A Forever-Home Rescue Foundation, Inc.

Rating: 4.33 stars   60 reviews 1,817

Issues: Animals

Location: PO Box 222801 Chantilly VA 20153 USA

Mission: A Forever-Home Rescue Foundation is a non-profit, all-breed dog rescue that works to find loving new "Forever Homes" for dogs that have found themselves in a situation where they need help. We are a group of experienced rescuers that can help you find just the right pet to fit your lifestyle - whether you're a couch potato, an avid runner or anything in between.
Results: AFH helps over 1,500 dogs every year. We directly place into new homes nearly 1,000 and facilitate the transport of many more to other rescues we work with throughout the mid-Atlantic and New England states.
Target demographics: find great new "forever homes" for dogs in need
Direct beneficiaries per year: 890 dogs, 17 goats, two donkeys, and seven horses!
Geographic areas served: the Washington, DC metro area
Programs: adoption services, transport services, and fundraisers.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 43-1977921
703 961 8690
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

2 people found this review helpful

I am a small dog rescue owner, having owned 3 rescues in the past. Having recently lost my lead dog, and with one senior dog remaining, I began researching adopting another rescue. Several other organizations did not have favorable reviews &consistently negative comments. AFH had generally high ratings. They had a small rescue pup of 7 months of age that I was interested in. I am an above average dog owner, I have been an assistant obedience instructor for over 6 yrs at a local Maryland training club so I have practical knowledge of dogs, their behavior, and certainly training. Since my retirement, I have become a part time pet sitter/walker as well. So my life very much revolves around interacting with dogs. I can say 100% that my interaction with AFH was top notch from start to finish. I emailed the foster first to meet the dog. I was able to bring my current dog to meet the puppy at the foster's residence and was able to observe their interaction and ask questions. I submitted my application online (scanned) and received a response in 6 hrs. I was contacted for a phone interview in a timely fashion. I then had a home inspection at a mutually agreeable time. At every step I was told clearly what/when to expect the next step to occur. Each meeting was on time and as promised. For such a complex application process, this moved along like a well organized unit. Everyone was helpful, courteous, and they all seemed to care about what they were doing...saving pets and making sure they went to good homes. When a rescue goes to such lengths to vet it's potential adopters, it means they care about who they are adopting out to, not just statistics and numbers to "impress" sponsors etc. They want to make sure it works out for the life of the dog. One unique quality of this rescue is they DO NOT spay/neuter a puppy at 3 months of age like some other rescues. I have done some research and I personally believe super early spay/neuters have potential health issues(urinary incontinence in females, possible joint issues). Ideal is 5-6 months to spay a female before her first heat, and around 6 months for a male is best. I completely understand the need to eliminate unwanted litters thus the need to insure sterility of dogs going to new homes, but AFH accomplishes this without compromising the health of the dog in later life. They make you sign a contract that your young puppy has to be spayed'neutered by 6 months of age and they have to have proof or else they come after you. If your dog is more than 6 months of age when adopted, they will be fixed prior to leaving AFH. This is a win win, the dog is not sterilize at too young an age, no unwanted pet litters, and the organization can make sure owners do what they are supposed to do. Super arrangement. Highly recommend this rescue organization.

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Oh, wow! What a wonderful review :) Thank you so much! Coming from someone with your background, it's really nice to hear such compliments. I don't think we could have said it better ourselves.

Rating: 5 stars  

I worked with AFH to adopt our beloved dog in Sept. 2011. The staff was responsive, respectful and informative about the process, every step of the way. The foster mom continued to contact me for updates and pictures well after we had picked up our pup, showing their true concern and commitment to ensuring their dogs are placed in loving homes.

I have worked/contacted other rescue organization that I can not speak highly about and actually had me thinking about contacting breeders instead of a rescue organization. AFH changed my perspective on rescue organizations and made me realize a few bad apples doesn't spoil the bunch! AFH is a wonderful organization, working hard to place pets with their forever homes.

We are currently exploring adopting a second dog from AFH because the experience we had was so wonderful.

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Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My family applied to adopt a pair of bonded shorkies, completed the paperwork, and participated in the interview. The interviewer enthusiastically told us everything looked good and that we'd next go through a home inspection, and then we'd adopt the dog the following weekend. Our 9 and 11 year old kids were so excited they couldn't sleep, and we took them to buy dog toys, dog treats, etc. in preparation for our new family members.

Then, completely out of the blue, we received an email that we were not qualified to adopt dogs from A Forever Home. The email was a generic, form letter, with no information explaining the decision. We responded to the rejection email asking for any possible explanation, or better yet, a chance to talk through whatever concerns had been raised. But the only response we got was that our emails were being 'sent to the board for a response', and the board (whoever they are) have refused to respond in any way.

Over the next week we called everyone we had spoken with -- interviewer, foster mom of the dogs, etc -- but they were all shocked and had no idea why we were rejected. We even went to an adoption event in hopes of speaking with someone, anyone, who could help us understand what had happened. However, the adoption event volunteers explained that no one from the leadership of the organization ever attends the adoption events, and the volunteers didn't know any names of the people who make the adoption decisions. They said that the organization is 'compartmentalized', though they had no idea why. The only path forward they could offer was to ... wait for it ... send an email to a "info@aforeverhome" mailbox.

We've sent numerous emails, absolutely begging for information, and the board refuses to respond. Our kids cried for days, and at this point we can only assume that the bureaucrats behind the scenes at this dump don't give a flip. Scanning through the reviews on this site, I found a half dozen other cases just like ours -- random rejections, with consistent refusal to give any explanation, even when the interviewers from their own organization agreed that there was no issue with their applications.

Our experience at 'A Forever Home' brought nothing but dismay. There are a lot of other dog rescue organizations in the Northern VA area. To avoid a broken heart and a huge amount of frustration, donate to and/or apply for dogs at one of the others. We certainly will.

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Rating: 1 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Forever Rescue is a criminal non profit involved in theft of dogs. They stole my dog and refused to return him to me after being appraised by the microchip company that the dog belonged to me. They engaged in defamation by fabricating false allegations of neglect and abuse to justify the kidnapping. And they conspired with Milo Rescue to keep this dog away from the lawful owner despite being warned they will be sued.

The matter is currently being investigated by law enforcement and a large San Francisco law firm. The dog, named Buddy, was stolen from a disabled veteran, injured in the middle east and unable to walk without assistance. Forever Thieves ignored the sales information from the microchip company and allowed the dog to be transferred to the home of a friend from sister non-profit, Milo, in violation of State law.

False claims of abuse and neglect were contrived in an attempt to circumvent compliance with State laws. The disabled veteran informed Forever Thieves that his pet has a medical condition which temporarily causes him to lose his bearings and become disoriented.

This condition was caused by abusive treatment and neglect at sister Rescue ("Thieves at Milo"); where Buddy was kept in a small metal cage for about 3 months. The cage was so small he could not stand up all the way (approximately 2 feet high and 3' X3' wide. The dog is not being kept at the Rescue as required by State laws to ascertain true ownership and alert authorities to investigate any abusive and neglectful conduct. Instead, it was taken to the home of the Director thief of the Milo Rescue, who wants the dog as her own.

Buddy was labeled as "uncontrollable" at Milo, and "Do not take off-leash", because you will never see him again." Milo was preparing to send Buddy to a sanctuary for un-adoptable dogs, when the Veteran saw something in him and took him home.

After 2 and-a-half months of intensive training and love, Buddy successfully transitioned from a wild animal to a loveable family pet -- prompting the theft. Prior to the training Buddy was there, at Milo, for the taking. Anyone, including the thieves, could have taken him for free, without paying anything. Nobody would take him, however, because of the amount of work and attention Buddy required. The thieves were aware of Buddy's disorder and problems ("uncontrollable"), but later used that as the pretext for circumventing State law and stealing him. He is at the Director's house, not at Milo. He is an exceptional animal, beautiful, intelligent, fiercely loyal and a very loving pet who will wrap his arms around you and kiss you. He is good with children, seniors, other pets, including cats and is a super athlete (Australian Cattle Dog -- Blue Heeler, and Border Collie). He needs a lot of attention but the rewards are great.

Forever Thieves should loose their non-profit status, and be forever barred from trading animals. Do not deal with them, you may loose your pet and your sweat and tears, and money.

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Rating: 1 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Definitely beware of this horrible organization. You can be the most qualified person or family yet the pinheads on their review board can vote you down for no reason at all. My uncle, who was in law enforcement for over 20 years, worked with therapy dogs & dogs for people with disabilities, and also owned a dog the past 15+ years, recently applied for a dog at Forever-home. At the interview my uncle and the dog really hit it off, and he was told there were no other applicants at the time for the pooch. At the conclusion of the interview he was told he should get a call as early as that night and that the next step would be the procedure for picking up and payment. So this was a slam dunk right? Nope! 3 days later he gets an email from the tyrants on the review board , who for reasons UNKNOWN, denied my uncle the dog. In their denial email they stated that they had concerns and that they concluded that my uncles status lies outside of their guidelines for adoption. Well, what concerns?? What status??Their wasn't anything in the contract or discussed in the interview that caused any concerns. The gutless board has refused to answer numerous emails and phone messages. Funny that my uncle has passed reviews by 2 other rescues and is on a waiting list for the breed he requested. Guess its just our bad luck that Forever-home had the breed he wanted. If any other rescue would have been able to get this dog, she would now be in a loving forever home being spoiled with treats and toys. However she is still in the hands of of an organization that in my opinion is shameful & deplorable... and apparently, from reading other reviews, this type of incident has happened numerous times with Forever- home.
One more thing - I have noticed that on some of the reviews on this site that forever-home has written a reply....well golly gee, apparently a bad review gets you people to respond. If you have time to write a sugar coated response here, then why don't you have time to CALL people and tell them why they were denied and if possible work out the issue ??? Probably because, as one other person wrote, " You are discriminating, rude and heartless.

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Rating: 5 stars  

This is a great organization with seamless processes and leadership. And they are fast given the complication of the process they follow for each and every dog. We have been to many rescues but unlike many other rescues this organization is very respectful to its clients. Everyone cares for their animals and they stand behind their animals. They have great resources in case at any point in time after adopting the dog has some behavioral issues. We got great advise on choosing our vet and our trainer.. Even some secret tips on puppy chewing ( I am going to disclose that here-- it's vicks veporub on your favorite coffee table corner that you absolutely do not want your puppy to chew:)). We have not found our fur baby yet, but hopefully within early next year we will. We will be looking forward to it. Like us you believe that there is a dog for every willing family. Kids under 10 years, first time dog owners, full time workers or all of the above are not an automatic disqualification if you understand the challenge and willing to work around them. And that makes sense. There are 3-4 million dogs euthanized every year in US. If someone says you can't be the dream parent of even one of them, they are incorrect. You just need to find the right one. Thank you for being so awesome organization, thank you for treating us as your friends. Your organization proves that being an animal lover does not mean you need to be a human hater (I felt like that in many other rescues).

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Rating: 1 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

First off, the adoption process is very long and tedious, and it feels like a test. When I emailed the organization regarding my interest in a dog I was told to fill out an application online and submit it by email. I did so then was told there might be an issue with my location (AFH states they serve the Washington Metropolitan area, which my county is located within), because I lived in southern Maryland. Once I was approved for a home check, the following Sunday I went to the adoption event (had to fill out another application) to meet the dog and was interviewed by a representative, with no issues; all signs pointing to our approval. Then Tuesday night got an email saying the board of directors had deemed my "status" outside of their adoption guidelines. I responded requesting an explanation, got an email saying my message would be forwarded to the b.o.d, no response. Called their number, it's a voice mail box. Emailed the corporate email saying I hoped I could resolve what ever confusion that resulted in our rejection, no response.
I'm an avid dog lover with two very happy and spoiled dogs already, my application met all discussed guidelines. From my perspective AFH had a problem with coming all the way to Charles County, MD (where I live, which is within the Washington Metropolitan area [which is where they state they serve]) and denied me a furry companion because of it.

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Rating: 1 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

At first I thought A Forever Home was a stand up organization. I adopted a puppy I named Toby from them on October 12, 2014 after having an application reviewed, my references check, and my home inspected. I had never seen the puppy standing since he had not received all of his vaccines. When I got him home and put him down I realized he was extremely malnourished and within three days that he was ill and not just adjusting to new food. I took him to the vet by day 4 and he was dewormed and on day 5 received medications for a severe ear infection that he must have had for a very long time and an intestinal infection. By day 5 he started to display neurological problems. I took him back to the vet and she referred me to a neurologist which I took Toby to the following day. He prescribed some additional antibiotics because it appeared the ear infection had ruptured his ear drum and spread to his inner ear. I contacted A Forever Home to express my concern over the lack of care Toby received in his foster home. It appeared by the paperwork that he may have been there between 4 to 6 weeks and had been to a vet - but because of his condition - we questioned if he had actually received the medications listed on the form. I asked several questions the vet requested I ask - such as did he have any reactions to the medications that may have caused them to stop giving it to him, did he have any reactions to his vaccines. He had a brother adopted out through A Forever Home, were they aware of any neurological problems his brother was having. I said that any information they provide could only help us save Toby's life. They NEVER acknowledged or responded to my e-mail. Toby may not have been in their care as long as I thought he had but since they didn't bother to respond to me - I can only assume that he was.

Unfortunately, Toby continued to decline and the vet believes the infection had spread to Toby's brain and changed his medications to stronger antibiotics and steriods which are not normally prescribed to puppies but it was our desperate attempt to save him. Despite all of my vet's efforts - he lost his ability to stand and walk, lost his vision, and we believe was losing his hearing. Since he was not responding to even the super strong medications and he was continuing to deteriorate and was suffering greatly, he was euthanized on October 29, 2014. Despite the fact that he was dying the whole time I had him - he still managed to gain 9 pounds in 14 days.

I am aware that any time you adopt a rescue there are health risks and I am willing to take them. But in my opinion, Toby was neglected while in the foster home of A Forever Home and that neglect led to his suffering and death. The fact that the organization never responded to my e-mail and made no attempt to answer any of our questions to help Toby leads me to believe that they don't care about the animals after they are adopted out. I was not trying to give him back or get a refund - I fell in love with the puppy and I was going to keep him and take care of him. I spent well over $1,000 in medical bills in the two weeks I had him. All I wanted from A Forever Home was information to help Toby and to alert them to a possible problem with one of their foster homes.

Shame on A Forever Home. If you do adopt from them, take your pet to the vet the very next day and don't trust the paperwork they give you.

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We at AFH are very sorry for your experience with our organization. It's very difficult to bring a new life into your family, only to have it extinguished so quickly. We hope this doesn't come across as making excuses, that's not how it's meant, but we must rely on our fosters to provide us with information about the condition of our animals. We have checked with Colin/Toby's foster, and they have assured us that they did not notice anything unusual about him during the time he was with them. Unfortunately, that does you no good. While we understand that there's really nothing that we can do to rectify this situation, we will be refunding your adoption fee. It's not much, but we hope that it helps a little. Please accept our sincere apology for the pain this must have caused you. The Board of Directors A Forever Home Rescue Foundation

Rating: 1 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Not such a good experience with A Forever Home.
The puppy we were looking at was listed as a Norwegian Elk Hound/Husky mix. Things were going well, and the Foster Mom actually brought him to our house for him to meet the kids after we had seem him at an event at a local pet supply store.
The following weekend, when we went to pick up the puppy, the Foster Mom was 2 hours late, causing our kids to miss a weekend event.
When we did get him home, we noticed that his stools were not healthy looking, so when he went to the vet, they discovered he had worms.
Now, all of this we could live with. A pain, no doubt, but nothing that won't fade over time. However, at a later trip to the vet, they asked "You say he's Norwegian Elk Hound and Husky?" Our reply was "That's what they told us". After looking him over, the vet said, "No, I think you have a Belgian Malinois here." We had never even hear of the breed, but he has every marking and the disposition of a Mal, except he's a bit shorter than normal. If you don't know anything about Mals, these are aggressive, military and police working dogs, usually used as attack dogs. I have 4 young kids. This is not good at all!!!
So beware of what these people tell you about the breed of the dog you are considering, as well as the health of the dog. They could just be making stuff up in hopes to pawn off another dog that they are not willing to give back to a kill-shelter.

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We're sorry that you were disappointed in your experience with our rescue. We really do strive to live up to our volunteers', supporters', and adopters' expectations; sometimes it's a challenge! You've raised several issues in your review, we'll address each one: 1) The foster mom was late: we confirm with the foster parents that they are able to bring the dogs to the contract signing event on time. You, as the adopter, received the same confirmation email (which we ask BOTH the adopter and the foster to respond to ... and if they don't we call them to make sure they'll be there). Sometimes things don't go according to plan. Apparently, that's what happened this time, and for that, we apologize. 2) The puppy had worms: every puppy has worms. We have a medical treatment protocol that we follow with every puppy that comes into the organization. A key component of this protocol is treatment with Fenbendazole (Panacur), which is a broad-spectrum parasiticide that should kill pretty much any worm in the animal's system at the time of administration. The problem is, worms have a pretty extensive life cycle and go through a variety of stages during development. During the presentation you were given when you signed your adoption contract, you were informed that we had begun a deworming protocol, but that you would need to continue it with your vet to ensure that all parasites were eliminated from the dog's system. 3) Breed identification: It's hard. So hard, in fact, that we typically don't even try. We rely on the information that is given to us by the surrendering entity (original owner, shelter, etc.) from which we got the dog. The truth is, your vet is most likely only guessing at the breed, too. Even dog DNA tests aren't accurate. A quote from the Wisdom Panel DNA test site: "Your report will show, through text and illustration, the most likely combination of pure and mixed breed dogs in your dog’s last two ancestral generations." -- notice it says "most likely combination". If modern science can't be sure, how can we? We're sorry that you feel that we gave you "bad information". 4) Your dog with your kids: If you are ever uncomfortable having a dog you adopted from AFH with your children (or if you can't or don't want to keep your dog for any reason), you are not only encouraged, but are bound by the adoption contract you signed, to return the dog to AFH. We ALWAYS stand behind our dogs, period. That includes your dog, today. If you would like to return your dog, please contact us at info@aforeverhome.org and we will begin the process. 5) "They could just be making stuff up in hopes to pawn off another dog that they are not willing to give back to a kill-shelter": WRONG! As stated above, we provided you with the information that was given to us. If you feel we mis-identified the breed, we apologize. But, we will NEVER give a dog back to the shelter: kill-shelter or otherwise. Once an animal is accepted into the AFH program, it is a member of our family for life. It may get adopted, it may not. In any case, it will ALWAYS be an AFH dog. Respectfully, The Board of Directors A Forever Home Rescue Foundation

Rating: 5 stars  

Our daughter in law has been a rescue for over 100 dogs. We live just down the street and get to see the dogs that she fosters, 6 years ago she got a mom and her 2 puppies (dachshund). I remberance the day we saw our cutie, it was a very nice group,to work with. The dogs that they save is wonderful. This the way to bring a dog into your family and home. They all work very hard. 5 stars to A Forever Home Foundation Visit there adoption day and you will be happy you did

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Thanks for the kind words, and it's wonderful to hear that you were able to find the perfect fur-friend to add to your family!