 
  2. Adopters can only use positive training methods.  Adopters cannot use punishment training methods (shock, stimulation, or prong collars).
  3. The adopted dog will be kept in the home when the family is sleeping or away from home as opposed to an outdoor kennel, doghouse, garage, etc.
  4. Applicants cannot have an unaltered dog in the home unless they are used as part of a reputable breeding operation or for show.
  5. For safety reasons, GRIN does not permit doggy doors or other means for the dog to access the outdoors unsupervised.
  6. Golden Retrievers have a lot of energy and require a great deal of daily exercise, mental stimulation, and affection from their people.  We encourage potential adoption candidates to research the breed to ensure it is a good fit for your home and lifestyle.
  7. For the safety and well-being of your family, we do not adopt dogs out to homes with children under the age of 10 if there is no background on the dog. Puppies are the only exception. 
  8. For dogs under the age of 6 a fence is required. The fence must be a physical fence that is at least 4 feet high or a GRIN approved invisible fence, brand names such as Invisible Fence, Petsafe, Pittsburgh Pet Fence and Doglok.  If an invisible fence, we require a training package to be purchased to formally train the dog on the fence.  At this time wireless invisible fences, such as Halo and RadioFence, are not approved.  GRIN requires the invisible fence to have static boundaries that cannot be modified or moved. 
  9. Please CLICK HERE  to visit our Frequently Asked Questions section of our website for more detailed questions about our application and adoption process.

The application process consists of several steps, please read through those steps in the section below.  The process requires the time of a number of volunteers.  If you are unsure about adopting or do not meet the needs as outlined above, at this time we ask that you refrain from completing an application.

If you meet our requirements, live in our service area and are interested in fostering or adoption you can  CLICK HERE to access the online adoption application.  Please note the application process is the same for potential adopters or fosters.

Step 1: Complete the Online Application

Step 2: Vet Check/Phone interview

After submitting your application GRIN will contact your veterinarian to ensure your pet is current on vaccinations, heartworm testing and heartworm prevention. Please be sure to contact your vet to give them permission to speak with our volunteer.  After an acceptable vet check, you will be contacted for a phone interview.

Step 3:  Home Visit

The next step in the approval process is a home visit. Please note that during the pandemic home visits may be conducted via FaceTime. All family members must be present during the home visit – No Exceptions. We are an all-volunteer organization and will work with you to accommodate your schedule. The home visit allows for a volunteer from GRIN to see firsthand the environment your home presents for a dog. The volunteer will want to see where the dog will sleep, eat, and be kept when you are away from home. The volunteer will also inspect the fence around your home to ensure it is appropriate for containing a dog. After the home visit, the volunteer will provide a detailed report of the visit to the applications coordinator.  At this time, your application will either be approved or denied.

Step 4:  Making the Match

Once you have been approved for adoption, you will be contacted as soon as we believe we have a dog that is a possible match for your family.  It could be a day, several weeks or several months. Please keep in mind this depends on how many dogs we are receiving and our ability to match the applicant with the appropriate dog. We work extremely hard to match the right dog with the right family based on the dog’s needs and the requirements you have requested.  We use the information provided in your application and gathered from our home visit along with the evaluation provided by the foster home to match dogs to the best home possible. 

Step 5:  Meet & Greet

One of the most important steps in this process is the “meet & greet” with your potential new family member. When we believe we have a good match you will receive a call from a member of the adoption team who will give you a brief description of the dog.  If you are interested, we will ask the foster family to call you to share their observations and information about the dog’s habits and temperament. This is also your opportunity to ask specific questions about the dog.  You and the foster family, together, determine if you should proceed to the next step – a “meet & greet”. The “meet & greet” takes place at the foster’s home since this is where the dog is most comfortable. Please note you may have to travel to meet the dog as GRIN foster homes are scattered across the GRIN service area (map to the right).  Every member of the household, including your dog(s) and children, must be present at the “meet & greet.” 

Step 6:  Decision Time!

Adopting a golden is an important decision and can be very emotional, so we want you and your family to think carefully about it and not make an emotional decision. We want to ensure you are making the best decision for everyone involved, including the dog. While you are making your decision, the foster family will also be communicating with the Adoption Coordinator to provide their feedback. If everyone agrees the “meet & greet” was successful, we move forward with finalizing the adoption details.   

Step 7:  Adoption Day!

Please come prepared to review and sign the adoption contract and pay the adoption fee.  You can pay by check, Venmo, PayPal or credit card.  You will receive any medical information, contact information to have the dog's records transferred to your vet, microchip information, as well as take home instructions from the foster home.

Step 8: Follow-Up

Our job at GRIN does not end when you sign the adoption papers.  We will follow-up with you periodically. We also encourage you to contact us with any questions after the adoption is finalized.  Transitioning a new “family member” can be difficult and we want to help make your experience a positive one.  We thank you for supporting our rescue!

 Current GRIN Adoption Fees (Effective September, 2019)

Pup to 12 months $500
1-3 years $400
4-7 years $300
8+ Golden Gems $150
Special Needs Determined on a case by case basis
Pairs $50 off adoption fee of each dog based on age
International Dogs     $800

Common Questions and Answers

Unfortunately, we are limited to where we have volunteers to support our activities. GRIN’s adoption process includes a home visit, and we must remain in the area in which our home visit volunteers are willing to travel. For a Golden rescue in your area, please visit Golden Retriever Rescue Network.
Now that you have applied for a GRIN dog, we trust you like and understand the Golden Retriever and are knowledgeable about the breed’s needs. That being said, here are some reasons why we discourage approved applicants from “picking out” a dog…
Yes, we are always looking for foster homes. Foster homes provide our Goldens the great start they need on their way to new lives. These homes provide the love, care, training and confidence that will help a dog adjust to a new environment. Without foster homes we are limited in the number of Goldens we can take into our program. It is an extremely fulfilling opportunity and yes it is sad when they go but what joy it brings to know what a difference you made in that dog’s life.
If your application is over 18 months old we would ask that you complete a new application to ensure we have the most current information on file about you and your household.
GRIN does require a fence for all dogs under 6 years of age. This rule was implemented after a number of incidents that put the safety of our dogs at risk. Some dogs come to us as strays or frightened and can be a flight risk.
Before being adopted out GRIN provides all of the necessary medical care including vaccinations, spay/neuter, and treatment for various medical or behavioral issues. GRIN spends an average of $1,200 per dog.
GRIN is a 100% volunteer organization. We are all volunteers and have jobs, families and outside commitments. If you feel your application has gone too long without contact, please visit our contact information section to make outreach to the applications team.
For a complete list of common questions and answers click on any of the above questions