Rescue a Golden of Arizona

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about RAGofAZ

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What is Rescue A Golden of Arizona?

RAGofAZ is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to the Rescue, evaluation, and placement of Golden Retrievers who have lost their homes through no fault of their own.

How long have you been in business?

On October 15, 1998, RAGofAZ became incorporated with fifteen members. Since then, we have rescued and rehomed over 3400 Golden Retrievers.

What area do you cover?

Our rescue efforts cover the entire state of Arizona. We have volunteers throughout the state that cover various aspects of Rescue.

How do people contact RAGofAZ?

You may contact us via the following:

602-404-WOOF (9663)
P.O. Box 71967, Phoenix, AZ 85050

How can I become a member?

Membership is open to anyone desiring to support our rescue efforts. Membership dues are $35 per individual or $45 for a family; memberships are good for one year.  The Membership Application Form can be completed and submitted online or downloaded from our website at and mailed to our post office box. Membership is a requirement for adoption.

As a member, how can I help RAGofAZ?

Members can help by joining any of our various teams: Transport, Follow-up, Vet Care, Fundraising, and Event Planning. We gratefully accept donations in any amount for the care of the dogs. Donations are tax-deductible.

What activities are available for members?

Mewmbers of RAGofAZ do gift wrapping at Barnes & Noble Bookstores and the Reid Park Arts & Crafts Fair in Tucson during the holidays. These events are fun and profitable, with many opportunities for public education.  We have educational booths at various pet-related events all around Arizona.

In February, we have an annual members’ picnic called Bark in the Park, with dogs, of course, and our Tucson contingent hosts a Bark in the Park in November. Our Prescott contingent’s main activities are Woof Down Lunch in June and Dogtoberfest in October. We sponsor raffles and fundraising events to raise money to pay for the high costs of vetting our dogs. All in all, there is a little bit of everything for everyone and every dog.

How can I learn about what RAGofAZ is doing?

Members receive e-newsletters (Golden Tales), regular e-mail messages, telephone calls and board meeting Minutes upon request. On our website are an Events Calendar and our Golden Shop items.

Is RAGofAZ associated with any groups or clubs?

Some of our members belong to the Golden Retriever Club of America. We cooperate with Yavapai Animal Care & Control, the Arizona Animal Welfare League, the Arizona Humane Society, and other shelters around the state. Because of the Golden temperament, many of our rescued dogs go to hospitals for pet therapy. Many of our members also belong to the Companion Animal Association of Arizona and Therapy Dogs International.

Why would anyone need to rescue a Golden Retriever?

There are numerous reasons why some Golden owners give up their dogs. The most common cause is because the dog is sick or injured and needs expensive and long-term care, which puts a financial burden on the family. Sometimes it’s because the dog is too old. Occasionally, people move and can’t take their pets with them, or the owner dies, and the family can’t take the dog. The reasons are varied. The reasons we will not  accept a dog is if it doesn’t get along with other dogs or it has a biting/aggressive history.

Where do you get your Goldens?

Many of the Goldens that we rescue come from private owner turn-ins. Some are also retrieved from county shelters or the Humane Society. A few have come to us through veterinary referrals, others from Good Samaritans who have found wandering dogs. 

Are all rescued Goldens healthy?

No. When first accepted by RAGofAZ, each dog routinely receives our Gold Standard of Care. Each dog receives a comprehensive physical exam by one of our contract veterinarians, spay/neuter as required, vaccinations as needed, a RAGofAZ microchip, fecal test, and a senior panel blood test for dogs aged eight years and above. We also provide any required surgery or medical care. About 28% of the Goldens we have taken into Rescue have Valley Fever, to varying degrees, a common disease caused by spores in Arizona soil. Since the medication for this treatable condition is expensive, we provide it for three months following adoption. We disclose all known medical problems about the dogs to potential adoptive families.

Why are the dogs spayed or neutered?

From the ASPCA: Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life. Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, malignant or cancerous, in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases. Neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer and some prostate problems.

And behavioral benefits:
Your spayed female pet won’t go into heat. Your male dog will be less likely to roam away from home. An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate, including finding creative ways to escape from the house. Once he’s free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other male animals. Your neutered male may be better behaved. Unneutered dogs are more likely to mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. After neutering, your dog might be less likely to mount other dogs, people, and inanimate objects. You can sometimes avoid some aggression problems with early neutering.

Are rescued dogs housebroken?

Many rescued Goldens are housebroken. However, sometimes a puppy or a dog kept outside for an extended period will not be housebroken. In such cases, some housetraining will probably be necessary. Even a dog that has been housetrained may have “accidents” when placed in the unfamiliar environment of a new home. International dogs are rarely housebroken, but they learn quickly.

How do you match the dogs with a potential adopter?

RAGofAZ is the of Golden Retrievers; there is no alphabetical or numerical list. Questions are asked during the Home Visit and interviews with people surrendering a dog. We enter all information into the database. When we receive a dog, its characteristics are compared to all waiting families’ requests to make the right match for each family and the dogs. The process of adopting a dog from RAGofAz is structured to match the dog with the best home we can find, by design.

What happens when a Golden is matched with my family?

The matched Golden is brought to your home by a RAGofAZ Transport Team member; you sign the Foster/Adopter Adoption Contract, and the Transport Team member accepts payment of the adoption fee. You will have a three-week transition period for your family and the dog to be sure it is a good match. During this time, a member of the Follow Up Team will periodically call to answer questions or offer advice as needed. If the dog still needs to be vetted, a member of the Vet Team will contact you with instructions to take the dog to the nearest contracted vet for evaluation and our Gold Standard of Care. In this transition period, all vetting expenses are paid by RAGofAZ as long as you use our contracted vet until the adoption is final.

What happens after the transition period?

Once the Golden is medically released, and you feel this is a good fit, the adoption is finalized. If you do not wish to adopt your dog, the adoption fee you already paid is refunded or applied toward the adoption of another rescued Golden. Once the adoption is final, you may choose any veterinarian for your adopted Golden’s medical needs. The RAGofAZ contract specifies that should you not be able to care for the Golden for any reason, the dog must be returned to RAGofAZ.

What are the Adoption fees?

The adoption fees depend on the Golden’s age.
Adoption fees by age of dog




Why does it cost so much to adopt a dog?

RAGofAZ incurs high veterinary costs with each dog. What little money we collect in adoption fees will never cover all of our expenses with rescued dogs. The average cost to RAGofAZ to rescue a Golden is $1,200.

Can I get a puppy through RAGofAZ?

Although puppies under six months of age are rare, each year, we do take in several puppies, and we have even taken in pregnant females. Their puppies are available for adoption after they are eight weeks old.

Where can I go to see your rescued dogs?

As Goldens come in, we post them on our website. Our goal is to get the dogs into their new homes as quickly as possible.

All dogs are placed with Approved and Waiting for Dog families as soon as we know about them. Since we do not have a kennel or boarding facility, and most of our rescued dogs come directly from owners, when we pick them up, they are delivered straight to their new home. Moving dogs from one home to another over a couple of weeks can be stressful for the dog.

For more information about RAGofAZ activities, follow us on social media.

Coyright RAGofAZ 2023
Rescue A Golden of Arizona | P.O. Box 71987 | Phoenix, AZ 85050-1987 | 602-404-WOOF (9663)
Instagram: rescue_a_golden_az
TikTok: @rescueagoldenaz

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