How to Adopt

GGRR is not currently accepting applications. Please check back later.


  • GGRR only adopts Goldens to families living in the city of St Louis, Missouri and the Missouri counties of Saint Louis, Saint Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin.
  • All dogs adopted from GGRR must be house dogs, where the dogs will live inside the home.
  • Dogs cannot be adopted to be given as surprise gifts.  All family members must be aware and desire the addition of a Golden Retriever into the family. If you would like to give a gift of an animal, we strongly recommend that you give related items (collar, leash, brush) and a gift certificate as the gift and then involve everyone in the process of choosing and bringing home the new family member.
  • A fenced yard is highly recommended but we do adopt dogs to families in homes where fencing is not possible.  We encourage you to consider adopting an older Golden in these situations.
  • Enrolling in a basic obedience class within 6 months of adoption is strongly encouraged, regardless of the dog’s age. We offer a $25 refund if you enroll, participate in, and send GGRR proof of successful completion of obedience classes within the first 6 months of adopting a Golden.  Even if the dog knows basic commands or has had obedience class before, it is great practice to repeat classes and it will help create a closer bond between you and your dog. Local obedience classes are sometimes offered at a discount if the dog was adopted from GGRR, please ask for details.
  • We attempt to match each dog with the adoptive families.  We want our Goldens to live in the best permanent, loving environment we can find. Some Goldens are right for some families, others may not be as good a match for your household. Because of this, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to adopt a specific dog from our program. If you are interested in a particular dog, please let us know and every effort will be made to try and match him/her with you.
  • All prospective adoptive families must complete our adoption process below before a Golden is placed with them.  The adoption process may take several weeks to several months, depending on the requirements of the adoptive family and the Goldens in our program at that time. Please remember we are an all volunteer group, and things can get crazy at times. If you haven’t heard from us for a while or have a question just give us a call or email!
  • The adoption fee for each dog under the age of nine is $300.00.  A reduced adoption fee is requested for senior Goldens (age 9 and older). The adoption fee helps to offset the costs of boarding, feeding, veterinarian care, and other associated rescue costs.  Please remember we are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, which means any fees or other donations made to GGRR are tax-deductible.

Our Adoption Process

  1. Initial Contact:  Fill out an online Adoption Application or call us to let us know you are possibly interested in adopting a Golden Retriever.
  2. Phone Interview:  A volunteer will call you to find out more about your family and will be able to answer questions about adopting and the responsibilities of owning a Golden Retriever. Any information you share with GGRR will not be used for anything other than finding the best home for our Goldens.
  3. Home Visit:  Arrangements will be made for a volunteer to meet you in person and visit your home. We will take a look at your home, your property/yard, and try to get a feel for the type of environment the dog may live in.
  4. Approval or Denial:  We always try our best to approve a family for adoption. However, there may be certain situations where we cannot in good conscience place a dog with a family. The reason GGRR exists is to give Goldens a second chance at a good life, and we won’t take the risk of putting them in a questionable environment.
  5. Meeting a Golden:  Once you’ve been approved for adoption, GGRR will evaluate which Golden(s) currently in the program fit with your family. The more restrictions you place on the type of Golden you want (i.e., gender, age) the longer it can take to find a match. Once a match is found, a volunteer will call or email you and tell you about the Golden. You then decide if you’re interested in meeting the dog. Arrangements are then made to visit with the dog.
  6. Waiting Period:  There is a mandatory waiting period of at least 24 hours before you can make a final decision on whether you want to adopt the Golden you visited. This gives you an opportunity to talk within your family and make sure this is the right decision. This is also a good time to purchase a collar, leash, brush, dog food, bowls, a crate, books about dogs, make a veterinarian appointment, sign up for obedience classes, or anything else you might need. Please feel free to ask us any questions you might have about what is necessary to responsibly own and care for your new family member.
  7. Bringing your Golden Home:  Once you decide you’d like to adopt the Golden you visited, call or email the GGRR volunteer back after at least 24 hours. Arrangements will be made for you to bring the dog home. You will need to sign the GGRR Adoption Contract, and pay the remainder of your adoption fee. It is highly recommended that you bring the dog into your home when you have a couple of days you can spend with the dog to help with the adjustment to a new environment. Dogs will be afraid and confused as to what’s going on, and they will need some time to adjust to their new home and surroundings. They may temporarily change their eating or sleeping habits, and may not act like themselves for a day or two until they are comfortable. Again, if you have any questions please let us know.

Gateway Golden Retriever Rescue is not currently accepting applications.