How do I pay my adoption fee?

You can pay your fee with a credit card online through our PAY PAGE.

Why is there a $10 application fee?

The pandemic has created an increased interest in dog adoptions, which is excellent, but it has also led to many applicants bypassing reading the bios of the dogs they apply for, or applying multiple times on the same day for the different dogs, which has increased wait times for everyone as we have to review and consolidate all applications.

We hope this fee will encourage all applicants to THOROUGHLY read the REQUIREMENTS for the dogs, listed on their bios, BEFORE they applying to ensure that their home meets those requirements.

The second reason for this is we are receiving many applications that are considered “abandoned”. When we reply to them 2-4 days later the applicant has already moved on, and adopted or purchased a dog elsewhere.

The fee will be applied to your adoption fee, if successful. Paying the fee does not guarantee that you will be matched with a dog.

Can I adopt outside of Los Angeles?

All adopters must be in the Los Angeles, SOMETIMES to OC, or OJAI on a case by case basis.
We are currently not placing dogs with applicants outside of Los Angeles, including NorCal, or other states. You can find adoptable pets in your area by going to Petfinder.com and putting in your zip code. We will not ship dogs nor put them in a transport.

How do I prepare my home for a new dog?

We recommend that you start with the basics, a collar or harnessleash and a tag with a legible phone number on it. Be sure that the collar fits snugly not allowing more than 2 finger widths to fit between the neck and the collar.

At least one dog bed that can be moved around from room to room as your new dog will prefer to hang out in the same room you are. A crate; not all dogs need a crate, but many dogs thrive while having a place to “nest”, especially at night or when you are gone for short periods of time.

Dog bowls for food during mealtimes and water to be available at all times, some chews such as dog-specific bones or bully sticks, good quality dog-treats, a couple of toys to start (most dogs prefer plush toys that squeak and can fit in their mouths), and high quality dog food (we prefer grain-fee).

Not all dogs have the need to chew, but many do, especially puppies! Scan the floor for items such as pencils, paperclips, coins, etc.

If you have children, ask them to keep their special items, plush toys, crayons, etc. in a high location away from the dog’s reach. Your new dog may not be able to distinguish between its squeaky toy and your child’s favorite teddy bear.

Taping or tucking electrical, phone, and computer cords up and way from reach is especially important.

If you have an open trash can in your kitchen, you may want to move it behind a cabinet door such as under the sink. If this is not possible, replacing an open trash can with a secure lid is highly advised.

Keep cleaning supplies and poisons locked away! Rat poisons, roach hotels, and other poisons should not be used when having a dog or puppy in the house. If they must be used, make sure they are picked up before a dog can find it and chew on it like a toy (we are speaking from experience here).

Our adoption fair locations are equipped with knowledgeable staff and great supplies to get you started. Ask us for a coupon!

Can I take a dog home on a trial basis?

Yes! All adult dogs will go home with you for a free, week long Trial Adoption (aka foster-to-adopt) This is based on an approved ADOPTION application.

This is a great way to see how your other pets get along with a new member of their pack or to test the dog if someone in your home suffers from allergies. If you suffer from allergies, please let us know so we can recommend a suitable breed for your condition.

If at the end of the week you do not feel that the dog is a good fit for you we can either re-home the dog with a new foster, or hopefully you will continue to foster the dog until a permanent home is found.

In general, very young puppies are not up for trial periods as we prefer not to disturb their environments until a firm commitment is made. Since they are puppies, their true personality has not yet developed and it is the new owner’s duty to form and shape the puppy’s behavior as it matures.

What if the dog doesn’t work out in my home?

If for any reason your adopted dog does not work out in your home after a basic adjustment period, Dogs Without Borders will accept the dog back to re-home. However, we ask for your patience in finding a suitable foster home before you can relinquish it. If the dog must be returned immediately, it is up to the owner to board it at a boarding facility until a proper volunteer foster home is found. Since we do not have our own kennel, we cannot take returned dogs on an immediate basis. We are also here to guide you through any complications that may arise in terms of behavior or health issues. We are not certified trainers or veterinarians, but we do know a thing or two about dogs and hope that our guidance will help prevent unnecessary re-homing of a dog.

Please consider hiring a trainer, behaviourist or attending a class. You can see a list of recommended professionals here.

What should I expect during a home inspection?

We look for a safe and positive environment for a dog but it depends on each specific dog’s needs. In general, we make sure there are no ways a dog can escape, such as gaps in a fence, or balcony that may pose a major risk. We also look for evidence of harmful chemicals such as rat poisons, roach hotels, automotive supplies (such as antifreeze, which tastes sweet to animals) or things like loose wires that could pose a threat (especially if adopting a puppy!).

Keeping your trash behind closed cabinet doors, or in a trash can with a secure lid are highly recommended. If we find a potential hazard, depending on the danger level, we may wait until the hazard is fixed prior to allowing the dog to move to its new home.

Why am I being contacted for a home visit several months after my adoption?

Our home check team is made up of volunteers who try to coordinate follow up visits with their neighbours at everyone’s earliest convenience, but we’re not always able to complete them as timely as we might like. We appreciate your assistance in helping us wrap these up.

What does the adoption process include?

The first step is an Adoption Application, followed by a quick interview with a Dogs Without Borders representative and then a home visit to ensure the dog will be going to a safe environment. Upon adoption you will be asked to sign an Adoption Agreement.

We ensure each dog is current on shots, micro-chipped, and spayed/neutered and you will be provided with your new dogs vaccination/health records, spay/neuter certificate, and micro-chip number when the adoption is completed. If you are adopting a puppy that is too young to spay or neuter, Dogs Without Borders is responsible for sending you to a clinic of our choice for the procedure to be completed at our cost once the puppy is old enough for the procedure.

How long does it hear back after submitting an application?

We try to follow up with all adoption applicants within 48 business hours (holidays and special events may shift this schedule) however due to increased interest during the pandemic it may take up to 4 business days to get a reply.


Foster applications can take a bit longer to process. We appreciate your patience.

Do you allow out of state adoptions?

We do not ship or transport dogs. We will only adopt outside of the LA area under special circumstances, but not usually.  Although our borders are open to dogs in need no matter where they are from, they are closed when it comes to adoption in case a dog needs to be returned to us.

Can I meet a dog before I apply to adopt?

Not during COVID.

We are not holding any adoption affairs nor doing any meet and greets until it is safe to do so.

Can I come to your shelter to meet dogs?

No, we are a foster-based rescue and do not have a facility that you can visit. Our dogs live in private homes with volunteers. The best way to meet our dogs is to come to one of our weekend adoption fairs.


How much does it cost to adopt?

Senior dogs over 10 years: $325 + $10 paypal fee (no fee with a check)
Adult dogs over 1 year: $400 + $12 paypal fee (no fee with a check)
Puppies 6-12 months: $450 + $14 paypal fee (no fee with a check)
Puppies under 6 months: $500 + $15 paypal fee (no fee with a check)


Pigs: $500 + $15 paypal fee (no fee with a check)
Adult cats over 1 year: $150 + $5 paypal fee (no fee with a check)
Kittens 6-12 months: $175 + $6 paypal fee (no fee with a check)
Kittens under 6 months: $200 + $7 paypal fee (no fee with a check)


Why can I foster a dog but still be denied to adopt the same dog?

This is a great question and we understand that it’s confusing.

In many cases, dogs and fosters are a perfect match, and have a routine and boundaries that make sure everyone is happy and thriving. This is most often the case with experienced dog owners, and dogs who have been in the rescue more than 2 weeks.

In other cases, the dog is new to rescue, and the foster is the person helping us get to know more about the new dog, and helping us learn what their long term needs may be.

If we determine that a dog’s LONG TERM needs are different than what the foster can provide we may not approve that adoption. It doesn’t mean the foster is a bad home, it doesn’t mean the foster would be denied for all dogs across the board. We place dogs in homes on a CASE BY CASE basis, evaluating their individual needs and striving to ensure a dog that will be happy in that home for its entire life.

Let’s say we get a dog from the shelter who is noted as aggressive toward other dogs — we will likely place that dog in a foster home WITHOUT other dogs.

A week or so later, after the dog has decompressed, we find that it was just the stress of the shelter causing them to act out, and in fact they LOVE other dogs and would be HAPPIEST in a home with a playmate. Well, we have a dilemma because we don’t want to move the dog to a new foster home if we don’t have to, but we also think the dog would do best in a home with another dog LONG TERM. This foster would not be an ideal candidate to adopt this particular dog.

We believe that people can be incredible short term guardians for a dog but not necessarily be equipped to give THAT dog its best life.

Our MISSION is to match dogs to their perfect home, not just any home.

How long does it hear back after submitting an application?

We try to follow up with all adoption applicants within 48 business hours (holidays and special events may shift this schedule) however due to increased interest during the pandemic it may take up to 4 business days to get a reply.


Foster applications can take a bit longer to process. We appreciate your patience.

I have a secure yard. Can I leave my foster dog outside when I’m at work?


I’ve applied to be a foster but haven’t heard back. Was I rejected?

We contact every foster and every adoption applicant, regardless of whether or not you are approved.

Please allow our staff 2 business days to get in touch with you – noting that they are at fairs on the weekend and may not review applications until Monday.

If you still haven’t heard from us please check your spam folder and your voice mail! We have a busy schedule and if we can’t reach you we will leave a message or try another way.

If it’s been more than 2 business days (not counting the weekend!) and you don’t have an email or voicemail you can follow up by emailing foster@dogswithoutborders.org

We try our best to be as prompt as we can be but sometimes emergencies throw the schedule.

What is the fostering time commitment?

We ask for a minimum of two weeks to help the dog settle into a routine. We prefer the dog stay in the same foster home until adopted, as the goal is to give our rescued friends the love and stability they need until they find their forever people, but understand that is not always possible.

What happens if I am fostering a dog and it is not a good fit?

We work very hard to support our Fosters throughout the entire process. If for some reason your foster dog is simply not working out in your home, please provide us with a 48 hour notice to ensure another appropriate place is found.

What happens if I am fostering a dog and it is too good a fit and I would like to adopt?

We understand that this is a likely scenario and would like to support our foster parents if they choose to adopt provided that they qualify to adopt (standard application process) and that there are no pending applications for the dog. The standard adoption fee applies. We would love to discount our dogs to our volunteers but unfortunately our vet bills don’t feel the same way. If you think you would like to adopt your foster dog, please notify us immediately and you will be expected to finalize your adoption at the next adoption event, pending approval, without skipping a fair.

If this is your FIRST TIME fostering with Dogs Without Borders you are NOT eligible to adopt your foster dog. First time fosters often fall in love with any dog they bring home but it’s not always the best long term fit. We urge you to lean into the foster parent experience and be prepared to let them go.

I already have a dog. Can I still be a foster?

Yes! We love it when our fosters are able to make new friends. Part of the fostering experience is to help shelter and stray dogs adjust to life in a stable home. When a dog is adopted we need to know how they react to dogs, cats, kids and everyday noises like the TV or vacuum.

How often will my fostered dog be at adoption fairs?

We hold adoption fairs each weekend, except holiday weekends and sometimes not on the last Saturday of the month. Your foster dog will likely be shown at least 3 times per month. At times, when potential adopters want to meet the foster dog outside of the adoption fair, we may ask that you show the dog to interested parties at a time and place that is convenient for you.

What happens if I am unable to get my dog to a fair or event?

While we do have limited resources and ask that you make this commitment, we understand that life happens and we can usually organize alternative transportation if given enough notice. We would greatly appreciate it if you would ask a friend or family member to assist with transporting if you cannot.

What is the process for selecting fosters?

After reviewing your application and preferences we try to match you as best we can. Of course you can refuse any dog for whatever reason, but we ask that you keep an open mind and remember that you are helping to save a dog’s life no matter their breed.

What, if any, are the training requirements for dogs I care for?

Every dog is unique and will have unique needs. Some will be housebroken, but some will not. It may take a day or two for your fostered dog to get comfortable with you and its new environment, so please be patient and consistent.

You will be assigned a “foster mentor” and they will always available to answer your questions if you need any guidance. We will support you throughout this process by giving you efficient and effective tips as well as supplying you with any special gear or tools to make your fostering period successful.

What am I supplied with while fostering?

We will supply all food, flea meds, leashes, collars, tags, and any vet needs throughout the fostering process. If you are fostering puppies, you will also be supplied with crates/pens and puppy pads. Food and care items are typically delivered with the dog and you are then resupplied at Adoption Fairs. If you notice that you are low on any supplies, please give us heads up before the next event so we can be sure you are well stocked until the next event. In case of medical emergencies we ask that you contact us and take the dog to a sanctioned hospital.

May I try to secure an adopter for my fostered dog?

Certainly, and all efforts to aid in finding a permanent home for the dogs are warmly welcomed. However, all potential adopters must go through the adoption review process to obtain approval by the organization. Please give us heads up if you believe you have a good candidate for your foster dog. We value our fosters‚ opinion as they usually know their foster dog best. Any input by the foster parent regarding its new home will be greatly considered in the outcome of the adoption

I have some questions very specific to my situation, can I call you first to discuss before filling out an application?

Although every family is unique we find that most questions and concerns are actually very common and consistent across new Fosters. Regardless of your specific situation there’s some basic information we will need for you before we can adequately answer them so please fill out an application first and our Foster coordinator will reach out to you and do an interview as well as address any specific questions or concerns you may have.

Our office staff are extremely busy and our rescuer and Foster coordinators in particular are often on the road and cannot field incoming calls.

General Questions

Can you help me with some training resources?

Sure we can! Please remember that PRONG and SHOCK collars are NEVER permitted on DWB dogs, EVEN AFTER THEY ARE ADOPTED. No behaviourist will recommend these tools. In addition they re not allowed when training dog for therapy or service work — they are torture devices. Punishment is the least effective way to correct unwanted behaviour.

Here’s some great videos and blogs to help you learn new tricks, correct nuissance behaviours, and form a closer bond with your canine friends.

Susan Garrett

Kiko Pup


Patricia McConnell

What is a Dog License? Is it included? How do I get one?

A dog license is required for all dogs and horses in LA City.
Dogs and horses (any equine) are required to be licensed in the City of Los Angeles. Cats are not required to be licensed. License tags identify guardians of lost animals. Each license tag has a unique number assigned to your animal alone. People who find an animal with a tag need only call our telephone number printed on the tag for quick guardian identification and reunion with the lost animal. If a licensed animal is lost or taken to a shelter, LA Department of Animal Services can identify the guardian by the tag number and contact the registered animal guardian. Animals with licensing information are held in the shelters while the guardians are contacted.

If you do not license your dog you can be issued a ticket by the  “doggie police” when you are walking/hiking in areas such as Runyon Canyon, Baldwin Park Hills, Griffith Park, etc.

We do not include a dog license in your adoption fee as only the dog owner can register a license.

You can now register a new dog license, as well as renew online.

Why do you bring in dogs from other areas when there’s so many dogs in shelters here?

Our mission is to help dogs in need. We value our international rescue partners and their efforts snd believe that we can find good homes for all kinds of dogs. Many families from abroad never considered adopting until they learned that they could help animals from their mother-countries. Others feel powerless to help dogs in international communities and after they adopt they become stronger advocates for international humane laws.

There’s no shortage of Southern California rescue organizations placing pets from our local shelters who would value your support if you don’t agree with our intake policies. DWB is one of the highest placement rescues in the county, with the majority of our rescue dogs coming from LA County shelters and we believe that we are doing the best that we can. In 2019 we re-homed over 700 dogs.



Are you a registered charity?

Yes, Dogs Without Borders is a non-profit 501(c)3 Corp.

I want to Foster-to-Adopt a dog. Which application should I fill out?

Foster-to-Adopt culminates in an adoption so you should fill out an ADOPTION application.

What is Foster-to-Adopt?

Foster to adopt is a TRIAL ADOPTION. This is not a fostering position, this is an adoption track. If you want to “rest run” a dog to see if it’s the right fit for your home please fill out an ADOPTION APPLICATION.

During the week trial you will have support from us, and the opportunity to see what having that dog as part of your family might be like.

If it doesn’t work out, no hard feelings! You can try a different dog, take a break, or just move on.

I applied online on Friday evening/Saturday/Sunday to foster a dog posted on social media and there’s new posts up. Was I rejected?

We are not able to closely monitor applications over the weekend. If you are eager to get started on the weekend please come by one of our adoption fairs and speak to the staff. We can look up your app (or you can do one in person) and make arrangements for you to take a foster dog home!


I keep checking but cannot get a first-time volunteer slot! How can I get a chance to volunteer?

If you’ve really been struggling to get a spot to volunteer please email volunteer@dogswithoutborders.org and let us know whether Saturdays or Sundays are better for you and we can try and help

Can I walk dogs during the week?

Yes! Please volunteer at least once at an adoption fair so we can assess your leash handling skills (let us know at the fair that you want to dog walk).

If you are a doggie professional or have extensive experience (experienced dog walker, vet tech, groomer, worked at a shelter or rescue etc) you may bypass the fair route – please contact us!

Our office is in NORTHRIDGE

Can you recommend somewhere that a large group can volunteer for one day?

Please try the Linda Blair Worldheart foundation. They have a location about 40 minutes outside of LA.

Can my group volunteer? (Corporate, greek system, etc)

No. We do not have the space to welcome a large group to our fairs, and we do not have a facility where you can visit.

In addition one-time fair visits are more of a hassle than helpful when it comes to live animals – we strive to make our fairs as low stress as possible for the animals and that means familiar faces!

If you’d like to engage us for an educational session at your location where we teach you about our rescue, our mission, fostering and adoption we would be happy to talk to you about that and bring a dog or two along!

Do i have to do training or orientation before I can volunteer?

No! We have an adoption fair orientation page here and we go over it with you at your first fair.

If you join us for a specialty position (dog walker, blogging, social media, office, etc) we will provide training to you over email, the phone or in person depending on the gig!

How do I sign up?

How do I cancel my adoption fair sign up?

When you signed up you received a confirmation email. There’s a unique link in the footer that will cancel your sign up. If you cannot fin that email in your inbox/trash you can email volunteer@dogswithotuborders.org with your name and we can cancel your spot.

DO NOT CALL THE ADOPTION FAIR VENUE. They simply provide the space! They don’t know anything about the fair!

I am a first time volunteer who is also under 16, what slot should I use to sign up?

Use the first time volunteer slot.

Can my child volunteer with you?

We welcome volunteers at our weekend adoption fairs that are 12 years or old, however children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Please begin by filling out a volunteer application and waiver then reviewing the adoption fair schedule.