10 Best Golden Retriever Rescues for Adoption (2024): Our Top 10 Picks!

Best Golden Retriever Rescue for Adoption

If you are looking for an enthusiastic, affectionate, gentle, and even-tempered companion, the Golden Retriever is the perfect fit for you!

For a long time, the Goldens have been considered one of the best family pets because of their innate friendly character and tolerant attitude.

Golden Retrievers have also proven their value as service dogs with their superior intelligence and obedience in training. No wonder why they’re one of the most popular dog breeds in America.

You can easily purchase a Golden Retriever as there are a lot of legitimate breeders out there. However, if you are more interested in lessening the number of homeless dogs, you can try adopting one from rescue centers.

In this article, I’ll be providing you the top Golden Retriever rescues from different areas along with the necessary and relevant information which could be set as guides in your Golden Retriever adoption.

Most of the rescues in this list follow the same adoption process. If you want to ace your application, I suggest that you read our ultimate adoption guide which features key tips and techniques starting from choosing the breed to home introduction.

Top 10 Golden Retriever Rescues to Find Goldens for Adoption (2021)

Through in-depth research, I came up with the top ten Golden Retriever rescues list in the U.S. In this section, I’ll be providing you a brief introduction of the rescue centers along with their contact information. Let’s get started!

1. Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) – Southeastern Pennsylvania

Since 1993, DVGRR has been dedicating its efforts and resources to rescuing and fostering Golden Retrievers from Southeastern Pennsylvania extending to New Jersey and Delaware.

The rescue group not only shelters Golden Retrievers but Labrador Retrievers, Goldendoodles, and Labradoodles as well. As of writing, the DVGRR has successfully found new families and homes for not less than 5000 dogs across its area of service.

Furthermore, this non-profit welfare organization is one of the few Golden Retriever rescue centers in the country that have dedicated facilities that promote well-being and security for the dogs they foster as well as for the human personnel working in the center.

The facilities in DVGRR are designed to be spacious enough to ensure that the fostered dogs will be able to play and run freely indoors as an answer for limitations due to weather conditions.

Aside from its mission of providing shelter and finding new homes for dogs, DVGRR also provides educational training about responsible companion animal guardianship to people as an extension of their commitment.

Filing an adoption application to DVGRR is easy as long as you follow steps in the process.

However, you must be aware that the center has strict guidelines and requirements for adoption such as a fence with a height of not less than four feet and some specifications for swimming pools in the vicinity.

You can visit their website to have an in-depth understanding of their terms and conditions.

Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) Information and Details:

2. Golden Beginnings Golden Retriever Rescue (GBGRR) – Texas

GBGRR is a non-profit organization in Houston, Texas that is run mostly by volunteer workers. Since its establishment in 1999, this charity shelter has successfully rescued and fostered over 4000 dogs, including Golden Retrievers!

The center is committed to its mission of finding loving homes for rescued Goldens and other dog breeds. To ensure the safety of the dogs and the prospective foster families, GBGRR implements strict guidelines when it comes to applying for adoption.

Some of the essential requirements which would be considered in the adoption process include a required secure fence yard on the home of the prospective adoptive family; a prospective foster family with a kid below five years old will not be granted adoption unless the child has prior successful interaction to a dog; and a minimum age requirement of 21 years of age.

The dogs in GBGRR are ready to be adopted and have undergone health programs which include examinations, rabies vaccination, heartworm vaccination, deworming, neutering, and flea and tick treatment.

If you are interested in adopting a dog from GBGRR, you may visit their website to have an in-depth understanding of their terms and policies for adoption.

Golden Beginnings Golden Retriever Rescue (GBGRR) Information and Details:

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3. Triad Golden Retriever Rescue (TGRR) – North Carolina

Essentially, the goal of TGRR is to rescue, rehabilitate, and provide homeless Goldies with the humane treatment they deserve. This non-profit organization has been dedicated to fostering dogs-in-need across North Carolina including Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

Aside from providing shelter for unwanted Goldies, the organization also exists to turn their vision of a community that is animal-friendly into a reality.

They educate interested people about the proper and humane way of treating dogs and the ethical actions to become a responsible guardian.

In cooperation with other regional rescue groups, TGRR is open for long-distance adoption as long as the adoptive family meets specific guidelines and conditions.

To ensure the safety of the Goldies and the prospective adoptive clients, specific terms should be met. Most of which are identical to the conditions that other rescue centers require.

Some of them are fence requirements; restrictions to families with children below five years of age; and a proper shelter (house) which excludes apartments and condominiums.

If you are planning to apply for adoption to TGRR, make sure that you have met the required terms and conditions to attain a higher possibility of getting approved.

However, you should also be aware that accomplishing the guidelines does not guarantee immediate approval of adoption as there are many qualified foster applicants on the waiting list.

Triad Golden Retriever Rescue (TGRR) Information and Details:

4. Golden Endings Golden Retriever Rescue (GEGRR) – Ohio

GEGRR serves as a haven for the neglected, abused, and homeless Goldens. This non-profit organization is dedicated to rescuing Golden Retrievers which are often abandoned on the streets for various reasons.

This charitable institution is staffed by volunteer workers who committedly search the streets of Central and Southeastern Ohio for Goldies who need help. The organization also willingly accepts dogs from owners who are unable to keep their pets.

As part of the humane and proper treatment of GEGRR to the rescued Goldens, medical programs are regularly employed. The sheltered dogs are spayed or neutered, tested for heartworms, and annually vaccinated with boosters to make sure they are healthy.

Obedience training and temperament assessment are also done to determine if they will be able to successfully interact with other dogs and children.

When it comes to the adoption process, GEGRR has set basic guidelines. A secured home or shelter is foremost the first thing you need to consider if you want to adopt one. Goldies should not sleep outside. A fence is also required for security measures.

Most of all, GEGRR encourages adoptive families to treat their Goldies as a member of their home. If you can meet these basic conditions, you can then proceed in filing your application on their website.

Golden Endings Golden Retriever Rescue (GEGRR) Information and Details:

5. Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue, Inc. (YGRR) – Massachusetts

YGRR is one of the Golden Retriever rescue centers which have been around for quite a long time.

Since its foundation in 1985, YGRR has successfully found new homes for 5,200 Goldies across the six New England states: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

The core mission of this non-profit organization is to provide comprehensive medical care, behavioral assessments, and a safe space for the abandoned and neglected Goldies.

From an organization that was barely managing to support the booming population of Goldies in their shelter, YGRR has transformed into a dedicated community that is composed of volunteers, veterinarians, and boarding kennels who share the same desire of helping the homeless dogs.

Aside from this, the organization has also dedicated itself to educating people on the proper treatment and responsible companionship.

Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue Inc. (YGRR) Information and Details:

6. Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue & Sanctuary (HBGRRS) – California

Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary do not only focus on rescuing Golden Retrievers but also other Golden mixes. This California-based non-profit organization has successfully found homes for more than 9,500 dogs across their jurisdiction.

HBGRRS promotes equal treatment to homeless dogs regardless of their age and breed. The organization is dedicated to providing secure and loving homes for homeless dogs and employing medical programs to ensure their health and well-being.

The rescue center also advocates for responsible guardianship through intensive propagation of public awareness by educating people on the proper way of taking care of dogs and the benefits of having them at home.

For each dog the HBGRRS rescues, a medical assessment is done. Spaying, neutering, deworming, and vaccination are employed as deemed necessary.

The dogs also undergo a behavioral examination to determine their compatibility with other dogs and their interaction with humans.

To ensure that the dogs will be in the right home, the Homeward rescue center has set guidelines that prospective foster homes should meet.

This includes a secure house that includes a fence, a decent sleeping area, and the capabilities of attending to the dog’s veterinary needs.

Once you are deemed eligible, you can then proceed with filing your adoption application.

Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary (HBGRRS) Information and Details:

7. As Good as Gold – Golden Retriever Rescue of Illinois (AGAG-GRRI) – Illinois

This Illinois-based non-profit organization is dedicated to fostering Golden Retrievers and Golden mixes that need attention and care. Since 2003, more than 2,300 Goldies have been rescued and given new homes through the efforts of AGAG.

On top of their rehabilitation efforts, the rescue also put ample focus on educating the public about the proper dog care. This is evident with the list of educational articles on their website ranging from dog care, health, and nutrition.

The importance of neutering, spaying, deworming, and other medical-related examinations for dogs are also promoted through AGAG’s efforts.

If you are planning to adopt a Golden from AGAG, you should be aware of their terms of policies which are set as requirements for an adoption application. Some of which are:

  • The organization does not grant adoption to applicants with children below six years old.
  • Adoption will not be granted to applicants who use training devices on dogs such as choke chains, chain collars of any kind, prong collars, or shock collars.
  • The rescue does not grant adoption to applicants who do not have fences at home (invisible fences are prohibited).
  • The minimum age requirement for adoption applicants is 23 years old.
  • The rescue does not grant adoption to applicants who can’t attend to the regular medical needs of dogs.

As Good As Gold – Golden Retriever Rescue of Illinois (AGAG-GRRI) Information and Details:

8. Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies (GRRR) – Colorado

Since its foundation in 1996 by Laura Terroux, GRRR successfully rescues and finds new homes for approximately 300 abandoned Goldies annually. This non-profit organization is responsible for the rehabilitation of neglected dogs around Colorado.

Essentially, the organization shelters and provides humane treatment to the dogs which became strays after being neglected or abandoned by their owners. The rescue also accepts the dogs which are given up by their owners because they can’t keep them.

After rescuing or receiving the dog, GRRR will conduct medical evaluations of the dog which includes the necessary vaccination or surgery. Once the dogs’ health and well-being are ensured, they can then be adopted by eligible applicants.

Here are some of the important guidelines that you need to meet to be eligible for adoption:

  • The rescue center does not grant adoption outside Colorado.
  • It is rare that they will grant adoption to applicants living in apartments, condos, or homes with no fences.
  • Granting adoption to applicants with children below eight years old is also rare.
  • The rescue only allows applicants with ages 21 years old and above.

Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies (GRRR) Information and Details:

9. Golden Retriever Club of Greater Los Angeles Rescue (GRCGLAR) – Los Angeles

GRCGLAR was born from the initiatives of a parent’s breed club and families in promoting welfare to homeless dogs.

Since its formal establishment, the non-profit organization has continuously grown into a body of volunteers who share the mission of helping displaced dogs.

More than 4,500 Goldies have found new hopes and new homes around Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura Counties through the efforts of GRCGLAR.

The rescue has a systematized rehabilitation program that prioritizes the old and sick Goldens as they are the vulnerable population.

The process of applying for adoption in GRCGLAR is easy. First, you just need to fill out the application form and donate $25 as support to the rescue.

Afterward, you need to wait for the call of the volunteer who will conduct a home visit. There are few things you need to consider to be eligible for adoption.

  • The organization does not grant adoption to applicants with children under seven years old unless they know that a particular dog has a solid, positive history of living successfully with kids of a similar age to those in the potential adopter’s home.
  • They only allow adoptions within the counties of Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego.
  • GRCGLAR does not grant adoption to applicants whose number of pets currently meets or exceeds the limits set by your local municipal authority (city or county).
  • Adoption is not granted to applicants who have an invisible/electric fence as a source of containment at home.
  • Also, they do not grant adoption to rental applicants without written proof that the landlord will permit a dog the size of a Golden Retriever in their rental abode.

Golden Retriever Club of Greater Los Angeles Rescue (GRCGLAR) Information and Details:

10. Retrieve a Golden of the Midwest (RAGOM) – Minnesota

RAGOM started as Retrieve a Golden Minnesota in 1985 with only a single Goldie. Through the combined efforts of the founders, Hank and Jane Nygaard, the former Retrieve a Golden Minnesota has turned into a haven for displaced and unwanted Goldies.

Along with the revolution of the non-profit organization’s name in 2017, the scope of its service has also changed and reached further extending from Minnesota up to Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and western Wisconsin.

To this date, the rescue continues to accomplish its mission of providing a forever home for neglected Goldies and Golden Mixes. More than 9,000 dogs have found their new loving homes through the works of RAGOM.

RAGOM has a defined set of guidelines when it comes to adopting. These guidelines will be the criterion that will dictate if you are eligible or not. Here are the steps in applying for adoption in Retrieve a Golden of the Midwest.

  • Step 1: Applicant must complete inquiry for application for a specific dog.
  • Step 2: Applicant must pay a $30.00 non-refundable application fee.
  • Step 3: The screening team will review the inquiry for application.
  • Step 4: Foster home will review the inquiry for application.
  • Step 5: Foster will contact the chosen applicant.
  • Step 6: Applicant must complete the application and home visit.
  • Step 7: Approved applicant will meet the dog of interest.
  • Step 8: The adoption proceeds.

Retrieve a Golden of the Midwest (RAGOM) Information and Details:

Another thing that can help you significantly with your dog hunt is reading our ultimate dog adoption guide. This, alongside the rescue options from our directory will increase your chances of bringing home the dog you desire.

The Ultimate Guide to Dog Adoption: Process, What to Ask and Tips to Get Approved

Other Sources for Golden Retriever Rescues or Shelters for Adoption

Cute adopted Golden Retriever dog lying on sofa indoors

You can also try searching on the following websites if you weren’t lucky enough to find a Goldie on the top 10 rescues listed above.

  • Adopt-a-Pet – This non-profit organization is one of the largest web-service that advocates pet adoption. The organization has a wide web of connections throughout the various kennel shelters in America. If you register, you will surely be able to search for the Golden that is perfect for you.
  • RescueMe – This online platform has a large database for rescued animals. As of writing, more than 850,000 dogs were already rescued and given homes through this platform. It also allows you to filter results by breed and rescue location.
  • Petfinder – If you are looking for a Goldie, you might find it here on this website. The platform is a home for an endless selection of dogs and other pet animals.
  • Petango – This non-profit organization lets you search for available pets in different shelters and rescue facilities. You can also use the site to see your compatibility with the available Goldens by filtering search results.

Why Do People Put Golden Retrievers up for Adoption or in a Rescue?

Unfortunately, no matter how gentle and affectionate Goldies are, there are still times when the owners need to surrender them for adoption. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • The owners cannot afford their daily maintenance (food and veterinary needs).
  • The owner is moving out and he/she can’t take the Golden with him/her.
  • Somebody from the family members has/acquired an allergy from fur.
  • The owner became too busy (to take care of it).
  • The dog is too old or has many illnesses.

How Much Should It Cost to Adopt a Golden Retriever?

The cost of buying a pure-bred Golden Retriever from a breeder is a far cry from the cost of adopting one from a shelter.

On average, a pure-bred Golden Retriever can cost from $500 to $3,000. On the other hand, adopting a Golden Retriever will cost you about $150 to $600.

Most of the time, initial medical assessment and treatment are already employed for the dogs that are ready for adoption. If you think about it, adopting one seems like a good idea since you’ll be saving a dog while saving money.

Is It Difficult to Adopt a Golden Retriever From a Rescue?

Little rescue Golden Retriever exploring the beach surroundings

The success of your application will heavily depend on: first, your eligibility; and second, the availability of compatible Golden Retrievers in the shelter.

Rescue centers have specific guidelines that will tell if an applicant is qualified for adoption. If you are eager to adopt a Golden Retriever, you must first research the qualifications and requirements of the shelter/rescue you are to adopt.

Make sure that you can meet all of the policies and guidelines to secure approval of the application.

However, you should also understand that meeting the requirements doesn’t guarantee success in adoption. In some cases, a lot of eligible applicants are not able to adopt Golden Retrievers because of the shortage of compatible dogs.

3 Tips for Getting Approved by a Rescue to Adopt a Golden Retriever

Adopting a Golden Retriever is not as easy as paying at the counter. Financially aside, you must prepare yourself (physically and emotionally) and your surroundings. Here are some of the tips you can do to secure adoption:

  • Design your home in accordance with the adoption requirements. A lot of rescue centers have identical requirements that are specific to the home of the applicant. Some of these include a physical fence around the house, a comfortable sleeping quarter for the dog, and a pool with stairs. All of these aim to ensure the safety of the dog in your vicinity. If you are eager to have your application approved, make sure to comply with these guidelines before the home visit, or better, even before applying for adoption.
  • Prepare yourself financially. In adopting a pet, you should make sure that you will be able to provide for its regular needs. Most of the rescue centers consider financial capabilities as one of the most important criteria in adoption eligibility.
  • Be honest and transparent. Do not make up things during the interview just for the sake of approval. Most of the time, people value and appreciate transparency and honesty. If you do this in the interview, the evaluator might see the sincerity in your actions.

Final Thoughts

If you adopt a Golden Retriever from a rescue center, you should know that you are not just saving your money but also saving a precious life. However, you should only adopt a dog if you know to yourself that you are ready.

Adopting is not easy. It is not only the process that is challenging but most importantly, it is the fulfillment of your daily responsibility to your pet. Once your application is approved, always remember that you are forever responsible for the dog’s well-being and life.

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