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Double the Gold Challenge!

Each year, in early spring, a small group of donors step up to build a fund for the medical care of the dogs. Now, we turn to you. This is where the smaller donations of the many add up to a lot because every dollar raised through the Double the Gold Challenge will be matched by their Fund of Love – doubling the impact of every gift.

Last year, 573 dogs came through our doors…a 43% increase over 2022. Although our per-dog cost was down, vet expenses surpassed $500,000. This year, we are on pace to top that by another 50%. At roughly two intakes a day this year, that would put us at over 700. We hope it slows, but so far, there is no end in sight. We continue to see dogs abandoned by breeders, but the greatest number are being surrendered by owners. Some are facing legitimate financial and housing struggles, but too many are simply moving on – treating their dogs as if they are disposable when the have lost interest or failed them in training.

Now – more than ever – your support is needed to capture every penny of the waiting Fund of Love match. No gift is too small. Together, we can get there and ensure that we can still say “yes” to every dog in need.

Following are just a few of the hundreds of dogs your gifts will support this year.

Golden Retriever


Annie is yet another dog dumped in the Central Valley. At approximately three years of age, it was clear she had been a mom before. She was likely used for breeding until she was of no further use. She was found by a good Samaritan and brought to the local shelter. We scooped her up right away – but apparently not soon enough! All our female dogs are checked with our portable ultrasound machine for possible pregnancies. Nothing showed up on Annie, so she went home as foster-to-adopt while we waited for her spay appointment. The waitlist for vet appointments these days is long! When that appointment finally arrived, a routine check confirmed…puppies! Counting backwards, the “date” clearly  occurred at the shelter. Annie is back with us to birth and whelp yet another litter at Homeward Bound. When ready, she will return to her anxious family, where she is now known as Cali. Her new family is taking bets on the litter size. We’re just anxious to know who the daddy was!

Labrador Retriever


At approximately 12 years of age, Casanova was found wandering the streets of Oakland. He was picked up by animal control and quickly made his way to Homeward Bound. While sugar-faced, he has no idea he is a senior boy. He is quite active and can pull much more on a leash than you would imagine for his build. Wherever he came from, it was obvious he had not received care in years. His teeth were terrible, he had layers of filth in his ears, and his skin was bad due to a flea infestation. All of these were fixable, but the mass in his mouth and on his bum were not. Tests have determined that his cancer has already metastasized. Casanova doesn’t know he has cancer, and we’re not telling him. He will go home as a permanent foster and be the first recipient of our new Compassionate Care hospice program, ensuring that he receives the palliative care he needs until his day arrives.

Golden Retriever Mix


Scarlett was part of a group of three dogs surrendered by a large-volume backyard breeder when the puppy market went soft. She had no medical records of any kind and went into heat before she could be spayed. We sent her home as a foster-to-adopt until she was medically ready for her procedure. At home, Scarlett apparently consumed something she was not supposed to and ended up in the ICU with aspiration pneumonia. This type of lung infection can develop if a dog inhales foreign material, such as food, liquid, or stomach contents, causing inflammation of the lung tissue that can lead to infection. Scarlett quickly became a $2,500 dog! But thanks to a fast-acting and attentive future adopter, we were able to get her the care she urgently needed.

Chocolate Labrador


Kingston, a tiny three-year-old Golden, was surrendered when his owners learned he would not be allowed in their new residence. He was quickly adopted by a loving family, but suspected kennel cough turned out to be something more sinister. Kingston has been diagnosed with a likely fungal infection. It’s an opportunistic pathogen that typically affects animals with weakened immune systems. It can be confused with kennel cough or allergies but is more persistent. The most severe types enter the body through the respiratory tract and travel to other organs via the bloodstream. Left untreated, it can be fatal. Although Kingston was adopted, his symptoms became evident in our care. Thus, our commitment extends to his current family. Treatment has begun and may require two courses. All told, the bill may exceed $7,000. We can keep our commitment because good people like you stand by us.

Thanks to your support, we can be there when dogs arrive with significant medical needs. In addition, we provide ongoing medical support to a revolving list of 60-80 dogs in our Permanent Foster Program. 

Twelve-year-olds Eleanor and Molly, 15-year-old Dolly, and 16-year-old Shelby all arrived with maladies typical of senior dogs. They needed two things: supportive care to keep old, achy bodies comfortable and loving homes. They found both through Homeward Bound. Their Permanent Foster families provide love and care in a welcoming “retirement home.” At the same time, Homeward Bound ensures that all their medical needs are met. Others have more significant requirements. Read on.

Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retriever
Blind Golden Angel Dog

Abby Rose

Abby Rose was surrendered at the age of eight with severe allergies and ongoing hot spots. Her care became more than her family could manage. With proper diet and medications, we were able to get her issues under control, but she recently developed very uncomfortable corneal ulcers. Abby Rose has received expensive daily drops, but the condition persists. Left untreated, it can result in reduced vision. She will undergo a grid keratotomy – a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves pricking or scratching the eye while the dog is sedated. This stimulates the epithelium (outer layer) of the eye to heal by making it easier to attach to the stroma (the thickest layer of the cornea) with a 95% chance of success. Dogs frequently enter our Permanent Foster program with one set of needs and then develop others. Especially our seniors. We can honor our commitment to lifetime care thanks to your support.

Labrador Retriever


Madeline – Madeline was picked up as a stray by animal control. She was covered in maggots on her tail and lady parts and had a severe flea infestation. Anemic and in critical condition, we rushed her into our care. She had a blood count so low we thought we would lose her in the first few days. By banishing the maggots and fleas, increasing her iron, and giving her rest and care, we were able to save her. She was sporting a mass, which we had removed when she was well enough, but one thing we could not cure: Madeline has an atonic bladder. She may sense that she needs to urinate, but her muscles do not contract on their own. Left unattended, her bladder spills over. This condition and her beautiful disposition meant that our president was immediately drawn to her. To manage her care, Madeline’s bladder must be manually expressed throughout the day. She receives daily medications and is still highly susceptible to ongoing UTIs requiring regular urinalysis and treatment…not to mention a mountain of pee pads and daily cleanings. At 11 years of age, is she worth it? Just look at that face!

double the gold logo

It’s Time for the Double the Gold Challenge!

Homeward Bound has been able to support all  these dogs thanks to your generous gifts.

We know that these are extraordinary times for many. Anything you can contribute during the Double the Gold Challenge will not only help – it will go twice as far as your gift is matched by a waiting Fund of Love.

Let’s not leave even a dollar of that Fund of Love match behind!  We simply cannot do it without you.

How to Help

To contribute securely online, click the Donate button below.

To donate by check, please send your check to:

HBGRR Double The Gold Challenge
Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue
7495 Natomas Rd.
Elverta, CA 95626.

On behalf of the Golden and golden-hearted dogs that will benefit from your generosity, our heartfelt thanks.