Wags and Walks FAQ

Can I Foster and Decide Later if I Want to Keep the Dog?

  • Yes. You may choose to adopt your foster. Just let us know as soon as you decide so we can let other potential adopters know the dog is no longer available. Not all our dogs are able to go into a foster to adopt situation. If you know up front you would like to foster to adopt, we need a deposit of half of the adoption fee to stop all meet and greets. We will give you 7 days to decide. If you haven’t decided in those 7 days, we will start arranging meet and greets with other interested parties. Sorry we cannot extend the 7 days deciding window.


Can You Hold a Dog For Me?

  • Unfortunately we cannot hold dogs. We plan meet and greets based on when the applications arrive. If you are interested in a dog, fill out the application right away. If we are having an adoption event, be early so someone doesn’t adopt the dog you are interested in. The same is true at our adoption centers.


I Want to Adopt the Dog Now but Can’t Take the Dog Now Because I Am Going Away/Not Ready/Moving Soon.

  • Sorry, we cannot keep the dog in a foster until you are ready. That limits the amount of dogs we save because we have one less available foster. We can recommend some boarding facilities until you are ready to bring the dog home.


Can I get a Dog for Less than the Usual Adoption Rate? 

  • Sorry, we cannot give discounted adoption rates. We are a non-profit organization and our adoption fees go right back to saving more dogs in need. We have many medical bills, training, food, and other costs that all add up. Each recued dog costs us an average of $500.


I Emailed You Earlier Today/Yesterday and Haven’t Received a Response Yet.

  • Please understand we receive a high number of emails daily and try to respond to them as quickly as we can. Sometimes we are dealing with emergencies or are at the shelters all day. Sending emails to multiple Wags and Walks contacts will only slow us down and keep us from saving more lives.

  • Please look through our website as most emails we receive can be answered either on our FAQ’s or under the Resources tab.

  • We aim to respond to all emails within 48 hours.


When Do I Receive My Dog’s Paperwork?

  • We will email you within three days with our welcome letter, paperwork, verification of contact information, etc.

  • If for some reason you need the paperwork sooner, please email debbie@wagsandwalks.org and we will try our best to accommodate. Please understand we get a high number of emails daily and are all volunteer run.

How Do I License My Dog?

  • There are different rules and requirements based on where you live. We do not and cannot keep up with all the rules and changes for all locations we adopt to. The best way to confirm is to contact your local animal services department.

  • For Los Angeles adopters click here.


Do you know the history of my dog?

  • Unfortunately many dogs that we save came into the shelter as a strays or were surrendered by their owners with little to no information. There is no way of us knowing where they came from or what they went through. However, at Wags and Walks we hand select are dogs based upon their temperament, with no discrimination to breed, size, age, etc. For that reason, we do know that they will make sweet and loving additions to your family.


Is My Dog Microchipped? How Do I Change the Information? How Long Does it Take to Change the Microchip Information?

  • We microchip all of our dogs. We will fill out the change of ownership form for you once we verify your information. The microchip company will send out a letter to your address but sometimes this letter can take a month or two to be sent. Don’t worry. All dogs are registered to us so if something happens before the change is made, the company will call us and we can contact you. Most of the time the microchips will be through the company AVID but sometimes other companies may be used.


Is My Dog Potty Trained?

  • Unfortunately we do not know right away. Dogs are not let out much at the shelter and we cannot always find out until after the dog is in a foster home or in an adopter's home. There may also be some accidents when a dog goes to a new home. It may take a few days for your dog to get accustomed to your home and routine.


What Does My Adoption Fee Include?  

  • Your $450-$500 donation fee includes spay/neuter, microchip and vaccines current to the age of the dog/puppy.

  • If you adopt a puppy under 6 months old, an additional $50 training deposit will be required and refunded once your puppy has completed training before the 6 month mark. This is to ensure all of our puppies are set up for success in their new homes.


Is My Adoption Fee Tax-Deductible?

  • We are a non-profit organization so please consult your accountant regarding a potential tax deduction.


What is the Green Line on my Dog's Stomach?

  • Some of the clinics tattoo a green line on the dogs near the spay/neuter site while the are under anesthesia. This is to show that the dog has been spayed/neutered. The green line helps shelters and vets so that they do not need to put the dog under anesthesia again for an investigative surgery if the scar is not noticeable.


Why is My Dog Sneezing and/or Coughing?

  • Kennel cough, which sounds like your dog is hacking, is very common in shelter dogs. Almost all dogs who come from the shelter will have kennel cough. Sometimes it can take up to two weeks for the dog to show symptoms of it. It sounds horrible but it sounds worse than it really is. It is similar to a human cold and can be contagious to dogs who are not up to date on bordatella vaccinations.

  • Kennel cough only infects dogs and puppies, not humans and cats.

  • The dogs can have an inflamed wind pipe and lungs causing the dog to make a honking type cough. It seems like the dog is trying to cough something up and sometimes they may.

  • Most dogs recover from kennel cough on their own after a few days to 10 days. There are antibiotics that may help speed up the recovery but allowing the dog to fight it will help build their immune system.

  • If your dog starts to have goopy eyes and/or nose or starts to act lethargic, then it is time to see a vet. Please see our Partners page for vets that we recommend.

  • The Bordetella shot is the vaccine which helps dogs from getting this upper respiratory infection and is a required vaccine at boarding and daycare facilities.



  • The first round of vaccinations is included in our adoption fee. Everything beyond that is the adopter's responsibility. Please consult our Partners page for a list of vets that we recommend.

  • Below is a vaccination schedule to follow.


Dogs 6-8 weeks: DHPP round 1 

Dogs 10-12 weeks: DHPP round 2

Dogs 14-16 weeks: DHPP round 3 

Annually for dogs of all ages:

DHPP (follow up every 3 years)

Bordetella (optional, but required for all boarding facilities)

Rabies (required)


  • What each vaccine covers:

    • DHPP: Distemper (D)- An airborne virus that effects the lungs, brain, and intestine; Hepatitis (H)- A virus that effects the liver; Parainfluenza (P)- Infectious bronchitis; Parvovirus (P)- A virus that infects the intestines

    • Bordetella- A bacterial infection that effects the upper respiratory system, also known as Kennel Cough.

    • Rabies- A virus that is fatal to humans and other animals.

  • Reactions to vaccinations:

    • Like humans dogs can get reactions to vaccinations as well, the most common being swelling. It is recommended to visit your vet if your dog experiences a reaction just to get it checked out, and remember the reaction for the next time your dog gets vaccinated.