COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to the global pandemic and associated travel restrictions, it is taking longer than usual to find flight volunteers to escort dogs to Vancouver. Beneath each dog’s bio, we have provided an estimate of how long it is taking to get dogs from each region to Canada. We have also provided alternative methods (and costs associated) to receive your dog sooner.
PLEASE NOTE: There is no expectation for the adopter to pay any more than the adoption fee itself. We simply provide these as options in case an adopter wishes to receive their dog sooner, rather than wait for a flight volunteer coming to Vancouver. If you choose one of these options, LALDR will be as transparent as possible with you regarding the costs and will ask for your approval before any travel arrangements are made.
Applying for a Dog
Please keep in mind that there may be multiple applications for a single dog and that even if your phone interview and home check are successful, there is no guarantee that you will be matched with the dog you have applied for. Your chances of a successful match greatly increase if you list more than one dog on your application.
You must be 21 or older and be able to meet the dog when it arrives at Vancouver or Seattle International Airport.
FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN – Please note that with very few exceptions, it is our policy not to adopt any dog into a home with children younger than eight years old. Even if a dog has been tested with children, we cannot be 100% sure how the dog will react to all children in all circumstances. Therefore, for the safety of your children (and the dog) we will not process applications where there are children under the age of eight living in the home. We understand that this policy may frustrate some people, especially those who are very dog experienced and/or have children who are used to being around dogs but we hope you will appreciate our position. Please view our Adoption Info page for more details.
The Adoption Process
Step 1 – Fill out the Application Form
The first step in the application process is filling out the application form by clicking on the “Adopt” button on the dog’s web site profile. The application may seem rather long but the questions are all important in helping us determine the suitability of bringing an overseas rescue into your home. As a result, we recommend you take time to fill out each question fully and thoughtfully.
If questions are not answered or an answer indicates that your home may not be suitable for one of our dogs, your application will be denied and a denial letter will be emailed to you. Please understand that denial is not necessarily a reflection on your ability to provide for a dog, just that we are not confident that a match would be successful for one of our dogs. Should your application be denied we suggest perhaps applying with a different rescue group or looking for a local dog that you can go and meet first.
Step 2 – Complete the Phone Interview
The next step is a Phone Interview conducted by one of our volunteers at a time that is convenient for you both. Our volunteer will generally be in contact with you approximately three to five days after you submit your application. The purpose of the phone interview is to discuss answers on your application and ask any clarifying questions. We want to hear about your past dog experience, your lifestyle and what you are looking for in a dog. The average call takes about 15 minutes and will mostly be about you, not the dog you are applying for. Most of our volunteers are adopters themselves so the Phone Interview is also a great opportunity for you to chat about their adoption experience too! Upon completion, the volunteer will report back to the Adoption Team who will determine if your application qualifies to go to the next step.
Step 3 – Complete the Home Check
Once the Phone Interview notes have been reviewed and approved, you will be contacted (generally within three to five days) with regards to setting up a time to do a Home Check. Home Checks are currently being done remotely by video chat, Skype, Whatsapp, etc. but will hopefully return to in-person visits once the Covid crisis has passed. The purpose of the Home Check is to ensure that your home is ready to accept a dog. Our dogs won’t care if the dishes are done or the laundry is folded and neither do we! Instead, we will be looking for things like possible escape areas and potential safety hazards. If we see any areas of concern we will discuss these with you so that changes can be made prior to the dog’s arrival.
Upon completion, the volunteer will report back to one of our Adoption Facilitators who will determine if your application qualifies to go to the next step.
Step 4 – The Approval Email
Assuming you have met all the requirements and it seems likely that an adoption would be successful, you should hear good news from our Adoption Team that your application has been approved! Approval notification is done via email within approximately three to five days of completing your home check. You will also be notified at that time whether a match has been made with the dog(s) you applied for OR if we feel that you would be better suited for a different dog. We will do our best to offer alternative suggestions whenever possible.
**Please keep in mind that there may be multiple applications for a single dog and that even if your Phone Interview and Home Check are successful, that is no guarantee that you will be matched with the dog you have applied for. Your chances of a successful match greatly increase if you list more than one dog on your application.**
If you have applied for a dog that is being fostered locally, once you have received the approval email, we will connect you directly with the foster family so that you can arrange to meet the dog. The meeting is typically done in a socially-distanced fashion at a mutually agreed upon location. It is possible that either you or the foster may request that additional meeting(s) take place before a final decision is made. Before taking the dog home you will be asked to complete and sign the adoption contract and send us the adoption fee by e-transfer.
Step 5 – Send the Deposit
If you have been approved to adopt an overseas dog you will be asked to send a $100 CDN refundable deposit. Note that this deposit is only refundable if your adoption falls through prior to the dog being booked on their flight to come to Vancouver (or Seattle). The deposit is NOT refundable if you decide to cancel the adoption after a Flight Volunteer has already been found. Flight Volunteers are extremely valuable and a lot of work goes into finding a willing passenger and booking the dog onto his or her ticket. This means it is extremely important that you let us know right away if your adoption plans change.
Step 6 – Your Dog Goes onto a Flight Wait List
Once the dog has been secured with your deposit, he or she goes onto a flight wait list. The shelter then works to find a traveler who is willing to add the dog & crate as ‘extra luggage’ onto their ticket. (There is no cost to the traveler to do this as the shelter covers all extra expenses.) Once a Flight Volunteer has been found, the dog is checked by a veterinarian who will ensure that the dog is healthy and that his or her shots are up to date. The vet will then approve the dog for flight and provide all medical documentation including their vaccination record.
Step 7 – Receive Your Dog’s Flight Info
Once the dog’s flight has been booked you will receive an email with their flight information as well as specific instructions regarding where you need to park when you get to the airport, what time you need to be there and what you need to bring with you including a Martingale collar, 4-6’ leash, poo bags, food and water. You may also want to bring a few extra towels and blankets that you can keep in the car in case there are any messes to clean up.
At this stage, you will receive an Invoice with a detailed breakdown of the $100 deposit you paid originally as well as the remaining amount due (plus applicable taxes).
Step 8 – Pay the Remainder of your Adoption Fee
Once your dog is booked on a flight, the remaining Adoption Fee will be due. Please send the amount due by PayPal or e-Transfer to email@example.com.
NOTE: Although your payment will be automatically deposited, the Adoption Fee (including the $100 deposit) is fully refundable if you determine within 21 days of your dogs arrival that they are not a good fit for your family. It is possible to request an extension on the trial period, however please notify us ahead of time if you feel this will be required. In the unlikely event you find your dog is not a good fit within the first 3 weeks (or the agreed-upon extension period), the adoption fee will be refunded to you. We will then try to find a foster home for your dog or, if a foster home cannot be found, we may ask that you keep the dog until an new adoptive home is found.
You will also need to sign the Adoption Agreement and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After submitting both the remaining Adoption Fee and Adoption Agreement, the adoption is considered to be final.
STEP 9 – Meet your Dog at the Airpot
The wait is over and your dog is here! YAY! The dog’s paperwork including vaccination records will be handed over to you at the airport.
NOTE: Our adoption fees do not include for certain airport-related costs. If your dog is flying into Vancouver, you can expect to pay a $31.50 CAD Agricultural Inspection Fee in order for Canadian Customs to release your dog. There may also be a $20 CAD porter fee. If your dog is flying into Seattle, similar fees may apply. Please bring cash to the airport for these costs.
CONGRATULATIONS! You are now on your way home with your newest family member!
The Cost of Dog Ownership
Adopting a rescue dog can bring you an infinite amount of joy. You’re saving a dog’s life and in return the pup will love you unconditionally! However, besides adoption fees, there are financial costs that come with having a furry friend. Read on to make sure you are prepared.
Cost Breakdown (Essentials)
According to the pros (veterinarians Dr. Michele King and Dr. Leslie Brooks), you can expect to pay $150 to $300 monthly towards the care of your dog. The average yearly expense is $2,175 (dependent on factors such as breed, general health, and age). Following is a breakdown of the expenses.
- Your first expense will be the adoption fee. At Loved at Last, this ranges from $350 – $600. You can also expect to spend a few hundred dollars making your home dog-friendly.
- Part of a dog-friendly home involves purchasing the essentials (a collar, food bowls, bedding, toys, and a leash/harness). You can expect to spend around $100 on these items but this will vary depending on the size of the dog and individual factors like how many toys they go through.
- You have several options for dog food – wet food, kibble, fresh or frozen food – all of which will alter the price. Expect to spend around $240 yearly on this.
- Regular vet visits are an important part of keeping your furry friend healthy. Although your dog will arrive to you healthy and vaccinated, you should still expect to prepare for annual vet checkups. These will cost between $75 and $300. If regular flea, tick or heartworm medication is required, you’ll be looking at $20 per month. Heartworm testing will be an additional $45.
- Dogs need their teeth cleaned too! Depending on the treatment, this will cost $175 – $300 without anesthesia and $500 – $1,000 if anesthesia is required.
- Grooming is another essential, especially if your dog has a long, luscious coat and you want them to remain cool in the summer. While prices vary, we suggest you put aside $50.
- The last expense you can expect to incur is pet insurance. Pet insurance, like health insurance, prevents you from being saddled with large, unexpected vet bills and so we strongly encourage everyone to get it! There’s nothing worse than having to worry about the cost of saving your pet’s life. You can expect to spend around $360 yearly on this.
Cost Breakdown (Unexpected Costs)
Life happens, and when it does you may find yourself having to pay around $200 – $500+ on unexpected expenses. This can be drastically reduced if you have pet insurance. Here is the price breakdown without insurance:
- Routine vet care, including an examination runs around $100-$300.
- A visit to Emergency costs approximately $100 – $200.
- A specialist exam or consultation ranges from $100 – $150.
- Hospitalization is the largest expense your dog can incur. The price varies on the length of time spent in hospital with the average cost for 1-5 days being $500 – $4000.
- A further unexpected cost can crop up when your dog needs to stay at a kennel. This can happen if you go on vacation and fail to find a dog-friendly hotel. Most kennels cost around $25 per night.
- If your pup is lucky enough to join you on your vacation, be aware that you may be looking at a $250 plane ticket (for a domestic flight) as well as a travel crate ranging from $70 – $170.
All in all, it’s a good rule of thumb to set aside an emergency fund for your pet’s healthcare. And rest assured that whatever you spend on your dog will be paid back in love and companionship!
For a complete list of unexpected vet expenses, view this extensive guide to veterinary care.