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Sponsor a Golden with Special Needs

Want to help the Goldens but can’t adopt or foster and don’t have time to volunteer? You can still contribute! Make a meaningful difference in the life of a golden in need by sponsoring a dog in our Golden Angel Program.

Each Golden that comes to Homeward Bound receives at a minimum, a vet exam, vaccinations, spay/neuter, heartworm test and treatment if needed to be ready for placement into a loving home. Some dogs require additional medical care, including hip surgeries, repairing broken bones, removing tumors, treating ear infections, ear surgeries, eye surgeries, knee surgeries, and a host of others. Our adoption fees don’t come close to covering the costs of this extensive medical care. Thus we rely on donations from our generous supporters. Some of these golden guests will stay with us for an extended period of time to recover, heal, gain strength and confidence before moving along to their forever homes. Some, because of their medical challenges, will become permanent Homeward Bound residents.

Pictured below are six dogs with special needs that require extra care and attention. If you would like to help by sponsoring them, you’ll be making a big difference in their lives.

You can make a one-time donation of any amount via PayPal or personal check, or you can become a Golden Angel by making a monthly donation via PayPal. Donations are tax deductible and will be a blessing for those Goldens who need a little extra care or time.

Miss Pickles aka Autumn

This pint-sized pup is ever ready – so full of energy and life! Miss Pickles has no idea that she cannot see – or that she has a condition called hydrocephalus – water on the brain. Congenital hydrocephalus is usually the result of poor breeding; it appears a few weeks up to a year after birth. It is characterized by a soft skull which results in a domed head due to swelling. Excess fluids – with no place to go – cause compression of the brain which can result in seizures, blindness and behavioral issues.

Miss Pickles was scooped up almost immediately by one of our volunteers who has a history of picking dogs with the greatest needs. An angel chose an angel. Miss Pickles – now named Autumn – will live with her new mom as a permanent foster – but don’t tell her that – all she will know is “home.” Homeward Bound will ensure her medical care for life – and there will be ongoing needs as she grows and gets bigger. But with your help, we can ensure that those needs are met while her new mom supplies all the love she will ever need to live a happy and full life.


red_angel_480x240The call of the wild is a powerful thing for dogs. Red came to us in 2012. He was raised feral with a pack of dogs on an owner’s property in Oregon. They were all literally rounded up by cattleman and adopted out. Most people had no idea what they were getting into and all but Red found their way back to the wild. Red was surrendered to us by his newly adopted mom who knew his needs were too great for her to keep him safe.

We hoped that Red would adjust in time to the ways of humans and family dogs so we could find his forever home. As it turns out, his forever home will be with us.

When he first arrived, he was emaciated and nervous, constantly surveying his surroundings and rarely sleeping. He found comfort in the company of dogs residing in our senior area, Sugar Shack Acres. In this special area of Homeward Bound, dogs that are unlikely to be adopted – usually due to age or illness – can live communally in a house just for them and a large, shady – and secure – yard that they are free to roam at will.

Progress, for Red, came in tiny baby steps forward and backward. He is still extremely timid around new people and does not welcome walks or the touch of those he doesn’t know. He does trust in a few of our dedicated volunteers who can groom and bathe him, and ensure that his medical needs are met. But there is no question that he would bolt and return to his feral life if ever given the opportunity. And so, we keep Red safe – and loved – in permanent sanctuary at Homeward Bound. His food, housing, and medical needs will be met for life by special angels as our volunteers continue to prove to him that our calling of rescue and love are even stronger than the call of the wild.


“We are from Paradise, CA and we are now homeless.” This is what Shane’s people wrote when they completed his surrender form after they lost their home in the devastating Camp Fire. At 12, this beautiful Golden boy was still full of life and love for kids, other dogs, and his humans. We promised to take good care of him and find him a loving home for the rest of his years. In his medical checkup, we noted a couple of masses on his body which looked suspiciously like hair follicle tumors. These are usually benign, but best removed immediately. Before the surgery, a potential adopter had already fallen in love. No surprise to us!

Shane’s potential adopter was planning to pick him up the next weekend when his sutures could be removed. And then we got unexpected bad news: one of Shane’s tumors was a rare malignant form of the Trichoepithelioma tumor. We called to deliver the bad news to the adopter, expecting that he might, understandably, change his mind. Instead, the only concern he expressed was about his ability to provide for future extraordinary medical expenses. We assured him that Shane would go home as a permanent foster, with Homeward Bound providing all of his medical care. His response: “Then, why wouldn’t I want him?”

Shane’s tumor, while removed, will likely reoccur. There is also the risk that it could metastasize to his lymph nodes. But with regular veterinary care (and your help!) our hope is to outrun it, providing Shane and his new dad with as many years together if possible.


Raised from a pup, Rocky was a well-behaved, playful Golden boy, gentle with his young humans and a little confused about his size: he thought he was a lap dog! Over time, this handsome four-year-old developed hypothyroidism and seizures—and with the seizures, extreme separation anxiety. His behaviors changed. He did not want to be left alone; he began getting into things that he had previously ignored. His people tried a long list of medications and treatments to no avail and became increasingly concerned that his behaviors could impact the young humans in the home. Reluctantly, they surrendered Rocky to our care.

Our vet began by reevaluating all of his medications to get a clearer view of what course of treatment would give Rocky the best quality of life. A camera has been placed in his kennel so we can monitor his seizures and help the vet understand the pattern and severity. Meanwhile, our volunteers are loving on him, providing the socialization and emotional support he needs. With a manageable plan in place a permanent foster is being sought: someone who can be with him most of the time and understands how to manage the seizures when they do occur. Thanks to the support of people like you, Rocky will remain in our program for the rest of his life so we can ensure that all of his medical needs are met.


Minnie was one of 19 Labrador Retrievers Homeward Bound rescued in November 2019 from a horrible breeding situation in Oregon. At the age of eight, she has been a devoted mom to countless litters. Unfortunately, the years of continuous breeding left her with mammary cancer. We removed it but know that it will return.

She was the last of the Labs to make it home. And while we were prepared to make her a sanctuary dog, a couple of empty-nesters had a different idea.

“Minnie is a DREAM. She is truly a gift to us, and we’re so grateful you allowed us to have this opportunity to share her precious life. We’re in love. She literally jumps for joy in her own funny little way (she can’t really jump, but she wiggles and squirms and makes sweet little grunts) like she’s thrilled to be alive. Because we think she is. We understand her diagnosis and prognosis, and it just makes every day that we have with her more meaningful and special. We still felt we were meant to bring her home. And so we did. “

Minnie has found her perfect match. What a difference her new family has made in the life of a dog once living in an outdoor cage. What a difference Minnie has made for them. The least we can do is to ensure her medical needs are met so she can be loved and home – and we can do this, thanks to you.

To make a general one-time or recurring donation to the Golden Angel Fund, simply:  click on this link.

If you prefer to send a check, please make it payable to: Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and mail it to the address below, including a note about the dog or dogs you wish to sponsor. Thank you!

Golden Angel Fund
Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue
7495 Natomas Road
Elverta, CA 95626