What Reputable Rescues do and don’t do

Reputable rescue groups all have similar goals, which is to not only save dogs, but to find them the perfect forever home for them. They also educate the public on their specific breed or breeds, what the positives and negatives are, often making it perfectly clear what the negatives are so the general public understand what the breed is all about so they can make the best decision for their home. They evaluate each dog that comes into the rescue program, get to know it, it’s quirks and determine what type of home would be the best fit for that specific dog. They vet the dog, spay, neuter, vaccinate, microchip and take care of any known needs while the dog is in foster care. They place the dog on an adoption contract and will take the dog back if it doesn’t work out or if some unforeseen circumstance happens. They check references and do home checks to verify that the potential adopters are responsible dog owners and will do right by the dog. Rescuing does not just involve pulling a dog from a shelter or situation and placing it in boarding. While that may be saving the dog from certain euthanasia, it often is not the best thing for any of the Molosser breeds. These are powerful breeds that cannot just go into any home. These are breeds that must be evaluated before being rehomed, they must match with the home and lifestyle of the adopter. These are NOT breeds that can go directly from the shelter or boarding, without going into foster care for evaluation, directly into family homes. It’s not best for the dog, nor the family who’s home it’s going into. It can be downright dangerous and is not in the best interest of the dog, nor it’s breed….. Molossers are not “Cookie Cutter Breeds” that all have the same temperament, personality or needs. If a rescue group is not doing this, they are quite possibly doing a huge disservice to the breeds they are attempting to save and they are endangering not only the future of the breeds, but also the general public.   What Reputable Rescues do:

  • In home foster care to evaluate temperament and health of dogs in rescue, typical foster stay is 30-60 days
  •  Vetting including spay/neuter, microchip (back to them), vaccinate and take care of any known issues
  •  Standard adopt fee or a sliding scale adopt fee (less for older dogs, more for puppies, but not high as if by from a breeder)
  •  Adoption Contract that lists the dogs details, and stipulates that the dog must go back to the rescue if adopter can’t keep
  •  Have at least a $1,000,000 liability insurance policy to cover everything dog related (events, transports, volunteers, volunteer property and dog bites)
  • Match the dog to the lifestyle of the potential home
  • Humanely euthanize dogs with human aggression and/or off the hook animal aggression
  • Solicit donations for dogs within their program
  • Check references, plus vet reference and home check
  • Have current Charitable/Non Profit Status with the IRS
  • Educate potential adopters on the breeds they represent
  • Have a Standard Operating Policy that outlines to their volunteers what is acceptable and standard practice
  • Registered in their home state and have a business license
  • Release a dog to another reputable rescue that is better equipped to handle that specific dog
  • Network with other reputable rescue groups
  • Offers references from previous adopters

What Reputable Rescues DON’T do:

  • Put dogs in indefinite boarding
  • Adopt dogs direct out of shelter/boarding into a family home
  • Adopt out intact dogs
  • Operate without insurance
  • Charge adopt fees that are close to breeder prices or what ever they are “into” the dog for
  • Adopt dogs to anyone, no questions asked
  • Adopt dogs without home/reference checks
  • Adopt dogs to the first person who inquires (unless it’s the perfect home for that dog)
  • Place unevaluated dogs in homes with children
  • Solicit and collect donations for dogs still in shelters and/or not in their rescue program
  • Pull only dogs that have funds following them or only dogs that are “sponsored”
  • Pull dogs just so another rescue cannot get the dog
  • Adopt Molosser breeds to novice or first time dog owners
  • Solicit and Collect donations in their personal names instead of that of the rescue
  • Solicit and collect donations for issues/conditions a dog doesn’t actually have
  • Overextend themselves to the point of hoarding
  • Adopt dogs without a contract outlining the responsibilities of the Rescue and the Adopter
  • Advertise themselves as “non profit” or “charities” without having the appropriate paperwork on file with the IRS and their State
  • Pull dogs without having a plan/foster lined up
  • Refuses to give references or gives references of personal friends.

If in doubt, you can check Charitable Status here, http://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/mainSearch.do?mainSearchChoice=pub78&dispatchMethod=selectSearch Reputable groups always have the best interested of their chosen breed or breeds at heart.

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