Frequently Asked Questions
What is Ruff House Rescue?

Ruff House Rescue, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer-based organization dedicated to rescuing dogs and cats from high-kill rural shelters. Our mission is to rescue homeless pets that suffer from abuse, neglect, and indifference. Our goal is to create awareness of the epidemic of homeless pets and educate on the importance of spaying and neutering, ID tagging, and training. Through our rescue efforts we are both saving lives and cultivating the natural connection between man and his best friends.

How are you funded?

Our mission is supported through generous donations from individuals, businesses (large and small), foundations, planned gifts, event proceeds, and merchandise sales. As a registered 501 (c) (3), donations to Ruff House Rescue, Inc. are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Where are you located?

Ruff House Rescue is located in West Islip, NY on Long Island. We house our animals in our small private kennel as well as in local foster homes.

What is your intake policy?
We pull from county shelters with proper transfer documentation. Owner Surrenders are considered on a case-by-case basis. If you have an animal you would like like to surrender, please see our Owner Surrender page.
How can I meet a pet that I am interested in adopting?
Since we are a volunteer-based organization, we are open for adoptions on weekends by appointment (generally from 2 PM to 6 PM). Additionally, some of our animals are in foster homes. We also host adoption events nearly every weekend on and off site. Please see our calendar for upcoming events. Please submit an adoption application on our website and upon review, we will happily set up a meet and greet.
Why can't I just come visit whenever I want?
Unlike a local shelter, we are a rescue. This means we are staffed by volunteers, many of whom work full-time jobs in addition to giving their time and love to our adoptable pets. We do not have regular hours during the week, unless you are volunteering. For adoptions or meet and greets, we limit our hours to the weekends and ask that you set up an appointment ahead of time so we can ensure you get the time and attention needed to make a great match for your family!
Do you transport your rescue animals to other parts of the country?
We require all adopters to come to our facility so we can meet them and ensure a good match for all involved.
I have things I'd like to donate! What do you need?

New and gently used items can be donated to our Thrift Store:
Thrifty Pawz
4A Centre Ave.
East Rockaway, NY 11518
Throw blankets (no fitted sheets, pillowcases, comforters, or pillows – these can be donated to Thrifty Pawz), towels, top sheets, disposable gloves, paper towels, bleach, Trader Joe’s Dog Biscuits, unscented laundry detergent, Dawn dish detergent, Healthy Edibles Bones by Nylabone, puppy food by Natural Balance or Diamond Brand. To donate bags of Diamond Puppy Food Call Bruce at ‘Treat Your Pet’ in Island Park and he will deliver to us – (516) 670-0470, if you would like to donate a gift card:  Amazon, Target, Walmart, Petsmart, Petco. 

How can I make a monetary donation?

A secure, online giving page is used to submit donations.
Checks can be mailed to:
Ruff House Rescue
P.O. Box 365
Oceanside, NY 11572

We also encourage you to please consider corporate/business gifts, matching gifts, memorial donations, gifts of supplies (please review our Amazon Wish List), and planned gifts. As a registered 501 (c) (3), all donations to Ruff House Rescue, Inc. are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

I don’t live on Long Island, but I’d still like to volunteer. How can I apply?

We embrace volunteers from all over and currently have several openings for positions that do not need to be based on Long Island.

Do you do a home visit?
We do an in-person home visit whenever possible or a Facetime/Video Chat home visit if a physical home visit is not possible.
Why do you require foster homes to be local to Long Island?
We require fosters to be local to us in order for fosters to use one of our approved vets, as well as to be close to our location in Island Park for other potential medical and vetting needs.
Do you adopt dogs and cats to interested adopters who live out of state?
Yes, on a case by case basis.
Why do I have to bring my current dog(s) for a meet and greet?
Ruff House spends a great deal of time on each application trying to make sure that each of our adoptable pets finds the right home. In order to make sure that a new pet will transition successfully, we require a meet and greet with the current pets in the household.
I emailed a question a few days ago but I haven’t heard back. How can I expedite an answer to my question?

Ruff House is operated 100% by volunteers. These tireless animal advocates do their very best to respond to queries within 24 hours, but many are juggling full-time careers, families, etc. If, for any reason, you do not receive a response, please re-send your email to:

How do I apply to adopt?

An adoption application is required and can be completed here. Applications are processed over a secure connection via

How long does it take to review my application?

We try to complete the review of all applications within 48 hours. Once you submit your application, you can expect to hear from a volunteer adoption counselor to let you know that it is being reviewed and to schedule a phone interview. If you haven’t heard back about your application after 48 hrs., please email:

What are your adoption fees?

Adoption fees range from $250-$600 depending on a dog’s age, size, and breed. While some of our rescues only require standard health and wellness care, other require more extensive vetting. We rely solely on donations, adoption fees, and fundraisers to enable us to continue rescuing homeless pets.

If I apply am I guaranteed to get the dog I apply for?
When an application is approved for a particular dog of interest, it is possible that there other applications for the same dog ahead of yours. If this is the case we will keep you informed and updated on the status of your application.
How do I meet a dog I am interested in adopting?
We have weekly adoption events where you are able to meet adoptable pets. In addition, we have many dogs and puppies in foster homes. Once your application is reviewed we will arrange for you to meet either at an adoption event or a foster home.
Can I apply to adopt if I am not the homeowner or named on the lease?
In order to apply, you must either be the homeowner or named on the lease. If you live with your parents, their name and information must be on the application. We want everyone in the household on board for adopting, there are no pets as gifts or surprises.
Do I have to reapply each time I see another dog I am interested in?
You do not have to submit a new application if you are interested in a different dog. We will retain your application on file for one month. If you are interested in adopting more than one month after submitting, please reapply.
I still have more questions, who can help me?

For general information, please email:

If you have already applied please email:

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