Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Close up of smiling brown, white, and black dog adopted by RESCUEDohio

Where are you located?

All of our dogs live with foster families in private homes in central Ohio, so we do not have a physical location or hours of operation. To contact us, please email

What is your application process?

We have a single application whether you want to adopt a dog, foster a dog in need, or volunteer with our organization. Please note: Our application takes up to 30 minutes to complete. 

Our application is very detailed because we want to understand the specific needs of your home and match you with the best dog or volunteer opportunity possible. We require all adopters to complete this application in its entirety before discussing the potential adoption of a dog.

RESCUEDohio application process:

  1. Return a fully completed application to us. Incomplete applications will not be considered (you should receive an email confirming your submission).
  2. We review your application, contact vet and personal references, and contact your landlord if applicable. 
  3. Next, we schedule a home visit with you. A home visit may be done in-person or virtually by one of our volunteers. All members of your home must be present for the home visit.
  4. Next, we approve or deny your application and notify you. Check your spam folder as our communications are sometimes categorized incorrectly.
  5. If your application is approved, we will forward your application to the foster family who is fostering a dog that fits your application criteria. They will contact you to set up a meet-and-greet so you can meet the dog.
  6. If the meet-and-greet is successful, we will notify you and arrange to finalize the adoption. You will sign an adoption contract and pay the adoption fee in order to finalize the adoption.
  7. You enjoy a lifetime of love and devotion from your new four-legged friend!

What criteria do you consider when reviewing adoption applications?

The following requirements must be met in order for your adoption application to be considered:

  • You are an Ohio resident
  • You are at least 23 years of age
  • You are willing to travel to Columbus area to meet any of our dogs
  • You are applying for a companion animal–we do not adopt dogs for the purpose of emotional support, therapy, or service
  • Your current dogs are up-to-date on all shots (Rabies and DHPP required. Bordetella is strongly recommended). Any health exceptions must be verified by your veterinarian.
  • Your current cats are up-to-date on all shots (Rabies and FVRCP required) and/or complete annual wellness visits with your veterinarian.
  • Your current pets are spayed or neutered.
  • Your current pets are on heartworm preventative and have a heartworm check at least every other year with your veterinarian.
  • Your current pets have annual health checks with your veterinarian.

What happens if my application is approved?

If your application is approved, we will contact you to schedule a meet and greet with a foster dog that is a compatible match for your home. Please note: If you applied for a specific dog, it is possible that the dog will be adopted by another family by the time your application is approved.

We appreciate that you stay open minded during the adoption process so we can find the right match for your home, your family, and your lifestyle. If you are no longer interested in adopting with us, we ask that you please communicate your intentions so we can direct our attention to other applicants.

Why was my application denied?

RESCUEDohio reserves the right to deny any application. It is our goal to place dogs where we feel they are the best fit, and not based on the order in which we receive applications or any other criteria. We trust that you will conduct yourself in a professional manner and not discredit our organization for not selecting your application, as denials are not personal.

We thoroughly screen all applications because we emphasize the need for a stable environment for our dogs. This includes having a secure job, income to support a family pet, and stable housing. If you have a landlord, we also require approval by your landlord for a pet in your home. There will be no exceptions to landlord requirements including breed restrictions, unless approval is documented in writing by your landlord.

Though we cannot answer specific questions about denials, most denials are for the following reasons:

How can I meet your dogs?

You have two options to meet with our foster dogs:

First, you can complete and gain approval for a submitted application. Our volunteers will contact you if your application is approved so you can arrange a meet-and-greet with a dog that is compatible for your home.

Second, you can attend RESCUEDohio events in the Columbus area and meet our foster dogs there.

Special note about events: We do not do onsite adoptions. If you are already approved to adopt and attend one of our events, please let your adoption coordinator know so we can have the dog’s foster family reach out with next steps. They will reach out to you and set up a meet-and-greet to ensure it’s a good match for both you and our foster dog. If you have not been approved and meet a dog that you’d like to adopt, an application must be submitted and approved before moving forward.

What are your adoption fees?

Our adoption fees ensure that you are adopting a dog or puppy that is vaccinated, spayed or neutered, microchipped, and healthy. We do not finalize adoptions until they have a clean medical record by our veterinarians. 

Adoption fees:

  • Puppies (6 months and under) – $400
  • Adults (6 months to 7 years) – $350
  • Seniors (8 years and older) – $195
  • “Seniors for Seniors” Program – $65


Please note: All fees include spay/neuter, microchip, vaccinations*, deworming, and the dog will be current on flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives. All dogs over 6 months of age have been tested and are heartworm negative.

*Adult dogs will be fully vaccinated at time of adoption. Puppies will be vaccinated with age appropriate vaccines through their spay/neuter.

What happens if I see a dog I’m interested in?

We do not reserve dogs for adoption. To ensure your best chance of meeting the dog you are interested in, please complete an adoption application.

Please note: We match applicants with dogs based on the right fit, so if we do not select your application for the dog you are interested in but your application is approved, your application will stay on file for 6 months.

When new dogs come into our foster program, we review approved applicants and will reach out if we find a good match for your application. You may also reach out to us during this time if you are interested in adopting a different dog.

If you do not have a specific dog you’re interested in, that’s ok too! On your application, select “A dog not listed” so we know that we need to find the right fit for you.

We encourage you to apply early, because we only schedule meet-and-greets with approved applicants. This gives you the best chance of being approved before the right dog becomes available.

What happens if I find a dog on Petfinder, but the listing is removed?

We try to keep our Petfinder listings as up-to-date as possible. When we receive multiple applications for a dog, we remove the Petfinder listing so we can focus on the applications we’ve already received. There is no guarantee that any of the applications are a perfect match for the dog, so we reserve the right to re-list the dog on Petfinder as needed in order to find the best match possible.

If you find a dog on Petfinder and the listing is removed but you would still like to be considered for the dog, please apply and select “A dog not listed” on your application. Our application also includes a place where you can note the dog’s name that you saw.

I am a previously approved adopter. Do I need to reapply?

If you were approved within the last 6 months, you do not need to reapply (assuming you have not moved or added another pet to your home). If it’s been more than 6 months since you were approved, please complete a new application.

I am looking for a service dog. Can you help?

RESCUEDohio only adopts out dogs as companion animals and family pets. We have the expertise to describe dogs in their ability to be good family pets, but we do not have the expertise to suggest that a dog would be able to complete training as a service or emotional support dog. For this reason, if you are looking for a service or ESA dog, we will refer you to local resources, but our organization cannot accommodate your request.

Why haven’t I heard back after contacting your rescue?

Please remember that our organization is 100% run by volunteers who have full-time jobs, families, and personal responsibilities.The best way to contact us is via email

Please note: We need weekends too! We respond to inquiries when we can, but expect most communications to occur Monday – Friday.

I need to rehome my dog. Can you help?

If you need to rehome your dog, please email with the following: photos of your dog, a description of your dog’s ideal home life, the reason(s) why you are rehoming your dog, and veterinary records. If we are unable to help, we will do our best to put you in contact with the right organizations who can.

Please note: if you are rehoming a dog you adopted from us, please contact us as soon as possible. Per your adoption contract, you must notify us of this need so we can work together on a solution.

I saw a dog that is listed as “rescue only.” Can you help?

We know that we are surrounded by many kill shelters. We understand that you would like to save a dog (we would like to save all the dogs too). However, we do not have a physical facility. This means every dog we bring into our organization must first have a foster home lined up. Foster homes are almost always full, so please understand that we cannot accommodate most of these requests. If you are interested in fostering a dog through our organization, please submit an application so you are able to help in these situations.

Please note that we are not members of the Franklin County rescue list and cannot pull dogs from FCDS.

What does it mean when my Petstablished account status changes?

Petstablished is the tool we use to process applications and keep track of the needs of all our foster dogs. So you may receive a notification as we process your application.

However, please note that until you hear from one of our volunteers by phone or email, your application is not officially approved.

I found a stray. Can you help?

As a privately held rescue organization, we do not have the ability or authority to respond or remove dogs from dangerous situations. That authority is held by local sheriff departments and/or humane agencies. If you are reaching out for help regarding situations such as these, please contact those organizations.

You can also check with your local vet or shelter to have it scanned for a microchip. If the dog is not wearing identification and no microchip can be found, please file a report with the shelter nearest to where it was found. If there is an owner, this is the first place they will check.

We also encourage the use of Pet FBI Ohio to report the found dog. If all efforts have been exhausted and no owner can be found, please email with as much information as possible. Our intake board will review and let you know if we’re able to help.

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