Hopalong & Second Chance Animal Rescue are committed to eliminating the euthanasia of adoptable animals in Northern California through adoption and prevention services.

Working with our partners at shelters in all the Bay Area and Central California counties, we identify and remove animals at risk of immediate euthanasia and facilitate their adoption into loving homes.

We are passionate advocates for the prevention of animal overpopulation, the direct result of uncontrolled breeding. By preventing unwanted dogs and cats from being born, we can eventually eliminate euthanasia of thousands of animals throughout the country each year. To that end, every animal we rescue is spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and provided with necessary veterinary care before being placed in his or her adoptive home.

Hopalong & Second Chance Rescue also provide outreach services throughout the Bay Area. We believe that educating the public — both children and adults — will result in the kind, humane treatment of animals that they deserve.

[ Frequently Asked Questions ]


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Frequently Asked Questions

Where do the animals come from?
We have rescue partnerships with several city and county animal shelters throughout Northern and Central California. It is these shelters who bear the responsibility of taking in, caring for (and then often euthanizing), the thousands of abandoned dogs and cats. The shelters we work with care a great deal about the animals in their care, and work with rescue groups like ours to save as many of them as possible. Many of our dogs, cats, kittens and puppies come from the animal shelters in Oakland, Contra Costa, Pinole, Madera County, Modesto, Amador County, Lake County, Redding, and many others. It's estimated that nearly 1200 dogs and ???cats are euthanized each month in Central California alone, because these shelters receive far more animals than they could ever hope to adopt out. We bring these deserving dogs to the Bay Area to find them homes.

What types of dogs/puppies are available through Hopalong & Second Chance Animal Rescue?
We rescue many varieties of small to large breed dogs, mostly mixed (our preference) and some purebred. In the small breed category, the dogs include but are not limited to: Terriers, Cockapoos, Lhasa Apsos, Pomeranians, Chihuahuas and Dachshunds. In the medium to large breeds, we often have mixes of Retriever, Shepherd, Collie, Terrier, Australian Shepherds, Border Collie and many more. Keep checking this site for available dogs to get a better idea of the types of dogs we rescue.

Are the animals spayed and neutered?
YES. The reason so many animals have to be rescued in the first place is that there are too many of them, and not enough homes! Most shelters are completely full 100% of the time and must make room for new intakes by euthanizing the ones already there. The best way to attack the overpopulation problem is to attack the root of the problem, and prevent more puppies from being born. Every dog, puppy, cat or kitten that we rescue is spayed or neutered before being adopted.

If you don't have any history on the dog or cat, how do we know she/he is healthy?
First you should know that we only rescue what we consider to be "adoptable" family companions. Every dog (and to lesser extent cat) we save is assessed for temperament, so we have some degree of comfort that no serious behavioral problems exist. In addition, each dog and cat gets a thorough veterinary exam and receives the necessary vaccinations while they're in foster care. When you adopt a Hopalong or Second Chance Rescue dog, you will receive their health record and information about continued care.

Why don't you have a shelter or facility where I/we can see the dogs and cats?
We have a strong foster care program instead. Our goal is to get dogs and cats out of shelters and into nurturing foster homes or permanent homes immediately. Dogs and cats experience many of the same emotions as humans, such as stress, loneliness and depression. So we try to avoid having to put a rescue animal right back into a kennel environment if we can.

How does the adoption process work?
It all starts with an application. Once you submit your completed application, the next step is to be interviewed by a volunteer, either via phone, or at an adoption event. When we have an available dog or cat that matches the criteria on your application, we may contact you by phone for an interview, and/or invite you to attend the next adoption event. There are times when we can interview you on the phone and once you are approved to adopt, introduce you to a dog or cat one-on-one, independent of the adoption events. We often do home visits as well, as part of the approval process. Our interviewers do a great job of matchmaking. Most interviews and adoptions do take place at adoption events, where we can get to know you better, and where you can see many different dogs and spend some quality time with ones you are interested in. For dogs, we work hard to make successful "mutt-matches", so we can help guide you to the dog/puppy that we think is a good fit for you/your family since very breed of dog has its own characteristics.

How often do adoption events take place?
We hold adoption events twice a month in Marin, and almost every week with Hopalong. Click the Next Adoption Event banner at the top of the page for upcoming events, or call us at 415-721-1721 for Marin and (510)267-1915 in the East Bay to inquire about the next adoption event.

How much are the adoption fees?
Adoption fees are a minimum donation of $180.00 and up to $200.00 for some small dogs and other special cases. For a cat, we ask for a minimum donation of $95.This donation is used to help us pay for costs associated with the rescue and care of your new family member. It covers items such as: spay/neuter, vaccinations, tests, worming, any other medical care, food, and if possible, some of our administrative costs (phones, gas, copying, classified ads, and so forth). The adoption fees don't even begin to cover all our costs, but it certainly helps!

How does foster care work?
Foster homes are always needed! Our ability to rescue depends completely on foster homes. The more foster homes we have, the more lives we can save. Hopalong & Second Chance Animal Rescue provides the food, vet care, guidance, and other essentials, and we are responsible for finding the adoptive home. If you're interested in providing a temporary home for a dog, puppy or even a litter of puppies, please read about Foster Care on the site. If you need more information before you complete a foster care application, you can call us (415) 721-1721 for Marin and (510)267-1915 in the East Bay.

What's the difference between you and the SPCA or Humane Society?
The main difference is physical: We are an independent organization that basically operates out of volunteers' homes, without a facility. We rescue animals OUT of primarily municipal shelters (city- and county-funded shelters whose adoption rates are very low in comparison to the number of animals taken in). We work in partnership with these animal shelters to rescue adoptable dogs and cats, and give them a second chance. Often a rescue group like ours is the only hope these particular shelter dogs or cats have for a new life.

There are also benefits to adopting a dog or cat from an organization like Hopalong & Second Chance Animal Rescue:

Since we visit a variety of animal shelters to rescue dogs and cats, we can be on the lookout for the specific type of dog or puppy, or cat you want.

Most of our adoptable animals have been in foster care--in a regular home environment--so we have a good idea of how each of our animals will behave in the real world. For dogs, we usually know if a dog is housebroken, good with other dogs, good with cats, appropriate for children or not, energy/activity level, and so forth. This makes it easier to match up our dogs with the right home, and easier for you to select the right dog.

Our dogs and cats have already been vet-checked, vaccinated, tested for Feline Leukemia/FIV, dewormed, and spayed/neutered before adoption. They've also received high-quality food and often extra measures like flea control, heartworm preventive and grooming. While no one can guarantee the long-term health of any animal, we do take the time and incur the expense to get basic healthcare and assessments done before our dogs and cats go to permanent homes.

When you adopt from us, your dog or cat already has close to $300.00 of care invested in it before you take him/her home! Of course, the tender-loving care they receive from their foster parents, as we prepare them for their new permanent homes, is priceless!