Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue

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Founded in 1987, Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue (SPDR) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to placing unwanted or abandoned purebred dogs into new homes. SPDR works with area shelters and private individuals, handling an average of over 3,000 dogs every year, including most AKC breeds and some breeds not recognized by the AKC.

A dog available for adoption through SPDR is typically healthy and of good temperament, with an average age between six months to 5 years. SPDR requires all its dogs to be spayed or neutered.

How SPDR Works:

The volunteers who assist in adopting or placing dogs are called SPDR “Breed Representatives.” SPDR typically has between 70 to 100 “Breed Reps” volunteering at any given time, each representing an individual breed of dog.

Breed Reps are chosen by SPDR as a result of their knowledge and years of experience with a particular breed. This breed-specific expertise is what sets SPDR apart in the adoption process.

As a result of a Breed Rep’s guidance in during adoption, families are able to 1.) learn more about a particular breed before making a decision to adopt; 2.) determine whether a particular breed is right for their lifestyle and expectations; 3.) avoid spending days or weeks visiting shelters in search of a particular breed; and 4.) get a first-hand expert opinion about a specific dog to determine unique characteristics, adoptability, and appropriate “fit” for a household.

Most importantly, the Breed Rep’s commitment continues long after adoption. When questions arise, the adoptive family can continue to “consult the expert” in matters of health, behavior, and training. Adopting an SPDR dog comes with its own support system!

Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue provides the following three services:

**** 1. RESCUE: SPDR takes in purebred dogs in need of new permanent homes. These dogs come from local shelters and from private owners, and await their new homes in SPDR’s foster care system. Breed Reps match these dogs with prospective adopters.

**** 2. REFERRAL: SPDR also serves as a referral source for adopters seeking purebred pets. People who either want to adopt a dog or need to find a new home for a dog they can no longer keep can call SPDR’s message line or visit SPDR's website for assistance (click on “Adopt a Dog” or “List a Dog”).

**** 3. EDUCATION: SPDR promotes responsible dog ownership by educating the public in the selection, care, and training of dogs. This is done both on an individual basis by Breed Reps, and through SPDR’s educational information booths held at pet stores and events around the Puget Sound area.


Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue is a non-profit referral organization dedicated to placing unwanted purebred dogs into suitable homes, and preventing unwanted purebreds from overloading the shelter system. Towards attaining those goals, we promote responsible dog ownership by educating the public in the selection, care and training of dogs. Founded as a non-political organization in 1987, SPDR works cooperatively with breeders, animal shelters, breed clubs, and individuals to accomplish SPDR's purpose.

A complete list of our adoption policies is included in our “Terms of Adoption” document, which can be found on our website as described below. Briefly, our policies require all dogs to be spayed or neutered, and all adoptions to be initiated with completed and signed paperwork, a $5 processing fee, and an interview.

To start the adoption process, please visit our website:

Click on the link “Adopt a Dog.” This will walk you through the process, outline our policies, and provide you with the necessary forms to print and mail.

If you have any further questions, there is an e-mail contact listed at the bottom of the adoption web page.

An application fee of $5 is requested when the adoption application is submitted. Actual adoption fees will vary from dog to dog. Typically, the average adoption fee is between $50 and $300.

SPDR is an all-volunteer agency whose members work out of their own homes. We do not operate a kennel nor do we have an office, so there are no official "hours." Our main phone line is available to receive messages 24 hours a day; messages are checked frequently throughout each day, and routed accordingly.

Driving Directions
Because SPDR does not maintain an office or kennel facility, it is not possible to drive to us.

Lost & Found
SPDR does not handle lost or found dogs. A found dog has the best chance of getting back home if you take it to your local shelter. If no owner claims the dog, the shelter reserves the right to adopt the dog directly, or contact outside rescue groups (such as SPDR) for assistance in finding a suitable new home for the dog.

Foster Homes
SPDR has no kennel facility, so the number of dogs we handle is limited by the number of foster homes available. As a result, SPDR is always looking for people to provide transitional homes for various breeds awaiting permanent families. If you can provide a safe, secure environment and a little bit of love for a dog in need, please call SPDR at 206-654-1117 and ask for a foster application. Or get the application from our website at

Other Departments
SPDR Volunteers fall into one of three categories: Breed Representatives / Co-Reps, Foster home volunteers, and General volunteers. General volunteers are active in a variety of tasks, including fundraising, public information booths, administrative support, event support, and dog-specific duties including transport and shelter checks. We also have volunteers who spend considerable time on the telephone and computer, trying to help people and dogs.

** BROCHURE: SPDR Brochures are available by calling our message line and leaving your name, address and phone number.

** NEWSLETTER: SPDR offers an award-winning quarterly newsletter entitled "SPDR Speaks!" featuring educational and informative articles about a wide variety of dog-related topics. An example of our newsletter can be seen on our website under the “SPDR Speaks” link. To subscribe, send in a $15 check for an annual subscription to SPDR, with "Speaks" written in the memo line.

** ANNUAL STATISTICS: Once a year, SPDR publishes its annual statistics in the Spring issue of its “Speaks” newsletter, reflecting the numbers of breeds handled by SPDR during a given year. These statistics do not represent a complete picture of breed rescue in the Puget Sound area, rather, they reflect the number of dogs that SPDR was able to help. For the year 2001, the twenty-five most-handled breeds by SPDR were as follows:

(1) American Pit Bull Terrier=1,023
(2) Rottweiler=656
(3) German Shepherd Dog=425
(4) Siberian Husky=304
(5) Labrador Retriever=252
(6) American Staffordshire Terrier=250
(7) Beagle=226
(8) Golden Retriever=178
(9) Miniature Poodle=135
(10) Australian Cattle Dog=123
(11) Dachshund=99
(12) Lhasa Apso=95
(13) Australian Shepherd=82
(14) Shetland Sheepdog=77
(15) Pomeranian=73
(16) Boxer=71
(17) Jack Russell Terrier=58
(18) Cocker Spaniel=56
(19) Doberman Pinscher=56
(20) Basset Hound=43
(21) Collie=41
(22) Alaskan Malamute=39
(23) Bulldog=39
(24) Mastiff=36
(25) Shih Tzu=36

Click here for a list of pets at this shelter

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