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Please read the whole document before applying to foster or adopt!


Questions about Adoption


I’m interested in adoption — what’s the first step?

All adoptions start by reading our FAQ (this current document) fully and completely and, when finished, completing an Adoption Application.

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What is the adoption process?

First we require a fully-completed Adoption Application. One of our staff will review this application at the earliest possible time — please note we are entirely volunteer-driven and processing time can vary widely. We appreciate your patience.

Once received and reviewed, you may be asked for clarification on certain points, or asked for additional information not provided which can lengthen the time it takes to move forward. Please be as detailed as possible when filling out your Adoption Application.

Once it is determined there may be a potential match on paper, we move forward to set up meetings with your chosen dog.

All adoptions are subject to home visits from one or more of our staff and, in many cases, the foster family for the dog in question will also be present. In some cases, home visists and meet-and-greets may take place at the same time.

In certain situations, more than one meet-and-greet can be required with a particular dog, especially depending on the needs of the pup. (ie: Some shy dogs require time to get to know their potential adopters)

In some cases, there may be recommendations or necessities in or around the home the home which need addressing for a dog’s well-being, such as a broken fence. Please ensure all dog-safety measures in and around your home have been taken prior to application for the most efficient processing of your overall application.

Final decisions on adoptions are made via a combination of people who review the information on hand. This will include staff who are attending meetings, foster family members who have met the potential adopters, and the final decision is approved by the LEASH directors.

Decisions are always made in the best interest of the dog in question.

Once an adoption moves to the finalization stage, an adoption contract is signed, and payment of the adoption fee is rendered.

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Where are you located, I would like to come to your facility

We are a rescue, not a shelter, and therefore our dogs are kept in individual foster homes. We do not have a central facility to visit. Instead, please look over our adoptable animals and when you have found one or two that interest you, submit an adoption application for that particular dog.

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Can I phone you?

If you need to contact us, please do so via email. Phone calls are for emergencies only.

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How far do you operate/adopt out?

On a regular basis, we operate within Greater Vancouver and immediate surrounding areas, but are normally willing to adopt out as far as Hope, BC [approximately 1.5 hours outside of the Pitt Meadows|Maple Ridge area].We may make exception to this rule on a case-by-case basis, but please do take this as a general indication of our operating distance.

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Do you adopt outside of BC (ie: other provinces, other countries)?

We do not adopt outside of BC.

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Can I meet the dog I’m interested in?

Of course you can! A meeting with your chosen dog will be set up after an application has been received and a home-check has been completed.

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Is there an age requirement to adopt?

  • For dogs over 1 year of age, we require applicants to be at least the age of majority (19 years of age in British Columbia).
  • For dogs under 1 year of age or for Powerful Breed dogs (eg: Pit Bulls), we request that applicants be at least 25 years of age or older. For Power Breeds, in most cases previous experience with Power Breed dogs will be at least preferred if not required.

All applicants of any age should be able to demonstrate life stability. Some of these things may include a stable source of income or employment, a stable housing situation, and plans for emergencies as well as absences such as vacations, illness or injury, etc.).

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My existing pets are not spayed/neutered. Can I still adopt?

Unfortunately we have a strict policy that all animals in the home of a potential adopter must be spayed or neutered.

As a rescue organization, we are on the front lines working against the problem of pet overpopulation and we would anticipate our potential adopters to be making responsible choices toward curbing that problem by having their pets appropriately altered.

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What is your adoption fee?

Unless otherwise stated, the standard adoption fees are as follows:

For dogs under 1 year of age: $450
For dogs over 1 year of age: $400

Fostering is always free.

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Why do you charge an adoption fee?

On occasion we encounter people who feel the fees are too high, but we are not in the business of “selling” you a dog — we’re in the process of rescuing and rehoming that pup to you and then trying to keep on our feet for the next one, typically without ever slowing down! We are not funded by the government, nor do we take salary from any fees or donations. All of our resources come from adoption fees and donations, and all of this money goes toward the dogs, each and every time.

For more information, please check out the blog article titled “Why do you charge an adoption fee?”

Also read below for more information on what adoption fees cover.

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What do adoption fees cover?

Running an animal rescue comes with a large financial price in many ways. Fees go toward a variety of things for the dogs and only for the dogs — no volunteer is paid any money for their work.

Adoption fees include, but are not limited to, the following costs associated with rescue dogs:

  • Up-to-Date Basic Vaccinations
  • Spay / Neuter
  • Microchip
  • Flea treatment
  • Basic veterinary care
  • Extended veterinary care [Blood panels, medical imaging, dental work, surgery, etc.]
  • Food / Toys / Treats / beds/ crates / other items for the entire duration of foster care
  • Training
  • Boarding
  • Local transportation, and in many cases…
  • … International transportation and/or Shelter fees

Additional bonuses to adopters:

  • Free veterinary exam at Alouette Animal Hospital in Maple Ridge [Value: $65]
  • Free nail trim or 10% of grooming with LEASH Loft & Spa
  • 6 weeks complimentary pet insurance with coverage up to $500 for that period of time, and the option to continue with the insurance policy at the end of the trial period.

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I rent and/or Live in an apartment or Condo – Can I still adopt?

We do not discriminate based on house size or type. In the lower mainland of British Columbia, no one understands better than we do about the high cost of living; renting smaller spaces is a fact of life here.

Keep in mind some dogs may need more space than others. To get more information on a particular dog’s needs, connect with us and let us know what your situation is.

In a rental situation: You must get permission from your landlord, which includes disclosing the breed of dog (as some locations prohibit certain breeds) and size of dog.

Proof of permission may be requested either in the form of a letter or phone-call.

In a condo situation: Proof of by-laws may be requested. Many condo strata organizations place size and breed limits on dogs. If you do not know your condo bylaws, please find out prior to applying for adoption.

People in smaller spaces must be committed to proper exercise of the dog in question. Many dogs can adapt well to apartment living, but high-energy dogs will turn destructive in a smaller space without frequent and/or extended exercise periods.

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Can I ‘Foster-to-Adopt’?

As a general rule, we do not engage in foster-to-adopt.

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… about Puppies

Puppies are a very special case. They are young and vulnerable animals that are even more reliant on our protection than any other type of dog. Their future development is entirely hinged on the care that will be given in a particular home. As a result, for puppies we do have a few additional requirements.

  • You must be at least 25 years of age to adopt a puppy
  • Adopters must commit to enrolling their puppy in training with a LEASH-approved trainer.
  • Puppies that are not yet Spayed or Neutered must have their alter done with Alouette Animal Hospital in Maple Ridge. There are many veterinarians with many opinions on “when” a puppy should be spayed or neutered; however, in the case of adoption from our organization, the timing of the alteration (age of the puppy at the time of spay/neuter) is solely at the discretion of LEASH Animal Welfare Society.


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Questions about Fostering


What is required to be a foster?

It depends and may change depending on the dog in particular, but in general? Commitment, first and foremost. A commitment to provide a loving home to the dog, a commitment to make yourself as available as possible in the event someone wishes to meet the dog, and a commitment to work with the dog in both good times and bad.

Foster homes are the dog’s next landing point after shelters, abusive homes, the street, or after having been abandoned, so past experience with dogs is extremely helpful as well — however it may not be required depending on the dog.

While we try to temperament test the dogs prior to placement, the foster home will be an extension of that testing process by observing and reporting on the dog’s behavior, as well as working through any negative behavior.

  • Please note you must be located in the Lower Mainland of BC to foster.

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Is there an age requirement to foster?

Requirements are similar to that of adoption. As a general rule, you should be 19 years of age (the age of majority in BC), and a higher minimum (25 years recommended) may be required for powerful breed dogs such as Pit Bulls or dogs under 1 year of age.

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Can I adopt my foster dog?

Please note we do not have a Foster-to-Adopt program, and dogs placed into foster care are expected to be adopted to loving homes outside of the foster’s residence.

Fostering is an extremely difficult job, and we recognize and appreciate each and every one of the people who donate their time, effort, and love to our adoptable pups. We also know there can be a bit of heartache involved when it is time to think about your foster dog going to another home. We rely on the strength and commitment of our fosters to see this process through to the end each and every time, where the final result is a happy pup starting a new life with their forever family, and a space in foster care opening up to one more dog in need.

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Can I ‘Foster-to-Adopt’?

We do not have a foster-to-adopt program.

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Can I foster with children in my home?

Yes we do foster in homes with children! We recommend children be old enough to understand instructions from their parents on how to interact with the foster dog (toddlers and infants may not be best for a foster dog).

Before deciding to take on a foster dog with kids in the home, you’ll want to give it some serious thought as it can be difficult for us to move a dog once placed in foster care (as we only have so many open homes available). We do our best to match dogs to foster homes, but sometimes there is a behavior that does not show until the dog is in foster care.

For example, a dog might be very calm in the shelter, but prove to be a little nippy when he or she starts to come out of their shell. We have a professional trainer on-hand working with us to give advice and help work with any behavior problems that are displayed, but obviously with kids you want to make sure you can cope with a potential behavior problem even with kids in the home.

We know raising kids is tough on its own, so we just ask parents to consider the added responsibility of bringing in a foster dog who may need a bit more work than initially anticipated.

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My existing pets are not spayed/neutered. Can I still foster?

As with adoption, we have a strict policy that all animals in the home of a potential foster must be spayed or neutered.

As a rescue organization, we are on the front lines working against the problem of pet overpopulation and we would anticipate our potential fosters to be making responsible choices toward curbing that problem by having their pets appropriately altered.

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Questions about Our Dogs


Do your dogs have all of their vaccinations?

Yes, every dog has all of their core vaccinations up-to-date at all times.

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Where do your dogs come from? 

LEASH Animal Welfare Society is a no-borders animal rescue who works with dogs from many walks of life: local, across Canada, and internationally. We work with all breeds of dogs located throughout BC, Northern shelters, Manitoba reserves, SOI dogs, local surrenders, and more.

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Questions about Surrendering a Dog


Will you take local surrenders?

Yes. Typically we work with shelters and other rescue agencies, but we are able to take in local surrenders depending on availability of foster homes.

Our Owner Surrender form is located here: Owner Surrender and Intake

Please note that surrendering to a rescue is not a quick overnight process, so please read the following details and information.

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General Information you need to know:

Age: We currently take in dogs up to and including 4 years of age. This may change depending on the availability of long-term foster homes in the future.

Behavior issues: Minor training or behavior issues are to be expected in dogs coming from a variety of circumstances, but major issues such as a bite history prohibit us from taking that dog in due to legal liability issues.

Medical issues: Minor to moderate medical issues can be treated by our rescue depending on available funds, but major medical issues are most likely beyond our scope of care. We do not currently receive enough donations or cash-flow to care for dogs who have serious life-threatening conditions requiring expensive treatment.

Time Frame: We need to meet with you and your dog and, in some cases, we may not have a foster home immediately available. As a result we may have to actively look for a foster home for your dog, which can take more time. If your surrender needs are more immediate, consider surrendering to the BC SPCA.

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Is there a surrender fee?

No, not at this time.

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Will you meet our dog prior to surrender?

Yes, we will normally have one of our staff and a trainer if available meet  with you and your dog to do an intake assessment on a new dog. There will also be paperwork involved that details the dog’s behavior and medical history.

If your dog has a behavior problem, please have your dog seen by a qualified trainer prior to surrendering for an assessment. This assessment can tell us if your dog is a candidate for our adoption program. We are not able to take on dogs with severe behavioral issues.

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Will you pick up my dog when I choose to surrender?

We do not pick up surrenders from their original homes. You must travel to meet one of our representatives in a mutually-agreed-upon location for surrender.

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Is there paperwork when I surrender a dog?

Yes, you must sign surrender paperwork that indicates you are fully transferring ownership of the dog over to LEASH Animal Welfare Society.

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My dog has a major behavior problem, can you find him a home?

LEASH Animal Welfare Society is not a rehabilitation facility. Major behavioral issues, especially in large-breed and powerful-breed dogs, are beyond the scope of our care.  We are not able to take on dogs with issues that require extensive or intensive training.

We are never able to take on a dog with a bite history.

We are never able to take on a dog who has been deemed “dangerous” by any municipal or provincial government. 

If you have a dog with a major behavioral issue, please seek out a qualified trainer immediately.

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Courtesy listing FAQ

Due to the sheer volume of dogs we have coming in at any given time, we have discontinued our courtesy-listing program. We apologize for any inconvenience, but this is a necessary move.

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I need to re-home my pet that was previously adopted from LEASH

Our contract indicates if for any reason you have to rehome or surrender your adopted dog that the dog is to be returned to LEASH. We ask this because we truly love our dogs and want to stay in the know of where they are living and perhaps why it hasn’t worked out. Our want to maintain control of any rehome/surrender is not a question of your judgment or character, but rather it allows us peace of mind in knowing our dogs will continue to be safe and loved, and in some cases it may be a matter of liability depending on circumstance.

LEASH tries hard to provide tips, trainers and support to our adopters when they are facing troubles and we do expect a significant and appropriate effort to be put forward by the adopter before deciding to surrender a dog. This means hiring a trainer or a professional that has the experience and qualifications to address the problems that are in your dog in specific; ie: going to a basic-obedience trainer for a dog who is displaying reactivity toward humans or dogs is not an appropriate course of action. You will be asked to provide training and veterinary history, including names and phone numbers, for your dog when you initiate a conversation about surrendering.

Please note that all information about any dog to the best of our knowledge is disclosed prior to a dog being adopted. If behavior problems occur after the adoption process has taken place, these problems are the responsibility of the adopter to address with the help of qualified trainers and veterinarians.

We cannot place a “guarantee” on dogs, as they are living, breathing creatures. They will develop, learn, grow, evolve, and do all of the other things humans also do. This means their mental and physical states may change over time. LEASH cannot be held liable for a dog who, in our care, was behaving in one way but who has changed over time to behave in a different manner.

Please connect with us if you need help with your adopted dog!

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My LEASH dog has a behavior issue and I want to surrender him.

We try to be as aware as we can of behavior issues in our pups before they are adopted out; however, behavior issues can still develop weeks or months down the road and must be addressed.

While we will stand behind our dogs 100% and re-intake any dog for any reason, please understand the need to be thorough with your pup to prevent unnecessary surrender scenarios:

  • In the event of a behavior issue, you must provide some sort of training for your adopted dog.
  • If home-based training (no professional involved) fails, you must consult a professional trainer to determine the best course of action for your pup.

If you have not consulted a professional trainer, and you are still surrendering your LEASH dog back to us, a surrender fee may apply. This fee covers the necessary training and assessment we will have to incur on our end when the dog returns to our care citing behavior issues.

In the event of a surrender where a trainer has been hired, no surrender fee will apply; however, we will need the contact information for the trainer in question so we can discuss the issues with the professional involved.

No dog is perfect. Please do right by your dog and the commitment you made to him: Hire a qualified professional in the event of behavior issues.

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Misc. Questions

I need doggy daycare for my pup!

We strongly recommend LEASH Loft & Spa. Located in Coquitlam, this 4,000 square foot facility can meet all of your Doggy Daycare, Grooming, Training, and coming soon – Boarding! – needs.

LEASH Loft works under the same direction as LEASH Animal Welfare Society, and by having your pup attend the LEASH Loft & Spa daycare you will be helping to contribute funds back to our rescue in the long-run.

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I made a donation, can I get a tax receipt?

LEASH is a registered BC non-profit Society; however, this provincial status does not permit us to issue tax receipts. The federal status that allows a non-profit to issue those receipts is quite a bit more difficult to obtain, especially for smaller rescues. As a result, most small-scale rescues such as ours are not able to issue tax receipts.

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I have a question that isn’t answered here.

Please drop us a line using the connect with us page.

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I tried contacting you via Facebook comments/messages but did not get a response.

Due to the volume of comments and messages we can receive, many may be lost in transition. Email is the best way to contact us. Please drop us a line using the connect with us page which will email us your comment or question.

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