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Adoption Process
Image by Samuel Machala


We're so glad you're thinking about adopting a new family member!

WAAGR always has dogs coming into our organization. However, our adoptable dogs seldom make it to the website. Because Golden Retrievers are a popular breed, there are always people looking for them. That's why we have an approved adopters list. These families have already filled out adoption applications and have been pre-approved. This list gets notified via email when we have dogs coming into our care, before they are posted to the public. Dogs then get placed to adopters that inquire on them individually. We place dogs based on the best fit, so your place on the list doesn't take precedent. Sometimes adopters are approved for less than a week before they are matched up! If you are interested in adopting a dog from WAAGR,
please read below for more information!

Adoption Area: You must be located in Wisconsin or within 60 minutes of the Wisconsin/Illinois border to adopt from WAAGR. 


As of 5/25/24, we have closed our application process to work through our list of approved families waiting to adopt. We will share here when applications open again!
Thanks for your understanding!

foster with the intent to adopt

FWITA is a term we use regularly. When a dog comes into our care, we try to place them with their forever family right away, without first going to a foster. This limits the times that dogs have to start all over. With that in mind, it's common to not meet a WAAGR dog before you bring them to your home. We understand it's a big commitment to take in a dog you've never actually met. For that reason, we consider this "fostering with the intent to adopt." You'll be able to be able to get to know the dog, knowing that if it's not a good match, you're absolutely not expected to keep him/her.
We don't want you to be under any pressure,
but of course the goal is for you to fall in love!


To be eligible to adopt from WAAGR: 

1. You must live in Wisconsin or within 60 minutes of the Wisconsin/Illinois border.

2. You must be at least 21 years old. 

3. You must complete WAAGR's adoption application and pay the adoption application fee. 

4. You must call your veterinarian to release your current or past pets' vet records. All pets must be or have been up to date on vaccines and well taken care of. *Must be completed within 30 days of application submission.

5. You must pass a background check and home visit. 

6. You cannot have an aggressive resident dog at home. 

be first to know

Getting pre-approved will increase your chances of adopting a dog that fits what you're looking for in a best friend.


Tip: After being approved, check your spam folder as to not miss out on emails! 

Applications closed

application fee

In order to process your adoption application, you must also submit a $35 application fee. This does not go towards your adoption fee. 


Before meeting a WAAGR dog, everyone must fill complete a Hold Harmless Agreement. This will be included as part of your adoption application process. 

adoption fees

At WAAGR, we believe all dogs are priceless. Therefore, separate fees for puppies, purebreds, etc. just isn't our thing. Senior dogs are our only exception.

Dogs under 9 years old: $550*

Senior dogs (9+): $100*

Fees are tax inclusive


WAAGR cannot guarantee the pedigree of any dog, as too often they are rehomed from stray and/or surrendered without papers. WAAGR's use of the term "Purebred" is qualified through professional and veterinary observation only. 


No fenced in yard? Renter? Young kids or one on the way?
No problem. Our goal is to find dogs loving homes, not "perfect" homes, because we know that just because you don't have a fence, that doesn't mean you'd be any less of a perfect home for the right dog. 




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