Frequently asked Questions
Will you ship a dog to me or transport a dog closer to me?
While we are so glad you want to adopt a dog, we do not ship our dogs anywhere. We ask that prospective adopters go to meet the dogs in the comfort of the foster's home so the prospective approved adopters can get the best idea of what this dog will act like in their home.
Can I visit the dog in the foster's home prior to submitting an application?
As much as we would love to have a facility for everyone to stop by at their convenience, we don't have such a space because we know herding dogs don't do well in shelters. As such, we have private foster homes.
The benefits of foster homes are many, but one of the drawbacks is that we require an approved adoption application prior to any kind of meet-and-greet for the foster's safety and the potential adopter's convenience.
Are your dogs vetted before going to new homes?
Why yes, they are! All dogs are given age-appropriate vaccinations for distemper, rabies, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. If the pup is over the age of six months, they are also spayed or neutered in accordance with Virginia state law. They have had a heartworm test and are up to date on heartworm medication and flea and tick preventative. They have also been dewormed.
If the dog has any special medical needs that are not spelled out, the foster or team lead will call you to discuss prior to approving your application.
What are your adoption donations?
Currently, our adoption donation scale is as follows:
$325 - puppies ($50 is a refundable spay/neuter deposit that will be refunded following proof of neuter or spay)
$275 - dogs between 6 months and 9 years old
$200 - senior dogs over 9 years old
We are a 501(c)3 non-profit so your donation may be tax-deductible.
I want to adopt a dog as a surprise gift for my father / mother / grandmother / child. Can I adopt through you?
Under no circumstances do we adopt out dogs as gifts. All parties must be fully informed and involved in our dogs' future homes. We encourage all family members to be a part of the process of adoption.
I want to adopt but I also want the dog I am interested in to be intact (not spayed or neutered). Can you waive the spay or neuter requirement?
Absolutely not. There is no waiver for spay or neuter surgery for any of our dogs.
I submitted an adoption application but haven't heard anything yet. How long does it take?
We make every effort to get back to applicants individually, but we are not always successful due to the volume of e-mail and applications that we receive. Some days, we receive between 150-200 inquiries on our dogs and each dog receives anywhere from 5 to 50+ applications. We do the absolute best we can to make sure that each applicant is treated with respect but are not able to respond individually to every e-mail, especially multiple e-mails from the same person.
What are your adoption requirements?
We require the following of every one of our adoptive homes:
1. Animals already in the home must be up to date on vaccinations, heartworm tests, and heartworm preventative (if applicable).
2. Everyone in the home must be on board with adopting a dog. That means if you have roommates, a landlord, a spouse with allergies, or children who are afraid of dogs, you may want to have a serious conversation before adoption.
3. You must own your home or have clearance from the owner of the home. We do not adopt to individuals living with their parents unless the whole family is adopting the dog.
4. The dog you are apply to adopt is not to be kept as an outside pet either in a barn, tied outside, or living in a backyard. Our standards for adoption preclude our dogs from being treated as anything but beloved family members. While some may be working dogs, they also must be "part of the family."
5. You must not have a history of animal abuse or neglect, or of child abuse or neglect, or of domestic violence.
What is positive-reinforcement dog training? Why do you require it?
SOHO was founded in part by two positive-reinforcement trainers that use the scientific advances in clicker training to effectively and safely train dogs. Positive reinforcement trainers often use verbal cues, hand signals, treats, clickers, toys, and even games to help modify behavior, correct bad habits, and even to teach tricks. Trainers use both positive reinforcement (giving rewards) and negative punishment (taking away rewards.). Dogs trained this way become well-adjusted, responsive, well-mannered companions.
There is a lot of actual scientific research to back this up. We are happy to provide the scientific studies we have read and utilize supporting the efficacy of utilizing positive reinforcement, as well as the studies we use that show that these methods are the best to ensure a dog's emotional and physical health. Please e-mail us at for more information.
Do you adopt out dogs as Emotional Support Animals or Service Animals?
No, we do not.
Do you have a foster-to-adopt program?
While we understand the emotional role that foster dogs can play in our lives, we do not have a foster to adopt program at this time because our adoption process allows for a two week "return" period for the dog, which is enough time for most people to decide if they would like to keep this dog in their home.
I want to adopt two puppies from the same litter! Can I do that?
No. We do not adopt out puppies to the same home because of something called "Littermate Syndrome". While we understand that it can be emotionally difficult to separate a puppy from their siblings, it is actually emotionally healthy for the puppy to grow into a new household and form new, lasting bonds with their new family.