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Where do your rescues come from?

We are a non-profit 501 (c) (3) charity rescue.   Our primary mission is the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of Cavaliers, with special focus on saving older Cavaliers from the horrors of puppy mills.   We also rescue Cavaliers in need of help from kill shelters and other sources and situations where the dog is in need of help (within our Policies and Procedures).  

In accordance with our Policies and Procedures, Lucky Star may pay an small approved fee to a kill shelter (we will partner with the shelter, supply all the required rescue  paperwork, and successfully work out any fees, usually very nominal to a partner)  but we are not allowed to pay any fee to a no-kill shelter, an owner,or another rescue or a humane society.   Please understand that if a dog is already in a non-kill shelter or with another rescue, it has already been rescued and they will work on adopting the dog. 

Lucky Star will not purchase dogs at consignment auctions. The types of auctions where Lucky Star may  purchase dogs are kennel closings or breed closings, within reasonable costs. The exception to this guideline is to bid on an older dog  and an obviously pregnant female to prevent the on-going breeding cycle for the mom and pups.   We do not purchase puppies. 

Older and/or terminally ill dogs may be considered for "Permanent Foster" status. The situation must be presented to the board for approval. A "Permanent Foster" status ensures approved veterinary expenses for the remaining life of the rescue.

What happens to Lucky Star Cavalier Rescue dogs immediately after their rescue?

All rescued Cavaliers are immediately transported  to a licensed veterinarian for a health examination, testing and any immediately required treatments and boarding.   

What veterinary care do the dogs receive?

We have a strict vet protocol and do many services that other rescues do not usually do.    The vet does a thorough  exam  that includes condition of the teeth and gums, eyes, ears, patellae, heart, skin and coat. Testing is done and treatment for coccidea, giardia, heartworm (if the dog is positive) and other intestinal parasites is begun and vaccinations are given. All rescues are spayed/neutered.  A dental proxy with any extractions if needed  is also done. Breeding dogs are tested for brucellosis.   They may be boarded  for 10 days or more (dependent on the needs of each dog) so they are safe to go into a foster home and  any additional treatment or procedures as determined necessary by the veterinarian are continued  until the inital  issues are resolved.

Because of  our wonderful donors, we have resourced many heart, knee, eye and other surgeries as well as specialty vet care when needed. 

How can I apply to adopt a Lucky Star rescue dog? How does final placement occur?

All dogs are fostered for a minimum of two weeks once they leave the vet. Many are kept in care longer to acclimate to living in a home or to be treated for medical conditions.   To apply for adoption, simply follow the link on our website, fill out and submit the form. It will be kept on file and you will be personally contacted should a dog become available for whom your home and situation sounds perfect.  If there is a particular dog you are interested in, you can indicate that on the application and/or by simplying clicking on the dog's name under their picture on their page.

Final placement is NOT done on a first come-first served basis, but rather on the individual needs of the dog. We take into account the temperament of the rescue, the ability of the adopting family to physically and financially care for the rescue, the specific and particular needs of each rescue, and the knowledge/experience of the adopting family as it relates to dogs, and Cavaliers, in particular.

Please also keep in mind that we make every effort to place a dog near to where it is being fostered.   If this is not feasible and the perfect home for this dog is a distance away, we  ask that the adopting family have a plan in mind for how to come get the dog.  We will not ship a dog or allow them to be transported on an airplane.  
We do have a very limited transportation network of  wonderful volunteers who will help when they are needed but we try to save their services to pick up rescue dogs in need, take them  for vet care, deliver them to fosters,  etc. It is always best if the new family can come get the dog themselves.   

"Forever" homes are selected based on information gleaned from the application, interviews, home visits, vet recommendations, and sometimes recommendations from various Cavalier clubs, forums and current owners.

How soon will I hear from Lucky Star after I submit an Adoption Application?

Please understand that we receive many more applications than we have available dogs. We are all volunteers. Please be assured, however, that each application is carefully read and kept on file for at least one year. We may have contacted you for an initial screening telephone interviews to see if we had a dog who might fit into your home.

 If a home sounds like a good match for a rescue who is being fostered, and the foster is in your driving area, we may then proceed with our references checks and a home visit. We endeavor to find the BEST possible home for each and every dog we take into rescue. This means that we are advocates for the DOG first. Prospective adopters should bear this in mind and try to be patient as we review each application and evaluate each dog's personality to find the BEST possible combination. Many of our dogs require special needs. The dog you have expressed an interest in might not be a match for your situation or may be located a huge distance from your home.

Final placement is NOT done on a first come-first served basis, but rather on the individual needs of the dog. We take into account the temperament of the rescue, the ability of the adopting family to physically and financially care for the rescue, the specific and particular needs of each rescue, and the knowledge/experience of the adopting family as it relates to dogs, and Cavaliers, in particular. We may not have any dogs in your immediate area. Available dogs might just have been too far away in your case. We keep your application on file until we have a potential match in your area .

 We have many people who may have been on our waiting lists quite a while for a dog; some of them are prior adopters whose dog has gone to the bridge. Once a dog is available who is a match, the adoption can happen soon if the family  already has been approved. Older dogs have lots of love to give and make great companions; please consider adding one to your family. The adoption process is sometimes slow and we hope you will be patient. It's WELL worth the wait!

Where are you located?

We rescue Cavaliers nationally. We are a "virtual" organization. We have many dedicated, loving members but no "brick & mortar" shelter facilities that you can visit. We have many foster homes in many states but they are the personal residences of those members who selflessly volunteer by fostering our rescued Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.  Our heaviest concentration is the Northeast, Southeast, and Lakes regions.

 On our website, the dogs available for adoption have the state abbreviation code where they are being fostered before their name so that you can see all the dogs in your area together.

Can I  adopt a  puppy from Lucky Star?

It is extremely rare that we  have puppies available for adoption.     When we do have puppies, first priority for adoption is given to those who have lost another LS dog or another Cavalier (pups can be so healing!), and to regular volunteers who are interested.   From there, we will canvas our existing applications and approved waiting lists. If you are truly interested in a Cavalier puppy, we urge you to do your homework...go to a source like     for a breeder referral and learn, learn, learn!

A reputable breeder should do appropriate testing at the appropriate age with specialists on their breeding stock and be willing to supply you with those results. PLEASE do not ever buy a Cavalier puppy from a pet store or back yard breeder or one of those slick internet websites. You will pay the price up front...and likely through the years in vet bills.


What are the ages of the dogs that Lucky Star rescues?

 We rescue dogs of all ages but our primary goal is the older dogs.   We do see young puppies at the auctions. They are usually those rejected by the brokers for some reason…but selling puppies at auction has become very lucrative for some of the commercial breeders. To contribute to their profit by purchasing these young pups, we feel, is wrong…and will only condemn the parents of these dogs to continued breeding and suffering.  We do not pay for puppies.

Therefore, our Policies and Procedures state that we will only purchase, at sell out auctions, dogs of breeding age...and we always try to get the oldest dogs and/or sickest dogs at the lowest amount possible...those who have already suffered the most and deserve a soft bed and good food. They will never be used for breeding again.   Young dogs are quickly  adoptable but they are not our focus.   We have a high volume of the older dogs and they are wonderful companions.  

   What is the adoption fee?

Lucky Star charges an adoption fee for each dog. This allows us to partially cover the vet costs, and it allows us to continue to rescue more dogs. We  average over  $1200 on the vet care for  rescues which includes spay/neutering/dentals/labs/vaccines, on-going care for MVD, etc.   We rely on donations and fund raising to fill in the costs not covered by adoption fees.  

The general adoption fee is usually $500 for an young/adult dog.   There is sometimes a reduced sliding scale of fees for senior dogs and/or  any special needs the rescue  may have.   Reduced  adoption  fees require the approval of the board member coordinating the rescue's needs.  

In the very rare cases we may have a puppy, the fee is $600.  Special adoption parameters apply for pups.

We are often asked, "Why would you charge "so much" for a rescue pet? Why not just place it in a good home?" The answer is because we need adopters who are willing to support all rescue pets, not just the dog they adopt. A young, healthy dog might cost us $350-500 in (discounted) vet care, and many people will want to adopt it. An older one with health issues can easily cost $700-$3,000+ in veterinary expenses, and it may require months of foster care for rehabilitation; yet we can only ask a minimal adoption fee. It may be a long time until anyone comes forward to adopt it. Fees from the younger, more adoptable dogs help offset the cost of caring for the others. Most of our dogs have a sad story to tell, and some have suffered through years of neglect or abuse. We hope that you too are willing to give an opportunity for a better life to ALL of our dogs by supporting them through adoption fees. Without these funds and donations, our rescue efforts would not be possible."

What is your fence policy?

We require a safely fenced yard/area where the cavalier can run and exercise freely for all our adoptions. Over 10 years of experience in adoption of cavaliers has helped us to establish this policy. Our fencing requirement is intended to ensure that a cavalier always has a safely confined area for relief and exercise. Many of our dogs, prior to their rescues, lived in a small cage for all of their prior life. They deserve the chance to run freely in a safe, confined area for the rest of their lives.

Additionally, cavaliers are happy, trusting dogs who will forget all training and wonder off after a butterfly or another dog if left loose outside or if a door is left open. We hope you understand that our cavaliers' safety, happiness and needs are our primary concern at all times. Most of the dogs have had a very hard life previously and we try and find a match to those needs whenever possible. Fencing requirements apply whether an applicant resides in a city, suburb or on a multiple acre farm. Underground or electronic fencing is not an acceptable option. If an adoption applicant is unable to provide a satisfactory fenced area for a cavalier, in most cases LSCR cannot proceed with the application.

How do  you transport a rescue to their new home?

  Please also keep in mind that we make every effort to place a dog near to where it is being fostered.   If this is not feasible and the perfect home for this dog is a distance away, we  ask that the adopting family have a plan in mind for how to come get the dog.   We will not ship a dog.  

 If you choose to apply for an available dog at a distant location, you are responsible for participating in the transport.  We do not ship dogs on planes and do not use high volume commercial transport services.  

We have many wonderful volunteers across the country who help us transport dogs and we focus on using their valuable time to transport dogs into rescue, picking up rescues from mills, auctions, or kill shelters to a veterinary hospital for urgently needed care or to a foster location.   Occasionally we are able to help with a portion of the adoption transport but we  do not take responsibility for delivering a dog to your doorstep.  it is always best if the new family can come get the dog themselves.  

   How are foster families selected? Can I help by fostering a rescued Lucky Star dog?

Applications to foster may be  completed on our website.   Foster homes are a critical part of rescue success and it's an extremely rewarding experience.   Fosters are rescue angels.

All prospective foster homes must have an approved   application on file with Lucky Star, sign a waiver and release of liability as well as a Foster Agreement contract , and be willing AND able to work with the rescues on housebreaking issues and basic obedience skills. A veterinary recommendation must be obtained and/or a home visit conducted by a Lucky Star board member or designee before foster approval will be given.    If possible, foster homes will be lined up prior to every rescue situation, or in the alternative, while the  boarding of the dogs at the vet’s.

The Foster Appliaztion can be found here: Foster Application 

Are ALL rescued dogs placed in foster care?

Yes, all Cavaliers are placed in carefully screened and approved foster homes upon the dog’s release from veterinary care. Rescues will receive a minimum of two weeks in a foster home, but foster care may sometimes be needed for several  months, dependent on the needs of the dog and the interest in adopting him or her.   Many times, older or special needs dogs take longer to be adopted.    Occasionally, the foster home may need to continue ongoing veterinary care and rehabilitation. 

Foster care is where the newly rescued dog begins his/her transition to a new life… which includes housebreaking, basic training, and assessment of temperament and behavior. The assessment is tantamount to finding the perfect match for a forever home. The foster home is the vital link between the deplorable puppymill or other rescue situation and a "normal Cavalier" life. Interaction with family members and good socialization skills are developed with an eye toward a bright future.

What do Our Fosters do?

Often times our foster homes take in dogs that have been rescued from puppy mills as we believe these precious dogs deserve a chance for a loving home.  

 Puppy mill dogs live in deplorable conditions. They spend their entire lives in cages and do not receive regular veterinary care, grooming or even human contact. Any human contact they do have may be unpleasant for the dogs. Puppy mill dogs require immediate veterinary care upon being rescued as their ears are often filthy and their teeth are rotten and/or infected. Long haired rescues  often have to be shaved as their coats are matted with dried urine and feces. Once the dogs are shaved, we often find open sores and infections.

 The real work starts once the medical issues have been taken care of as most puppy mill dogs need to be socialized, and they need to learn trust humans. They do not know what it is like to be petted and loved on by humans and they do not know how to play. Puppy mill dogs do not know what it is like to be inside a house. They may be scared and hide where they feel safe. Most puppy mill dogs have issues with house training as they are used to relieving themselves in their cages whenever they felt the urge. Other puppy mill dogs may have issues with marking and eating their own feces.

Many times, it takes time to work with these dogs to overcome their issues and gain their trust. It can be a tough job but it also reminds us why we rescue dogs in the first place – we believe all dogs deserve the chance for a loving home. Our foster parents do an amazing job!!! It sometimes takes quite a while to get a dog ready for adoption and often the foster family falls in love. They do have first priority in adopting the rescue and pay the adoption fees like any one else.   Or they shed some tears, happy the dog has a forever home and sad because they will be missed.   As the rescue goes to their new adoption family,  it makes room to take in another foster!   It's an amazing and rewarding experience to foster!!

What is the role of the foster family in the placement of the Lucky Star rescues?

Foster families play a crucial role in the placement of Lucky Star rescues.   They are where a rescue learns how to live in a home, learn basic manners and most importantly learn to love and trust people.   This process can be short or need to be extended at times for timid/traumatized rescues.  Foster families are relied upon for information and recommendations regarding a particular rescue’s personality, temperament, needs and desires.   Hence, placement decisions regarding a particular rescue will not be made by a Lucky Star board member without input, feedback, and in most cases, approval from the rescue’s foster family. If, after discussion regarding a potential adoptive home, the regional Lucky Star board member and the foster family fail to agree, the recommendation of the regional board member responsible for that rescue will prevail.

This provision only addresses the potential disagreement between the Lucky Star board member responsible for the rescue and the foster family. It is asserted and customarily understood that the optimum placement for a Lucky Star rescue is one agreed upon by both the foster family and the Lucky Star board member responsible for that rescue. Should conflicts, disputes or disagreements arise between board members regarding placement of a particular rescue and those board members are not able to resolve the conflict satisfactorily among themselves, the placement issue will be brought before the Rescue Committee. The Rescue Committee, after reviewing and discussing all pertinent facts at its disposal, will make a final, binding placement decision.

How soon will I get a foster after I apply?

Once you are approved to foster, we will contact you based on need and location of our rescues. Fosters hopefully will be flexible to taking any dog that needs to be fostered. We cannot always fill specific requests for age, color, etc....and we really appreciate those who will take any dog that needs fostering, especially those with special needs. Some fosters can be long term. We don't always know that in advance.   A fenced yard (physical fence, not invisible fence) is a requirement for foster homes.

Don't be disappointed if you are not called immediately. Things change week to week. There have been several occasions where we took in large volumes of Cavaliers from a mill confiscation, then we were able to use many more fosters and quickly.     The foster process is similar to the adoption interview, vet reference check and home visit. After that, the foster volunteers needs to sign a LS Foster Agreement so they understand who to contact for medical issues, who to work with and what their responsibilities are as a foster home.

How can the foster home  "GIVE UP" a dog it has fostered?

 The foster families are really wonderful and a lot of them fall in love with a lot ofthe rescues , just as the rescues  do them. The dogs  seem to know that they have been saved  from possible death or being hurt.   They love being in a warm, trustful, safe  environment.   Fosters groom, feed, love them ,and  teach their rescues to be good companions.  They try very hard to find just the right family for each dog. They do vet reference checks  and they do a home check to be sure that the Cavalier can't get out of the new yard.  When the Foster family feels really good about a potential home that is a match for that dogs' needs and the new family,  it makes it all the easier to let their foster go to a new home. They really miss them, but they know the dog has has found a wonderful  forever home.  And then, the foster family can save another doggie out there that needs their help.

What paperwork must a foster family work with?

The foster family will complete a Personality Profile on each rescue being fostered. The foster family will supply the regional Lucky Star board member with copies of any vet work done while in the care of the foster family. The foster family will request from the regional Lucky Star board member, in writing, reimbursement or tax receipts for vet expenses. Upon adoption, the foster family will forward copies of the paperwork listed below to (1) the Rescue Chair, and (2) The board member responsible for the particular rescue:

The Home Visit inspection report

The rescue’s vet information

The Personality Profile

A printed picture of the rescue

The signed Adoption Agreement

Any other pertinent contracts/agreements (i.e. spay/neuter contract)

Upon adoption, the foster family will forward adoption fees to Lucky Star via the mailing address at PO Box 7054, Carmel, CA 93921 clearly identifying the dog by their original LS name and rescue ID#.   

  Financial Questions


How can you afford to care for so many dogs in rescue?

  Well, mostly we rely on donations from people with good hearts who love Cavaliers as much as our foster parents and volunteers do. We are a non-pro fit 501 (c) (3)  charity  organization.    That means there are no paid positions within our rescue. - All of our members volunteer their time to see that the dogs have a chance at a good life, know basic house manners, and have all the things they need - food, medicines, collars, and of course chew bones. We have the reward of seeing our rescues find wonderful homes with your help.

Where does Lucky Star Cavalier Rescue get its money?

Monetary donations and the sale  of items from our eBay auctions, shows and other fund raisers are the main source of income. All items being auctioned  are donated. We also receive donations through purchases made by those signed up to support us by shopping online at For the past few years, we have offered annual Cavalier wall calendars…as well as t-shirts, polo shirts and holiday cards....and many other fun items as they come available.   Monetary donations may be sent to:

Lucky Star, P.O. Box 7054, Carmel, CA 93921

Links to auctions and shopping areas that result in Lucky Star Cavalier Rescue funding are:

We also receive donations through the United Way, so you may wish to check with your local organization to find out if they will allow donations to Lucky Star.

In several instances, we have received donations through Matching Gift programs from contributors’ employers. This is a great plan!

You can order personal checks with your pet’s picture through and list Lucky Star as the organization you support. We will receive $1.00 for every box of checks you order.

What benefits can I, as a supporter, get from the fact that Lucky Star is tax-exempt?

Monetary donations are 100% tax-deductible for you, and a receipt will be provided for single donations of $250 or more. Purchases from our eBay auctions are deductible for the amount paid in excess of "fair market value" for the items. It is up to the individual to determine what that amount may be,  with the assistance of a tax advisor. Likewise, items donated to be auctioned are deductible for "fair market value" and receipts will be provided at the end of the year for donated items with a value of $75 or more. Additional information regarding deductible donations to charities may be obtained at the IRS website: or from your tax advisor.

How can I get corporate information about Lucky Star?

This information, in accordance with IRS guidelines, has been publicly posted online at   Do a simple search on Lucky Star.   Our required IRS tax form 990 is automatically posted there every year. You may also view our Mission Statement, purpose and goals, a list of the current Board of Directors, contact information, and our Tax EIN# at the site.

How are Lucky Star Cavalier Rescue funds used?

All Lucky Star board members, in addition to donating considerable personal time, pay all of their own travel and expenses when picking up rescues from our legitimate sources, attending an information venue, or transporting dogs. All equipment needed for the rescued dogs (i.e. crates, collars, leashes, blankets, toys and food) is donated either by board members or caring supporters.

Our Operating expenses which are very low include postage, bank charges, some limited fund-raising items (i.e. t-shirts, mugs for sale), printing costs, vendor fees at shows, and insurance.

The vast majority of the funds go to veterinary care of the dogs. We always operate with this goal in mind.

Does Lucky Star accept credit cards?

Lucky Star does not accept credit cards or PaylPal for adoption fees. We accept PayPal for donations.  





P.O. Box 7054 •  Carmel, CA 93921  •