About the organization
Is Zoe's House Rescue registered non-profit?
YES! We are a registered 501(c)3 organization with the state of Pennsylvania. We are also licensed with Pennsylvania Dog Law, so our rescue logs, documentation and vetting undergo regular inspections by the dog warden twice a year. We are also a registered Charitable Organization with the state.
How long has Zoe's House been around?
Zoe's House was established in Jan 2012. Many of our volunteers have even participated in rescue even longer than that!
Do you have a facility? Can I come and meet all the dogs?
Not yet. We are developing a capital campaign to make that all possible in the future! In order to adopt, please get approved through our adoption process before meeting any of the dogs.
Why is your adoption application so long?
Our application process was developed in the BEST interest of our rescues. These dogs may have lived their life at a puppy mill, were abandoned, or had to be surrendered due to changing circumstances in their home. All of these experiences are traumatic. We want to make certain that their new home is their FUREVER home. We also want to ensure the dog is a fit for your family so that the transition is as seamless as possible for you and the dog. When you adopt a dog from us, you are family and have support for the life of your adoption!
What is involved with your process?
Our process starts with the application. We pass all the applications to our foster home which knows the dog best. He/she picks the best matches for their foster. We do a vet check on resident animals (all animals must be spayed/neutered and up to date on shots), a quick background check to make sure there is no cruelty to animals charges, and we speak with references. We call the applicant and talk to them about the dog/their family dynamic and find out more information on what you are looking for/need. If the dog is a match, we complete a home visit and meet the family in person. At this point, the application would be approved and we would have the whole family and pets meet the adoptable dog. If the meeting is successful, we finalize the adoption contract.
How long does adoption take?
That varies on the dog. Every dog is in rescue for a minimum of 2 weeks to evaluate health and temperament. We begin accepting applications once the dog is cleared health-wise and behaviorally. We try to have applications approved within a week's time frame but sometimes it can be longer depending on the current volume and the individual needs of the animal.
If I am not chosen for a specific dog will my application stay on file?
Our system currently does not allow us to save applications. We ask that you apply for the specific dog that you are interested in adopting.
What vetting comes with your adoption?
All dogs over 6 months of age are spayed and neutered.
Under 6 months they will be on a spay/neuter deposit with a spay/neuter contract. The deposit will be returned once the animal is altered at 6 months. We require a veterinary receipt as proof of procedure.
All dogs are up to date on DHPP, Bordatella, Rabies (if over 12 weeks), microchipped and heartworm/Lyme tested, and on preventative.
Adults often need blood work, dental and other surgeries which we also do prior to adoption.
What are your adoption fees?
Our adoption donations vary for each dog based on age, breed, and health. Old dogs or certain special needs dogs are donation only. We do a lot of medical cases and occasionally have benefactor dogs. These dogs are younger, high-demand breeds (doodles, labs, cavaliers, french bulldogs, goldens, etc.) that we will charge a higher adoption fee to help offset some of the medical bills on our other dogs. Even with that adjustment, our adoption fees are very reasonable compared to puppy mill brokers.
Do you adopt out of state?
Yes, but we can typically only adopt within a 2- to 3-hour radius. This includes NJ, PA, Delaware, MD and parts of NY.
Do you require a physical fence?
No, not necessarily, but it depends on the dog. We write very detailed biographies for our dogs. The requirement is a case by case basis depending on the dog being a flight risk.
How old must my kids be to adopt?
We set individual requirements on each dog and the age requirements are listed with their description. We will pair your household with a dog suitable for the age and energy level of everyone in your family.
About fostering & volunteering
I want to volunteer but not foster.
No problem! Here is the link to our volunteer application.
*Please note that if you decide to foster, we will need you to fill out the foster application too. Reach out to a board member in the future if you are interested in changing roles.
Why do you need foster homes?
Our foster homes are a vital part of our organization. Because we don't operate a shelter yet, placements depend on the participation of foster parents. Foster parents serve as the bridge between a pet's unfortunate situation and its new and better life.
We can only rescue as many animals as we have room for. Animal shelters euthanize dozens of healthy and friendly animals each day to make space for the new ones coming in. In the US, an animal is euthanized EVERY 8 seconds. Devastatingly, animal rescue groups have to turn away dozens of adoptable animals each week because they lack foster parents. Not only do foster parents maximize the number of animals rescued, they also help to care for animals that would be difficult to care for in a shelter or kennel environment. Animals that do not do well in a kennel environment include puppies, animals with compromised immune systems and/or dogs that are senior or special needs.
How will myself/my children handle giving up a foster?
Many of our volunteers have children of all ages. We can help you with how to present fostering to your family and also put you in touch with some fosters with children around the same age. Our fosters get to choose the home the dog is adopted because you have gotten to know the dog. This allows you to stay in touch and have comfort about where they are. When you get that first update and picture, everything makes sense. It can be emotional to give up your foster but when you see the impact you had on that dog and new family, it is nothing short of amazing. Plus, you truly saved that dog's life because, without a willing home, we could not have taken them in. Check out a few of our foster stories
How old do my kids have to be to foster?
We look at a case-by-case basis. Some dogs will do fine with young children and some will not. We will match you with a foster suitable for your children's ages and energy level.
How far away can I foster?
Typically within a 2-hour drive. If we don't have a discount vetting relationship in your area we may need help finding one.
What does the rescue cover? How much will it cost me to foster?
From the time we rescue a pet until the day it leaves foster care, Zoe's House assumes responsibility for all necessary expenses related to the animal's healthcare and well-being. We'll pay all veterinary expenses, including any necessary vaccinations, deworming, microchipping, spaying/neutering, heartworm treatments/testing, routine medications, and emergency veterinary visits. We will provide all fosters with food and a crate if necessary; however, as a donation many of our fosters supply food.
Do I need a physical fence to foster?
No. It depends on the dog and it's a case-by-case basis.
How long will I have my foster?
The minimum time an animal is in our rescue is 2 weeks. This allows us time to get a thorough evaluation of the animal in foster care before being adopted. The maximum time that an animal is in our care depends on each situation. Medical needs, behavioral modification, and age can all play a role in the fostering time frame. Of course, while the pet is in foster care, we work diligently to quickly provide a carefully screened, permanent home for the pet you've so graciously taken in.
If I foster, can I adopt the foster?
Yes & No. You may not adopt your first foster through Zoe's House. Foster parents who wish to adopt the additional animals they foster, may do so as long as the animal is a good fit. You just need to inform your Foster Coordinator that you may want to adopt within the first 2 weeks of fostering the animal. We refer to this as "foster failure" and it's not a bad thing. It happens to many of our foster families at some point!
If I already have pets of my own, how do I introduce them?
If you are fostering a dog, we ask that they be introduced very slowly to your pets. We always meet on neutral territory. One of our seasoned volunteers can help you with introductions if you want extra support.
About surrendering a dog
I can no longer care for my dog. Can Zoe's House help?
We focus solely on local community surrenders and puppy mill rescues. We also help with stray dogs that need a place to go. Fill out a surrender form and we will see if we can pair your dog with a foster home that is compatible. We cannot take dogs with bite histories or dogs that are not dog-friendly. The majority of our fosters have other animals so we must be safe.
What breeds do you take?
We love all dogs and all sizes! We just cannot take dogs with bite histories or those that are dog aggressive.