Breed-specific rescue programs began to develop in the 1980s as an alternative to shelters and the free to good home classified ads. Identification with a single breed was and is typically a response of people who have owned that breed and have great loyalty to and affection for it. These programs are largely created and administered by volunteers.
For Golden Retrievers, local breed clubs and the national Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA), while usually supportive of and helpful to rescue activities, do not set policy for or control the day-by-day operations of any of the nearly 100 locally formed and administered programs. However, the National Rescue Committee, a committee of the GRCA, does provide coordinating and networking services for those programs as well as developing literature, resources and maintaining this web site. The GRCA does cover usual and expected operating costs of this committee to include the website.
Golden Retriever Rescue programs accept Golden Retrievers from surrendering owners who can no longer care for the dog and from shelters to which the dog may have been surrendered or have been a stray. After a period of care by the program, to include evaluation and medical attention, the dog is introduced to carefully screened potential adopters. Programs will have the dog spayed/neutered, make sure vaccinations and tests are current and seek veterinary treatment for medical needs. An adoption fee is charged. That fee varies from program to program and may vary also according to the age of the dog.