I use to help (Volunteer) with a GR Rescue in my State that is no longer operating.
I started out by answering their email acct., then did several other things because I was the only Volunteer in my County. The GR Rescue covered/served the area I lived in. I assisted with Intake, did shelter pulls, home visits, dog evaluations, temporary fostering, and also some transport. I also covered for the Adoption Coordinator when she was on vacation, I conducted the phone interviews.
I adopted my Bridge girl from this group when she was 2. I wanted a young adult. I also adopted my current boy from my County Humane Society at the age 2, he is now 8.
My first Golden lived to be 15.5, got him as a pup. He was the last pup I've had. I wanted a puppy but I couldn't get my husband on board with one, that was another determining factor. So I decided to adopt a young adult.
Basically you know what you are getting. I adopted my current boy from my County Humane Society. He has been the easiest dog I've ever had. He was turned in as a stray, but he had to have belonged to someone at some point in time because he knew basic commands, was house trained, never has needed to be crated. He was ready to go-all I had to do was enjoy him.
All Goldens available for adoption through a GR Rescue have been evaluated for temperament, behavioral problems, have received a thorough Intake exam, received all their shots, are spayed/neutered, and if they have any medical problems, are treated for whatever it is even if it requires surgery. They are not available for adoption until medically cleared.
Most of the dogs in GR Rescues may have belonged to someone or a family at some point in time and due to life changes, were surrendered to the group. I live in an area that has a very large Military Base, sometimes dogs are surrendered because of the owner's deployment as an example.
If you are considering adopting, check Petfinder.com, Goldens in shelters and Rescue Groups are listed on there.
Here is the link to the National GR Rescue Committee, click on your State, a list of Groups come up. If there is more than one, select the one closest to where you live. Each Group has an area they serve. Their contact info with their website is provided. Visit the website to view their Adoption process and requirements, view available dogs. You may be able to submit an Adoption Application via their website also. National Rescue Committee of the Golden Retriever Club of America
Some GR Rescues get puppies, but not very often and when they do, they are adopted very quickly.
Good luck in your decision and search.