Here are the possible ways this can go:
-A public shelter asks for your name and credit card, and hands the dog off to whatever agent you specify (usually to be boarded at your cost for 2 weeks, during which time the dog the dog can get a vet-issued interstate travel certificate at your cost-- commercial transporters won't take dogs without that or without a 2-week period outside of a shelter; airlines require the transport certificate too).
-A rescue is desperate for homes and authorizes transport, usually at your expense, and/or helps you put together a volunteer relay run. They'll either do things right and arrange for the health certificate, or do it illegally without one, or even use a vet that will sign off on one for just about any dog (and if you're lucky, the dog won't be sick when it leaves, or catch parvo during a stop at a place where an inexperienced volunteer in the relay stops to pee...or it will, and you'll end up with $1000 vet bill a few days after the pup arrives)
-A rescue is willing to adopt out-of-state, but only if they find a partner to do the home check and send the report. Then it either goes like above with transport, or they require you to come get the dog. If it's the latter, know that it's to avoid all the problems of volunteer relay runs and to really get to know you and have a relationship where they can trust you to bring the dog back if it doesn't work out. They're being responsible, IMHO. That's how our breed rescue operates--we meet all adopters face-to-face, and we have to see whether the person and dog "click."
-In any of these situations, the rescue may contact local Washington breed rescues and find out if they know you (have you ever applied to adopt from them?), why you aren't adopting locally, etc. If you've been turned down locally, that's a big red flag.
-Sometimes the rescue simply says "no" to all out-of-area adoptions because they lack the person-power to deal with them. Or "no" to puppy adoptions because they have plenty of local apps for puppies, and puppies are at special risk during transport.
Please keep in mind that if a dog goes out of state, the rescue's usual safety net gets holes in it. If it's a good rescue, expect to be scrutinized carefully because of this -- if that upsets you or you are a very private person, the process may not be for you. They need to know the dog will be safe far away, and that it won't be dumped if things don't work out.
Last edited by Magwart; 08-03-2019 at 04:33 PM.