STANDARD OPERATING POLICY (SOP)
PURPOSE: The primary objective of the Dogue de Bordeaux Rescue program shall be to provide shelter, food, supplies, services and medical care for homeless Dogues de Bordeaux and place them with appropriate adoptive families (Adopters).
National Director of Rescue (ND)
Committee shall be compromised of members of the Administration and selected as needed by the ND.
Positions might include:
Assistant(s) to the Director (AD)
Regional Coordinators (RC) (number determined at the discretion of the Administration)
State Coordinators (SC)
Data Base Coordinator (DBC)
Volunteers: Any individual may volunteer to assist Rescue. The Volunteer shall submit a Volunteer Form that states that she/he has read, understands and agrees to abide by the SOP and shall follow the direction of the Administration. A Volunteer may act as a Volunteer of Rescue only when the RC and/or SC have received the Volunteer Form and approved the Volunteer.
Accountability: Physical and Financial
Physical Accountability: Volunteers shall only bring a Dogues into Rescue when directed to do so by the SC. The SC shall notify the RC and the RC shall make sure all necessary forms are in order and handled according to this Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) (See Section 2.0 ACCEPTANCE OF DOGS).
Financial Accountability: The Volunteer shall take the Dogue to the veterinarian for necessary shots and a physical exam (cumulative expenses not to exceed $100). The SC may approve cumulative expenses up to $300 and the RC may approve cumulative expenses up to $500. All cumulative expenses over $500 must be approved in writing by the ND at the request of the RC. If these procedures are not followed, then reimbursement may be withheld. (See Section 8.0 ADOPTION DONATION/FEES/EXPENSES)
1.0 EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION
(1.1) Rescue operates as a “closed” adoption system. Adopting and releasing families shall not have access to the address, telephone number, email address and/or fax numbers of the other party. All information to and from the releasing or adopting party regarding a Dogue accepted into the Rescue program must be directed through the RC.
2.0 ACCEPTANCE OF DOGS
(2.1) In all matters of Rescue, the welfare of the breed shall be the prime consideration. If a conflict exists between the welfare of an individual animal and the welfare of the breed, the welfare of the breed shall take precedence.
(2.2) Rescue shall not purchase Dogues from private parties or organizations. An individual may make a private purchase of a Dogue and turn it over to Rescue, but no reimbursement shall be made to that individual.
(2.3) Any Volunteer who accepts monetary compensation for the placement of a Dogue officially in Rescue for his/her own personal gain, rather than routing the funds to the Treas., shall have his/her name submitted to the DDB Rescue Board of Directors (Board) for violation of the SOP. Such a Volunteer will be considered indebted to DDB Rescue for the amount s/he accepted, and shall be immediately removed as a Volunteer.
(2.4) When DDB Rescue is notified of a Dogue in need, the SC and the RC shall be notified. The SC and RC shall have the Dogue evaluated by a Volunteer to determine the breed, temperament, health and potential adoptability of the Dogue. Only Dogues with stable temperaments and those in reasonable health shall be accepted into the program. Only Dogues with registration papers or those who appear to be purebred Dogues de Bordeaux by visual inspection shall be accepted into Rescue. Dogues with a history of biting humans (bite history) and/or a history of aggressive behavior towards humans shall not be accepted into Rescue. Dogues with a history of animal aggression may not be accepted into Rescue.
(2.5) Private Home, Shelters and Third Party Releases
1. If the Dogue is in a private home, the DDB Rescue Release and Surrender Contract (Release) shall be completed and signed by the owner at the time that the Dogue is physically released to a Volunteer. Prior to the Dogue’s acceptance into Rescue, the releasing owner shall provide or authorize the release of complete veterinary records on the Dogue for review by the SC AND RC. In the event that said records are unavailable or nonexistent, the RC shall immediately be informed. It is the prerogative of the RC whether to allow an exception. Such an exception shall be in writing and be placed into the Dogue’s permanent file, which the RC shall maintain.
2. The paperwork issued by shelters for adoption may act as a Release. If there is no paperwork generated by the shelter, then a shelter representative must sign a Release. The Shelter should provide whatever medical information is available (shots given, tests performed, etc).
3. Dogues released from third party organizations (e.g. other rescue organizations and kennels) must have an official Release signed by a representative of the third party organization. The third party organization must provide whatever medical information is available (shots given, tests performed, etc).
(2.6) A licensed veterinarian shall physically examine all Dogues released into Rescue as soon as possible after acceptance. Vaccinations, as required by local/state statues, a fecal examination and heartworm testing shall be given to the Dogues if due, and if possible a microchip registered to Rescue shall be implanted. Further health testing shall be done on an individual basis upon consultation with the RC. If the Dogue is intact, s/he shall be surgically altered as soon as possible after acceptance into Rescue. All Dogues shall be placed in foster care until a permanent home can be found.
(2.7) All registration papers, tattoo/microchip registration, vaccination records (including rabies certificate and/or tag) and veterinary records shall become the property of Rescue. If any of these items is not physically available at the time of release, the SC/Volunteer shall investigate and gather as much of the information as possible from outside sources and send this information to the RC for placement in the Dogue’s permanent file.
(3.1) In all cases, the ND shall be notified of the Breeder of Record, and shall decide if the Breeder of Record is to be notified, and given the opportunity of having the Dogue 1) returned to the breeder at the breeder’s expense, or 2) released into Rescue.
(3.2) If the Breeder of Record either can not or will not take physical or financial responsibility of the Dogue, then, in all cases, the ND shall be notified of the Stud Dog Owner, and shall decide if the Stud Dog Owner is to be notified and given the opportunity of having the Dogue 1) returned to the Stud Dog Owner at the Stud Dog Owner’s expense, or 2) released into Rescue.
(3.3) If it is the decision of the ND that the Breeder of Record or the Stud Dog Owner shall be notified, such notification shall be made by the ND.
(3.4) All Dogues returned to Breeders of Record or Stud Dog Owners shall be spayed/neutered prior to their physical return. The Breeder of Record or Stud Dog Owner must reimburse Rescue for all costs prior to the physical return of the Dogue.
4.0 EVALUATION OF ADOPTIVE HOMES
(4.1) Adopters who wish to adopt a Dogue through Rescue shall be screened in a two- (2) step process using the Adoption Application and a home visit.
(4.2) All adopters must have an Adoption Application completed and on file with the SC and the RC. A Volunteer will visit the home of the family and meet ALL the people and animals that reside in the home. Adopters shall have a home visit (HV) completed prior to signing the Adoption Contract. An exception may be made when the adopter is located in a remote location. In this case, extensive telephone interviews must be done as well as an extensive personal interview when the adopter arrives to pick up the Dogue.
(4.3) The results of the HV, extensive interview, personal and veterinary references shall be documented by the Volunteer(s) and submitted to the SC and RC. If the Volunteer(s) doing the HV and reference checks have any reservations about the suitability of the adopting family and/or the family home such concerns shall be communicated with the SC and RC as soon as possible. Approval or denial of the adopter lies with the SC and RC.
(4.4) Adopters shall be matched as closely as possible with the Dogue(s) available and with the approval of the SC and RC. All reasonable attempts will be made to place Dogues with families in the same region. Adopters who wish to adopt a Dogue located in another region may do so only with the written approval of the respective RC’s. Trans-regional transportation of the Dogue to the adopter shall be the responsibility of the adopter and at the adopter’s expense. In the case of trans-regional adoptions, a copy of the contents of the Dogue’s permanent file shall be sent to the receiving SC and RC prior to the relocation of the Dogue. Once the Dogue arrives in the new region, the respective SC and RC shall be responsible for the supervision of the Dogue’s placement, permanent file and all paperwork that is subsequently generated. If for any reason, the placement does not take place; or the Dogue adopted is returned to DDB Rescue, the Dogue remains the responsibility of the receiving region.
(4.5) All approved adopters shall fulfill the following requirements:
1. Own his or her own home or must have written permission from the landlord to have a Dogue on the property.
2. Have a fenced area for the Dogue, preferably with direct access from the home. This requirement may be waived at the discretion of the SC with written approval from the RC. This waiver must be placed in the Dogue’s permanent file maintained by the RC.
3. Make the Dogue a part of their family and have him/her reside in the family home.
4. Abide by state/local ordinances regarding vaccinations and licensure.
If a potential adopter consistently refuses to adopt the Dogue offered, the status as “approved” will be reconsidered.
5.0 FOSTER CARE
(5.1) All families who desire to be foster a Dogue released to DDB Rescue shall submit to the same screening evaluation as for adoptive homes and, in addition, shall submit a volunteer form.
(5.2) Foster families are required to provide outstanding temporary care for the Dogue in their charge. The SC and/or RC shall keep in close contact with the foster family in order to provide and exchange information on the Dogue. Original records of all reimbursable expenses incurred for the care of the Dogue shall be kept and sent to the RC for approval and forwarding to the Treas. The RC shall keep copies of all reimbursable expenses for placement in the Dogue’s permanent file.
(5.3) Foster families shall allow potential adoptive families to view and interact with the Dogue only at the request of the SC and/or RC. Foster families are to report to the SC and/or RC any impressions and opinions they have regarding the potential adoptive family.
(5.4) At the discretion of Rescue, foster families may be given primary consideration to adopt the Dogue in their care, but must meet the same selection criteria as any other prospective adopter. Approval or denial of such an adoption lies with the SC and RC.
(5.5) Rescue retains “ownership” of the Dogue in foster care. If the situation warrants it, a Volunteer upon direction of the SC, RC and/or ND may immediately reclaim the Dogue in foster care.
(5.6) No Dogue in foster care may be released to any family or individual without the expressed consent of the SC and the RC.
(5.7) If a Dogue has been in Rescue for more than three (3) months, and has not been adopted, the Dogue must be re-evaluated by all those that have had contact or responsibility for that Dogue. Those individuals must examine the means they have used to place the Dogue and evaluate if every possible effort has been made to find a suitable home. Rescue recognizes that not every Dogue can be placed in the three (3) month time period and may remain in extended foster care until a suitable home is found. Those Dogues must be reevaluated at three (3) month intervals until they are successfully placed. If it is determined that the Dogue is not suitable for adoption, the ND, in consultation with those involved with the Dogue, shall determine if the Dogue should be euthanized.
6.0 PLACEMENT OF DOGUES INTO ADOPTIVE HOMES
(6.1) Dogues in Rescue shall be spayed/neutered prior to adoption. Exceptions may be made only if undertaking the surgery would compromise the Dogues’s health. Notation of this shall be made in the Dogue’s permanent file. If the alteration is to be done at a later date, that date shall be determined through consultation with the veterinarian who is treating the Dogue. Said date shall be indicated on the Adoption Contract. Written certification of the alteration by the veterinarian who performed the surgery must be received by the SC and the RC no later than one (1) week after the spay/neuter date indicated on the Adoption Contract; unless written approval is given by the RC after consultation with the attending veterinarian. A Volunteer shall reclaim Dogues that are not surgically altered by the deadline written in the Adoption Contract unless an exception has been made in writing.
(6.2) All Dogues adopted must have an Adoption Contract signed and an adoption donation received prior to placement in the new home. Adoption donations must be made in U.S. funds (cash, cashier’s check, money order, or personal check drawn from a U.S. bank). All checks for adoption donations must be made payable to “DDB Rescue” If a check returned by the bank, the Dogue shall be immediately reclaimed by a Volunteer, and the adopter shall be considered indebted to DDB Rescue for the amount of any subsequent fees. Adoption donations paid in cash shall be changed into a check by the Volunteer coordinating the adoption and noted as such on the check. Adoption donations shall be made in full unless the RC, in consultation with the ND, has authorized other arrangements. If the placement should fail, the Dogue shall be returned to Rescue and the donation or a portion thereof may be returned providing the Dogue is returned in good health to Rescue within thirty (30) days of signing the Adoption Contract. If the Dogue is returned after the thirty (30) day period, DDB Rescue will consider the adoption donation a direct donation to DDB Rescue to help other Dogues in need.
(6.3) Foster families who subsequently adopt the Dogue in their care may submit reimbursable expenses they have incurred to the RC for approval and forwarding to the Treas. A full donation shall be collected at the time of the adoption and any remaining reimbursable expenses shall be reimbursed separately. Exceptions shall only be made in writing by the RC (in consultation with the ND) in advance of the adoption date. Such documentation shall be kept in the Dogue’s permanent file. (See Section 8.3)
(6.4) Dogues in Rescue shall be adopted to individuals or families only.
(6.5) The SC shall send the Adoption Contract, all reimbursable receipts and the adoption donation to the RC for approval within seven (7) days after the adoption is physically completed. The RC shall forward all pertinent paperwork and donations to the Treas and DBC for placement in the Dogue’s file. Should the Registration papers be turned over with the Dogue, they shall be voided and a copy sent to the registration organization for their records. The original shall remain in the Dogue’s permanent file.
7.0 FOLLOW UP CARE
(7.1) A Volunteer shall monitor the Dogue’s adjustment into his/her new home as frequently as needed to insure the success of the placement.
8.0 ADOPTION DONATIONS/FEES/EXPENSES
(8.1) The Rescue fund shall bear a net liability of no more that $500.00 for the care of an individual Dogue. The ND, upon written recommendation of the RC, may extend that limit on an individual case basis. This does not prevent the acceptance of outside funding sources for the further care of a particular Dogue, nor does it prevent the Volunteer fostering the Dogue from caring for the Dogue at his/her personal expense.
(8.2) Adoption donations shall not exceed $450.00 without approval from majority vote of the board of directors. Under certain circumstances, the donation may be waived in whole or part upon consultation with and the written approval of both the RC and ND.
Examples of extenuating circumstances may include:
1. Advanced age of the Dogue.
2. Health condition(s) requiring ongoing veterinary care and/or expenses.
(8.3) The RC shall place a written explanation of waiver or decrease of the adoption donation in the Dogue’s permanent file. The ND, on an individual basis, will consider other potential waiver circumstances.
(8.4) Families who release Dogue’s to Rescue will be asked to make a monetary donation towards the care of the Dogue. This amount will be noted on the Release and sent to the RC for forwarding to the Treas. If asking for the donation will jeopardize the release of the Dogue into Rescue, the Volunteer will note it on the Release. If the donation from the releasing family is made in cash, the amount shall be noted on the Release and changed into a check by the Volunteer and forwarded with the Release to the RC for processing.
9.0 REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES
(9.1) Every effort shall be made to contain costs. No more than $500.00 shall be spent on a Dogues accepted into Rescue unless approved in writing by the ND. (see Financial Accountability on Page 1).
(9.2) The following are allowable reimbursable expenses:
1. Veterinary Care. Volunteers shall investigate which veterinarians in their areas will provide quality discounted care to Dogues in Rescue. Veterinarians new to Rescue shall provide a written estimate of services to the SC for approval before care is provided. Emergency care must be dealt with on an individual basis. Common sense must be exercised when dealing with life threatening emergencies. If there is a question about how to proceed, the Volunteer should contact the SC, RC or ND, in that order, for instructions and that decision should be recorded in writing and placed in the Dogue’s permanent file.
2. Prescription Medication and Packed Prescription Diets. Every effort must be made to obtain prescription items at reasonable cost. Whenever possible, the Volunteer should try to obtain a Rescue discount for these items.
3. Advertising. If needed, advertisements for general information regarding Rescue may be placed with the written approval of the RC. Investigate if the publication/provider will discount or waive the advertising fee.
4. Pound/shelter Fees. Whenever possible, Rescue should request that pound/shelter fees be waived.
5. Boarding. Boarding for Dogues shall only be utilized for two (2) reasons: at the written request of the attending veterinarian for medical reasons, or while awaiting transportation to an already available foster home. All boarding must have the written approval of both the RC and the ND. Boarding for Dogues awaiting transport shall not exceed seven (7) days.
6. Care for Dogues Accepted by Other Recognized Rescue Organizations. Detailed receipts of the Dogue’s care/expenses shall be submitted to the RC for approval and forwarding to the Treas. The Dogue in question must be officially released to DDB Rescue in order for reimbursement to occur. Written explanation of the Dogue’s history with the other rescue organization shall be placed in the Dogue’s permanent file. In the case of a volunteer from another recognized rescue group initially accepting the Dogue, that volunteer would be reimbursed, as would any DDB Rescue Volunteer. THE AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT SHALL AT NO TIME EXCEED THE AMOUNT THAT RESCUE NORMALLY PAYS FOR THE SAME SERVICES.
(9.3) All volunteers are expected to donate the following services: food, shelter, toys, bedding, training fees, and food supplements.
(9.4) No reimbursements for expenses shall be made until the Release has been approved by the RC and received by the Treas.
10.0 EUTHANASIA FOR HEALTH/BEHAVIORAL CONDITIONS
(10.1) Rescue shall not accept Dogues into the system solely for the purpose of euthanasia without the written approval of the ND.
(10.2) If, in the written opinion of a veterinarian, a Dogue accepted into Rescue develops or is diagnosed with a debilitating or life-threatening medical condition that would affect the Dogue’s quality of life, then euthanasia shall be considered. The SC, RC, and ND shall be informed of the condition of the Dogue and the intent to euthanize. The final approval for euthanasia must be given in writing by the ND. A copy of the written request and approval for euthanasia shall become part of the Dogue’s permanent file.
(10.3) Dogues with serious behavioral conditions that might endanger any person shall be euthanized. Objective written documentation of the behavior shall be made. The SC and RC shall review all documentation before requesting approval from the ND for euthanasia. Final approval for euthanasia must be given in writing by the ND. A copy of the written request and approval for euthanasia shall become part of the Dogue’s permanent file.
(10.4) Dogues that require extensive behavior modification and/or training shall not be accepted into or adopted out of Rescue.
11.0. HEALTH/BEHAVIORAL GUARANTEES
(11.1) Rescue does not guarantee the health of the Dogues in the system beyond the physical examination performed by a licensed veterinarian. Rescue shall disclose to adopters all known documented health problems. Full vet records (with original owner’s contact information removed per Section 1.0) may be given to the Adopter upon adoption. The adopter takes full responsibility for the health care of the Dogue once the Adoption Contract is signed.
(11.2) Rescue does not guarantee the fitness, behavior, and /or temperament of the Dogues in the system. The adopter and foster family accept the Dogue “as is.”
12.0 OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS AS PROVIDED BELOW, RESCUE SHALL USE DOCUMENTS FOR EACH STAGE OF A DOGUE’S CARE. THESE DOCUMENTS SHALL CONSTITUTE THE DOGUE’S PERMANENT FILE
(12.1) RELEASE CONTRACT shall be completed by the person releasing the Dogue to DDB Rescue. It is not to be completed until the Dogue is physically turned over to DDB Rescue. The Release Contract must be sent to the RC for approval and forwarding to the Treas and DBC. No expenses shall be reimbursed without a Release Contract on file (see Section 2.0)
(12.2) FOSTER CARE CONTRACT shall be completed by a Volunteer and an approved foster family representative (see Section 5.0). This contract is for use by foster families only, not adopting families. A copy of this document shall be given to the foster family as a reference and a copy sent to the SC and RC for approval and then forwarded to the DBC.
(12.3) ADOPTION APPLICATION shall be completed by potential adopters. A designated Volunteer shall complete a home visit with the potential adopter to determine if s/he is suitable (see Sections 4.0 and 6.0). The Application shall be routed to the appropriate RC and SC. Once a Dogue is adopted, a copy of the Application for Rescued Dogues shall be forwarded to the DBC.
(12.4) ADOPTION CONTRACT shall be completed by the Volunteer and the adopter. A copy of the signed and completed document shall be given to the adopter for reference purposes. The Adoption Contract shall be routed to the RC for approval and then sent to the Treas and DBC.