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Frequently Asked Questions

Adopting or Fostering a Dog from Detroit Dog Rescue

How can I see your adoptable dogs?

You can view the profiles of our adoptable dogs on our website here or on Petfinder. Please be careful to read their descriptions, as some dogs may have special needs or may need a home that’s just the right fit for them.

Thanks for inquiring!

What is your adoption process?

So, you want to adopt a furry family member from Detroit Dog Rescue? Thank you for choosing Detroit’s first no-kill shelter! Let’s get started!

First, you’re going to want to take a look at our adoptable dogs here or on Petfinder! Once you think you’ve found your ideal match, you can fill out an adoption application with your top three picks. Once your application is submitted, we will contact you within a week to ten days. Please note, due to the holidays, weekend adoption events, and unforeseen events, some applications may take up to ten days to receive a response.

From there, we will review your application and conduct a phone interview, set up a time to visit you for a home check, and check to see if the dog will be a fit with your family and other pets. When you pass a home check, we then bring the dog to your home for a meet and greet. If you are a fit for the dog, and the dog is a fit for you, then you’re offered an adoption contract! Congratulations!

Please understand that dogs are not placed on a first come, first served basis, and we take special care placing dogs into families where they will be able to thrive.

Can I come to the shelter to see and adopt a dog?

Unfortunately, we just aren’t set up for in house adoptions. Many of the dogs that are ready for adoption are enrolled in our foster program as well. Our shelter is a safe place for dogs that need rehabilitation or training and most aren’t quite ready for adoption yet, but that’s ok, we’re working hard to make them adoptable superstars. Please check our website, Facebook and Petfinder for dogs that are ready for adoption and fill out an application so we can set up a meet and greet at your home!

What is the fee to adopt?

Our fees are:

$200 for senior medium to large dogs
$250 for medium to large adult dogs
$300 for puppies
$375 for small dogs

The average dog will cost Detroit Dog Rescue $753 or more in basic care, which includes spaying and neutering, age appropriate vaccinations, heartworm testing, training and all dogs are medically cleared.  Puppies adopted out under 12 weeks come with a special spay or neuter contract. An adoption coordinator can provide you with more information.

Do you adopt out of state?

For some dogs and special arrangements, we will adopt outside of Michigan. We urge everyone to fill out an application.

Due to BSL laws in Canada, we are unable to adopt Pitbull-type dogs across the border. To no fault of our dogs, border laws make it near impossible to bring these types of dogs across the border.

How can I foster?

By fostering you are helping to save more lives and giving a dog a chance to train and learn in a home environment! Fosters are essential to rescues and we would be lost without you.

Fosters must live in the state of Michigan and puppy fosters must live in the metro Detroit area close to our veterinarians, since puppies require more care. The first step is to fill out a foster application on our website. Once we have a match for you, our foster associates will be in touch! Detroit Dog Rescue provides our fosters with all the medical care, supplies, toys and food you will need for your foster dog. All you need to do is provide a dog with love and occasional transportation to medical appointments and adoption events. It is essential that you coordinate with our adoption team to make arrangements to transport your foster dog to events.

Donating & Volunteering

How do I volunteer?

Volunteers are essential to Detroit Dog Rescue’s mission and we always need volunteers. We can’t thank you enough for wanting to donate your time and talents!

All volunteers must be 18 years old or older. Right now, we have several openings for kennel attendants. Kennel attendants must commit to one shift per week, for 12 consecutive weeks. Kennel attendants must also be in good health and be able to lift over 40lbs. All volunteers must be willing and able to work with large breeds, especially bully breeds.

As much as we would love to accommodate everyone, kennel attendants must have prior experience handling large breed dogs. We prefer kennel attendants have veterinary or kennel experience. Your application will be assessed based on experience after 12 consecutive weeks.

You can fill out a volunteer application and learn about our available hours on our website or by clicking here. At this time we need weekday volunteers and your application will be chosen based on availability.

If you’re looking to volunteer for events please email us at and tell us about your experience and how you can help! Individuals looking to volunteer at adoption events must first volunteer in our kennels for at least 12 weeks.

How can I make a donation?

Thank you so much for giving a gift to Detroit Dog Rescue that will save a life. Donating is easy, safe and secure. You can donate by going to You can give a gift one time, or you can click “recurring donation” and your gift to Detroit Dog Rescue will automatically be “billed” to the payment method you chose for your initial donation, each month. Each and every gift is appreciated, no matter the amount, because every amount counts!

Don’t want to donate online? That’s ok!  Checks can be written out to DETROIT DOG RESCUE and mailed to:

Detroit Dog Rescue
P.O. Box 806119
St. Clair Shores, MI 48080

What supplies do you need and where can I drop it off?

You can find our wish list and drop off locations here. We do not allow donations to be dropped off at our shelter due to lack of storage space and we don’t want to interrupt training and feeding times. Thanks for understanding.

My business would like to become a drop off location for you!

Thank you for wanting to help the dogs of Detroit! If you are interested in becoming a drop off location, please email us at

How can I throw a fundraiser for Detroit Dog Rescue?

Detroit Dog Rescue relies on grants and gifts from the public to provide for our dogs and we are always honored when the public wants to help! Your donations are essential to our mission. Individuals interested in hosting a third party fundraiser must send a proposal to at least 60 days prior to the event.

Please include as much detail as possible including the date and location. Please also include what you expect from Detroit Dog Rescue. You will hear back from us within 14 days to let you know if your proposal was granted.

You can also create a fundraising campaign by going here

Dog Well-being & Outreach Assistance

How can I report or surrender a dog?

To report a stray dog or a dog you feel is in danger within Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park city limits, please fill out our Help Line form or call (313) 458-8014 ext 10. Please provide the location, cross streets and closest landmarks, and a description of the dog when reporting. Please note, stray dogs do move quickly! The best possible chance to help a stray dog is when our team is already out in the field. We do everything to note the area you have reported and keep a log on the animal. It is not guaranteed we will be able to locate the dog upon your call.

If you feel your life is in danger due to a stray dog, call 911.

If you are in need of assistance for your pet, please call (313) 458-8014 ext 11 or fill out an Outreach Assistance Application. If you must surrender your dog, it is always best to provide us with as much information as you can about the dog and include a picture.

At this time, due to overwhelming response of our training and rehabilitation program, and due to the fact we help our municipal partners with aggressive cases, we cannot take in any dog with a bite history or aggressive behavior until October 2022.


How do I receive food assistance for my pet?

We know that times can be tough and economic changes can happen to anyone. We’re here to help responsible dog owners in the city of Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park. If you are in need of food assistance for your dog, please fill out an Outreach Assistance form to inquire about availability.

You must be a Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park resident, qualify as low income or had a large decrease in income recently and provide us with proper ID upon delivery. Your dog must be healthy and in well kept condition and spayed or neutered.

If your dog is not spayed or neutered, you must be willing to work with our organization to spay and neuter. If you need help with spaying or neutering your dog, we can provide you with low cost spay or neuter information.

Who do I call to report a deceased dog?

Thank you for your time and compassion. The best way to care for a deceased animal on a city road is to call Detroit Department of Sanitation at (313) 628-4268 or for freeways and interstate call the Wayne County Road Commission at (313) 875-9444

What advice can you give me about training my own dog?

We recommend that dogs in need of training be evaluated by their veterinarian first. Dogs may “react” or “act out” for multiple reasons, some of it may be health related, and it is best to have your dog assessed by a veterinarian first. From there, your veterinarian may be able to provide you with resources about what kind of training or therapy is best for your dog. We also recommend having your dog assessed by a CPDT-KA trainer to help you better understand your dog.

General Questions

How long will my merchandise order take to arrive?

Thank you for purchasing some Detroit Dog Rescue gear! We’re sure you’ll love the quality of our merchandise and everyone will compliment you everywhere you go. Our merchandise is stocked and filled by diligent and hardworking volunteers, so please allow 7-14 days for your merchandise to arrive! Thank you for supporting the dogs of Detroit!

I bought the wrong size/color merchandise, can I exchange/return it or get a refund?

Unfortunately, we are unable to process refunds, returns or exchanges at this time.

What are your hours?

Detroit Dog Rescue works 7 days a week inside our kennels and with our partners. However, our office is open from 9-5pm, Monday and Wednesday through Friday. Our office is closed on Tuesdays and on weekends.

We are closed Christmas Eve and Christmas day in order to assist our shelter staff and our municipal partners.