Frequently Asked Questions

Why adopt, rather than purchase a puppy?

Well, to start, there is no such thing as a perfect dog. A puppy comes with a big medical question mark; whereas a dog that is older than two years has most likely been identified with any obvious congenital medical conditions. An older dog also allows us to determine their temperament and activity level.

Raising a puppy is a huge undertaking that generally involves far more time, work, and patience than the average family expects. An adult dog requires a very significant commitment as well, but many of the first-year challenges, like housebreaking, initial medical care, and spaying/neutering, are already done.

Most importantly, the number of young adult, mature, and senior dogs in need of new homes is staggering. A quick perusal of will verify the number of shelters and rescue organizations seeking adopters for displaced dogs, whether purebred or mixed breed. Most of our prospective adopters tell us they have come to rescue because they want to help a dog in need, and we are very grateful for their willingness to do so. Bringing a “second hand” dog into your home is not always smooth sailing from the beginning, but once you get past any rough edges the rewards are amazing!

Your dogs are all spayed and neutered; why do you care if my existing dogs are spayed or neutered or if I breed them?

We feel our mission extends beyond just finding someone to take the dogs in our program. A major part of out mission is education–attempting to lessen the pet overpopulation problem. Part of that includes educating the public and our adopters on the Doberman breed and on responsible pet ownership.

Just because a dog is purebred does not necessarily mean that dog should be bred or remain intact. As an organization that rehomes primarily purebred Dobermans, nearly 400 annually, we can certainly attest to the fact that there is an overpopulation crisis with purebred dogs also due to irresponsible, “just one litter” type breeders who are NOT there to help new owners (often they are novice owners themselves) and are not able to take back puppies/dogs who are not working out in their new homes.

Surgical sterilization is the ONLY way to be 100% certain that an animal will not reproduce. We are not opposed to responsible breeding; however, responsible breeding takes quite a bit of work, knowledge, and money.

Even if you do not plan to breed your intact pet, there are many painful, even fatal conditions that can be prevented by spaying and neutering your animals. We often have dogs and cats in our program that have had to endure very painful surgeries and treatments for mammary tumors and prostate conditions. Both of these conditions (along with many others) could have been prevented if these dogs’ owners had been responsible enough to spay and neuter these dogs.

We will adopt to people with intact dogs under only two conditions:

1.) The dog is being actively campaigned in conformation and/or other types of impartial testing/judging to insure that dog is a superior member of the breed; or

2.) The dog has a serious medical condition that would make any surgery an unacceptable health risk.

We do require that the prospective adopter provide us with proof of either condition.

Why can’t families with children under 7 adopt  from Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus?

We are uncomfortable adopting to homes with children under 7 years of age. This is due to the number of dogs being turned in and returned after being in homes with young kids and having trouble. Most often, it’s a matter of the sheer size of an adult Doberman coupled with their energy compared to a small child–the child can be knocked over easily, the dog’s face could come in close contact with the child’s, accidents happen, etc. We hope that in the long run this policy leads us to more successful long-term adoptions. However, we do occasionally make an exception, particularly if the family is adopting a puppy, has recent kid/big dog success, and/or the dog has recent kid success.

How much are the adoption fees?


  • $400 for Doberman puppies (up to 1 year)
  • $350 for Dobermans (1 to 4 years)
  • $250 for Dobermans (5 to 7 years)
  • $150 for senior Dobermans (8 years and older - may be reduced depending on the dog)

Plus Dogs:
  • Adoption fees for the “Plus” dogs vary, but generally follow the Dobermans

  • $85 for kittens (1 year and under)
  • $70 for adult cats (older than 1 year)
  • $35 for special needs, long term and senior

Will you hold the dog that I want until I am ready/approved to adopt?

No, we cannot hold dogs for people. Doing so would possibly prevent the dog from being adopted, which in turn could prevent another dog (who could possibly be at a shelter days away from being euthanized) from being accepted into the program. We always have new dogs coming into the rescue, so there is bound to be a good match for you when you are ready to adopt.

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