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Adoption
*Adoption Application Fee Agreement Please Note: There is a tax-deductible, $20.00 non-refundable application fee which helps to cover the cost of processing your application. However, this fee does not guarantee that your Adoption Application will be approved.
 
 

You must be an adult (at least 18) in order to apply for and adopt a TVGRR dog. If you are under the age of 18, please have a parent complete the application and we will be glad to match a dog to your family. Thank you.

Visit our Questions page to get answers on Adoption.
Read and keep a copy of the Adoption Contract.
Fill out our Online Adoption Application

 
Application Fee
Adoption Fee
Dog's Name
TVGRR Tag Number
Adoption Overview

The Tennessee Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (TVGRR) is a not for profit organization chartered by the state of Tennessee to provide healthy homes for pure bred Golden Retrievers who have been abused, abandoned, or surrendered by their owners.

This page provides general information concerning the Golden Retriever breed and the policies and procedures followed by the TVGRR in placing Goldens into their new homes. Many of the Goldens placed by the TVGRR have been in a foster home which enables the TVGRR to better assess the temperament of each Golden for matching to the appropriate permanent home and provides prospective owners the opportunity to visit the Golden in a non-kennel environment.

The Golden Retriever is an active dog reaching 75 or more pounds at full growth and requires daily exercise and attention. They need to be fed a premium quality dog food to help keep them in good condition. Food, vet services, and training can easily cost $500.00 per year. Their coat is long and sheds year round and can worsen allergy conditions. However, the impact of their shedding can be reduced with frequent grooming and brushing. While they have a very gentle mouth, they do enjoy chewing and should be provided with the appropriate items for chewing exercise. The Golden Retriever has a very loving disposition and it thrives on personal attention. Golden Retriever's placed by the TVGRR are not suited for an outside-only life and require a place in the home. Since the Golden Retriever lives to satisfy its family, obedience training is strongly recommended to ensure maximum bonding and mutual satisfaction.

An adoption fee, based on the age of the dog, helps defer TVGRR's cost of medical treatment (examinations, spay/neuter, vaccinations, heartworm check and micro-chipping) and kenneling provided before the Golden is adopted. Senior Goldens (older than 8 years) and Goldens with special (medical/physical) needs may be adopted at a reduced fee depending on the situation.

PLEASE NOTE:
Due to the ever rising costs of veterinary care, we were forced to increase our adoption fee. Effective March 1, 2014 the adoption fee is as follows:

Dogs under 4 years- $300
Dogs 4 - 7 years - $250
Dogs 8-10 years of age - $175
Dogs over 10 years – $50
Thank you for your understanding and continued support of TVGRR.

TVGRR will not normally place a Golden in a home environment that does not provide for attention during the day as well as a fenced yard for safety and exercise purposes. The TVGRR attempts to place their Goldens in the appropriate home environment and several interviews may be held between the prospective owners and the TVGRR adoption committee. Please note that the TVGRR does not endorse underground/hidden fences as appropriate long term containment, as these fences do not protect the dog from other dogs/animals and they do not provide the same degree of containment as a physical fence.

 


We've assembled answers to many of the questions we've received from people interested in adopting golden retrievers.

If you do not find the answer to the question you have, please contact TVGRR and a volunteer will get in touch with you.
Questions
  1. How often is the web site updated with new dogs?
  2. Are all available dogs on the web site?
  3. What do I do to adopt a dog from TVGRR?
  4. Can I select the dog I want from the web site?
  5. How long does the adoption process usually take?
  6. How is my application processed once it reaches TVGRR?
  7. What do I do if I have a problem with a dog I've adopted from TVGRR?
  8. Does TVGRR require fencing for the dogs?
  9. Is it okay to leave my dog outside all day while I'm gone?
  10. Does TVGRR require that the adopting families attend obedience training?
  11. What is crate training?
  12. How should I introduce my newly adopted dog to my existing pets?
  13. Where can I get more information about Golden Retrievers?
  14. How long do Golden Retrievers live?
  15. What should I feed my dog?
  16. I don't live in the Knoxville, TN or Decatur, AL areas; how can I find a group closer to me?
  17. What can I do to help TVGRR with the dogs?
  18. How do I contact TVGRR if I have a question or need more information?
Answers
  • How often is the web site updated with new dogs?
    We try to update the web site as soon as we have a new dog; sometimes we get behind as we're all volunteers, have families, and usually, other jobs.

    We posted Adoption Pending at one time, but too many people kept assuming that it meant the dog was still available and they would keep requesting the dog. So as soon as we have a firm (contract) on a dog, we move the dog off the web site. During the trial period (1 week) the dog is in limbo and is then moved to the Success Stories page or back to the available page if the adoption doesn't work out.
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  • Are all available dogs on the web site?
    Usually the dogs that are on the available page are the only ones available, but if we have babies, sick or untrained dogs that we are working with, they don't always make it to the available page until they are ready. The youngsters get too much attention over the slightly older dogs, so we don't usually post them and just work with families that are interested in puppies. Of course, this takes a special committment from the families as puppies take a lot of time and effort and a lot of families think they're getting perfect dogs. We do our best, but no dog is perfect ... as is no family ...
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  • What do I do to adopt a dog from TVGRR?
    Completion of our application is the first step for adoption. Please fill out our adoption form online to begin the process.
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  • Can I select the dog I want from the web site?
    Once the dogs are on the available page, we work with our current, approved applications until we find the right family for the dog, and vice versa. If the dog you're interested in is still available, we'll be glad to work with you either for that dog or one that the adoption committee feels will better match your home situation, or, if the dog is already spoken for, we can use your choice to make another recommendation.
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  • How long does the adoption process usually take?
    Usually a couple of weeks. This varies and can sometimes be a lengthy process, it depends on so many factors and we really want to make a lasting match for both our dogs and your family. Each case is very unique, as you might imagine!
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  • How is my application processed once it reaches TVGRR?
    When your application is received it is reviewed by the Adoption Committee. Once the committee has approved the application, references are reviewed and checked. One Adoption Committee member, your adoption coordinator, will review your application with you, ask questions and answer questions. During this time, the Adoption Committee continues to review the information to determine whether or not one of our rescued dogs will fit successfully in your home environment.
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  • What do I do if I have a problem with a dog I've adopted from TVGRR?
    There are several options for dealing with dog problems, depending on the problem. Most problems can be avoided by training and understanding dog behavior (best learned in a positive training class, see #10). Immediate resources are available through your local veterinarian and local obedience classes. TVGRR has members that also work in the veterinarian & dog obedience fields and are happy to answer questions. If we don't know an answer, we try to find the answer or send you to someone who will know.

    As stated in the contract, if a problem exists that the adopting family is unable or unwilling to resolve, then the dog comes back to TVGRR. At that time, TVGRR will work with the dog and find a new adoptive home.
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  • Does TVGRR require fencing for the dogs?
    In most instances, a fence is always recommended. Goldens love to run and can end up in a busy street before you can get them back and can jump/climb higher than we can imagine!

    An electronic fence does not keep other dogs (and other creatures) out of a yard and if it quits working, a dog can easily escape. Some dogs will go through a working fence and take the shock but not come back through it. A fenced yard is not a substitute for having the dog in the house with the family. It is just a convience. However, there are neighborhoods that require only electronic fencing, so this needs to be discussed on a case-by-case basis. If you have questions about fencing, please don't hesitate to ask.
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  • Is it okay to leave my dog outside all day while I'm gone?
    Please click here for information: Inside or Outside? Making Your Dog a Part of the Family

  • Does TVGRR require that the adopting families attend obedience training?
    Obedience training is highly recommended! Most failed adoptions are due to lack of training, so we can't emphasize this enough. Try the website for the Association of Pet Dog Trainers for a list of positive trainers in your area. Visit our resources page for books that will help you continue the lessons learned in class.

    Please ask for recommendations if you don't know of a trainer in your area. We'll do our best to find one for you.Go Back to Questions

  • What is crate training?
    Crate training provides a den in which your dog may eat and/or sleep and is highly necessary for younger dogs. For more information about crate training, please see: American Dog Trainers Network: Crate Training or Golden Retrievers: Crate Training in Brief
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  • How should I introduce my newly adopted dog to my existing pets?
    We recommend introducing a new dog to your family's existing dogs in a neutral spot (perhaps a park) with both on lead and both handlers holding treats. Allow them to see each other and approach slowly, giving out treats and praise liberally. As they make contact, continue to praise, but withhold the treats. Allow them to sniff and get to know each other, holding tightly to the lead until it's obvious there will be no problems. If all goes well, take a walk and let them spend time together. Usually, your TVGRR adoption coordinator will do this with you to ensure a successful match of the new dog to your home.

    Once home, keep both dogs on lead again and let them interact slowly. Keep an eye on them for awhile, again until it's apparent there will be no problems. Take up existing dog's favorite toys and chewies until the dogs have settled in with each other. Feed separately or in crates for awhile. Rescued dogs can change their habits and activity levels after being in an established home for a month or more. They are usually more relaxed, but can become more mischievious.

    If problems occur, crate the new dog and let them get to know each other through the crate wire. Go slowly! If problems persist, please call or email TVGRR and we'll try to help you & your dogs work through the issues.
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  • Where can I get more information about Golden Retrievers?
    An excellent resource for learning more about Goldens is the Golden Retriever Club of America: GRCA
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  • How long do Golden Retrievers live?
    The only way to answer this question is with an average and that would be 10-12 years. There are many factors that affect longevity: genetics, health, food, environment, to name just a few. Please keep in mind that some dogs live shorter lives and many live longer; it is not possible predict how long any dog will live.
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  • What should I feed my dog?
    Dog food requirements are ever-changing and it is a matter of personal choice and budget. Generally, TVGRR recommends at least a high quality kibble, from named meat sources (i.e. chicken or turkey, not poultry; or beef or lamb, not meat), no coloring agents, natural preservatives and vitamin additives.

    Many Golden Retrievers seem to be prone to skin allergies and feeding your dog a better food will frequently control or even stop allergy problems.
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  • I don't live in the Knoxville, TN or Decatur, AL areas; how can I find a group closer to me?
    For a state-by-state listing of Golden Retriever rescues, please see: Rescue Contacts
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  • What can I do to help TVGRR with the dogs?
    We have adoptathons on the first Saturday of every month, regular fundraisers, carwashes, wrapping sessions at Borders Book Store, a garage sale in the fall, etc. - you are welcome to join us. Please stay in touch with ourActivities Calendar for upcoming events. Of course, we always appreciate donations! Contact us today.
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  • How do I contact TVGRR if I have a question or need more information?
    If you need to contact us, we're available by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you may leave us a voice message at 865-558-3100 and we'll get in touch with you.
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