Well, a few things, but here are our top 4...1. TLBD was started by two people (Sarah and Sally) who LOVED rescue work but didn't like how it was being done in the DC area. We respond to every email, application, phone call and request to make sure each person we interact with feels heard, valued, and welcomed regardless of identity or demographic. 2. We have an outstanding team solely dedicated to branding and marketing that has helped us create a unique, and authentic voice in this space. As you can tell from our top notch website and social profiles, this is something that allows us to not only stand out from the multitude of DC rescues, but also attract a different demographic from the average rescue group. 3. Our adoptions team isn't looking for the traditional stay-at-home family with a fenced in backyard - we're looking for adopters who will go above and beyond for their dog. Again, this is allowing us to expand the reach of responsible dog rescue and diversify our supporter base. 4. We're a dog rescue, running on business principles. The non-profit world is tough. We know that to create a sustainable organization, we need to move beyond the traditional rescue group model of relying on adoption fees and donations. We're dedicated to expanding our programming and trying new and innovative practices like educational fundraising programs for students, sponsored transports, and pushing our partnerships beyond the traditional boring transactional stuff.
Texas y’all!! Most of our pups come from down south, specifically the Rio Grande Valley. Texas has the highest number of stray and abused dogs in the US, coupled with the weakest animal protection laws. Our dogs come from high kill animal shelters, owner surrenders, or stray pups who have been abandoned. We’ve worked most closely a very rural animal shelter, who have been able to bring their euthanasia rate from 98% all the way down to 3% since we’ve started working with them! We are so lucky to have the most OUTSTANDING team in Texas. Unlike many rescues TLBD has our own branch functioning down in Texas to get these dogs off the streets, out of the shelters, and into loving foster homes. We also work with the amazing Pink Happy Tails to transport our pups up here as safely and comfortably as possible! As we've grown, we've also grown our rescue partnerships! We work with local DMV shelters, partners in Puerto Rico, and even rescued our first international dog in 2021.
Good question, kind of a sad answer... The culture towards pups in certain parts of Texas is very different than the culture towards dogs in the DMV. Dogs are more frequently seen as a commodity or a form of protection versus a family member,. This means they are often left outside and rarely spayed or neutered. Dogs will be dogs and then....poof you have lots of unwanted litters of puppies. These litters are often left in dump spots in buckets, on the side of the road in trash bags, or even dropped off at animal shelters to be euthanized. We do our best to scoop up every litter and get them straight to a vet for puppy checkups and vaccines. We also try our best to track down the mamma and papa dogs if possible and offer to have them spayed or neutered. We have also happily taken in quite a few pregnant ladies who lovely little puppies are born to us in rescue!!
TLBD serves Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC. We are a completely foster based organization so our pups are scattered around the DMV in happy, loving foster homes. We do not have a central location and cannot offer multiple meet and greets at one time (but maybe one day...)!Our adoption radius is within 60 miles of Washington, DC. We do occasionally make exceptions to this rule for our older pups, or dogs who would be best suited to a life outside of the DC Metro area.
We know our dogs REALLY well...like maybe too well. Because of this, we can make the most informed decision about what kind of home the dog would be best suited for. We know rejection sucks, but it’s better than not knowing right? That’s why we get back to every single applicant within two weeks to let them know if they haven’t been approved for a dog. It may be that the pup you applied for doesn't match your energy needs, your lifestyle, or the other pets in your home. The best way to avoid this is by including as much detail as possible in your application! Priority Applicants are applications that we loved but we were unable to match them with their requested dog. We keep all these apps in a super-secret folder and give them the opportunity to apply for dogs before they are on the website and available to the general public. You can become a priority applicant by submitting an application and indicating you would be interested in being matched with another dog should you not be approved right away. This also allows us to keep you application in mind when deciding which dogs to pull from shelters, and bring up to DC!
Yes and No.... ok, we’ll explain. So, off the bat we don’t love foster-to-adopt as we feel it’s allowing applicants a “trial run”. We want applicants who are so dedicated to their pup that they’re willing and able to work through whatever issues may show up, and understand a week of fostering isn't going to change that. We also want to minimize moving dogs as it can be very stressful and traumatic for them. That being said, we do have 2 options - Formal Foster-to-Adopt. This option is ONLY reserved for dogs with specific issues or concerns. It must be approved by our adoption director and is only allowed for a 3-, 5-, or 7-day period as decided by the adoption director. Specific concerns may include the physical layout of your home or a behavioral issue. Please note – this option is NOT to see if the dog settles into your home by the end of the period, but rather for the applicant to assess whatever issues the dog has and decide if they are willing and able to work through those issues. Foster Failing. Sometimes “I’m going to foster” turns into “they’re the one”, we get it. Most importantly new fosters may not adopt under any circumstances. We feel this is unfair to our many applicants who submit applications and wait in line to be selected. We do not want to allow anyone to circumvent that process through fostering. If a foster who has an established relationship with TLBD decides they would like to foster fail, they are welcome to submit an application and be consider as any other applicant. Fosters waive their right to this option as soon as we have conducted an adoption interview to make sure we are being fair to our applicants.
We do! We will host an event and invite all of our priority applicants to attend. We also allow non-priority applicants to attend, but we do not adopt directly from events to non-priority applicants as we need every applicant to go through our screening process. If you attend an event and fall in love with a pup we encourage you to submit an application as soon as possible and we will move you through the adoption process if that dog is still available! Sign up for our newsletter using the box below to make sure you're up to date on any TLBD events.
Thanks to the incredible support of our volunteers and DMV community we were able to save the lives of 319 dogs in 2021 (our very first year as an established rescue)!