Updated: October 13th, 2022
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Golden retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, and they make wonderful pets to active people and families with children. Despite their huge popularity and amazing temperaments, goldens end up abandoned or surrendered by their owners in various golden retriever rescues in California!
Welcoming a rescued golden retriever into your home is one of those things you’ll remember for the rest of your life! Most rescued goldens are no different than golden retrievers sold by breeders; they just need a second chance at a better life.
To give these dogs a fighting chance of finding a loving forever home, I’ve found the best golden retriever rescues in California. These organizations have matched thousands of goldens with their new families, and they can help you find the golden retriever of your dreams!
3 Great Golden Retriever Rescues In California
Considering that the golden retriever is always among the top five most popular dog breeds in the United States, golden retriever rescues are always busy. There is even a chance that your local rescue has a waiting list for adoption, especially if you are looking for golden retriever puppies in California.
Having said that, golden retriever puppies aren’t surrendered to rescues as nearly as often as adult and senior goldens, so this is something you need to consider. Although golden retriever puppies are unbelievably cute, adopting an adult golden comes with perks, too! Most adult golden retrievers have been house trained as puppies, and it’s common for them to also be crate trained.
If you don’t have time or energy for socializing and training a young golden retriever puppy, adopting an adult golden can be an excellent solution!
With that being said, here are the best golden retriever rescues in California that help rescue and rehome golden retrievers and their mixes!
1. Golden Retriever Club Of Greater Los Angeles Rescue (GRCGLAR)
The Golden Retriever Club of Greater Los Angeles Rescue is one of the oldest golden retriever rescues in southern California. This rescue serves six southern California counties including Riverside, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, Orange, and Ventura.
The GRCGLAR’s team is made up of volunteers who have many years of experience with the golden retriever breed in varying capacities.
While the Golden Retriever Club of Greater Los Angeles Rescue is ready to help any golden retriever in need, they are particularly committed to helping sick, injured, and senior goldens.
If you are interested in adopting from this rescue, you’ll need to fill out an online adoption application and submit it with a $25 donation. It will likely take around 7 to 10 days for the rescue staff to contact you and schedule a home visit. After a successful home visit, the rescue staff will do their best to match you with the perfect dog for your family.
It’s worth noting that this rescue doesn’t adopt to homes with children under the age of seven! If you have younger kids, you might want to wait until they get a bit older, consider adopting a dog from another rescue, or simply purchase a dog from a breeder.
Another great thing about this rescue is all of their dogs are spayed/neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, and vet-checked before adoption. The adoption fee for golden retrievers under a year old is $600. Dogs 1 to 4 years of age cost $500, dogs from 5 to 8 years are $350, and goldens over 9 years old are $250.
2. Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue
The Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue is located in Elverta, California, on eight acres of land where their golden retrievers can run, play, and train. This rescue provides sanctuary to goldens from all over California and the United States. All of this is made possible thanks to the facility’s network of volunteers and fosters who do everything in their power to help and rescue golden retrievers in need.
This rescue rarely has golden retriever puppies for adoption, so you’ll have a far better chance of adopting an adult or senior dog from them. To adopt a golden, you’ll need to first fill out an online adoption form. From there, a volunteer will review your application and schedule a home visit (either in-person or virtually).
Once you have been approved for adoption, you can call the rescue to inquire about available dogs or check their website to see if there are any goldens that interest you. If there’s a match, you will meet the dog in person, and if it all goes well, you’ll just have to sign a contract and take your new dog home.
All golden retrievers from this rescue have been spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and checked by a vet before adoption. Adoption fees vary according to the golden retriever’s needs and age – fees for younger goldens are always higher than fees for adult and senior dogs.
3. NorCal Golden Retriever Rescue (NGRR)
The NorCal Golden Retriever Rescue is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization with a mission to rescue and place goldens in loving, forever homes. Besides rescuing dogs, this golden retriever rescue in northern California also offers services to owners looking to surrender their goldens because of relocation, financial troubles, divorce, illness, or death in the family.
To adopt a golden retriever from the NorCal Golden Retriever Rescue, you will need to fill out an online adoption application. A volunteer will review your application and contact you if you seem like a good candidate for adoption. If everything checks out, the volunteer will arrange a home visit to see if you’ll be able to take care of one of their dogs.
Please note, the NorCal Golden Retriever Rescue is continuing to see fewer abandoned goldens than ever before, so they have a very long waiting list. If you aren’t willing to wait several months or more for the perfect golden, you should consider other rescues or look into reputable breeders in your area.
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FAQs About Adopting Golden Retrievers
Is it hard to adopt a golden retriever?
Over the past few years, fewer and fewer golden retrievers have been surrendered to shelters and rescue organizations, and most rescues now have waiting lists for adoption. An adoption process can take between two weeks and a month to finalize if everything checks out and the rescue already has a perfect dog for you. However, this rarely happens, and you may end up waiting up to a year for a perfect golden retriever to appear.
Keep in mind, the more requirements you have for a dog, the longer the wait will be. For example, you can wait several months to a full year for a golden retriever puppy to be put for adoption. On the other hand, you may be able to finalize the adoption and sign the contract for an adult or senior golden retriever in just a couple of weeks.
When should I adopt my golden retriever?
Most golden retriever rescues advise families to wait until their children are at least 7 years old before they consider adopting a golden retriever. In fact, many rescues won’t adopt their dogs to families with younger children. An exception can be made only if you, the parent, have experience owning a large sporting dog.
If you don’t have children yet but plan to have them in the near future, think long and hard about whether adopting a dog now is a good decision. If you meet all the other criteria for adoption, you have a better chance of adopting a puppy or adult golden retriever as a single or couple without children.
What’s it like owning a golden retriever?
Golden retrievers make fantastic pets and companions to active people and families with children. Goldens are extremely social dogs that are known for being affectionate, loving, devoted, and loyal to their families. They are also very active and energetic dogs that love to play with their owners and be involved in all family activities.
As highly social creatures, goldens like to have company and don’t like being left alone for long hours. When left to their own devices, they can easily develop separation anxiety and develop bad habits such as excessive barking, digging, or destructive chewing.
Golden retrievers make affectionate, playful, and loyal pets, and golden retriever rescues in California are full of wonderful dogs waiting for forever homes. If you think the golden retriever is the perfect breed for you, fill out an online adoption form or contact your local rescue organizations to see how long their waiting list is and whether they have any goldens available for adoption.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when adopting a golden retriever:
- Wait until your kids are at least 7 years old before you consider adopting a golden retriever
- Golden retriever puppies are rarely put for adoption, so consider an adult or senior dog
- Most golden retriever rescues take in golden retriever mixes, so consider adopting a mixed breed instead of a purebred golden retriever
Have you adopted a golden retriever in California? How did the adoption process go? Share your experience adopting a golden with us and our readers in the comment section below!