FAQs

Do you conduct out of state adoptions?

Generally no. Unless the applicant can come and meet the dog in person, we generally do not adopt out of state or ship dogs.

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.

How much does it cost to adopt a dog through Dogs without borders?

Adult dogs: $300
Puppies 3-6 months: $350
Puppies 2-3 months: $400

Occasionally, a fee may less if the dog is a senior or has a medical condition.

Are you a registered charity?

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

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.

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, it happens to taste 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.

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 facility, 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.

Can I take a dog home on a trial basis?

Yes! We offer a program called “Foster to Adopt” which gives you the opportunity to trial run a dog in your home for 1 week. 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.

Enrolling in Foster to Adopt is subject to an approved Adoption Application for the specific dog you would like to take home.

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.

How can I meet your dogs in person?

We hold seven adoption fairs a month, 2 every weekend, except for the last weekend of the month (and holiday weekends). You may find our locations and times here. Many of our foster parents are glad to accommodate meeting a dog during the week, by appointment, in their home.

How do I prepare my home for a new dog?

We recommend that you start with the basics, a collar or harness, leash 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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 what their breed.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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!

What is Foster-to-Adopt?

It’s a 1 week trial run that hopefully culminates in an adoption! We aim to make sure the right dog goes to the right home – we want it to be a good match for you and for them.

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 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.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

12ish.

We have had volunteers of all ages. Very young volunteers aren’t really helpful but we are happy to have your child visit us at fair to learn about rescue and compassion for animals. If you wish to teach your child about volunteering and adoption please just show up at a fair and meet some of our dogs. Please do not sign up if you have a very young child.

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.

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!

 

How do I sign up?

Sign up to get on the volunteer list here
Sign up for individual events and adoption fairs here

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!

 

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!

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 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 ENCINO

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

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