Reputable Rescue: defined

Things to look for in an Animal Rescue Group --(source)
Great Dane Rescue: submitted by meloncon on 11/15/2011

How do you decide if a rescue group is doing a good job and is reputable; especially when no unique laws govern these groups. The same animal cruelty laws for the general public are applied to rescue groups.

Things you should consider when researching rescue groups. Some rescue groups specialize in the rescuing one breed of dog. Their dogs are generally taken from public shelters.

A reputable rescue...

• is not for profit, and works on adoptions, not sales.

• spays/neuters all pets before placement.

• makes sure animals are up to date on all vaccines, and microchips where appropriate to ensure all pets are healthy, up to date on all shots, heartworm tested/on prevention, and received necessary vet care before placement.

• has a contract, screens every potential adopter with a MANDATORY home visit before a pet is placed there, incl. foster/temporary basis and requires references.

• has references from shelters in their area and works with those shelters.

• helps educate new adopters, and may require adopters to participate in training courses to assist in a good adoption.

• checks on the care of the previous or current pets with the vet, to ensure future pets will have proper medical attention.

• works carefully to match up the right forever home with the right pet, based on the pet's needs/personality/etc.

• always takes its adopted animals back if the placement isn't successful.

• keeps animals in foster care, or in situations where the animal was at a shelter, works with shelter staff for a short period of time before placing them, to screen for health or behavior problems.

• works carefully to match up the right forever home with the right pet, based on the pet's needs/personality/etc.

• will be knowledgeable about their specific breed.

• may ask that all family members and resident pets meet the new animal before an adoption is finalized. Where breed appropriate, several meetings may be required.

• does not offer animals to be used for breeding, and should not promote animals with unstable or unknown temperaments.

• makes an effort to work in harmony with the shelters, humane societies and animal control facilities in their own area or state.

• will have a cordial and informed relationship with other rescues.

• carefully screens incoming animals for temperament and health, and has met and interacted with animals being offered for adoption.

• never places an animal as a gift to the intended adopter. The rescue will always involve the recipient in the decision to adopt as well as the application, home visit, and selection of the pet.

• places the welfare and happiness of the animal first, and screens the homes to ensure that the placement is a sound one for that animal.

• requires an application form and adoption contract.

• requires an adoption contract which includes a legal clause to have the pet returned to this rescue if the new adopter relinquishes it.

• understands the limits of its resources; does not accept more animals than it has legal authority or space/time to care for.

A reputable rescue operates as a not-for-profit entity.