Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I meet the dog prior to adoption?

A: In most cases, the answer is no. The majority of our dogs come up from Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and New York City. We typically try to adopt out the dog PRIOR to coming to Vermont. We do our best to match the appropriate dog with the right family through a thorough application process and by informing you of the dog's history and sending videos and pictures of adoptable dogs. 

Q: I like a specific dog, but I won’t be ready to adopt for another month or so, can you hold the dog?

A: Unfortunately, we cannot hold any dogs. Because VDR has no formal shelter facility, all of our adoptions are on a “first come, first served” basis. Is it possible that the dog you are interested in will still be available in a month? Absolutely. But we cannot guarantee or hold any dogs for any reason. We have a limited number of foster homes and need to move dogs to their “forever homes” as soon as identified.

Q: Can the dog we're interested in be "cat-tested"?

A: Unfortunately, most of our dogs are not "cat-tested," but, in our experience, dogs and cats can live harmoniously if introduced properly. 

Q: What is the adoption fee?

A: The adoption fee is $400. This fee covers all AGE APPROPRIATE shots and de-worming, spay/neuter, interstate health certificate, and transport. Adult dogs are spayed/neutered; puppies under 14 weeks are not but we require proof from your veterinarian that spay/neuter will be done by 8 months of age.

Q: Can I get a discount on the adoption fee?

A: Because we are a non-profit organization, we survive on donations and adoption fees. The cost of the adoption ($400) does not cover what we pay in total to transport, vet and house a healthy puppy (typically around $600).

Q: What do I need to do to adopt a dog?

A: First and foremost, you must fill out an Adoption Application on our website. You will be asked several questions and you must give 3 personal references and a vet reference. If you rent, your landlord’s information is also needed. We will also coordinate a home visit to make sure that you house in an adequate environment for a dog.

Q: How long does the entire adoption process take?

A: First, you must fill out an Adoption Application and go through approval process (this may take anywhere from 24 to 96 hours). At times, a dog may be able to get on transport within a week or two of approval; sometimes it’s longer (depending on the health and age of the dog). You will be made aware of when your dog’s potential transport date is, and you will be contacted by a VDR team member the week of transport to arrange pick-up times and place. You will know as soon as possible if there are any changes in the transport dates of your dog. Please be aware that things can happen quickly and your dog may come up sooner or later than originally expected.

Q: When and where can I pick up my dog?

A: Most dogs will be available for pick-up in White River Junction, VT, or Portsmouth, NH. Please understand that we do not have a place for these pups to go after they get out off transport, so you will be responsible for making arrangements if you cannot pick up your dog at your designated time.

Q: What do I need when I pick up my dog?

A: Please bring a leash and collar. Some dogs are already wearing collars (typically adults) but it’s good to get yours on the dog as soon as you can. Some of them (puppies typically) do not know how to walk on a leash and will need to be carried. HOWEVER, you will want to attach the leash to their collar in case they jump down. 

Q: Will I get any paperwork when I pick up my dog?

A: Yes, your dog will come with its veterinary paperwork from the South. Please bring this paperwork with you when you schedule an appointment with your own vet.

Q: My dog is dirty from transport, is that normal?

A: Yes, these dogs are on transport for 24 hours. It is extremely common for your dog to be smelly and dirty. 

Q: My dog has worms! What do I do and will VDR pay for it?

A: It is 100% normal for dogs and puppies to get worms. If your dog or puppy does have worms, you will need to take a stool sample to your own veterinarian and get dewormer from them. VDR does not cover this cost. Prior to transport, each dog has a negative fecal result from the vet (meaning no worms, parasites, etc. show up on their fecal exam). HOWEVER, because of the stress of transport and worms' ability to stay in the intestinal track, they can often reappear. It is very common and nothing to be too worried about. Just pick up their poop and dispose of it right after they go.

Q: What should I feed my dog?

A: Now is the ideal time to put your dog on whatever food you would like to feed them. Because there have been several transitions (foster, transport) you have the opportunity to start your dog on a healthy diet. If you have any questions about dog food, please ask.

Q: My dog has diarrhea, is this normal?

A: Yes, diarrhea can be caused by stress in dogs (also worms, change of diet, etc).  Because your dog has experienced multiple transitions in a short period of time, it is very common for dogs to have diarrhea. What you want to look for is any blood or mucus in the stool, this may indicate something more serious. Also, make sure that your dog is drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated. Typically, a dog’s diarrhea can take anywhere from a couple of days to over a week to become formed, hard stool.