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Frequently Asked Questions

We have had a ton of the same questions lately, and we’re so busy puppy raising, we just cannot keep up (and probably won’t ever be able to), but we appreciate your interest for sure! So, here are all of our frequently-asked questions answered in one place:

  • Where are you located?
    Sanctuary Rescue is headquartered in Midlothian, Virginia (a suburb of Richmond). We don’t have a brick and mortar kennel facility. All of our dogs live in foster homes with wonderful foster volunteers, so we don’t have any public visiting hours.
  • How can I follow you on social media?
    Facebook: Instagram: Tik Tok:
  • I found a dog roaming the countryside and can’t keep it. Will you come get it?
    Found dogs need to go to the animal control in the jurisdiction where the dog was found to serve a stray hold. Even if the dog looks abandoned, it may have been on its own for a while but does in fact have an owner. The first place an owner is going to look for their missing dog is at the local shelter.
  • I can no longer keep my dog. Will you take it?
    Unfortunately we are not able to accept owner surrenders or dogs from the community. We only pull our rescue dogs from municipal animal shelters. The only exception to this rule is if there are newborn puppies that have lost a mother and need immediate assistance/bottle feeding. Otherwise we aren’t able to take in dogs directly from owners. We are sometimes able to help with donations of dog food, supplies, and spay/neuter. So if help getting your dog spayed/neuter or dog food assistance will help keep your dog in your home, please reach out to us.
  • I'm interested in adopting, how can I learn more?
    We're so excited you are interested in adopting! To begin the adoption process, please visit the "Adopt" tab of our website to learn more about dogs currently available for adoption as well as the steps of the adoption process.
  • I just saw Fido on Petfinder. Is he still available?
    If a dog’s listing is on Petfinder, then we are still accepting applications for it.
  • What kind of dog is Fido?
    Your guess is as good as ours! If we know what kind of dog we have in rescue, which is rare, we’ll mention it online in their adoption listing and/or social media posts; otherwise, we likely have no idea. Because visual breed identification has been proven to be highly inaccurate, we tend to shy away from guessing breeds at all. Luckily good old fashioned mutts are the best breed we know!
  • I saw Fido on Facebook and I’m really interested. Can you give me more information? Can we meet him? When will he be available for adoption?
    All dogs will be listed on our PetFinder when ready for adoption. We are a little bit superstitious and don’t like to list dogs for adoption until they are at least six to seven weeks old (to leave after eight weeks). So if you have your eye on a young puppy, our Facebook page is the best place to find regular updates and pictures, and once we think they’re finally ready for adoption, we will list them with every possible detail we know about them on Petfinder, which is linked to our website. Meet and greets are only arranged after we have an approved application/adoption questionnaire. We don’t take “early” applications. So if a dog is not listed on our website under the adoptable animals section then please don’t submit an application/questionnaire yet. Any applications that come in for "any dog"/I don’t know yet/that white puppy I saw on facebook/one of Fido’s puppies/etc. etc. will be disregarded. We don’t mean to be harsh, but our adoption application file is a crazy place so it is important that we follow our normal processes and procedures to keep it all straight. A big part of that is accepting and processing applications/questionnaires for dogs that are officially available for adoption and whose adoption details have been reviewed and understood by potential adopters first. All details about a dog will be listed in their adoption profile, i.e. approximate age, size, temperament, adoption fee, etc.
  • Can you tell me the status of my application?
    Unfortunately, no. We realize that’s a crappy answer, but it is the honest one. We often get a whole bunch of applications at once, and we’re just not able to provide status updates to everyone along the way. The reality of our lives is that we are busy cleaning puppy poop out of our hair, chauffeuring dogs to the vet, clipping toenails, bottle feeding babies around the clock, running across the state to spring dogs from the shelter or a myriad of other doggy care chores, and checking individual application statuses falls by the wayside. This can also be a complicated question since we are going through several applications at once. We might love your application, but we’re already in the adoption process with another potential adopter. As crazy as it sounds, this could take several days to a week or more due to the scheduling of meet and greets, home visits, etc. only to get to the end of the process and the adoption just doesn’t work out, in which case we go back to our stack of applications and start all over again. So you see, with so many variables with adoptions, it is hard to give definitive application updates. If everything works out, then the dog’s foster family will reach out to schedule a meet and greet. If you don’t hear from anyone within two weeks of submitting an application, then it just didn’t work out this time. Please, please, please don’t take this personally. Again, we often receive more than one application for a dog, and it may just be a matter of timing, so don’t be shy to apply again in the future. We always have great new dogs coming through our rescue that would love a home just like yours.
  • I have applied to adopt from you previously, can you just use that old application for a new dog?
    It is easiest and quickest and therefore in your best interest to fill out a new application. We don’t often keep applications on file so to skip over the process of us digging aimlessly through old applications, please show your interest in a particular dog by submitting a new application for it.​
  • I would like to adopt a cat/kitten. Do you have any available for adoption?
    No. Unfortunately we tried our hand at cat adoption, and it turns out we aren’t very good at it. Sanctuary Rescue is strictly a dog rescue at this time.
  • I live in Virginia Beach/Colorado/Egypt, can I still adopt from Sanctuary Rescue?
    We try to stick to an adoption radius of within two hours of Richmond, Virginia. We do very rarely adopt outside of this adoption radius; however, local adopters are always given preference.
  • I’d love to help. How can I foster and/or volunteer?
    Yay! We’d love to have you! If you are interested in either fostering or volunteering or both, please visit the Foster or Volunteer sections of our website and fill out either a foster application or volunteer application (under the forms tab). If you are interested in fostering (which is like the coolest “job” ever) we will get your foster application processed, and if approved, we’ll invite you out for a foster training so that you have a good understanding of how things work. Due to insurance restrictions, all of our volunteers must be 18 years or older.
  • I love puppies and dogs, but I cannot adopt at this time. Is there another way that I can help?
    Yes!! One option is our fostering system. We cover all costs of fostering - including supplies and veterinary care. Please visit the "Foster" tab to learn more about the process and submit an application. Additionally, as a small non-profit, we rely on donations to continue to save dogs. If you are able to donate, please visit the "Donate" tab to learn more. Thank you for your support!
  • How can I donate?
    First, thank you for wanting to contribute to our little labor of love. Our expenses outweigh what we take in in adoption fees 4 to 1, so we couldn’t stay operational without the kindness and generosity of our community. You can make an online donation via the Donate page on our website or through Paypal at Our Venmo name is @sanctuary-rescue. You can always mail a check or a donation of supplies to: Sanctuary Rescue 1519 Huguenot Road, Suite 105, Midlothian, Va 23113 (please note this is just a mailing address with no business hours). And finally, here is a link to all of our wishlists where you can have much needed supplies sent directly to us: We go through about 53 million billion bags of puppy food a year so we always shed a little tear of gratitude when someone sends something off of our wish lists. We are a registered 501(c)3 public charity and your donations are tax deductible. Thank you again for supporting us.
  • I have some blankets/towels/toys/supplies I’d like to donate, where can I bring them?
    Thank you! We go through a TON of supplies, and we love in-kind donations. A few things to note: Doggy tummy aches are no fun, so we only feed one brand of dog food for consistency’s sake. That’s Merrick Classic. We wouldn’t be able to use any dog food brands other than Merrick. We are not able to take any open bags of food nor are we able to accept any prescription medications. If you have any used crates, blankets, dog beds, etc. to donate we respectfully ask that they be cleaned with bleach before being donated. Many of our rescues are young puppies that are not fully vaccinated, have immature immune systems, and are especially susceptible to basic canine illnesses, so it is important that any used donations be sanitized first. Finally, we have a donation drop-off box at Pet Supplies Plus in Midlothian (11400 W. Huguenot Road, Midlothian, Va 23113). Please feel free to take any supply donations to our friends at Pet Supplies Plus during their business hours, and they will make sure they make it to Sanctuary Rescue.

A copy of our adoption questionnaire, volunteer/foster applications, adoption contract and further information about our adoption process can be found on our website.


We realize this is long and chock full of information. Thanks for hanging in there through all of it. We have found ourselves in the unique position of not only having many puppies and popular dogs for adoption but also having a healthy and active social media presence. Both great things! But it means we get so many messages and so many questions, and we just can’t keep up with all of them. At the end of the day, we are still a small, grassroots, foster-based rescue. All of our volunteers are in the trenches with their sleeves rolled up doing lots of hands-on helping, so instead of leaving you hanging, we hope that we have answered your questions here. We have given lots of thought to our processes and procedures, and they are what keeps us on track. We love our dogs, our volunteers, our fosters, our adopters, and our supporters, and after many years in rescue, this is what helps us continue rescuing to the very best of our abilities.

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