I bought a puppy with great success. Loved him and had a very good experience. He was very active and I wanted another dog. For some reason, the people there think they know what you need and asked me why I wanted a second dog. They made me wait 20 minutes to see the binder book and then no dog was fit for me. I got my second dog from Craigslist last summer and I couldn't be happier.
They are almost never open, and don't answer the phone! I tried to contact them for 2 weeks until I finally saw a car in the parking lot and banged on the door until someone opened it and talked to me. I left a message, but didn't receive a call back for over a month. By that time I didn't need their services anymore as I had to go somewhere else. But what a phone conversation I had! It turns out that although they have lots of volunteers, they only want to play with the animals. None of the volunteers wants to actually do the work of running a business, such as answering the phone or staffing the office. That is absolutely ridiculous, and speaks volumes about the management. They desperately need a volunteer coordinator who will whip this group into shape. If you don't have the funds to hire staff, then you use what you have, and if they don't want to be useful, they should go. I've also heard the stories about them not wanting to release any of the animals, which is counter to their mission. The goal is to rehome the animals, not keep them as a private petting zoo for the volunteers! From what I've heard, these animals stay in cages for months, if not years, and are only let out for short periods when the volunteers are present. That's animal cruelty, not kindness.
They do not aggression test their dogs and lie to adopters that they did. My family adopted a dog that is sweet as can be until he gets angry or territorial, after which he bites the closest person to him and has bitten my mother until she bleeds all over the floor. After a little less than a year of not being able to improve the behavior or find a solution, she confronted DAWS about the aggression, and they told her they never actually tested him because he was only there a few days and did not have time, and then lied about it to my mom and on the paper work. They refused to offer her any resources and said he's now her problem. We spoke with Bethel Animal Control who said many people have had problems with aggressive dogs from this organization and they cannot help them if they are known to bite. When it comes to people and animal safety, DAWS does not do their do diligence and puts the public at risk. They either need a leadership change or need to consider why they are in the adoption business - to just re-home any animal they get or to create safe homes for their animals and adopters. I would never recommend or adopt from DAWS again.
Review from Guidestar
Outstanding, "no-kill" shelter. Adoption requires an interview. Very low rate of failed adoptions, because client matches are well done. Dedicated volunteers, many who live on site while a specific animal is in need. Among my most rewarding volunteer experience. I adopted an elderly cat from DAWS, volunteered socializing abused dogs, and ended up taking a stint as President.
Review from Guidestar