Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to support a giant breed dog?

Giant breed dogs range in weight from 100 - 280 lbs., and height at shoulder from 23 - 38 inches, depending on the breed.  Their average life expectancy is 7 - 10 years.  It can cost anywhere from $150 to $300 per month to care for your dog responsibly. 

Veterinarian students from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, have provided statistics related to costs involved in raising a dog. Kelly Giffear and Brittany Scott projected yearly costs for raising small, medium, large and giant breeds. 
How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Dog? – American Kennel Club (

The average cost for the first year of raising small dogs was $2674; medium dogs on the average cost $2889; the cost for large dogs is $3239 and giant breeds such as Great Danes have an annual cost of $3536. The average first year cost across all sizes was $3085.

Vet bills are different for every animal, and there’s no way to predict whether your dog will become sick or injured.  But if you’d like help with unexpected, large vet bills, pet health insurance is an effective method of mitigating veterinary expenses.  Alternatively, consider starting an emergency savings fund for pet care instead of paying for the insurance premiums.

How do I show interest in one of your dogs?

The application allows you to select one of our available dogs or select 'Help Me Choose'.  If you are interested in a specific dog that is not available at the time you submit your application, or if the dog you originally wanted is adopted before your application is approved, you may indicate or explain your preferences elsewhere on the application.

What fees are involved?

All our fees are used to pay for the costs of rescuing dogs. These include but are not limited to: pull fees from shelters, veterinary examinations and care, neuter/spay surgeries, heartworm treatments, behavior evaluations, and foster care as needed.

Our adoption fees range from $175 to $500.

There is a $20.00 Non-Refundable application fee of $20.00.  Payment must be received before your application is reviewed.

Do you transport dogs to approved families?

No, it is the adopter's responsibility to travel to complete the meet and greet for any dog. This includes taking any current dogs with you to the meet and greet. We also require that you are able to keep the adopted dog along with your current dogs separate from each other in the vehicle for the trip home. This means either crating the new dog or driving two vehicles to the meet and greet.

I submitted my application, what happens next?

We'll do our best to review your application within 1 - 2 business days.  Should we need additional information, we will contact you by email.  If you haven't received an email from MTM within 4 days, please check your spam or trash folders.  Please be patient with this process.  All of our staff are volunteers, many of whom have full time jobs.  You can help us process your application more quickly by advising your veterinarians and your references that a representative from Mastiffs To Mutts Rescue will be contacting them.  You will receive an email from MTM when a volunteer begins processing your application, and/or when your application has been changed to another status.  Processing an application may take 3 - 7 business days.

What happens after my application has been processed?

There are two steps of approval to adopt one of our dogs.  The first step is based on the information provided on your application, and the information we receive from your veterinarians and your references.  The second step is based on a home visit.  One of our volunteers will contact you to arrange a time for your home visit.  After we receive the volunteer's report, we will send you an email informing you of the status of your application.

Please know that if the dog you have selected has been adopted before your application has been processed and approved, an approval remains valid for at least a year.  There will be more dogs hoping for a forever home.  Please keep watching our Facebook page, and the list of adoptable dogs on our website.  If you are Approved to adopt, as soon as you see a dog you would like to consider, just send us an email.  

What is a Home Visit?

Quality rescue organizations require a home visit before an adoption can take place.  One of our caring volunteers will come to your home, to meet you, your family and your current pets.  During this visit, he/she will make sure it’s a safe and pet friendly home.  All residents of the household, including children, must be present.

When do I meet the dog(s)?

When you receive notice that you are approved to adopt, you will be asked to tell us which dog(s) you are interested in adopting.  We may make recommendations to you, based on your application, your home visit, and our knowledge of the dog(s).  We will then have the dog(s) fosterer(s) contact you, to answer questions you may have about the dog(s), and to set up a time for you, your family, and your current dog(s) to meet with the dog.  Please understand you may have to travel a few hours, as our dogs are in foster homes in and around the mid-Atlantic states.

What if I'm not sure this is the dog for my family?

Sometimes it is just not a match.  You may meet another dog, or you may decide to wait for another dog that comes into the rescue at a later date.  As an approved applicant, you would be given priority over an application to be processed.  Some families find fostering, with the intent to adopt a dog, is a wonderful way to see if an animal is a good fit in their home. The Rescue Coordinator will be happy to discuss this option with you. 

Why would my application be denied?

Mastiffs To Mutts Rescue reserves the right to deny any application without disclosure.  We believe all animals deserve a loving and healthy life and our goal is to ensure our dogs are properly matched with a caring forever home that will treat them as part of the family.  Part of processing an application includes verifying property ownership, investigating judiciary records, speaking to references and confirming appropriate veterinary care of current and/or past pets.  If, through our investigations, processing, and/or observations during a home visit, we believe the dog's best interests cannot or will not be served by an individual or family, we will deny approval. 

  • Approved adopters must have their primary residence in one of the following states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and parts of North Carolina.

  • You must be at least 21 years of age to apply and legally sign our contract for adoption.

  • Applications must be completed by the homeowner. 

  • We do not adopt giant breed dogs to renters.

    • If you are renting, and you are applying to adopt a dog that is not a giant breed, permission to adopt an animal must be obtained from the landlord or property owner.

  • We do not adopt giant breed dogs to homes with children under 6 years of age.

  • Homes with children should have a fenced yard.

  • We will not adopt a giant breed dog to homes where the dog will have access to highly varnished hardwood steps inside the home.

    • Any inside steps to which the dog(s) have access, must have carpeting, securely fixed stair treads, or a non-skid surface.

  • Homes with highly varnished floors must have non-slip area rugs or mats wherever your animal walks or rests frequently. 

  • Applications will be denied if anyone residing in the household has a record indicating drug/alcohol abuse, theft, or violence.

  • Applications will be denied if we determine the applicant uses or permits the use of, training methods or devices using pain or force on the dog to control the dog or to deter undesirable behavior.

  • Applications will be denied if veterinary records of current or past pets show neglect of appropriate health care. 

  • Homes with intact dogs will not be approved for adoption. The following circumstances are exceptions:

  1. The intact dog is a working member of law enforcement, or search and rescue/recovery team

  2. A veterinarian has determined the sterilization procedure would harm the intact dog;  proof is required.

  3. The intact dog is registered under the auspices of the American Kennel Club and is actively being shown.

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