Through the years of practicing veterinary medicine I’ve noticed a wonderful trend developing. Quite often, after having a long time pet companion pass and going through an appropriate time of mourning, our good friends/clients appear at our door smiling, with new rescued pets in tow. This is just my impression, but I really feel that rescuing an animal somehow helps in healing from the previous loss. So, let’s take a few moments and talk about pet rescues.
Our first hero is the rescuer.
These are the people that want to bring a new pet into their family. Likewise, they want to do something beneficial, they want to offer a home to an animal in need.
And of course our other heroes are the people that develop and manage the rescues in our communities.
These people volunteer their time obtaining donations, working on fundraisers, and finding grants to fund housing, food, medical care, and staff to care for these orphans. They are dedicated to their cause working tirelessly 7 days a week, year round. Their reward is the joy of finding a home and uniting an unwanted pet with a new family.
Thinking about a rescue? Here are some pointers:
Types of Rescues
Shelters that are usually affiliated with local governments.
These types of shelters are usually involved with dog/cat population control in the counties. Their number one priority is adoption. However, as last resorts and for severely debilitated animals they are licensed for humane euthanasia.
Privately funded rescue shelters.
These shelters are funded by grants, fund raisers, private donations, etc. They vary in size and their numbers continue to increase. Because they are not involved with euthanasia, the number of animals they take in may be limited based on capacity. Some locals include League for Animal Welfare, Animal Rescue Fund, The Scratching Post, The Peppermint Pig, and many others.
These are the fastest growing types of rescues. They are generally limited to a certain breed but tend to include cross breeds as well. They tend to have regional or national networking and limited central housing. They usually have foster homes for their rescues. If you want a certain breed, this is where you go.
Dorothy, a setter that was hit by two cars on US 52 was presented to us for emergency care without an owner to be found. The amazing organization Our English Setter Rescue immediately picked up on her story and paid for all of her medical care to get her back to normal. Dorothy was later adopted by a veterinarian in the Chicago area through OESR's amazing foster/adoption program.
Locally we work closely with Angel’s Rest Animal Sanctuary. This is an incredible foundation. They take in pets with special needs regardless of age and are dedicated to offering a good quality of life while trying to match them up with an appropriate family. I cannot say enough about the work they do and their accomplishments.
Jake S. is a former resident of ARAS, and currently resides in the wonderful home of one of our clients.
And finally, you.
You know who you are. You’re the person that stops to move a box turtle off the road. You pull that kitten out of the dumpster and put the stray beagle in the back seat of your car. You feed, care for and spay/neuter your backyard feral cats. You graciously take in another ‘dump off’ at the end of your drive. You are the unsung heroes.
Things You Need to Know About Adoption
Keep in mind, many of these animals have been placed in a rescue for a reason such as costly medical needs or, most commonly, behavior problems. The rescue personnel are usually cognizant of this and make sure you are aware of problems. They would rather not place a pet than place one in an non-compatible home.
You are starting out on a new adventure.
You are not replacing a pet that’s recently died. Like us, they are all individuals with different personalities. Enjoy the new start.
Work with adopter to find the proper fit.
Retirees probably do not want the same dog that a family with 3 kids may want.
If you’re new at this or it’s been several years since the last pet, make sure you understand the costs involved with having a pet. Food, toys, training classes, veterinary care, and yard containment are a few of the major costs to consider.
The adopters are dedicated to their craft.
Don’t be insulted by the forms you need to fill out, demanded house visits to check on yards and home, and personal interviews. If you’re a good person and get turned down, try again, you’ll eventually find the right fit.
These guys aren’t free!
These people take in and care for these animals including vaccines, worming and spaying/neutering. Quite often they are in dire need of medical care and/or behavior modification. They have staff to pay, mortgage payments, maintenance costs, etc. So, don’t think you’re getting something for nothing. You’ll be charged a fair fee and, if you can afford it, consider an additional donation.
So, there you go. If you want to do some good and feel great about it, consider adopting a ‘rescue’. Ask me or my staff. Almost all of our pets are rescues of some sort. We love ‘em all!
Keep an eye out on our Facebook page and blogs. We plan to feature some of our and our client’s rescues. We love these stories and want to share them (keep a hankie close by).