5 Best Goldendoodle Rescues for Adoption in Illinois (IL) 

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Goldendoodles make fabulous family pets, being friendly, energetic, and fun to be around, and they don’t shed! What’s not to like?

However, raising a puppy is time-consuming and can be pretty stressful. But some Goldendoodles finish up in rescue centers through no fault of their own. So, why not consider taking on an adult rescue Goldendoodle and giving one of these fabulous dogs a second chance at a happy life in a forever home?

Read this guide to discover five of the best Goldendoodle rescues in Illinois.

Why Is Adoption A Great Option?

So, what’s so good about adopting an adult dog from a rescue organization?

Well, here are just a few of the reasons why you should consider adoption over purchase.

  • When you adopt a dog, you’re potentially saving his life and providing him with a chance at happiness and a safe, secure, forever home.
  • If you adopt an unwanted dog instead of paying for a puppy, you’re potentially helping to put puppy mills out of business.
  • Adult dogs often already understand a few basic commands and might even be potty trained, making life much easier for you when you get your new canine chum home. My second dog came from a rescue center and already knew her name, how to sit and stay, and she was pretty much toilet trained (after a few initial accidents!)
  • Rescue dogs undergo health checks and are microchipped, vaccinated, and desexed before being advertised for adoption. So, when you collect your chosen furry friend, you know he has no pre-existing health conditions.
  • A rescue center will always support you and your new dog throughout your extensive adoption journey and will carry out checks after adoption to ensure all’s okay.

Since the pandemic ended, more and more dogs have been surrendered to rescues across the states, from Michigan to Indiana, because people can no longer care for them since returning to work. So, there’s a good chance you’ll find a Goldendoodle if you keep looking.

What To Know Before You Adopt

Happy Goldendoodle getting pet

Before you begin your search, there are some things you need to know to ensure a stress-free Doodle adoption.

  • Dogs need your time and attention. Your dog will need exercise, feeding, grooming, and entertaining, regardless of breed or age. Do you have the time for that?
  • Spontaneity ends! When you have a dog in your life, you can forget about last-minute nights away or weekend vacations. Everything must be planned in advance with your furry friend’s needs in mind.
  • Dogs can live for 10 to 18 years. A dog is for life, and that can be for up to 18 years.
  • Rentals don’t always allow dogs. If you rent a property, does your landlord allow dogs?
  • Can you afford a dog? Dogs are expensive pets! By the time you’ve spent money on kit, food, insurance, veterinary fees, etc., that can cost a small fortune.
  • Rescue dogs take time to adjust. If a dog has been passed around different rescues and foster family homes, adjusting to life with you will take time.
  • How much energy? Different dog breeds have different energy levels, and some breeds need more exercise than others. Take that into account when choosing a dog, and be sure you can cope before you sign on the dotted line.
  • Rescue dogs can have behavioral issues. Rescue dogs come with baggage, such as guarding and socialization issues, excessive barking, and separation anxiety.
  • Dogs need training. Every dog needs ongoing training; rescue dogs often need more guidance than others. Can you commit to that?
  • Dog-proofing your home. Dogs of all ages and sizes can get into mischief, especially in an unfamiliar place. So, you’ll need to check your home for potential danger spots in your home and garden and dog-proof them.
  • Say goodbye to your beautiful garden! If you have a gorgeous garden, prepare to see your lawn bleached by urine or dug up. My puppy made a sport out of charging through the flowerbeds, beheading my pansies and petunias, so be prepared to make a few compromises!

As you can see, there are many things to consider before adopting a rescue dog!

How Much Does It Cost To Adopt A Rescue Dog?

Cost word after a stack of coins

The answer to that question is rather like the old “how long is a piece of string” conundrum!

Almost all rescues ask for a donation that goes toward the cost of caring for the dog during its stay at the center, including veterinary fees. The adoption fee typically varies, depending on the dog’s age and breed and the location of the rescue.

So, a Goldendoodle in Ohio might cost more to adopt than one in Wisconsin or Minnesota.

Often, “designer breeds,” such as Goldendoodles and the like, cost more to adopt than common or garden street mutts. However, it’s worth remembering that a mutt can be every bit as loving and loyal as a fancy pedigree hound!

Adoption Approval Top Tips

Getting approved for adoption is not always a done deal, even if you’ve owned dogs all your life. Rescue centers are strict on who gets their dogs simply because their canine charges have already had a tough start in life, and the last thing the center’s staff want is to send a pup to the wrong home.

Here are a few tips for getting that all-important approval letter!

Fence Your Yard

If you have a yard where your dog can play, the area must be securely fenced. If the yard is properly enclosed, the dog won’t be able to escape or dash out into traffic and cause an accident.

In the absence of a yard, you’ll need to show the rescue that you have places nearby where you can exercise your new furry friend.

Know The Breed

Apricot Goldendoodle

Show the rescue that you understand the exercise, training, and grooming needs of a Goldendoodle and are prepared to meet them.

If the rescue thinks you haven’t researched the breed, you’ll be unlikely to be approved.

Demonstrate Effort

If you already have a veterinarian and a trainer chosen, and you’ve received an insurance quote for your dog, you’re showing the rescue that you’re prepared and organized for your new pet.

Ask Lots Of Questions

Rescues want to know that you’re committed to providing their dog with a forever home. Write down a list of questions about the animal’s health and behavioral issues that need to be addressed, and be ready to explain how you’ll handle them.

Discuss the dog’s history and find out what the rescue thinks will help set you and the pup up for success.

Be Thorough

Be sure to complete the application thoroughly and provide the rescue with details about your family, job, experience with dog ownership, and how you intend to care for the dog.

Explain how you plan to train the dog and address any problems you encounter after you get your new canine chum home.

Helpful Tips For New Pet Owners

Here are a few helpful tips for new dog owners:

  • Socialize your dog from day one.
  • Prevent your dog from jumping up early.
  • Be patient and consistent when potty training.
  • Reward good behavior.
  • Never use a crate as punishment.
  • Get your dog into a regular routine.
  • Train the most important basic commands first.

Always use positive reinforcement and reward-based training methods, and don’t lose your temper, even when the going gets tough!

5 Best Goldendoodle Rescues in Illinois

Now that you’re ready to search for the perfect pet, here are five of the best Goldendoodle rescues in Illinois!

Chicago Canine Rescue

Rescue and adoption details:

Address: 5272 N. Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60630

Website: https://chicagocaninerescue.org/

Email: [email protected]

Chicago Canine Rescue takes in any dog breed that needs help, including Goldendoodles.

We recommend that you contact the center in advance to notify them that you want to adopt a Goldendoodle. The rescue will put you on their waiting list and carry out various checks before approving your application.

You’ll get to meet your Goldendoodle a few times before you can take them home, and all dogs are health-checked for medical issues and have their vaccinations before adoption is completed.

An adoption fee is chargeable, but that goes toward the cost of caring for the dogs and health checks before they are adopted.

NAWS – A No-Kill Humane Society

Rescue and adoption details:

Address: 9981 W 190th St Ste A Mokena, Illinois

Website: https://www.nokillnetwork.org

Phone:  708-478-5102

NAWS Humane Society works to rescue and rehome a wide range of unwanted cats and dogs in the community. This rescue is a no-kill, non-profit organization that provides other facilities at its center, including affordable veterinary care, boarding, and spay/neuter surgery.

100% of all donations and income to the center go to fund the full-service rescue program.

To find out if any Goldendoodles are available for rehoming, contact this reputable rescue center directly by telephone or through their website.

A Tail Of 4 Paws Animal Rescue

Rescue and adoption details:

Address: P.O. Box 7757, Romeoville, IL 60446

Website: https://www.atailof4paws.org/

Email: [email protected]

A Tail of 4 Paws Animal Rescue was set up in 2015 in Romeoville, Illinois.

This organization doesn’t run its own rescue shelter but uses a network of foster homes across the region. Every dog they rescue lives with foster pet parents until a forever home is found. While in the foster home, the dog’s temperament is assessed, and potential adopters are matched.

Every dog is checked by a vet for common health concerns and vaccinated before going to its new home. You’ll be expected to pay an adoption fee, which covers the cost of the dog’s care and extensive health testing during its time with the organization.

Starfish Animal Rescue

Rescue and adoption details:

Address: Plainfield, Illinois 60544

Website: http://www.starfishanimalrescue.com

Email: [email protected]

Starfish Animal Rescue saves dogs from kill shelters and tries to place them into new forever homes. In addition, the adoption program educates owners on how to care for their dogs.

Potential adopters must go through adoption checks that entail a home inspection, and you’ll need to provide the rescue with information about what pets you’ve previously owned. All dogs are vet checked and vaccinated before going to their new homes.

One Tail at a Time – Adoption Center

Rescue and adoption details:

Address: 2144 N. Wood Street, Chicago, IL 60614

Website: https://www.onetail.org/

Email: [email protected]

This rescue has an excellent website with plenty of information about their adoption process, background, volunteering, and much more!

The aim of the rescue is to save dogs, cats, rabbits, and even guinea pigs from kill shelters and give them a second chance at a happy life in a forever home. There’s no guarantee that a Goldendoodle will be available, so you’ll need to put your name down on the rescue’s waiting list and keep checking back until a suitable dog arrives.

A modest adoption check fee is required to cover the cost of the dog’s care while at the rescue.


Here are a few of the questions most commonly asked by those considering adopting a Goldendoodle from a rescue in Illinois.

Q: At what age does a Goldendoodle calm down?

A: Most Goldendoodles begin to chill out at around 12 to 18 months old, although that varies between individuals and can depend on the dog’s previous life experience.

Q: What is a Goldendoodle’s lifespan?

A: Goldendoodles generally live for between 10 and 15 years, with smaller varieties tending to have a slightly longer life expectancy than larger ones.

Q: Do Goldendoodles run away?

A: Every dog can potentially run away if not correctly trained! Goldendoodles are highly trainable dogs, although we recommend keeping your Doodle leashed until you’re confident in your recall.

Q: Is it OK to leave a Goldendoodle alone?

A: Goldendoodles are friendly, sociable dogs that love to be around their human family. However, once your pup is settled in his new home and correctly trained, there’s no reason why you can’t leave him alone.

Q: What are the negatives of a Goldendoodle?

A: There are several negatives to owning a Goldendoodle:

  • They can suffer from separation anxiety.
  • They require daily brushing and professional grooming every 6 to 8 weeks.
  • They need a lot of daily exercise.
  • They are currently very expensive to buy, even “secondhand!”

Final Thoughts

Did you enjoy our list of Goldendoodle rescues in Illinois? Please go ahead and share the article if you did!

Goldendoodles often end up in rescues through no fault of their own. We believe that every dog deserves a loving, forever home, and if you can take on a rescue pup, good for you!

Do you have a rescue Goldendoodle? Tell us about your beloved canine companion in the comments box below.

Meet our writer

Jen Clifford is an animal behaviorist and veterinary technician with more than a decade of hands-on experience working in small animal and specialty veterinary clinics.

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