How does the adoption process work?

Looking Glass Animal Rescue’s goal is to place homeless dogs and cats into forever homes with loving families. We take special care to match the right home with the right animal, ensuring a lifetime of love for both the pet and the adopter. To ensure the best matches are made, we have a process that has been proven effective in determining the best homes for our animals. Our adoption process may seem time consuming or unnecessarily complicated, but please understand that we have our dogs’ and cats' best interests at heart. We strive to find the best homes possible for our animals, as well as find the right pet for you and your lifestyle.

Please understand that our organization is completely run by unpaid volunteers, who dedicate their free time to help the animals. If your references are unavailable, it will delay the process since those must be checked before moving forward. The entire adoption process takes time; we are unwilling to sacrifice being thorough when the animal’s future is at stake. We thank you for your time and patience throughout our adoption process.

Step 1 – Fill out an Adoption Application

The first step is to have you fill out an adoption application. This application will tell us about you and your lifestyle, training beliefs and background with animals. The contract will lay out the requirements you must agree to in order to be considered as a legal adopter of one of our dogs or cats.

Step 2 – Application Preliminary Review

Our placement team will initially screen your application to determine if all necessary information was provided. If not you will be contacted to either fill out another application or provide additional information.

Step 3 – Landlord Approval Verified

If it is determined that you rent your home, your landlord will be contacted to make sure you have approval to have a pet in your home. We will also ask about any breed or size limitations. If your landlord does not allow for a dog or cat in your home, your application will be denied at this point in the process.

Step 4 – Veterinary References Contacted

An adoption coordinator will contact the veterinary reference(s) you provided to determine if all your current pets are spayed/neutered and up to date on vaccinations. If you don’t have any current pets, we will ask about the veterinary care that your previous pets received. If you have never owned a pet, this step is skipped.

If your veterinary reference(s) cannot verify the spay/neuter and vaccination status of current or previous pets, processing of your application will be stopped until you can provide this information.

Step 5 – Personal References Contacted

An adoption coordinator will contact your three personal references (only one of whom may be family) and ask them questions in regards to whether they consider you to be a responsible pet owner.

This is the portion of the process that can take the most amount of time. It is helpful if you contact your references and ask them to return our calls in a timely manner. If our reference checking volunteers have any major concerns about adopting a dog or cat to you, based on communication with your references, your application may be denied at this point in the process.

Step 6 – Home Visit and Applicant Interview

Our organization requires home visits to determine that the pet will be living in a safe environment. This is an informal chance for us to get to know you, your lifestyle, home environment and determine which dog(s) or cat(s) in our program might be the best fit. The home visit volunteer will do a short walk-through of your home and yard to ensure its safety and to advise on any areas of concern. All household members must be present for the home visit.  We will also ask for proof of ownership (if you own your home), and will ask for or take pictures of both the interior and exterior of your home.

If our home visit volunteers have any major concerns about your home environment, or if you refuse a home visit, your application will be denied at this point in the process.

Step 7 – Meeting between Approved Applicant & Requested or Available Animal

Our organization does not have a shelter where the dogs and cats can be visited. Our animals are in foster homes. We do NOT arrange meetings between interested individuals and our Fosters until an applicant has been approved via this adoption process.

Once you have been approved, the adoption coordinator will contact you about scheduling a time for you to meet the dog(s)/cat(s) you are interested in. This meeting may occur at the foster’s residence or your home.

Just because you are determined to be an approved adopter, you are NOT guaranteed a particular dog or cat. For some animals we receive many applications so we may allow multiple applicants to have a meeting with the dog or cat before we choose the home that we feel will be the best fit for all. Also, if the volunteer involved in the meeting with you and the animal, does not feel you are a good fit for specific reasons, you may be denied adoption of that particular dog or cat but you may be allowed to adopt another animal deemed more appropriate.

Step 8 – Adoption

If  you are approved to adopt you are required to provide payment of the adoption donation fee (and spay/neuter deposit if necessary). Once received, you become the owner of the dog or cat. We will try to provide a small supply of food that will allow you to transition your new pet's diet to another food when possible.

If at any time you are having issues with or have questions about your new pet, please call us at 914-912-9027 or email your contact person and inform us. A volunteer will be in touch with you ASAP.

Step 9 – Notification of Spay/Neuter & Return of Deposit

If, at the time of adoption, your dog  or cat was not already spayed/neutered (typically due to being underage or for medical reasons), you would have been required to agree to spay/neuter your dog or cat, via a spay/neuter contract, and provide us a deposit fee. Our adoption contract requires all dogs to be spayed/neutered within 1 month of adoption or when age/medically appropriate. You are asked to notify us when you have scheduled this surgery and at what vet clinic it is being done. Our volunteers will verify that the dog or cat has been spayed/neutered. Once this has been verified, your deposit check will be returned to you. If you fail to spay/neuter, as outlined in the adoption contract you signed, our organization will take appropriate measures to take back the animal.

Step 10 – Optional Post Adoption Follow-up Visit

Our adoption contract contains a clause that allows one of our volunteers or a representative the ability to perform a follow-up visit. We may require such a visit if we feel that the terms of the adoption contract are not being met. Looking Glass Animal Rescue is committed to the life, health and well-being of every dog and cat we place for the remainder of that their life. Should the adoption not work out or you need to rehome your new pet, we require by contract that the animal be returned to us. Please notify us ASAP by calling 914-912-9027 or emailing

Why do rescues charge an adoption fee?

Adoption fees help cover the medical care of the animal while he or she waits for a new home, as well as any training and transportation costs. These fees help to provide care for the other animals in the rescue group who may have medical and/or training bills that are much higher than any possible adoption fee. The money also acts as a tax-deductible donation to help support the organization as a whole, allowing the group to continue its efforts to rescue and rehome pets.

An adoption fee can end up saving you money! Shelters and rescue groups usually cover initial veterinary costs to prepare the pet for a new home. Adoption fees often include:

TOTAL: $425-$880

(This does not include any acute medical or emergency care the animal may have received as well)

Free pets usually come with no medical care, so while you may initially save on an adoption fee, the medical costs will add up quickly. Pets acquired from other methods may not be spayed or neutered and may not have a full set of vaccinations, adding to the expense.

Can I make a monthly, recurring donation to Looking Glass Animal Rescue?

Absolutely! We understand there are those of you who cannot take an animal into your home but want to help, and your recurring donations help pay for a rescue animal's vetting, food, and other expenses until a permanent home is found. And by providing consistent, reliable resources to an animal in our care, your gift can allow us to rescue another animal who is silently suffering from abuse or neglect.

Patrons who either make a one-time donation of $500 or more, or who sign-up for monthly recurring donations are part of our LGAR Guardian Angels, and our memorialized on our web site.

To make a recurring donation, simply check the "I would like this donation to automatically repeat each month" on the Donation page. Your donation will be automatically processed each month. You may cancel your recurring donation at any time by contacting us by phone at 914-912-9027 or by email at

Can I sponsor a specific dog or cat?

As an all-volunteer nonprofit, the resource constraints can be overwhelming; the lifeblood of our organization are our foster homes and other volunteers who work tirelessly to give each animal in their care the love and attention they have for so long forgone. Yet we struggle as there are so many more we would like to save but cannot because of the potential cost associated with their medical and/or behavioral treatment.

By becoming an LGAR sponsor, you will allow us to defray some of these costs giving us the opportunity to rescue more of the sick, abused and neglected animals—the most unwanted of the unwanted—that find themselves languishing within the shelter system. Many of these animals would not make it out of the shelters alive given the financial burdens their medical ailments would place on a would-be adopter. With your help we can continue to fulfill our mission for the many abandoned animals who sit in wait for their new life to begin.

100% of all donations made here go straight to our special needs dogs as they fight for life.

Please, won’t you become a Sponsor today and help make the difference in the life of a dog or cat in need?.

Sponsor an animal
If you are Sponsoring an animal in our care, please make reference to the name of the animal in which you would like your funds allocated to in the section called “Tribute Gift” otherwise donations will be credited to the General Fund.


I would like to volunteer, do you have any openings?

Volunteers are vital to our success and we couldn’t carry out our work without their dedication and support. We would love for you to join our volunteer program and welcome any commitment you are able to offer - however great or small. It truly is a rewarding experience – one where you can really make a difference in the life of an animal. We're always looking for volunteers, 18 years or older, to help with our lifesaving efforts!

Open Positions

Fundraising and Events Coordinator

We are seeking an energetic, self-driven volunteer to assist in establishing, project managing, and executing our fundraising activities throughout the year. 

Grant Writer

LGAR will find the grant, we just need people with experience in this field to apply for them. By giving the valuable pledge of your time – be that an hour or two a month – LGAR stands to benefit enormously. Grant money is an untapped resource that, if approached and applied for effectively, can make a huge difference in our abilities to rescue the countless dogs in despair and need.

Pledge Collector

Collect, and keep track of, monetary pledges across social media for every animal we pull off the Animal Care Centers of NYC lists.

Social Media and Marketing Assistant

Use those thumb scrolls for a good cause. If you love animals and are an avid social media user, combine the two and you have a pretty awesome gig.

Want to volunteer? Have something else in mind? Email us!

What are some other ways I can help?

There are many ways you can help support our mission:


Take in a dog or cat (of any size, of any breed) for a period of time, providing a safe and nurturing environment while we look for the perfect individual or family to adopt.


Keep a set of LGAR Business Cards and Information Sheet by the Hostess Stand. For fundraising events, donate a dinner or gift certificate. Have a LGAR night, donating a percentage of the proceeds (could be a % from drinks or a certain item on the menu). Coin a LGAR Cocktail – this is a great way to get the word out about who we are and what we do!! Have live music? Contribute a certain amount made from the door to LGAR or to a specific dog in need.


Perfect for those individuals under 18 – Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, school organizations, etc. We are always in need of items from our WISH LIST so check it out and start a drive today!


You or your business can sponsor an animal. Through individual dog or cat sponsorship, you or your business would essentially provide for/take care of any needs or expenses incurred on behalf of the rescued animal for an agreed upon allotted time. This is a very rewarding way to contribute as it personalizes the contribution and allows you to see first hand the extensive impact your generosity has on these rescued animals.


We need people who have a lot of experience with bully breeds and can help by educating our new fosters about bully breeds. “Bully Reps” could also help with home visits and meet and greets where feasible.


Volunteer animal transporters bring animals to/from vet appointments, home visits, adoption events on the weekends, special events that we have coming up, transports to their new foster home, etc.


We are looking for groomers throughout NY, NJ and CT who would volunteer their services with grooming some of our foster dogs when they first come in from the shelter setting. Some of these dogs need some professional expertise and we would love to have help from some professional groomers around the area so we can show everyone what beauties these dogs really are!


Every potential foster and adopter must pass a Home Visit before an adoption. This helps us ensure the animal is the right fit for the new family as well as ensuring that our rescue animals are being placed into the best environment possible for their individual needs. Unfortunately, rescue animals are often passed around from shelter to shelter or sometimes worse and may come to us malnourished, neglected and sometimes abused. One of the most important things we can do for these animals is to triple check and be certain that we are not sending them into another situation that makes them uncomfortable. Home Visits are a quick and easy task but are one of the most important things we do as a rescue. You will meet tons of great people and fellow animal lovers and may make many new friends in the process.

How do I become a foster caregiver?

An LGAR foster home provides a stable, loving environment for a dog or cat that has run out of options in the shelter system. You will be providing much needed socialization and basic training that will make your foster pet more appealing for adoption and increase the odds of a successful transition into a permanent home. Please click here to apply to the program, or contact us at at to learn more.

Dogs and cats that we rescue are usually those who have run out of time because they have been deemed “rescue only” for a variety of reasons:

  • Neglected or abused dogs/cats that need tender loving care
  • Injured animals and/or those recovering from surgery
  • Animals suffering from shelter stress in need of a calming home environment
  • Older or senior animals that will be more comfortable in a home environment
  • Puppies/kittens and young dogs/cats that require more socialization than available at a shelter
  • Puppies/kittens too young/immature to be adopted
  • Dogs/cats with colds or other special needs
  • Abandoned mothers that are either pregnant or with a litter of puppies/kittens
  • Any dog or cat on the euthanasia or To Be Destroyed list due to overcrowding in the shelter

Fosters caregivers, like dogs and cats, come in all shapes and sizes. Some are single and live in a studio in NYC; others have large families and big fenced in property. Some have owned dogs/cats their whole lives, others are novices. What we look for in fosters though, is one thing: commitment. We see pet guardianship as one built on commitment and trust. There is a life dependent on you, and it’s a responsibility unlike any other.

Truly there is nothing more inspiring than seeing these amazing animals come full circle; from neglected, abandoned and nameless to healed, healthy and happy surrounded by a new forever family to call their own.

Do you accept owner surrenders?

We generally do not directly accept owner surrenders. It is rare that we will have an open foster or an appropriate foster home available at the time of the request. If a resolution cannot be found to help the owner keep their pet, we may offer to courtesy post the pet and process applicants as we would for a dog legally under LGAR. These decisions are based upon a myriad of things and it is up to the Board of Directors to determine the appropriateness of each circumstance.

Occasionally we may be able to legally take an animal into our rescue that is being relinquished by their owner. To the extent possible and in an effort to prevent the animal from being relinquished to a high kill shelter, we will consider such a request and with the simple majority vote of the Board, will determine next steps. In order to assess the viability of bringing the animal into the “rescue, the following information on every owner surrendered pet will be collected:


  • Name, address and contact information of all owners
  • Name, species, breed, sex, color, markings, age and weight of animal
  • Reasons the animal is being surrendered
  • Whether the pet is microchipped and, if so, the chip number
  • Type, brand and amount of food the animal eats
  • Activity level


  • Name and contact information of veterinarian
  • All veterinary records
  • Whether the pet is spayed or neutered
  • Date of most recent rabies shot
  • Date of most recent vaccinations
  • Any medical issues, including heartworm, distemper, special needs


  • Any behavior issues
  • If the animal has lived with children or other pets and, if so, how the animal behaves with them
  • How the animal behaves around strangers
  • Any housetraining issues
  • Any prior bite issues
  • Any behavior training completed
What is your euthanasia policy?

Before we get into the formalities of our policy, please know this: For LGAR, euthanasia is defined purely as an act of mercy. This act should be reserved for situations when an animal is irremediably suffering and a veterinarian has determined that the animal has no chance of recovering an acceptable quality of life, or the animal’s behavior doesn’t allow him/her to be a candidate for rehabilitation (see our aggressive dog policy).

These decisions are never easy and while we all strive for a “no kill” world, the reality is that sometimes the humane thing to do is to set an animal free when their future is more painful than anything in their past. We are their voice and with that comes the responsibility for doing the right thing, even when it is hard. So please know that our commitment is always first, do no harm. But if/when that time comes where we need to put their interest before our heart, please, be there in support, not condemnation. I can assure you sometimes the greatest gift we can ever give is to let our furbaby go when THEY are ready, even when WE are not.

LGAR provides a lifetime commitment to all animals that come into our care by arranging for a foster home until they are adopted into their permanent home. While we do not euthanize any animal for time or space, unfortunately, there are some instances where euthanasia is the best or only humane option for an animal in our care. Each animal is evaluated as an individual and assessed under the circumstances as a whole. Euthanasia is only considered after an appropriate investigation of other viable and reasonable options. The following outlines the circumstances in which we consider euthanasia for an animal in our care, how that decision is made and how it will be carried out.

Circumstances that may require euthanasia

LGAR only considers euthanasia as an option for animals that are suffering mentally, emotionally or physically and have a poor prognosis; are experience unremitting pain or mental suffering that cannot be reasonably alleviated; or pose danger to other animals, themselves or people. Euthanasia is not an option we take lightly and it will be done only when it we have determined that is the only humane option for the animal. In short, it is an act of MERCY.

Medical: We will do as much as we possibly can to ensure quality of life for our dogs and cats until the very end. We will use all the resources at our disposal and ask our veterinarians to do their utmost. However, if there comes a time when nothing more can be done to relieve an animals pain, it becomes evident there is no hope for recovery from a debilitating illness or injury, and we are at the point of contemplating whether or not it is humane or loving to prolong the animal’s life, we would work with our vet to help us make the difficult decision about whether to humanely euthanize the dog or cat.

Behavioral: We know that all breeds have dogs that exhibit dog aggression. Some dogs do well with other dogs, and some dogs don’t. In these cases, rather than euthanizing the vast majority of dog-reactive dogs, we think it best that they simply be the only dog in a home.

However on rare occasions sometimes a dog presents such a danger to humans that the only responsible thing to do is to humanely euthanize them. Those are few and far between, but they exist, and as responsible members of a community, where others’ safety could potentially be in jeopardy, we believe that sometimes humane euthanasia is the right thing to do. In a case like this we would first work with trainers and behaviorists as well as medical professionals to assess the likelihood of rehabilitation and implement a behavior modification/training program to the extent possible. If the training program fails and a dog is deemed “red zone” we will again work with our vet to help us make the decision about whether or not we should humanely euthanize the dog.

How we make the decision to euthanize

For standard medical cases (as described above), we will defer to the judgment of our veterinarians in making euthanasia recommendations. For those rare, controversial medical cases where the animal’s quality of life may be unclear, the Board of Directors will request a second opinion from another licensed veterinarian and/or specialist if appropriate, convene to evaluate the data, consult other resources if necessary and make a determination by a simple majority vote. The foster provider for the animal in question will also be allowed to participate in the discussion and request a vote.

How the animal is euthanized

The only method of euthanasia that LGAR finds acceptable is that recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association, specifically the use of veterinarian prescribed sedatives and FDA-approved euthanasia solutions administered in as comforting and loving a situation as possible. The foster provider or another representative from LGAR will be responsible for taking the animal to one of the organization’s partner veterinarians for euthanasia. Whenever possible and appropriate, the foster provider or other representative from LGAR will remain with the animal during the entire process.

What is your policy regarding aggressive dogs?

We know that all breeds have dogs that exhibit dog aggression. Some dogs do well with other dogs, and some dogs don’t. In these cases, rather than euthanizing the vast majority of dog-reactive dogs, we think it best that they simply be the only dog in a home.

However on rare occasions sometimes a dog presents such a danger to humans that the only responsible thing to do is to humanely euthanize them. Those are few and far between, but they exist, and as responsible members of a community, where others’ safety could potentially be in jeopardy, we believe that sometimes humane euthanasia is the right thing to do. In a case like this we would first work with (multiple) trainers and behaviorists as well as medical professionals to assess the likelihood of rehabilitation and implement a behavior modification/training program to the extent possible. If the training program fails and a dog is deemed “red zone” we will again work with our vet to help us make the decision about whether or not we should humanely euthanize the dog.

What is your privacy policy?

This privacy policy applies to collection of information, including information collected on our website. By submitting your information to us or any of our volunteers, you consent to the terms and conditions of the policy and to our processing personal information for the purposes stated below.


“Personal Information” is information that identifies you personally, such as your name, address, telephone number, and email address. We collect and store the personally identifiable information that you have provided us. Here are some examples of ways in which we may collect your information.

  • When you request information via one of the email addresses identified on our website or otherwise contact us in person, by phone or email, with a question. We may then collect your name, address and email in order to respond to that inquiry.
  • We may collect your name, email address and other contact information if you register for an event.
  • We may collect your name, email address, telephone number and payment information when you make a contribution, either on our website or by
    mailing in a check.

The above list provides a sample of personal information that may be collected by Looking Glass Animal Rescue. From time to time, we may collect personal information from you in ways not described above.


  • We will not sell, trade, or share your personal information, collected on the website or through any other business activities with anyone else.
  • We will not send you mailings on behalf of other organizations.
  • We will only share your personal information if you give us specific permission to do so.
  • We will collect payment information, billing address and other information necessary to process a donation or event registration.
  • We will use your information to comply with the law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to conform to the requirements of law or comply with legal process served on us, protect and defend our rights or act in urgent circumstances to protect the personal safety of others.
  • We will use the personal information to protect against potential fraud. We may verify with third parties the information collected in the course of processing a gift, event registration or other donation. If you use a credit or debit card on the website, we may use card authorization and fraud screening services to verify that your card information and address matches the information that you supplied to us and that the card being used has not been reported lost or stolen.
  • You have the right to review information that we have collected about you. To review that information, please contact us via email:

Except as described in this Privacy Policy or at the time we request the information, we do not otherwise disclose your personal information to any third parties. Further, Looking Glass Animal Rescue will not sell or trade your personally identifiable information to any third parties.


We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy from time to time. When we do, we will note the last update at the bottom of this Privacy Policy. For changes to this policy that may be materially less restrictive on our use or disclosure of your personally identifiable information, we will obtain your consent before implementing the change by sending a notice to your primary email address and home address specified in our records and by placing a prominent notice on our website.


* You may have heard about the new General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) that came into effect May 25, 2018. If you are subscribed to our e-newsletter and no longer want to receive content from us, please let us know by sending us a message and we will remove you from our list.

Updated: July 2018
What are your guiding principles as an organization?


Authenticity – we will do what we say and will say what we do

Transparency – there are no secrets in rescue and we are committed to communicating clearly and openly in all of our relationships

Compassion – we pledge to work in collaboration with and respect toward all living beings – animal and human alike.

Integrity – we will exhibit honesty and adhere to our values and principals by choosing our thoughts, words, and actions based upon what are right not upon what is convenient.

Self-awareness – we will act with thoughtful purpose and welcome constructive feedback, acting responsively to community needs knowing that saving lives takes a village and we cannot go it alone.

What is your mission as a 501c3 nonprofit animal welfare organization?


Mission: Saving the sick, injured, neglected and abandoned

Vision: Working towards the day when no companion animal is euthanized for lack of a home.

What’s in a name? A lot actually. The name was chosen because of its symbolic meaning toward our mission.

“Through the looking glass, things are not as they appear to be.”

This is never held such truth than when one looks at the many dogs in municipal shelters that are ragged, neglected, sick, injured, behaviorally challenged or otherwise “less than perfect”. Yet, when one looks past all that, what can be seen is an inner beauty just waiting to be recognized and nurtured into a healthful state. That is what we are about – taking the most unwanted of the unwanted, seeing them not for what they are but, for what they can be, dedicating the resources and the love needed to make that possibility a reality.

Can you explain your code of ethics?

Code of Ethics

Respect for the communities we work with and serve

Integrity in our actions

Responsibility for our decisions and their consequences

  • We are committed to act honestly, truthfully and with integrity in all our transactions and dealings.
  • We are committed to avoid conflicts of interest and the appropriate handling of actual or apparent conflicts of interest in our relationships.
  • We are committed to treat our volunteers fairly and to treat every individual with dignity and respect.
  • We are committed to be a good corporate citizen and to comply with both the spirit and the letter of the law.
  • We are committed to act responsibly toward the communities in which we work and for the benefit of the communities we serve.
  • We are committed to be responsible, transparent and accountable for all of our actions.
  • We are committed to improve the accountability, transparency, ethical conduct and effectiveness of the nonprofit field.
Do you partner with other rescues, shelters, etc?

Rescue to Rescue Cooperation – Keep Calm and Work Together for Animal Welfare
There are millions of homeless animals in this country, and we believe that communities need to work together to save the most lives possible. This is not a competition. It is quality over quantity and about working together toward the common goal of getting animals out of cages and into loving homes. We look forward to partnering with other organizations whenever possible as we collectively work towards the day when no companion animal is euthanized for lack of a home.