Finding the right rescue
Every rescue has its own guidelines and values so you should do your homework to find out which will work best for you.
The easiest thing before even applying to see if you’re a fit is to learn as much as you can on the internet.
So, for the next 10 days do the following:
Choose 4 or 5 rescues you would like to know more about. Names you have seen on line, through friends or in newspapers. Otherwise ask a vet or pet food store to recommend some.
Bookmark them. At the very minimum, a web site is a necessity in the world of rescue. Successful ones get the word out through updates. Keep in mind these are normally volunteer run, however they should be current.
A Facebook page in addition is a bigger bonus. People love to talk about animals all day!
You can learn a lot of what you need to know from these sites.
Good qualities to look for:
How long have they been in existence? Are they a registered charity?
How often do they post? Lot’s of posts usually mean a lot of turnover which can be good.
How many new dogs on the site each week?
How often do you see “Adopted” under dogs photos? Please note ethat this cahnges from season to season. Some are much slower times than others. Give the rescue the benefit of the doubt if they mention that adoptions are slow right now but do keep an eye..
How are animals adopted? Through adoption clinics? Do they advertise their dogs on Petfinder, in local newspapers?
Do they talk about their fosters and the program?
Review their history. How many animals have been adopted over the years. Look at adoption pictures if they kept them. They are fun and will guide you on the type of animals they saved. Is it mostly small breeds? Seniors ? Are they overrun with kittens, or mostly adult cats? Do a lot of the adopters still keep in touch?
Some Negatives to consider
Is everything an emergency? Are they constantly begging for help getting pets out of pounds before they are “murdered” Giving guilty feelings rather than good vibes?
Is the site focused or all over the place? Are the photos and pages clean and easy to follow?
Are dogs adopted out over the internet? Big no no. Never. Ever.
Are there strict guidelines to follow as an adopter? No? Stay away. If they don’t care who they adopt the dog to, just to move them out, they are not a reliable rescue for the animal or the foster family. These are the dogs that come back into the system because they went into the wrong home once again.
Have people written on the site to make complaints? Poor response to phone calls, sick dogs, owe money, etc?
All animals must be vetted and have at least the very basics: Spaying/Neutering, vaccines and in some case micro chipping ( this is not mandatory ) included in the cost of adoption.
How many dogs do they have at one time? Do they seem overwhelmed? Have a slower than others adoption rate? Why are adoptions slow. Is it the timing or do they simply have too many of one breed, older ,sickly , fearful?
Is the page screaming with donation requests and less about animals for adoption?
Is there a single person running this with little income and no back up?
Hope this is of some help to those of you who want to take it slow and learn as much as you can about fostering. It is soley my opinion and not that of MDB.
I would make the same recommendations if you were adopting a dog or cat.
To summarize, research the rescue before you make contact.
They will be happy to hear that you already know so much about them!
TPK “In rescuing animals, I lost my mind, but found my soul.” ~anonymous