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Questions to ask Rescues before volunteering...

TMac
December 4th, 2006, 04:59 PM
Hi there

I know there are a lot of rescue people on this board...I am thinking of volunteering with a rescue (yes, another one) that I'm not that familiar with. Does anyone have any suggestions as to some questions I might ask them to get a sense of whether they are trustworthy and good to their dogs? If they pass that test, I'll go out and see for myself!

thanks!
:pawprint:

TeriM
December 4th, 2006, 05:35 PM
I don't know much about rescues but I would think the best test would be the questions they ask about you. IMO a good rescue would want to know everything they could about you to make sure you are a good addition.

mesaana
December 4th, 2006, 05:56 PM
Well, there are a few aspects I like to look into.
First, purpose of the rescue: what kinds of dogs do they rescue? all-breed, single-breed? do they pull from shelters? take owner surrenders? specialize in special-needs dogs? (there is no right or wrong answer, but it helps to know this to know what you'll be dealing with)
Then, what do they do with the dogs: do all dogs get vetted? do they all get neutered or spayed prior to adoption? do they take dogs back if adoptions don't work out? (the answer should be yes to all those)
How do dogs get adopted? Are there adoption event that you have to bring the dogs to every week-end? Do they have a website? Is there a shelter or only foster families? Do they have an adoption questionnaire? Do they do home visits? Do they check references? Do they do post adoption follow-ups? Who decides who adopts the dog? Does the foster family decide or do they have an adoption coordinator? Who makes the hard decisions: is it a democracy or does someone have the final word?
Then it depends on what you want to do specifically: what are their needs? All groups need foster families, but you can also do other stuff. If you'll be fostering, ask how it works for financial issues: do you pay the vet and get reimbursed after or does the rescue pay the vet directly? if you have to pay first, can you afford the risk of not getting your money for a while if the rescue is in a tight spot? what about the cost of food, collar if the dog comes without one, etc? Some rescues cover the cost of food, but many don't, since a lot of foster families already have a dog, they just have an extra mouth to feed.

A lot of these points don't necessarily have a right or wrong answer, but you have to feel comfortable with the way things work...

Hope this helps

springermom0406
December 4th, 2006, 06:23 PM
I'm not sure they'd share this info with you... but you may want to find out how many dogs they get returned that were adopted. I've been volunteering with a breed rescue for a year now and I'm about ready to quit because I'm so aggravated with the number of dogs that are returned because these people know nothing about dog behavior and how to properly place them... :mad:

But other than that, I think mesaana covered it all.

TMac
December 4th, 2006, 06:24 PM
I don't know much about rescues but I would think the best test would be the questions they ask about you. IMO a good rescue would want to know everything they could about you to make sure you are a good addition.

Thanks everyone! those are all great suggestions - keep em coming! Yep, TeriM, one of the good signs is what they ask of volunteers, I agree. I fully expect the third degree and that is a good thing!

TMac

coppperbelle
December 4th, 2006, 07:33 PM
I think Mesaana covered it all. I do interview many potential foster parents and am honest with all of them. If at any time I am uncomfortable with anything they tell me I will not add them to our list of volunteers.

OntarioGreys
December 5th, 2006, 04:34 PM
In rescue there are a variety of different volunteer positions, foster parent is just one need, questions to ask will vary between depending what capacity you want to volunteer in,

one of the groups I was involved in had lots of different volunteering options

fundraising, event planning , one person volunteered to use of her basement with walk in shower to set up a grooming area when the dogs came in, you could volunteer to help wash and groom the dogs when they arrive, some volunhteered to wash all the towels bath mats etc that was used for the bathings, you could volunteer to transport dogs, you could volunteer to meet potential adopters and do in home assessments, in non profit rescue groups they require a board of directors which are volunteer positions that are elected in by the membership, you might want to help with financial and clerical work, some members would volunteer to meet potential foster parents explain what is require and do training courses, some offered spaces in their home for supplies like dog food shipments, spare crates, leash collars etc and would deliver them to new foster parents or to the bathing site so foster parent would be able to take home with them at the same time they took in the new foster, there was foster home co-ordinators who kept in touch with foster parents and collected assessment reports or took care of reciepts for reimbursement any extra vetting, or if the dog was not fitting in at one foster home had to figure out where it would fit in better , their were the placement co-ordinators, some people helped out by setting up and taking down displays at adoption events, some volunteered to do adoption events with their own personal dogs( in some all breed rescues the foster dogs themselves are not taken to events due to potential liability issues), some volunteer to help with the group website, others may act as photographers for the group, as well as the foster parents themselves. Some rescues have kennels they use and use foster homes only for older or special needs dogs, this allows them to take in a greater number of dogs, so then they have slightly different volunteer positions, such as helping with turnouts, feeding, poop cleanup, cleaning kennels/crates, washing bedding, spending time with the dogs to assess them etc

So depending on how you want to volunteer yourself the questions you'll need to ask will vary a lot.

OntarioGreys
December 5th, 2006, 04:37 PM
Thanks everyone! those are all great suggestions - keep em coming! Yep, TeriM, one of the good signs is what they ask of volunteers, I agree. I fully expect the third degree and that is a good thing!

TMac

I agree I had to go thru pretty much the smae screening with reference check to become foster parent as an adopter would which included a home visit to meet my pets to see how they interacted and behaved