Over the past decade, breed rescue groups have
become a major force in dog adoptions. These rescue
groups limit their effort to a particular breed of
dog, concentrating on purebreds.
This is a help to people who want a certain breed
of dog but can't or don't want to pay a breeder's price or want to circumvent the waiting lists common
for difficult-to-breed dogs.
To make the best use of a rescue group, however,
there are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Watch out for scams. Some wholesale breeders and brokers who can't meet federal and state laws advertise themselves as "rescue" organizations. Crooks have even collected money for non-existent rescue groups.
Unlike animal shelters and ASPC or humane societies,
rescue groups usually do not have storefronts.
They are a collection of breeders and breed
fanciers who perform their services from their homes.
Ask any rescue group if they are incorporated or
registered as a nonprofit group in your state.
The best way to find a rescue group is to go to the
American Kennel Club's (AKC) website at www.akc.org
and search under the breed you're interested in
getting. If no rescue group is listed, contact the
national breed club and ask for recommendations.
2.Don't trust everything a shelter tells you.
In some areas, the county or charitable animal shelter feels they're in competition with rescue
groups and take pains to color these groups as irresponsible.
Some people who volunteer at shelters are animal rights extremists who despise anyone who breeds
dogs to serve as pets. This is a source of tension as many rescue group members are hobby or professional
Some rescue groups have made this worse by advertising how they "rescue" dogs from the shelter implying they
are the guys in the white hats.
A further issue of contention between the groups is the fee charged to obtain a dog. Some rescue groups
deliberately undercut the fees the shelter's charge. Shelters may be limited by law or organization rules
to charging a certain amount and can't compete on price with rescue groups.
3. Ask about foster care for the dog you're considering.
Responsible rescue groups place dogs in foster homes to assess the dogs and determine what behavior problems, if any, exist with the dog.
This information is crucial to determining what type of permanent home would be best for the dog. For instance, one without children or one with a lot of activity.
Be leery of a rescue group that is trying to place a dog that it has just obtained without having an interim placement.
Not all dogs should be rehomed. There have been instances of dogs that seriously attacked people but were offered for adoption by rescue groups that wanted to promote their own "no kill" reputation.
4. Expect to be interviewed. Responsible rescue groups do attempt to match a dog and his personality with an appropriate owner. They can only do this by asking questions including what your experience is with dogs, what you know about the breed and what type of lifestyle you have.
Please do not be offended. I would never accept a dog from a rescue society that did nothing more
than ascertain if I could pay the fee they want.
Article written by:
Reprinted with permission from the Bone-Mot Newsletter