Adoption Procedures

The Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League, Inc. (MAGDRL) adopts only to the following states only: MD, DE, Washington DC, VA, WV, NJ, South Central & Eastern PA, and NY. If you live in an area outside of our adoption area, and are interested in adoption you can find additional rescue groups by visiting the Great Dane Club of America‘s website. Because of our home check requirement, we do not adopt out of the areas mentioned above. Please contact us if you are interested in adopting.

All of the dogs that come through our rescue program are spayed or neutered and fully vetted before being adopted. For a summary of those costs and services, click here.

Adoption Fee

Our adoption fee is $375 for dogs under the age of 6, and $225 for dogs over the age of 6.

How much do we spend on a rescue Dane? Click here to find out.

Adoption Requirements

To adopt a dog, MAGDRL has a few simple requirements:

  • The Dane must be an inside dog and not spend a lot of time outside unsupervised. Why?
  • The family should have a fenced in yard (More information on our fencing policy is below). Why?
  • All interior stairs in the home must be covered in slip resistant tread.
  • All animals in the household should be spayed/neutered. Why?
  • All animals in the household should see a vet once a year. Why?
  • The entire family (plus any current dogs) must be willing to travel to meet the new Dane.
  • The entire family must be committed to the care and well-being of the dog.

Adoption Procedure

  • Phone Interview
  • Written Application – We will mail/email this to you after the phone interview has been completed.
  • Reference Checks – All references will be checked prior to home visit. We will contact your current vet, if you have one, for a reference.
  • Home Visit – A volunteer will come to your home to visit with you and discuss care of Great Danes. Also, the volunteer will look for any potential problems and check to be sure that your fencing is secure. Your home visit does not mean you have been approved.
  • Approval – After the above steps have been completed all your information will be reviewed and a decision will be made about adoption. If at this point you are approved to adopt, your area coordinator will help guide you to the appropriate dog for your family.
  • Contract – For the protection of the Great Danes we place, everyone that adopts a Great Dane from MAGDRL will be required to sign an adoption contract. If you would like additional information on our adoption contract you can email your local coordinator and a copy of our contract will be sent to you electronically.
    Once approved, we do our best to match the Great Dane to your requirements and vice versa. Depending upon your desires (age, color, sex) and the needs and personality of the Great Dane (how it gets along with children, other dogs, cats, etc.) an adoption can happen quickly or it may take some time.
    Over 25 years of experience in adoption of Great Danes has helped us to establish this policy. Our fencing requirement is intended to ensure that a Dane has a safely confined area for relief and exercise.

Fencing requirements

  • Fencing requirements apply whether an applicant resides in a city, suburb or on a multiple acre farm. If an adoption applicant is unable to provide a satisfactory fenced area (attached to their home) for a Great Dane, in most cases MAGDRL cannot proceed with the application.
  • MAGDRL will not compromise on its obligation to ensure a safe environment for the Great Danes we place. However, you can petition for one of two rare exceptions to the fencing requirement if you believe you are exemplary pet owner.
  • The first fencing exception is for applicants who reside in circumstance where they cannot fence. For example, if fencing is not allowed in your community, you do not own the property outside your back door, or you live in a condominium or an apartment. In these situations, leash laws are usually stringent so if approved we will place a Great Dane 2 years or older.
  • The second fencing exception is for those who can fence but choose not to, and includes applicants with acreage. We do not place dogs into homes where they will be placed on a runner, chained, tied, or staked out in ANY WAY, or kept in a standalone fence/pen. MAGDRL does not consider an electronic underground pet containment system to be adequate fencing to protect a pet. Why isn’t an electronic underground pet containment system acceptable? With applicants who choose not to fence, we will place a Great Dane 5 years old or older.
  • With either fencing exception, your application must include a detailed letter describing your circumstances, lifestyle, previous dog ownership and how you plan on safely exercising and managing your Great Dane without chaining or allowing off lead. In addition, a letter of recommendation from your veterinarian regarding the care and well-being of your current or previously owned pet(s) must accompany your adoption application. Without these two letters your exception request cannot be considered.
  • This petition process requires additional processing time. If your requests is accepted for consideration, it will be forwarded to your MAGDRL adoption coordinator and a home visit will be conducted. After the home visit is complete, you will be notified of the status of your adoption application.

Note to Childcare Providers

Applicants who operate a childcare business should review their insurance coverage to determine whether Great Danes are excluded. If other breeds are listed under exclusions, you are encouraged to contact your provider to confirm that Great Danes are covered. Proof of coverage for your childcare business must be included with your adoption application.

The dogs in our rescue are our top priority and therefore we will not make exceptions to our policies. We reserve the right to refuse any applicant.

To see a list of dogs available for adoption, click here.