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.
I would give this company a ZERO if it was allowed! We should have looked at the reviews because they are HORRIBLE! We told them we were from an apartment and that we wanted the Shepard mix and our lease only says no GERMAN shepards. They said doesnt matter THEY wont let us have him and its THEIR right to refuse us. I asked tp see where that was written and was told it was a "verbal" policy. ALL because they said there was a CHANCE the apartment complex could say no and refused to call to ask if the complex would allow it.
We apologize that you were dissatisfied with your interaction with our organization. It is true that we do limit adoptions of various breeds to those who rent, and yes, we limit based on our policies, not those of a particular apartment complex. This policy was developed after many, many renting adopters moved and were forced to return their pet because their new rental provider did not allow a particular breed. While we recognize that our policy causes hardship for some people, we genuinely feel that it is in the best interest of the dogs. We hope that you were successful in finding a new furry companion. A Forever Home Rescue Foundation
We had a horrible experience with them.
They misrepresented the breed of the dog we got, which is not a big deal until we realized that they bring physically abused dogs from Puerto-Rico hence with a slue of difficult behavior problems and aggression. When you have a problem, they offer no help and makes you feel that you are the problem, even with an aggressive dog that we totally believe that he was medicated with sedatives when we saw him.
The safety of the families including children is not on their radar at all.
It's a business, if they truly cared about the animals they would have been available to help the families or take the animal back if it is not the right fit and match it with someone more equipped to handle an abused aggressive dog with no small children in the house.
Research and read the reviews carefully, for us it was too late.
We regret that you had a bad experience with our organization. We strive to ensure that all dogs we adopt out are placed into appropriate homes where they will be able to stay forever ... their "forever home." To accomplish this, we ensure that we divulge as much information as we have about each dog prior to its adoption. In your case, you should have been informed that your dog was from Puerto Rico so that you could have taken that under advisement as you made your decision to adopt or not. We'd also like to stress that, while some dogs from Puerto Rico are abused, the same can be said of everywhere. Being from Puerto Rico does not "doom a dog to failure" With regard to the misrepresentation of a dog's breed, we do the best we can. In the greatest majority of cases, we rely on the assessment of the surrendering entity (shelter, rescue, owner) for breed identity. This is for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is common that the dogs will come with treatment sheets that become part of their "permanent record." These sheets will have a breed identification on them, and if we use something else then first, we're guessing, and second, it causes confusion. As for the dog being "medicated with sedatives" when you saw him ... that was most assuredly not the case. We don't believe in misrepresenting our dogs like that. It does no one any good! And for returning a dog, we always accept returns of dogs adopted through our organization. In fact, that is a condition of adoption and explicitly called out in your contract that you must return the dog to us (see the text of our contract here: http://www.aforeverhome.org/forms/sample-adoption-contract/). There is a process that you must go through when returning your dog. This process ensures that we are able to place the dog into an appropriate foster home when one is available. Returns may not happen immediately because we do not have a facility where dogs are housed, but rather rely on foster care providers. While this doesn't change the fact that you were (and probably still are) dissatisfied with the rescue, hopefully, it helps understand why things happened as they did.
Do your homework before selecting this organization. It would be nice to finally get through and talk with the person in charge. I find it interesting they they don't list any of that information on the website only to say a group of experienced rescuers. Certainly do not have any experience with the process of fixing errors of pets placed in the wrong home environment. Even if they pride themselves on making a good forever home match. They don't even take safety of children into consideration when every attempt has been made to consider the pet and the children by the family. Do your homework... even if you think nothing will go wrong in the process. It's these situations that really brings to light the true nature and intent of an organization. This has a process that needs to be fixed and not at the expense of children or families that have gone beyond trying to make it work...not when harm has been done. It's a difficult decision to have to make and a strong organization would be supportive and there to help make it easier for the families and the pets....not prolong and be difficult.
We regret that you had a bad experience working with AFH. We really do try to make things work out, but it can be difficult. We do not publish phone numbers for our volunteers. Most of our volunteers work full-time jobs, have families, and other obligations in addition to the rescue. All contact with the rescue is initiated through our email@example.com email address. When it comes to returning a dog, we always accept returns of dogs adopted through our organization. In fact, that is a condition of adoption and explicitly called out in your contract that you must return the dog to us (see the text of our contract here: http://www.aforeverhome.org/forms/sample-adoption-contract/). There is a process that you must go through when returning your dog. This process ensures that we are able to place the dog into an appropriate foster home when one is available. Returns may not happen immediately because we do not have a facility where dogs are housed, but rather rely on foster care providers. Just as you are concerned for the safety of your family, we are concerned for the safety of ours (our fosters and volunteers). We have to find an appropriate foster before we can bring a dog back into the organization. For a dog with behavioral issues, that may take a while. The rescue is here to help, but please remember that when you adopted the dog, you assumed responsibility for the dog. We will do what we can, when we can, but sometimes that isn't enough to meet your needs. All the best, A Forever Home Rescue Foundation
It is my opinion that this so call non profit is helping only themself to realize their dream to " boss" somebody. The leaders are people who probably feel less important that they wish to be so they show they "authority " to potential adopters in full splendor. They even want to comand potential adopters what they may and may not to do in their own home. Please believe me after many years working and now volunteering at vet clinics and shelters I now how important it is to explain people what to do and not to do with and for adopted animals. I support free training for adopters and their dog , brochures, hot lines, mentors, children and pet classes and all possible ways how to teach public to take good care of adopted animals. But I do not support arogancy, invasion of privacy. And extreme like house check. There is to many animals waiting for adoption and sadly too many animals to be put down every months, every year. So I would like to beg people who can donate things, food money to choose a non kill shelter that really work hard, really strive to place animals to good home without playing around like this non profit does.
We regret that you did not like your interaction with our rescue. We strive to make everyone's experience pleasurable, but sometimes that's just not possible. As for your feeling that a pre-adoption home visit is overly intrusive, we will simply have to disagree. It is our policy that we must conduct a thorough home inspection visit prior to approving anyone for adoption. If an adopter finds that too invasive, there are many organizations who do not have such a policy and you are welcome to adopt from any one of them. Regards, A Forever Home Rescue Foundation
I have lived in Fairfax County Community of VA for 20 years. A Forever-Home Rescue Foundation is a well-respected rescue group. I found out about them when I first moved there, after losing my beloved dog, and really want to help them while I dealt with the loss of my pet. I donated money, items of need and always stopped by their adoption events to see the animals and wish them encouragement. When I was ready to adopt again, I went to their website immediately and found the love of my life. I adopted Chloe 10 years ago, and I still have her. Maribel, one of the leaders, was very thoughtful, helped me answer so many questions, did a thorough tour of our home, and really made sure we were personally ready to take on this responsibility. I never felt pressured by the group. I also want to acknowledge them for their dedication to these animals once they leave AFH. If an owner changes his mind or if the animal turns up at a shelter, AFH is notified and they will pick up the dog. That's true dedication. Also, each of the animals before it is adopted, it spayed/neutered and up-to-date on all vaccinations. They also take the time to train the animals before they are adopted out. That's true dedication. I always recommend AFH to people looking for animals and will always support them.
I'd give no stars if I could. What a joke of an organization. Read their comments and news letter, putting blame on people. This organization is known for telling lies about breeds that are available and not helping out when something goes wrong. That is exactly why it is only an answering machine and a P.O. Box when trying to get in touch with someone. BUYER BEWARE....
I was once a volunteer with this organization. I was dropped as a volunteer because I have an unaltered pet and was accused of running a breeding operation. This is not a foster from their organization and he is not a rescue pet either it is my very own personal pet a part of my family. I understand that they can dictate what happens to the animals that they bring in as rescues but to tell volunteers what they can do with their own personal pets I think is just wrong. If I would have known that was a "rule" I would have saved myself the heartache. So to this organization I want to say thank you for your judgement. For a company that claims to do so much good you are some of the most judgemental people. I really would give no stars if I could. But here is your one star. I wish I could get my year back of volunteer service back and invest it in a organization that would appreciate it but I can't do that either. Lesson learned.
We had an incredible experience adopting our dog from A Forever Home. They we professional, well organized and took great care of the animals in foster homes. Our dog, Bentley became ill with parvovirus between the time we picked him out and were allowed to take him home. They did everything possible to get him the medical care he needed and save his life. Everyone we interacted with was just wonderful. They even went out of their way to help my parents adopt Bentley's sister. They love each other so much and are able to play together all the time. Two years later and there isn't a day that goes by that we aren't thankful for our amazing fur baby.
I am a volunteer foster of A Forever-Home Rescue. I currently have three (3) dogs that I am fostering. I love this organization because I know they truly care about animals. All dogs are given health checks and are either spay or neutered and if there is any health issues they take care of it. Food and collars and leases are also providing so that these animals can thrive in their new environment and therefore will make wonderful family additional. Don't Shop! Adopt!
Review from Guidestar
I first became aware of AFH in 2009 when my daughter was looking for a 60-70 pound female black lab mix. Despite the fact that we ended up with a 120 pound male Great Pyrenees mix, and later, his sister, I was impressed with the dedication of the volunteers and organizers with whom we interacted during the process. Six years later we are still volunteering with the group. Our activities have included helping to whelp a litter of Great Pyr pups, fostering both puppies and large breed adults and transporting dogs and puppies to their foster families, typically from much more rural areas of Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and Maryland. Driving through the New River Valley in late spring and fall provides some amazing vistas. Winter, not so much.
In any event, I encourage anyone looking for a companion animal to consider rescue groups like AFH. When the animals are in foster care, you have a much better assessment of the animal's personality and idiosyncrasies which, in turn, tends to support a better fit with the needs and lifestyle of the adopter(s) for a happy and safe forever home.
And if you are on the fence about an animal, fostering can be a great way to evaluate your readiness for a companion animal without a substantial commitment. And should that temporary fostering turn into something more permanent (aka, a foster failure), you will just be joining a large and happy club.
Review from Guidestar
I learned about AFH in 2008 when my wife and I adopted Midge. Our little furry girl. We had just lost our beloved dog Nutmeg and we're looking for another dog to love. We met Jen, a volunteer who was picking up a litter of puppies to foster. We told Jen our story and she was wonderful enough to bring over 4 puppies to our home (Midge and 3 of her siblings). Midge stole our hearts. She climbed into the toy basket of Nutmeg's toys and sat down. Jen did our home check on the spot. The following week, Midge was home. We'll needless to say, I been volunteering with them ever since. AFH is a non profit rescue that finds "Forever Homes" for dogs and puppies, and even some cats. AFH is one of the few rescues that will take in puppies. If you are looking for a puppy, AFH is the place to go. AFH is 100% dedicated to ensuring that our adopted dogs and puppies go to loving and safe homes. You will never find more dedicated, friendly, and helpful volunteers than those of AFH. Our dogs and puppies are in foster homes (NEVER in cages.) They stay with our fosters until they find their "Forever Home". AFH will do whatever it takes to save the life of a dog or puppy, no matter the cost.
Review from Guidestar
I started fostering for Aforeverhome.org about 2 years ago and this was first time so I was very nervous but they were vert reassuring and gave me several handouts to read and emergency phone numbers. They did a home check and only gave me dogs I felt comfortable fostering. They made sure the pups were dewormied and got their shots in a timely fashion. I have had several litters of pups that were rescued with anything from mange to parvo and they made sure all the pups received the care they needed. All my litters have found their forever home and we still keep in contact with some on facebook. They are good about making sure that the pups and the new home iare a good fit so there are no return pups. They also rescue several dogs that others would never take. Best volunteer experience ever! I now do dog sitting and transport to help other dogs from being put down thanks to them.
Review from Guidestar
I started volunteering for AFH after becoming disenchanted with other rescues. Too much politics, too many judgmental people not enough emphasis on rescuing animals. They were such a pleasant surprise! I have been in rescue for over 30 years so I have seen it all. AFH is without a doubt the most caring and well organized rescue I have seen in many years. The volunteers are unbelievable in their willingness to come forward every time, regardless of how many dogs we are trying to save! AFH is run by people that are always available to you, no matter what the problem, there they are ready to help, no matter how much they have on their plate. If you tell them you know of a dog that needs rescue or a new home they are there and ready to help. I cannot say enough about this wonderful rescue, I for one sleep better at night knowing they are there.
Review from Guidestar
I first learned of AFH when I adopted our wonderful Rottie, Heidi, from AFH. I went to several foster homes as well as to the adoption events to look at dogs before Heidi picked us. I was impressed with the devotion and love each foster family had for their wards. The process is very streamlined without missing crucial steps (application, interview, home checks etc) and soon Heidi was ours.
I then became a volunteer for AFH, and I frequent the adoption events to get my puppy snuggling time fix! The leaders of AFH are always there and they are tireless in their dedication. I also see some of the same foster parents there week after week with their new wards, again, tireless devotion and love for each pup. The events and fundraisers are very well run and enjoyable as well.
I love this organization and just wish that I could do more but working full time, I do what I can. I get my first foster in May, all the way from Thailand! I just hope he does not adopt me :-)
Review from Guidestar
I have been fostering for A Forever home for 3 years now and I can't say enough how great this rescue is. They never let a dog in need go and work so hard to make sure every dog finds its new forever home. Fostering has been such an excellent experience and I have felt so rewarded volunteering and helping these pups find their amazing new forever homes.
Review from Guidestar
A Forever Home has helped me adopt 2 wonderful puppies who are now members of our family. I love that they help you find the right dog for your home and are not just pushing dogs out the door. I plan to get any future dogs from them, and am hoping to help foster for this great group of people!
Review from Guidestar
We adopted our beloved toy poodle in March 2008. This was our first experience with a rescue adoption. We had direct access (email) to the foster to ask questions. The adoption process was straightforward and we were able to take home our poodle shortly after she was spayed. She had all her shots and received the medication she was taking. She was a special member of our family for 6 wonderful years. Sadly, she passed away this past September. We are forever grateful to AFH for saving her life so she could be a part of ours. We miss her dearly.
Last February, we decided to become fosters for AFH. This has been a rewarding experience. We have been impressed by the number of dogs the organization has been able to save and the tireless dedication of the founders to ensure their mission. An amazing amount of coordination and selflessness occurs in order to save animals and bring them into the adopters loving hearts. The adoption process is straightforward and can take as little as 1 week from adoption approval.
Review from Guidestar
Simply the best! AFH is professional, thorough, ethical, and fiscally responsible. It's interesting to note that the people giving poor ratings were primarily people whose applications were denied. That speaks volumes about them - not AFH. They were turned down for any number of good reasons, such as wanting a dog when their landlord won't allow one (they would sneak them in), wanting a dog that is inappropriate for their lifestyle, or wanting a dog "for the kids" (it's the responsibility of the adult and ALL family members must want a dog - not just the kids).
Some rescue groups in the area kill puppies that come down with parvo because they don't want to pay the exorbitant fees to treat them - not AFH - we treat them.
Some rescue groups in the area kill dogs with behavior issues - AFH has a professional trainer on our team (she was trained by Cesar Milan - the dog whisperer). Dogs needing a little extra help spend time with our trainer to be rehabilitated.
Some rescue groups don't think home visits are important. Home visit are a crucial step in placing a dog into a new home. Would you put your kids with a daycare provider you haven't check out? Would you go to a doctor you haven't checked out? Why would you place a dog into a home you haven't check out. Home visits are a CRITICAL part of rescue. Rescues who don't do home visits are lazy and irresponsible.
Some rescue groups don't pay their vet bills - AFH pays, in full, $25,000 - $30,000 EVERY MONTH in vet bills.
Some rescue groups and SPCAs don't believe in foster homes. They think it's ok to board dogs in cold metal kennels for months at a time. It's not ok. Every AFH dog goes into a loving foster home that provides love, socialization, and basic training.
Like I said earlier - SIMPLY THE BEST!
Review from Guidestar
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.
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.