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General FAQ

What is Gods Will Small Dog Sanctuary? 

Gods Will Small Dog Sanctuary is an all-volunteer  non-profit organization dedicated to saving the lives of innocent dogs that are trapped in high kill shelters where the face certain euthanasia or that are with owners who can no longer care for them. We also serve as a support group to our adopters and all dog owners by providing ongoing education and resources for the well-being of their dogs, including the importance of proactive spay/neuter policies, positive behavior training, and good nutrition.

Where is Gods Will Small Dog Sanctuary located?

We do not have a specific “location” or shelter. All of our dogs are in loving foster homes. If you want to meet one, you can arrange a visit with one of our foster parents, or you can visit us at one of our adoption events.

Where do the dogs come from? 

Gods Will Small Dog Sanctuary dogs primarily come from high-kill shelters in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Occasionally, we take in dogs from shelters in other states. We also help dog owners re-home their dogs if they can no longer care for them, and we help good Samaritans find loving homes for stray dogs they are trying to help.

What is a “high kill” shelter?

A high kill shelter is a shelter that euthanizes dogs on a regular basis. Without our help, dogs in high-kill shelters would not survive.

Adoption FAQ

How much does it cost to adopt a dog or puppy?

We have three set adoption fees, depending on the age of the dog. All of our adoption fees include age-appropriate vet care, including spay/neuter surgery for all dogs EXCEPT puppies under 4 months, DHLPP shot, Rabies shot, and de-worming. Dogs coming from foster homes are on heartworm preventative and a flea and tick program.

Puppy (6 months and under) - $325.00

Young/Adult Dog (7 months to 9 yrs) - $280.00

Senior dog (10 years and older) - $200.00

What is the adoption process?

The adoption process begins when you send an adoption application to the contact listed in the dog’s petfinder bio. (This can also happen when an adoption application is turned in at an adoption event.) The contact, which we call the “adoption coordinator,” will the set up a time to discuss what you are looking for on the telephone. If both you and the adoption coordinator thing the dog is a good fit, a meeting will be arranged. Before the adoption is complete, the adoption coordinator will check your vet reference to make sure that all current and past pets were kept up to date on their shots. The adoption coordinator will also set up a home visit where one of our trained volunteers will come to your home to ensure both that it is safe and that everyone in the home is on board with adopting a dog.

Do you adopt out of the MD Area?

Yes. So long as we can arrange to have a home visit done, we can adopt out of our area. However, priority will be given to local adopters - especially with puppies.

Do you have to have a fenced yard?

Nope. But, for some of our dogs, we will ask that you have a plan for exercising that dog - including, perhaps, visits to a fenced in dog park. We realize that there are many resources for dog owners in this area that make having a fenced yard less important. We also realize that different dogs have different exercise needs - it is all about matching the right dog up with the right adopter.

Do you adopt to renters?

Yes. We will just need verification from your landlord that you are allowed to have a dog. In addition, we will need to know any weight, size, or breed restrictions. This is particularly important if you are adopting a puppy because we cannot guarantee that a dog will grow to a certain size or weight.

Can I adopt a dog that is listed as being “in a shelter” as opposed to “in a foster home”?

Yes you can! The only catch is that you cannot meet the dog before committing to a minimum 2 week trial adoption. Because Gods Will Small Dog Sanctuary has limited foster home space, we can only bring in dogs that we know we have the room for. If you want to adopt a dog in a shelter, we can bring the dog in if you commit to holding onto the dog for a minimum of 2 weeks - even if it is not what you’re looking for. This gives us time to find another suitable foster or adopter. Of course, if the dog presents a danger to you or your current pets, we will do everything we can to move it quickly.

What happens if there is more than one applicant for the dog?

We try our very best to find the best home for our dogs- and the best dog for our adopters. Sometimes this decision is based on who applied first. Sometimes it is based on who is in the family or what kind of living situation the family has. We try to be as open and honest about the selection process as we can be.

If the dog I like is adopted, will you help me find a different one?

Absolutely! If the dog you originally apply for gets adopted, we will help you find a great match for your family. There is no need to reapply or to start the process over again.

Do you know the exact breed of each of your dogs?

Unfortunately, because our dogs turn up at rural shelters without full histories, we cannot guarantee a dog’s breed. We usually have no idea who the parents are! We can only make our best guest based on the dog’s appearance and temperament.

Do you know how big your puppies will get?

Unfortunately, no. We try to make an educated guess based on the puppy’s current size, current age, and estimated breed.

Are the dogs spayed/neutered?

All dogs that are adopted out over the age of 6 months are spayed or neutered prior to adoption. Those who adopt puppies under the age of 6 months will be required to send in a copy of the spay/neuter certificate by the time the dog is 6 months of age. Puppy adopters should be aware that spay/neuter surgery can cost a couple hundred dollars.

If I have trouble with my new dog, what should I do?

Let us know immediately!!! We have lots of resources to share with you, including trainers that give discounts to our adopters. Sometimes dogs take a few weeks to settle in and establish a routine. Because we have been doing this a long time, we have probably been through what you are going through. Let us help!!!

What happens if I can no longer keep the dog I adopted? 

Gods Will Small Dog Sanctuary has a lifetime commitment to each and every one of our dogs. If you cannot keep the dog you have adopted from us, you should let us know immediately, and we will get to work on finding it a new, loving home. Perhaps more importantly, if you are experiencing trouble with your dog before you make a decision to re-home, you should let us know. We can then provide you the advice and support you need to fix the problems before they get out of control.

Foster Program FAQ

What exactly does a foster do?

A foster takes a dog into their home on a temporary basis - until we find the dog a permanent adoptive home. They provide it the love and support the dog needs in order to acclimate to life in a home. Fosters are generally responsible for the cost of food and any dog walking expenses. Fosters also play a critical role in the adoption process. Because they know the dogs so well, they are in the best position to decide what home is appropriate.

If I fall in love with my foster dog, can I keep him/her?

Of course - with one caveat. If you are helping to screen a prospective adopter, the home visit has been completed and they have been led to believe they will get to adopt the dog, then it is too late. But, you are welcome to adopt your foster at any point prior to that.

Do fosters pay the dog’s vet expenses?

No. Gods Will Small Dog Sanctuary pays for the medical expenses of our foster dogs. The dogs will need to be treated at one of our vet partners. Gods Will Small Dog Sanctuary will not be responsible for vet care that is not provided at one of our vet partners.