Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tips for Finding a Dog Rescue Group

By Suzanne Alicie

Although I’m not in the market for a new dog at the moment, when the time comes I will get a rescue dog. There are plenty of great dogs in need of a forever home out there. But what if you’re looking for a rescue dog to adopt, yet still want to get a purebred or a specific breed? That’s when you need to know how to find a rescue program for the type of dog you’re looking for.

Check with Breeders

Many dog breeders are approached when a dog needs a home, but they can’t take in all the dogs of a breed so they need to be able to tell people who to get in touch with for a rescue. Because breeders specialize in a specific breed, they often know a lot of people who deal with the same kind of dogs. When a person cares deeply about a breed and wants to be helpful, they will know of a reputable rescue where you can find the dog you’re looking for.

Look Online

Simply use your search engine to find rescue groups and then narrow down the search with the breed you are looking for. BUT keep in mind that not all rescues are the same. Do a little research, check out their website, and try to locate people who have worked with the rescue to make sure it is a reputable program.  Facebook is a great way to find out what people think of an organization and what their experiences have been.

Call Your Vet

Veterinarians are often involved with specific rescue programs. Many donate their services to reputable rescues and would be happy to refer you to the right program to find your new dog.

Rescues handle dogs of all ages and in all conditions. The health evaluation and behavioral screening is an important factor in making rescue dogs available to families. If you visit a rescue and they can’t provide you with this important information, then you should find another program.

CANIDAE has donated their premium quality pet food to many rescue groups over the years, helping to provide countless dogs and cats with the proper nutrition and care they need. Feel free to utilize this page on the CANIDAE website to help you locate a great rescue.

Things to Consider

The kennels at the rescue should be clean and neat without the overpowering scent of excrement. The dogs should be bathed and healthy if they are in place for adoption.  You want to find a rescue that has taken the time to learn and work with the dogs to determine their temperament. You want a rescue that keeps the place clean so that the dogs will remain healthy. When you look at the dogs, of course you will want one that seems friendly and eager to see you. Just keep in mind that a dog in a rescue kennel may be frightened and shy, so don’t pass over the ones that hang back, because you could miss out on a real connection. Set aside plenty of time to visit and get to know the dogs; you don’t have to decide in one day.

There are fees involved in adopting rescue dogs, after all most rescues are nonprofit and it takes money to provide food, shelter and care for these dogs. Be prepared to pay a fee and fill out paperwork before you can take your dog home. Really thorough pet rescues will even do a home visit or accompany the dog to your home the first time. This is a great way for the rescue group to ensure that you are providing the dog with a wonderful and forever home. Just as you’ve checked out the rescue group, expect them to check you out as well. Be prepared to answer questions and to be observed while you are getting to know your dog.

If a rescue group just hands a dog over to you with no investigation, no questions, etc. then you’re likely dealing with a group that also hasn’t done a thorough job of vetting the dog for adoption. Check around, listen to what others have to say and do your own research on a rescue before you choose to adopt from it. The extra time and care will help make sure that you, as a responsible pet owner, find the perfect dog for your family.

Top photo by Rick Wasser
Bottom photo by born1945

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

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