About Us

NGRR is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization, whose Mission is to rescue and place adoptable Golden Retrievers in Northern California in safe, loving homes, thereby improving the lives of both the dog and the adoption household.

We operate from Fresno to the Oregon border and in the Lake Tahoe/Reno area.

We offer placement services for owners who need to give up their dogs because of changing life circumstances such as relocation, financial hardship, divorce, allergies, illness, or death. We offer them an alternative to taking their pets to an animal shelter or humane society. We also rescue abandoned, neglected, and even abused Golden Retrievers. Depending on the economy, roughly 150 to 300 dogs per year find a safe haven when they find us.

Unlike some rescue groups, we take senior dogs (over 8 years old) and find them a safe, loving home to spend the rest of their lives.  We also take dogs with medical conditions and pay for treatment, including surgery, where the dog has a reasonably good chance of  living a  pain-free life. The most frequent conditions that we treat are typically hip dysplasia and other orthopedic problems.


NORCAL Golden Retriever Rescue originated from the NORCAL Golden Retriever Club. Like most responsible breed clubs, it recognized its obligation toward all dogs of its breed and established a committee of volunteers to form a rescue organization. In 1994, NORCAL Golden Retriever Rescue, Inc. was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service code.   NGRR’s Federal tax exempt ID is 77-0392584.


We have over 150 volunteers throughout Northern California who generously donate their time and love to rescue displaced Goldens. Among these volunteers are a Board of Directors and local area Adoption and Surrender Coordinators who are arranged mostly by county. Each Coordinator works with a network of area assistants who help provide temporary foster homes, rescue Goldens out of animal shelters, transport dogs, evaluate the health and temperament of dogs, and perform a myriad of other tasks.  We also have people who help us with support tasks such as coordinating volunteers, writing thank you notes, keeping track of the available dogs, working at events.  See our Volunteer page if you would like to help us, or simply submit our Online Volunteer Application.


A special volunteer position is to be a foster.  Fosters are people willing to take surrendered or rescued Goldens into their homes, care for them, see that they get appropriate vet care (at NGRR expense) , and otherwise prepare the dog for adoption.  See our Online Foster Application if you would like to help us by becoming a foster.


Our expenses are primarily for veterinary care, neutering and spaying, transportation, and administrative expenses such as printing and postage.  We rely upon adoption donations,  fundraising and general Donations or our funding. Our online store sells our yearly NGRR Calendar and other NGRR Golden Retriever items.

How we Operate

We interview all adoption applicants in their homes in order to both qualify them for adoption and identify the type of dog that would make the best match for the household.  When we accept a surrendered or stray Golden, it is placed in a foster home where we determine the dog’s behavior in order to determine the best household match for the dog. Our members then review the list of all currently available dogs and the list of qualified adoption applicants and try to make the best match using phone calls, emails and our web site.

When we see a good match, we arrange for the selected applicant to see the chosen dog.  If it all works out, we proceed to signing the adoption contract and the applicant gets the dog.

We also provide some training and follow up after the adoption, especially for first time dog owners.