Our Adoption Process

Adoption process

RAGOM takes great care in matching our dogs with the most suitable families and home environments, and our adoption process has proven to be effective. If our process appears time consuming or complicated, please understand that RAGOM has our dogs’ best interests at heart.

An Important Message about RAGOM and the State of Rescue

As rescues across the country saw a dramatic decline in Golden Retrievers needing to be rehomed, RAGOM expanded their reach to Goldens from commercial breeding facilities and international rescue programs.

Dogs rescued from commercial breeders have had little to no human interaction and socialization. These dogs need a home with a medium to large confident resident dog to learn from, no young children, and no electric fences. Read more about their needs.

We also rescue dogs from other countries, and while they do not have set requirements, they often come to us with trauma and challenges that require training and accommodation of their unique needs.

RAGOM is seeing fewer dogs that have no special needs—and when we do have such a dog, we have many applicants for that dog. We appreciate our previous adopters, donors, and interested families. However, we can only prioritize based on what is best for our dogs.

Step 1:  Applicant Completes Inquiry for Application for a Specific Dog

Once you identify a dog of that interests you, you will complete a pre-adoption Inquiry for Application to provide information about you and your lifestyle, your home environment, your training beliefs, and your background with animals.

Step 2:  Applicant Pays a $30.00 Non-refundable Application Fee

A $30.00 application fee is required when you submit your Inquiry. (Pay your fee on the RAGOM Shop website.) Please note: your Inquiry will not be processed until an application fee is received. Application fees are non-refundable and are good for 12 months from the date you paid your application fee.

Step 3:  Screening Team Reviews Inquiry for Application

RAGOM will screen your Inquiry for Application to determine if your home meets the needs of the dog you expressed an interest in and if the dog is available (not already working with another applicant). Your Inquiry will also be reviewed to ensure that you meet all eligibility requirements of our organization.

Step 4:  Foster Home Reviews Inquiry for Application

RAGOM fosters invest considerable time to learn about the dogs in their care and are most qualified to determine the best applicant and home for the dog. The foster will contact the family they choose, and all other interested families will be notified that the foster is now working with a family.

If you are not chosen, RAGOM will keep your completed Inquiry for Application. When you would like to be considered for another dog, email applicationatragom [dot] org.

Step 5:  Foster Contacts Chosen Applicant

If you are chosen as a potential home, RAGOM will contact your vet (if applicable). We look for a history of rabies and distemper vaccines, yearly exams, heartworm tests, and heartworm prevention (at least seasonally). The foster will then phone you to further discuss the dog. If both you and the foster agree that you and your home might be a fit for the dog, RAGOM will then send you a link to our online application.

Step 6:  Applicant Completes Application and Home Visit

Once you complete the online application, you will be added to the home visit list. Our organization requires home visits to ensure that the dog will live in a safe environment.

The home visit volunteer will walk through your home and yard and comment on areas of concern. The home visit is also an opportunity to meet you, provide education about RAGOM, and answer your questions. All household members must be present for the home visit. Also, the volunteer will be accompanied by an altered (spayed or neutered) dog.

Your location is a factor in how quickly the home visit can be scheduled and completed. Although we have home visit volunteers in many areas, it sometimes takes longer to schedule a volunteer to conduct the home visit, so your patience is appreciated.

Step 7:  Approved Applicant Meets Dog of Interest

If your home visit report is approved, the foster will phone you to schedule a time to meet the dog you are interested in. Please note that you are not yet guaranteed the dog. The in-person meeting with the dog is vitally important, and all family members and resident pets must attend the meeting, which most often occurs at the foster home. 

The decision to proceed to adoption must be a mutual decision between your family and the foster. After the meeting, RAGOM requires that you take 24 hours to carefully consider your decision to welcome a new dog into your home. This waiting period also allows the foster time to review the visit and decide if your family is indeed the best home for the dog.

Step 8:  The Adoption Proceeds

If both you and the foster home agree that you are a good match for the dog, you will complete the adoption paperwork and pay the adoption fee.

Adoption Fees

Less than 24 months $475
24 months to less than 9 years $400
9 years and older $175
International Dog: Less than 12 months $675
International Dog: 12 months to less than 9 years $600
International Dog: 9 years and older $275
(International Dogs are the dogs we rescue from a country other than the United States.)  

Adopters are eligible for refunds for training courses completed with their new RAGOM dog:

  • Complete 1 training course: $25 refund
  • Complete an advanced training course: $25 refund
  • To request a refund, email the training facility’s completion certificate to postadoptionatragom [dot] org

Please read our adoption eligibility requirements and review adoption FAQs before you complete an Inquiry for Application.

If you don't receive a status email within 48 hours of submitting an Inquiry for Application, please check your spam or junk folder.