Dog and family adopted through Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue

Adopt Your New Best Friend!

Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue & Sanctuary offers a comprehensive adoption program designed to make forever matches. Take a minute to read about our process, eligibility guidelines, and FAQs here.

For new adopters, please read our information on adoption eligibility and process before completing our adoption application below. Once your application is received, we will review and process your application, scheduling a home visit within 1-2 weeks.

Previous adopters should call us to let us know you are looking again. Do leave a message. A human will respond. If it has been five years or more since adopting, please also complete an updated application to advise us of any changes to your home or its inhabitants. 

Adoption Eligibility

Homeward Bound generally adopts dogs within Northern California and Northern Nevada. Some exceptions may be made in special situations. For a list of Golden Rescues in other states, please click here.

We are looking for safe, loving homes with people committed to the dog’s health and happiness and who will consider the dog as a family member, living and sleeping inside. While some of our dogs come from loving homes, all have been unexpectedly uprooted. Many come with training, confidence-building, or care needs that should be supported with positive reinforcement, patience, and ample time to bring out the best in your new companion.

We generally require that you have a fenced yard (exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis).

We ask that you are realistic about the right dog for your lifestyle and that you trust in our experience in making these matches.

Application Process

We value all our previous adopters, donors, volunteers, and interested families. However, we prioritize based on the best fit for the dog. Those families with children under five years of age often have a longer wait as we typically only match dogs with a known history to these families.

We receive several applications daily and do our best to process applicants quickly and match families to the right dog, ensuring success and happiness for all involved. Some dogs are surrendered to us by families due to financial, health, or moving needs. Others come from shelters or irresponsible breeders through no fault of their own. Adopting a pet is a lifetime promise that requires patience and commitment. The joys and rewards are many.

Please expect a lengthy wait for those seeking a purebred Golden Retriever dog or puppy. However, we have always opened our doors to Golden mixes and other dogs of golden heart and hope you will see that they are equally special and deserving.

We understand and share your love of the Golden breed. If you decide to consider purchase over adoption, please be sure to read our information about how to choose a responsible breeder, so you don’t inadvertently contribute to the horrors of puppy mills.

Adoption Process Following Pre-Approval

Once you are approved, stay in touch with us. Call our office on Thursdays or Fridays to check on newly available dogs. Leave a message. This signals that you are actively engaged in your search. If we have a match, we will schedule an appointment.

Adoptions are by appointment only, Fridays and Saturdays, 11A-3P, and Sundays from 12N-3P. We expect the entire family and your dog(s) to meet a potential match. Please plan on time with us and bring a leash as you may be going home with your new friend.

Golden Touch Program: A Senior-to-Senior Connection. This adoption-fee-waived program matches our “Golden Oldies” with retired persons at least 60 years of age, not working, and on a limited income…people who are in a position to spend quality time with a senior dog. Please ask us about the program if you believe you are eligible.

Adoption Fees

All adoption fees go toward caring for our dogs and saving more lives; this includes veterinary care, medications and vaccinations, transportation, room and board, enrichment, training, and more. Adoption fees cover only a fraction of our cost for care.

Adoption fees may vary for SPECIAL NEEDS GOLDENS and some GOLDEN OLDIES.

Youngsters up to 3 years $350
Adults 4-7 Years $300
Adults 8-10 Years $250
Golden Oldies 11+ $200
family adopting a dog

Our Commitment to You and Our Dogs

Our commitment to you is to evaluate each dog, complete a medical examination, test for heartworm, vaccinate, spay or neuter, microchip, and provide whatever medical care is needed to prepare the dogs for home.

Our commitment to the dogs includes our lifetime promise: If for any reason you can no longer care for your adopted dog, he or she should be returned to our care to ensure a good home.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Youngsters Up to 3 years old – $350
  • Adults 4 to 7 years old – $300
  • Adults 8 to 10 years old – $250
  • Golden Oldies 11 years and older – $200

Adoption fees may vary for SPECIAL NEEDS GOLDENS and some GOLDEN OLDIES.

Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization. We rescue Goldens of any age and in any medical condition from all over California and beyond. This results in significant veterinary bills each month. We recoup some of those costs through adoption fees. We exist on donations, and we must collect fees in order to offset some of our expenses. The adoption fee that you pay allows us to continue doing what we do; saving golden lives and finding wonderful new homes for them.

Each dog that comes into our program is given a basic vet exam. It is brought current on vaccinations (rabies, DHPP and bordatella). If they are intact, they are spayed or neutered. They are also tested for heartworm. If they are given a clean bill of health, they are made available for adoption. We treat any medical issues which are identified.

The first step is to complete an adoption application. Once your application is received, it will be forwarded to a Placement volunteer in your area. Within a week or so, you should receive a call from the volunteer, who will ask you some questions and schedule a home visit (virtually or by photos at this time). Once you have been approved to adopt, stay in touch with us about dogs on our website or newly available dogs by calling our office at 916-655-1410 and choose option 1. Our dogs are in great demand; many never make the website before they are adopted. Staying in touch signals that you are actively engaged in your search. If we believe we have a match, we will schedule an appointment with special precautions in place during this pandemic. Please note that most of our volunteers work full time, in addition to having family commitments. They do not get paid and they do this work out of love for the dogs. So please be patient with us if we don’t contact you immediately. If you have completed an online application and haven’t heard from your Placement volunteer, you may email our Placement Coordinator at

Once your application has been reviewed and your home visit successfully completed, stay in touch with us by calling our office at 916-655-1410 and choose option 1.  Staying in touch signals that you are actively engaged in your search. If we believe we have a match, we will schedule an appointment with special precautions in place during this pandemic.

To ensure the health and safety of all during the Coronavirus pandemic, we will call families to schedule appointments when we believe we have a match. Appointments will be spread out to limit the number of people on-site at any time. Masks will be required. Details will be provided when we schedule your appointment.

Homeward Bound has made a lifetime commitment to each dog that comes into our program. If you adopt a dog, then decide it is not the right one for your household, it must come back to Homeward Bound. If, at any time during the dog’s life, you find that you must surrender the dog, he/she must be returned to Homeward Bound.

Our dogs come to us as surrenders from families that can no longer keep them or when someone has passed. Others are from shelters or have been found stray, undergoing a stray hold with all attempts made to find their owners. We are also involved in rescuing dogs from puppy mill situations and trusted international rescue partners.

No. Only a few of the dogs we take in have obviously been the victim of physical abuse. Many however, have been the victims of neglect, usually in the form of improper diet, health related issues such as ear infections, inadequate food supply, and lack of grooming and flea control, lack of training, or puppy mill situations. It is amazing just how resilient these wonderful creatures are and how quickly they can bounce back with just a little TLC.

In nearly all circumstances, we will require that the yard be fenced. On rare occasions, exceptions can be made if we have a Golden for whom such a situation is appropriate.

On the average, male Goldens normally weigh from 70 to 85 pounds. Females usually weigh from 50 to 70 pounds.

Goldens can live to 15 or 16 years of age. The average life expectancy is around 11-12 years old.