For dog lovers, rescuing is close to our hearts. Nothing ignites our passion more than an animal in need and we are always ready to rally for the groups fighting for these helpless creatures. While there are many excellent dog rescues out there, the last few years have seen an abundance of unethical rescues spring up. Now, more than ever, it is imperative potential dog owners know the signs of an ethical dog rescue group.
Not All Dog Rescues Are Equal
One of the first things you should know before picking a rescue is that all rescues are not equal. There are excellent dog rescues that are both starting up and have long histories. The hard part for any adoptive dog parent is to weed out the bad to find the good.
Start with an IRS-registered, 501c3 non-profit organization when you are looking for an ethical dog rescue. When you do, you will find an organization that is transparent about their financial accountability. In fact, you can often tell the validity of a dog rescue by its accountability.
Another factor that really highlights the worth of a rescue is when they know their limits. Ethical dog rescues know what they are capable of. They are happy to accept aid from volunteers, donations, and vet care. Most importantly, an ethical rescue understands their resources and how many dogs they can care for within their limits.
Signs of an Ethical Dog Rescue
We’ve already touched on some of the signs of an ethical dog rescue, but when you first make contact, you want to see several signs.
You want to make sure that they are friendly to adopters. While all dog rescues have a screening process, they should not be hostile to potential homes. Communication should be open on both sides, and if you are denied adoption, they should give you clear reasons why.
If the dog rescue creates obstacles in communication or isn’t overly friendly with their adopters, it is a strong sign they may not be ethical. Ethical rescues have a transparent online presence. As demonstrated in their online community, transparency is a valued part of dog rescuing. As we rely on social media more, dog rescues have found advocates through it. An ethical dog rescue will have communities who share reviews, success stories, and campaigns and this is an excellent way to see the rescue at work.
Most importantly, the dogs must receive proper care.
Rescuing is often about finding a lasting home for the canines. Through that journey, the dogs should have good care.
Whether they are fostered or in a shelter, the dogs should have access to vet care, training, vaccinations, and should be spayed or neutered. In addition, the dog rescue should have proof that this care is being done for the dogs.
Do Your Homework
In the end, no matter how great a dog rescue looks on paper, you need to do your homework. Take the time to contact references for the shelter. Just because you’re given numbers doesn’t mean that the rescue is ethical. That guarantee comes with following up on those references.
For dog rescues that use foster homes, take the time to visit and speak with the foster parents. Go and visit the dog rescue in person.
Choose a different rescue if they do not allow visits. When you do, check the cleanliness of the rescue. Make sure the dogs are in large enclosures and are not left exposed to the elements. All of the dogs, and any other animals in the rescue, should have access to water and soft bedding.
While you are visiting the facilities, watch the interaction of staff and volunteers with the dogs. Anyone working with the dogs should treat them with affection and care.
All dogs under the care of the rescue should have properly documented paperwork. While you may not know the history of the dog, temperament assessments, vaccinations and health checks should be available for all dogs in the rescue.
Choosing ethical dog rescues is a very important step in ensuring success for both owners and dogs. Ethical dog rescues care about the animals they are placing.
It isn’t about money, it is about improving the life of owners and dogs alike. Knowing the signs of an ethical dog rescue before you begin the adoption process will save you and your dog unnecessary heartache.