Hopalong Animal Rescue

Oakland, California

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About Hopalong Animal Rescue

Founded in 1993, Hopalong Animal Rescue in Mill Valley, California is the largest all-foster animal rescue group in the San Francisco Bay Area with 620 foster homes, 580 volunteers, and 36,000 shelter animals rescued to date. Hopalong’s mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome neglected and homeless animals from Bay Area high-kill animal shelters. They save an average of 1,600 shelter animals from euthanasia each year. All of these rescued animals are placed in foster care until they’re adopted.

The organization has responded on a large scale to the Californian forest fires and other natural disasters. It remains a significant force in emergency relief rescue work due to their extensive foster program.

In 2006, Hopalong Animal Rescue and Second Chance Rescue merged after many years of working together. The merger has provided much-needed infrastructure to both organizations and allows both to save even more deserving animals. Together, the two organizations now offer rescue, placement, prevention, and outreach programs to the community throughout the Bay Area, as well as Sonoma and Napa counties.

Contact Info

945 22nd Ave
(510) 267-1915
Website: hopalong.org

Hours of Operation

Mon - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sun: Closed

Dog Adoption Process

Hopalong Animal Rescue's adoption process for dogs can be found below:

  1. Visit the Adopt page on their website where you can see available dogs accompanied by information on their temperament and needs.
  2. You can also find and meet a pet through their mobile adoption program held each weekend in various locations.
  3. Once you've found a dog you'd like to adopt, complete an adoption application online. This isn't a commitment to adopt. It just begins the process and shows interest in a particular animal.
  4. A friendly staff member will call you to talk about the specific dog you're interested in. Staff contacts people in the order in which applications are received. They do their best to get back to each applicant within 3 business days. If you haven't heard from them by the fourth business day, assume the dog has been adopted or has a pending meet and greet.
  5. Once you're approved for a meet and greet, you can meet the dog at an adoption event or the shelter office.
  6. Bring all members of your household, including any resident dogs, to meet your prospective dog.
  7. If all goes well, complete any paperwork and pay the adoption fee, and you can go home with your new companion the same day. For very young puppies and special needs animals, a home visit will be scheduled before finalizing the adoption.

Cat Adoption Process

Hopalong Animal Rescue's adoption process for cats can be found below:

  1. Visit the Adopt page on the website. Most of the adoptable cats and kittens are hosted at partner sites throughout the East Bay and Marin. Each cat's profile will say where a particular cat is located on their individual profiles.
  2. For cats housed with the shelter's adoption partners, please visit the stores during their business hours.
  3. Complete an adoption application at the store. Most locations can screen and adopt cats on site. Please bring a copy of your lease stating pets are allowed and call the store to make sure the cat is still available before heading over.
  4. For cats in foster or at Hopalong offices, please complete an adoption application online. This isn't a commitment to adopt. It just begins the process and shows interest in a particular animal.
  5. A friendly staff member will call you to talk about the specific cat you're interested in. They do their best to get back to each applicant within 3 business days. If you rent your home, emailing or faxing your landlord's approval will help speed up the process.
  6. After you've been approved, you'll be able to meet your cat.
  7. Ready to finalize the adoption? Great! Complete any remaining paperwork and pay your adoption fee before taking your lucky feline home!

Adoption Fees

Adoption fees at Hopalong Animal Rescue are as follows:


  • Puppies (up to 10 months): $450
  • Adults (10+ months): $350
  • Specific breeds: As decided by Hopalong Animal Rescue
  • Seniors (7+ years): $200


  • Kittens: $175 for one, $300 for two, $350 for three
  • Adults: $150 for one, $250 for two, $300 for three


  • Senior dogs and cats to senior citizens: Discount offered to seniors 70+ years old

Your adoption fee covers spay/neutering, microchipping, and age-appropriate vaccinations.

Adoption Process & Fees

Our writing team is hard at work researching this shelter's adoption process and fees, so this page will be updated soon!

In the meantime, here's some nice-to-know info that applies to nearly every animal shelter, humane society, and rescue.

Why Rescue A Shelter Dog?

Because shelter dogs are full of love!

Is it because they know you saved them and love you harder for it?

I can't say for certain, but yes.

Jokes aside, there are three things all shelter dogs need to thrive in their new home:

  1. Love
  2. Patient
  3. Training

Older shelter dogs, generally 1+ years old, may have experienced a lot of trauma, which often results in one of 8 common behavioral issues:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Aggression toward people & pets
  3. Resource guarding
  4. Destructive behavior
  5. Housetraining regression
  6. Poor social skills
  7. Leash reactivity & barrier-related aggression
  8. Constant whining

These issues are correctable! Your dog isn't broken, they're just damaged. You can fix them with enough love, patience, and a good training plan.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, finding good dog trainers can be hard. Like everything else, dog training is moving only. but there are great online dog trainers that are proven to work and can help get your new pup on the right path.

Animal Shelter vs Humane Society vs Rescue: What's the Difference?

You can learn a lot about an animal welfare organization just by looking at their name.

Animal Shelters

  • Most Animal Shelters are city or county-run organizations, often operated by the local Animal Control department, that manage strays and handle owner surrenders.
  • They usually have kennel facilities you can visit to adopt animals, and they usually have less stringent adoption requirements, lower adoption fees, and same-day adoptions (because their goal is to get animals out of the shelter).
  • Unfortunately, they usually know very little about each animal, including their true personalities and any behavioral problems.

Humane Societies

  • Most Humane Societies are non-profit organizations, many of which are no-kill shelters.
  • Some (but not all) are affiliated with The Humane Society of the United States.
  • They exist to improve animal welfare in the local community and often partner with city or county-run Animal Shelters that often euthanize animals due to capacity restraints.
  • They usually have kennel facilities, sometimes at multiple locations, and usually offer other services to the community such as low-cost spay/neuter clinics, community education programs, and more.
  • They may also have some animals in foster care.
  • There's a lot of variation in process and fees among Humane Societies, but they usually have really good websites that detail everything for you.


  • Most Rescues are foster-based organizations that don't have physical facilities.
  • They usually have websites and contact emails, but not all of them have phone numbers.
  • Because they don't have a physical facility, you need to view animals in their foster network online, usually on their website but sometimes on their member pages on either PetFinder or Adopt-a-Pet.
  • If you see an animal you'd like to meet, contact the rescue using the process listed on their website or via email. They'll help you through the application process and set up a time for you to meet the animal at the foster's home.
  • Adopting from a rescue generally is the most expensive option here and takes the longest, but you get an animal that's been cared for in a loving home environment and their foster can tell you a lot about their personality.

6 Tips to Improve Your Adoption Experience

Adoption processes vary drastically from organization to organization, but here are some general tips that apply in most instances. Note that we'll use the term "shelters" here for simplicity but it includes all types of rescue organizations.

  1. See an animal online that you'd like to meet? Call the shelter before your visit to make sure the animal is still available. This especially applies for puppies, which are adopted out quickly.
  2. Usually, you'll need to get some paperwork in order: a photo ID, vaccination/medical records for any pets you currently have, possibly your vet's contact info and a couple of personal references, and (for renters) proof you're allowed to have a pet (copy of your lease or your landlord's contact info).
  3. If you need to provide contact info for your vet, let your vet know ahead of time. Otherwise, they may not release your information.
  4. Many shelters require your current dogs to meet adoptive dogs. Your current dogs need to be up-to-date on vaccinations.
  5. Some shelters require you to schedule a home visit to ensure a suitable living environment for the new animal.
  6. Adoption fees may seem excessive, but they're actually amazing values. Truthfully, caring for a pet is expensive. Most adoption fees include required medical care to get the animal ready for their new home including (but not limited to) spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, general vet exams, flea/tick treatment, deworming, heartworm testing/treatment for dogs, and feline leukemia and feline AIDS testing/treatment for cats. In general, your adoption fee is less than the cost of this care, so you're saving money in addition to your new animal's life!

If you have any questions about adopting an animal (what you'll need, what to expect, etc.) feel free to contact the PetLists team!

For more information about what's included in your adoption fee, or any other questions about the adoption process, reach out to
Hopalong Animal Rescue
directly using the contact info above.

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All information on this page is accurate and up-to-date to the best of our knowledge. If you spot an error, please contact us using our contact form.
Note: Hours of operation and other information on this page are subject to change during the COVID-19 pandemic.