The CDC suspension on dogs entering the US from "high-risk" rabies countries has gone into effect July 14, 2021. SEVA GRREAT is actively involved with the non-profit rescues across the country to request an exemption from the suspension. A letter to the CDC was organized by our national representative and signed by over 50 non-profit rescues. The exemption request is for those non-profits who obtain the appropriate permits issued by USDA-APHIS to bring the dogs into the US. Animal Wellness Action is the group we are working with to represent us in Washington and with the CDC. We are also using this letter to explain to members of the Senate and House what the issue is and why the requested exemption will address the concerns of the CDC. While we know a response will not come quickly, initial conversations with the CDC indicate they may be open to discussing this requested exemption.

We will be following the very closely and will provide updates via our website and social media as we get them.


Please fill out the form completely. You may enter NA for not applicable if needed. There is a $25 non-refundable Adoption Application Fee. Please use the PayPal Donate button on the top right side of this page to submit the fee. Our volunteers will pair your name on the PayPal transaction with the name on the application to confirm receipt and begin processing your application. If you prefer to submit your application fee via a personal check, submission instructions are at the end of the application form. 

Before completing the application, please read the Adoption Process and Things to Know About Dog Rescue articles on the Adopt page of this website. Also, please be sure you live in our service area in Southeastern Virginia.

Please complete the application ONLY if you live in our service area in Southeastern Virginia.

Applicant Information

Living Environment

Renters, please note! If you are renting, please email documentation stating that you are allowed to have a dog (e.g., pet agreement, lease addendum, letter from landlord) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the subject line, include your name and "Rental Agreement". We will not be able to proceed with your application until we receive the documentation.

Family Environment

Your Adopted Dog

Previous Ownership Experience


Please note:

If you pay by check, please be aware that the approval process will be delayed by one to two weeks while we wait for the check to arrive and be processed. You do not need your own PayPal account to pay on this site. You only need a credit or debit card.

After you submit your application, you will receive an email acknowledgement from us, usually within 3-4 days. We may have questions or something may be missing from your application that we will need in order to proceed. If you do not see something in your inbox, please check your spam folder.

If you would like, you may provide your Rainbow Bridge submission for inclusion in our next GRREAT Times newsletter by submitting the information form below. You may also provide photographs by emailing them directly to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and reference your Rainbow Bridge submission in the email.


Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here,
that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends
so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine,
and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor.
Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again,
just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing;
they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes
when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance.
His bright eyes are intent.
His eager body quivers.

Suddenly he begins to run from the group,
flying over the green grass,
his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted,
and when you and your special friend finally meet,
you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again.

The happy kisses rain upon your face;
your hands again caress the beloved head,
and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet,
so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together...

Author unknown...

1. Is heartworm contagious? How long does the treatment take?

Heartworm is spread when a dog is bitten by an infected mosquito. It is not spread from dog to dog. We highly recommend keeping your dogs on a monthly preventive medication year round. The treatment protocol recommended is pretreatment with a heartworm preventative and doxycycline for 30 days, then another treatment of heartworm prevantative with 30 days waiting period, then 3 doses of melarsomine (which contains arsenic) on days 60, 90 and 91. Then on day 120 test for baby worms and day 365 test again. Strict rest is essential throughout this process to avoid complications.

2. Where can I see available dogs posted? Do you have any available dogs?

We always have a pre-approved list of families waiting to adopt so we rarely post available dogs on our website or Facebook page. Generally, when dogs become available, they are adopted by one of those families within 10 days to 2 weeks. Many of the dogs that are shown on the website as "In Our Care" will eventually become available. They are either still in foster care because they have just entered rescue (a minimum of three weeks), or they are under medical care for a treatable illness (heartworm positive, etc.).

3. Do you have any puppies? Will you be getting any in?

We seldom get puppies as we do not work with any breeders. We do get a number of young dogs, some as young as 6-7 months, and many of the dogs who come to us from Turkey are between 1-3 years old.

4. How can I adopt one of your dogs?

We have an article on the website that explains the process: You can also email our adoption coordinator with questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

5. Do you need foster homes? What is required to be a foster home?

We always need new foster homes. We have an article on the website that explains joys of fostering: The application to be a foster home is on the website under the Volunteer tab. After you complete the application, one of our volunteers will do a home visit. Once approved, you will be issued our foster guidelines. When a dog enters our rescue, our foster coordinator will contact approved fosters to find him/her the right home. You are free to say yes or no and can foster on your own schedule. Fostering can last anywhere from a minimum of three weeks for a healthy dog to a longer period if you accept one that requires medical treatment.

6. Besides taking care of the dog, are there other requirements of a foster?

SEVA GRREAT will provide medical care for any dog under foster care, but the foster provides food, toys, activity, exercise, etc. A big part of the foster process is to observe and assess the dog so that you can provide information on what training is needed, what behaviors they exhibit, how they get along with others (dogs, kids, cats, etc.), and whether you see any medical condition developing (ear infection, hot spot, etc.). When it is time for your foster dog to be posted, you will write the bio that is shared with the waiting families. You will review the home evaluation reports for the interested families and talk to their home evalators/advocates about their family and what your foster dog needs. You will choose a minimum of two families that you think will be a good fit to meet your foster dog. You should observe closely the chemistry between your foster dog and the visiting families, and based on that observation, make a recommendation to the Adoption and Foster Coordinators of which family should be approved to adopt the dog.

7. Why don't you adopt outside of your territory? I can give you great references.

Because we require home visits to approve a family and meet and greets with the dog before they are adopted, we can only go where we have volunteers. Our territory can range up to 150 miles from the Charlottesville/Richmond area down through Williamsburg, Yorktown, Matthews and Gloucester, through the Hampton Roads area, to the North Carolina line. Even in some of the less populated areas of southeastern Virginia, we do not have volunteers and need to decline applications. We recommend if you are in an outlying area that you email our adoption coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to see if we have a home evaluator available before you pay the application fee. The application fee is nonrefundable.

8. What opportunities are available to volunteer?

Like most volunteer organizations, we always need people to help out. You can do as little or as much as you like. Many volunteers start by working on an event, where we have a booth selling merchandise and answering questions about the rescue. A bonus -- we almost always have goldens available at our events -- unless it is in a venue that does not permit dogs. You can meet a family who is giving up a dog and have them sign the surrender paperwork. You can volunteer to transport a dog. This ranges from picking up a dog that has been surrendered or is in a shelter and taking them to the vet for an intake exam in the city where the foster family is to going along on a trip to Dulles or JFK airports and bringing back some of the international dogs. There is always a need for foster homes. Foster care can range from a few weeks to a longer period if the dog requires medical care. Sometimes foster care is very short term to cover the primary foster's vacation or business travel. There is always a need for home evaluators (HEs) to visit prospective foster or adoptive homes. Home evaluators start by going along with an experienced HE to learn how a visit is done and can have support or an experienced HE shadow you until they are comfortable going out on your own. Once you approve a family, your role changes from evaluator to advocate. You will speak with the foster family on behalf of your family when they are interested in adopting a dog. If you are a good writer, you can write an article and submit it for consideration to be published in GRREAT Times. We are always looking for interesting topics and information for the magazine. If you have ideas for fundraising, we welcome you to work with our fundraising committee (an ongoing process). We are always looking for new ideas to raise money and would welcome someone to organize an event. There are volunteers who write thank-you cards and send sympathy cards, pick up and distribute mail, order merchandise, etc. One of our biggest needs is for individuals willing to join the Board of Directors. Ideally, all of the positions on the board would have not only the voting board member but an assistant who can fill in when needed and learn the position so they are prepared to step up to the voting position in the future. The Board consists of four elected officers (President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary) and Directors/Coordinators appointed by the Board. The Coordinators are in charge of the functional areas (Intake, Foster, Adoption, Membership, Volunteers). There are also Board Members at Large with functional assignments (Medical, Fundraising). There are also extended board members who work on the magazine, merchandise, events, and the web page. Having back-ups in all of these areas would be advantageous to the rescue and mean less work for all involved.

9. How long will it take me to adopt a dog?

This is one of the hardest questions to answer because it is all about the dogs and what they need. Some people find a dog in a few weeks; others may wait months. We do our best to match the dog to the families that are interested and many factors contribute to that decision. We consider things like whether a dog would do best with a family or best with an individual, whether a dog gets along with other dogs or needs another dog to show them the ropes or needs to be an only dog, whether a dog is too rambunctious for a young child or loves kids of all ages, whether a dog needs to have a fenced-in yard because they are expected to be a runner. The final consideration is chemistry. When you watch a dog meet a prospective adopter, you can see which family has the strongest connection with the dog. However long it takes, it is a process that requires patience. If you want a dog by this weekend, we are not the right organization for you. We are not like a shelter where you can go to an adoption event or visit during their open hours and leave with a dog.

10. Where are your dogs located?

We do not have a physical shelter. All of our dogs are in foster homes somewhere within our territory. In order to meet them, you will have to travel to the foster home, which could be as far away as 150 miles. Of course, this is your choice. The Available Dog List always shows the location of the foster family. If the family is too far away for you to make the trip, you would just not submit your name for that particular dog.

11. Are the dogs, especially the Turkey dogs, already spoken for when they come into rescue? When will they be available for adoption?

The dogs are not spoken for when they enter rescue. We can't always tell you how long it will be before they are available for adoption. They are always in foster care for a minimum of three weeks. If a medical condition is found or develops, they will not be available until they are cleared. A foster has the first right to adopt a dog. We often don't know that a family is going to be a "foster failure" and adopt their foster dog until we ask if they are ready to post the dog as available. That is why sometimes you will see a dog come in to the rescue but never post as available. The foster has decided to keep him/her.

Support Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue (SEVA GRREAT)

Thank you for considering a donation to support Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue.

Our volunteers give their time, their homes and their hearts to every dog who comes to us for help. Unfortunately, warm homes and loving hearts alone do not pay for the medical care and supplies our dogs need. Adoption fees cover only about half of the total cost of caring for a rescued golden in our program, the majority of which is for medical treatments. Sadly, the number of golden retrievers who have entered our program and the costs related to their medical care have dramatically increased over the past several years.

When you make a tax-deductible gift to the Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, you can be assured that your donation is directly supporting golden retrievers rescued through our program, and allowing us to continue to provide help to others in the years to come.

Thank you for your support.


Use this button to make a general donation to SEVA GRREAT.
Use this button to make a recurring donation to SEVA GRREAT.

To make an “In memory of” donation for a pet or loved one, use the form and button below.

Name or Acknowledgement Info
Donation In Memory of  Amount
Use this button to make a donation to our international rescue efforts.

If you would prefer to mail your donation, please send a check to:
Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue P.O. Box 8014 Yorktown, VA 23693. Please make checks payable to SEVA GRREAT.

Employee Match

Many local companies will match the donations made by their employees to charities. Please consider contacting your company human resource department to determine if they will match any contribution you make to the Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue. SEVA GRREAT, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, with a tax id of 54-1705550. If your company matches employee donations, please request your company's matching gift form and complete it. Either submit the form to the appropriate person at your company or mail the form to the SEVA GRREAT Treasurer at our post office box below:
P.O. Box 8014
Yorktown, VA 23693

If your company does not currently match employee donations, ask your employer to do so. Together, you and your company can help us double our efforts for saving unwanted and abused Golden Retrievers. If you have questions about employee matching, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


China’s Dog Meat Trade

CAUTION: The information below may be disturbing. 
Return to the main 
2019 China Goldens web page.

C2019 china golden golden and puppy bars 261x300hina’s dog meat trade has been going on for decades. The “tradition” of eating dogs in some areas may have started during periods of famine when the only option for survival was to eat the stray dogs. Unfortunately, as a result, this has continued into prosperous times. As you read through this account of the dog meat trade, you must keep in mind that this is not a cultural tradition and that there is a rapidly growing outcry against the practice not only internationally but from the Chinese people themselves. Please don’t paint the Chinese people with a broad brush.

2019 china golden dog snatching 208x300You may be under the misconception that there are dog farms in China, similar to our cattle ranches: dogs are bred, born, raised then taken off to the slaughterhouse for a humane demise. You couldn’t be further from the truth. Many of the dogs rescued from the dog meat trade are stolen pets! Due to the lack of awareness dog ownership responsibilities and of the risk, many people in China do not keep their dogs on leashes. Dog meat trade vans will cruise the streets of Beijing and surrounding towns looking for dogs. Here is a possible scenario: someone is walking his/her dog down the street (off leash), a van pulls up, a guy jumps out and snatches the dog before the owner can react. Most of the time, in cases like this, the owner will never see that dog again! Millions of pet dogs are stolen every year and sent to slaughterhouses.


2019 china golden goldens bars 6 300x225Strictly speaking, the selling and eating of dog meat is against the law in China. This is not because of any animal rights laws, because there are zero animal rights laws, but because dogs are not only nabbed off the street but are also poisoned, shot with spear guns, caught in leg traps, and kept in large, unsanitary conditions. Many of the dogs butchered and sold for meat are sick or have died from poison or disease.

The slaughtering of dogs is extremely unpleasant. The “custom” of consuming dog meat requires that the dogs be slaughtered in a certain way in order to make the meat more succulent. This includes boiling or skinning dogs alive and, in some areas, severely beating the dogs to increase their level of adrenaline.

The stopping of trucks and confiscating dogs on their way to a slaughter house is dangerous work that requires a large group of dedicated volunteers whose sole purpose is to save dogs from the horror in which they’ve been living and a very painful death.

2019 china golden goldens bars 4 254x300 The stopping of a dog meat truck (at times carrying 400-500 dogs) usually begins by someone seeing the truck on the road. The use of social media comes into play. The sighting of the truck and its location is quickly broad-casted on Weibo (Chinese Twitter) and WeChat. The trucks are stopped at stop lights/signs, at “rest areas”, or government check points. Volunteers put their lives on the line because the dog meat vendors are usually members of gangs or other criminal organizations.

To keep the trucks from moving while waiting for reinforcements, volunteers will lie down in the road in front of the truck’s wheels.

Once there are enough volunteers at the scene, the dogs are confiscated and off-loaded. Some dogs have already perished and must be taken away. The remaining dogs go through a triage and sorted into groups according to their levels of health.

Some of the dogs, although still alive, are too ill and are euthanized at the scene. Those that the volunteers are able to save are given water then placed back into a crate for transport to a holding facility. If the police are involved, the process can become even more complicated. The police can require all the dogs kept at a facility for 21 days while they decide the dog's future. During the 21-day waiting period, the dogs are not given vet care and more will die. Without police involvement, the surviving dogs are placed in various shelters.

Even if SEVA GRREAT and other Golden Retriever rescues were to bring 100% of the dog meat Golden survivors over to the U.S., it would not end China’s dog meat trade. What will end it is pressure placed on China’s government by its own citizens and large animal rights groups, such as Humane Society International. However, bringing the dogs over to the U.S. will support China’s internal anti-dog-meat trade movement and alleviate the pressure in the various shelters, and most importantly, we will have given so many Goldens a second chance to live with loving families.

Please, if you haven’t done so already, please donate to help SEVA GRREAT bring rescued “China dogs” to Virginia.

2019 china golden Truck load 300x225  2019 china golden lying down in front of truck 263x300  2019 china golden unloading truck 300x225