How to Find a Responsible, Reputable Dog Rescue
Is a New Pup in Your Future--Part 2
KNOW THE PLAYERS
Before getting a dog from a rescue group, it is important to know what IS a rescue group and how to tell a reputable one from an untrustworthy one. There are scams, disreputable breeders, and puppy mills posing as 'rescue' organizations and it is important to be able to identify a good rescue.
A rescue group is an organization that obtains dogs directly from pounds, shelters, or individuals who are trying to re-home their own dog. A rescue group may or may not have an actual physical location--many times, the dogs are housed in foster homes and not in a kennel.
In looking for a reputable rescue group, you should:
--Verify that the organization is incorporated and registered as a charitable organization.
--Check your state regulations and website to find out if the group meets all legal requirements. (For example, PA requires a state-issued kennel license if more that 25 dogs are processed per year.)
--Check the tax-exempt status and public tax returns of the rescue group.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
1. Learn about the group's adoption process.
--Expect an application to complete.
--Expect a home visit.
--Expect to sign an adoption contract.
2. NEVER pre-pay for a rescue dog or pay an exorbitant fee for the dog.
3. NEVER commit to an adoption before meeting the dog in person.
4. Ask the rescue group for references and CHECK them.
5. Ask for a copy of the dog's medical records BEFORE adoption.
6. Make sure the rescue group will take the dog back at any time or age if necessary.
7. Ask questions, and more questions, and still more questions. (Housetraining?
Reaction to other dogs? Guard food, toys or other resources?)
8. Read the adoption contract carefully before signing and keep a copy as long as you
have the dog.
9. Expect to be treated professionally and with respect.
AFTER YOUR PUP COMES HOME
--Expect a 'honeymoon' period.
--Plan for a quiet, low stress period of about two weeks to allow your pup to become comfortable in it new home.
--Feed your pup the same food used by the rescue. If you wish to change the food, do so gradually.
--Schedule a wellness visit with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
--Enroll your new pup in an obedience class that uses positive reinforcement training techniques.
--Supervise your new pup at all times--especially around children and food.
--Provide feedback to the rescue group.
--Enjoy your new family member.
P.S. If you missed Part 1--Planning for a New Pup, check out our January, 2018 newsletter