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Samoyed Rescue FAQ

How all this works

Samoyed rescue helps Samoyeds in need to find new, loving, permanent homes. We take in Samoyeds from shelters who need the space, and from owners that turn their Samoyed directly over to the rescue group. They are evaluated, their health checked, and then matched with an approved home that will hopefully be theirs for the remainder of their lives.
Samoyed rescue groups are comprised of many dedicated, hard working volunteers who balance their rescue work with family, full time jobs and other activities in the dog world (showing, sledding, herding, agility, obedience, etc.). When contacting rescue, please keep in mind we are all volunteers who try to help the dogs in our spare time and may take awhile to get back in touch with you. If you do not receive a return contact within a week, please either try again and/or send a message to saying who you attempted to reach and please include the email address or phone number you tried. The most current contact list can be found at
If you have information about a dog in a shelter, please state that in your message. Due to the short time available to help many of the shelter dogs, those running out of time do receive priority.

How do I get a rescue dog?

Getting a rescue Samoyed or a puppy will take awhile and they cannot be sent as email attachments. As funny as that sounds, many people think they can send a check and the dog will arrive. The rescue process does take time because rescue groups want to make sure that they are doing their very best to make the placement of each dog to be the last one for that dog.

The first thing you should do is to contact the Samoyed rescue group nearest to you. Visit to find out who that is. The Samoyed Rescue group will send you an application or direct you to their website to fill one out. Once you have been approved, the rescue group will work to find the best dog for you. If you are interested in a dog on the available list at tell your local group. They will be the ones that can find out more about that dog and get that dog to you if it's the right one for you (providing the rescue group with the dog is willing to place it farther away). While each rescue group is autonomous, we all network together to help each Samoyed in need find just the right home.

Be sure to work with one group. Emailing everyone on the contact list wastes a lot of time for everyone and is a very inefficient way of finding a dog.

Where do the rescue dogs come from?

Dogs need new homes for a variety of reasons, but the most common ones are because the owners had a change in their lifestyle and are not able or willing to include the dog in that change (moving, new baby, new house, etc.). Most are neglected and thrive when given the attention they need. Some have not been neglected or abused, but just simply need a new home. A few have been abused in the past, but luckily, these are few and far between. A few also come from puppy mill closures...these dogs can be quite needy and are not for everyone.

How do I surrender my Samoyed to a rescue group?

If you acquired your dog from a breeder, check your contract to see if the breeder has first right of refusal. Reputable breeders will take back the dogs they produce at any time in their life, and certainly will want to know that your dog needs a new home. Many rescue groups work well with reputable breeders and can assist if needed.

If you don't have a breeder standing behind your puppy, the first thing you should do is to contact the Samoyed rescue group nearest to you. Visit to find this out. They will ask you to fill out an information sheet on your dog. PLEASE fill this out honestly and completely to make sure your dog is placed in a home that matches him or her! Get together veterinary information and other paperwork on your dog to turn over to the group.

What happens to a dog once it's in a rescue program?

While each Samoyed Rescue Group is autonomous, all generally operate very similarly. Most of the time the dog will go to a foster home (or good boarding facility if a foster home is not available). There, the foster home will evaluate the dog to find out what would be the perfect home for that dog. Sometimes the owner is asked to keep the dog until placed. Usually, in this case, the dog is the legal property of the rescue group and the owner becomes the foster home.

If the Samoyed is in need of medical help, the rescue group will make sure the dog gets that help. If their funds are low, the group can apply to SamUrgency for help.  

Once the rescue group has evaluated the dog, the dog will go on their adoption list unless an appropriate approved home is not already available. When the dog is adopted, the rescue group will do follow ups to make sure the placement is going well. Many close friendships develop between the adoptive home and the rescue group. Rescue people love to hear follow up stories on how the dogs they have helped are doing...just as a reputable breeder would.

I saw/heard about a Samoyed that's at a shelter! What do I do?

Please email information about shelter dogs to  with as much information as possible (shelter name, phone number, dog's ID number, etc.). This email address is monitored by three people who make sure messages can be read most any time (24/7). Please, please, please DO NOT post dogs on social media. It creates tremendous work for the shelter when many people call for information. Unless you are prepared to pick up the dog, don't call the shelter.

I want to help!

Great!!!!! Rescue needs volunteers! Before you contact your local group, though, look carefully at what you are willing to do and what you can not do. Volunteers that offer to help and do not follow through make a hard job even more difficult for a rescue group. Unfortunately, that happens often in many volunteer organizations, and Samoyed Rescue is no different. It's best to start by helping a little at first and then gradually increase your level of commitment rather than to jump in and realize you're in over your head.

If you are serious about helping on a long-term basis, and are able to commit on following through on projects that need to be done, then contact your local rescue group ASAP! Dedicated volunteers are desperately needed! If you only feel you can help out on a case by case basis, just let your local rescue group know that when you contact them. To find the group closest to you, visit

There are many ways to help rescue. Foster homes are usually the greatest need of any Samoyed Rescue Group, but fostering dogs is not the only way to help.

Many rescue groups need someone to be a secretary for them. This is someone who can send out applications, help answer emails, do follow up phone calls, keep records on dogs, etc. If you are great with paperwork, this might be a fabulous way to help!

An ongoing need of any rescue group is for someone to be a fundraiser coordinator. If you have time to help organize even just one fundraiser, it can help significantly!

While not everyone feels they can visit shelters, there is usually a need for someone to do shelter walk-throughs or to evaluate Samoyeds in shelters. Contact your local rescue group to find out what they need in terms of this if you are someone who is able to go to shelters.

I want a rescue puppy!

Baby puppies rarely show up in rescue, and if they do, they usually go to homes that have already filled out an application and been approved. Older puppies, however, show up more often. These are often 6-18 month old Samoyeds. Even though they are older, they are still puppies! These dogs usually just need someone who is willing to spend the time training them what is and isn't allowed. The advantage to the older puppies is that most of them are already housetrained and may even know some obedience commands, they just need someone to be the alpha and help them grow up the rest of the way.

If your heart is set on a baby puppy, then by all means, find a reputable breeder! A reputable breeder does SO much more than the average breeder, backyard breeder or puppy mill. They research what lines they are crossing and can tell you why they did this breeding, and the history of the dogs behind your potential puppy. They do health checks and can provide the certification of these tests (OFA certificates can be for hips, elbows, heart and thyroid, CERF is an eye check by a canine ophthalmologist and should be done yearly). They can tell you what percentage of puppies they have bred that have various health problems. Don't believe anyone who says they don't have hip problems, or other health problems prevalent in the breed. Reputable breeders don't breed their dog every time she's in season. They will interview you thoroughly - expect it. They will also be there for you, to answer any questions you might have for the entire life of the dog. They will take the dog back if for some reason you can no longer keep the dog...and they mean it! Make sure this breeder is the type of person who you would want to take your dog back if this is needed. Just belonging to a breed club does not automatically make a breeder reputable or ethical. Take time to get to know the breeder you are considering getting a puppy from - you should be in touch with them throughout the lifetime of your future puppy.
More information on buying a puppy can be found in the buyer's guide on the SCA Website. A list of breeders who are SCA members can be found on the SCA Breeder Referral pages.

Is a Samoyed the right breed for me?

This is a question you certainly should already have asked. Before searching for your future dog or puppy, research the breeds you are interested in. Many dogs are surrendered because the owners didn't research the breed enough and just fell for that cute, cuddly face. A Border Collie at a shelter was surrendered because "She was herding the children too much." Samoyeds have been surrendered because "I didn't know they would get that big" or "They shed." Know what you are getting into and make sure the breed matches your lifestyle. Learn more about Samoyeds by reading free publications on the SCA Website.

I've heard Samoyeds are hard to train. Is that true?

Samoyeds are very people oriented and do best as house dogs. Samoyed rescue often receives dogs that have been left outside to amuse themselves (digging, barking, chewing, etc.). Once these dogs get into a situation where they are house dogs, the destructive behavior seen previously disappears.

Northern breeds are often thought to be hard to train. This is not the case...they just need to know clearly what to do more than being told what not to do. This means they respond much better to positive training methods that focus on the behavior wanted. No matter what dog or puppy you get, find a good trainer and take it to obedience class. Doing this helps to cement the bond between dog and owner. Trained dogs are much more likely to stay with their owners than untrained ones.

How much do the rescue dogs cost?

Since each Samoyed rescue group is autonomous, they all operate slightly differently depending on their resources. The average cost is anywhere from $150 to $400. Some groups have a set fee based on the average amount of money put into each rescue dog. Other groups will charge the amount put into each dog.

Some people mistakenly think that rescue groups make money selling rescue dogs. While they do charge for the dogs, there is no profit. They are not dog brokers. Every group has to do fundraisers to stay in the black.

Last Updated June 2012