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Things to consider before dabbling in rescue efforts

June 28th, 2007, 07:41 AM
There are many folks out there who wish to assist an animal by bringing it into their home and caring for it until such time as a new situation can be found for it. This is a very admirable gesture however, many times these folks don't consider all that is involved in rescue or assisting an animal. I thought perhaps a discussion on this subject would help others considering doing the same. Here's a list of questions and thoughts you should go through prior to getting involved:
Do you have pets of your own?

Are these pets immunized against all diseases?

Are these pets all in good health?

Do these pets have a regular preventative regime?

Do you have a room where an animal could be quarantined for two weeks prior to introduction to your other pets?

Do you know all the signs of each disease the animal could be harbouring?

Do you know what cleaning products you should use in order to avoid cross contamination of your home?

Do you know what to do in case of an emergency... ie. emergency vet numbers, a vet who is willing to give a break on vet care..

Do you have the funds to care for your pets and the animal you bring in should all become ill?

Do you have a back up plan should you no longer be able to assist?

Do you have a means of advertising this animal for adoption when it has been health checked, vaccinated and altered?

Are you prepared to take the animal back into your home should the adoption not work out?

I'm sure there are a ton of other questions you should ask but these are the ones that came to mind presently.

June 28th, 2007, 10:43 AM
How about:

Is your immediate family on board and willing to help

Are you okay with a dog possibly lifting his leg on your couch or peeing on your wall to wall rugs, flea infestations

Do you mind getting up at all hours of the night to tend to an injured or sick animal or let a dog out.

June 28th, 2007, 11:11 AM
Usually rescues send an adoption questionnair to people before they adopt. I know we do, and the questions on it covers about all of the above.

June 28th, 2007, 11:17 AM
And if you're new to rescuing, do you have a mentor? Someone with experience who can offer support, advice, and practical help? Someone who can teach you all the important things you need to know?

Do you have the time? To train, to make vet visits, to socialize, to clean, to love the animals you bring home (not to mention the pets you already own)? Rescuing/fostering is not just about providing a place to stay, food, and water until a forever home is found. It's about taking responsibility for the animals' lives in every aspect until they are successfully placed.

June 28th, 2007, 01:15 PM
Yes - and do you have the proper experience and even temperament to handle this. It is like when we accept new residents? Just because someone wants to be an oncologist or a pediatrician does not mean they are actually qualifued to do it- even with the prerequisite courses. That's why it is such an arduus process. The same is true for any program - and I realize much of this is subjective but a lot of it is in fact scientific.

Can the person handle cats- not everyone is prepared to cope with ill cats and to understand when a cat needs a vet - often immediately but there are some things one needs to know to look for. Also - can you tell if the cat is feral or not? Do you know how to socialize a cat ( i loathe the term "tame" - it suggests they were wild ti begin with and most ferals begin life as a domestic cat - do they understand how cats think and act? (ie do you speak cat? I am serious about that - you really need to know how cats think before you start rescuing them!)

There is so much more to it than merely taking in and caring for a cat!!! That's a start but as was already noted, we need to know how to help an ill cat, how to coax a cat to do something, cat nutritional needs, how to care for kittens - a subject in and of itself, how to care for older cats. I could go on but I think you now what I mean!!

Also - I meant to add - do you have the finances to support this endeavor and if not, how will you raise the money? It is not cheap. Vet care can add up and every cat you care for needs to see a vet and some will be injured. Do you have a support system for that - or partnership with other groups?

June 28th, 2007, 05:09 PM
Usually rescues send an adoption questionnair to people before they adopt. I know we do, and the questions on it covers about all of the above.

Frenchy, this is not for adopters but rather for folks considering getting involved in rescue on their own... not as part of a big group or established rescue.. You know, things people don't think of before they take an animal in then can't follow through with all that's needed from beginning to end...

June 29th, 2007, 04:22 PM
It is very important for people to realize what they are getting into when they rescue an animal. You would not believe the number of people who surrender animals to us saying they "rescued" them but now they don't have the time/money/whatever to care for them so could we just "take over" for them? They are actually adding to the problem by overburdening the shelter system...

We also know many "rescue" individuals who just hand out animals to any person who wants them without doing any background check or matching the right animal to the right home. These animals also end up in our shelter. We have actually had one of these people tell us that we were "ridiculous" for doing background checks, that she was "much too busy" to do this and also much too busy to do any follow ups to see how the animals do in their new homes. In my opinion people like this should not be doing rescue, they are often doing more harm than good.

July 1st, 2007, 10:39 AM
I think this is an excellent post! It's so hard to say "no" when you see an animal in need but there is no point in taking on an animal that you can't care for well either.

:confused: My only question is.... what can one do when they see an animal in "need"? Our humane society is so small and under resourced that sending an animal there can be horrible.

I'm "looking after" somone's dog who wanted to abandon it. Unbelieveably, they were going away for the long weekend and decided that if they couldn't find a home for it by last Thursday he was going to the pound. Yikes!! I couldn't stand by while a great dog got dumped at pound the day before a long weekend, not to mention ever. I have not agreed to take the dog full time but I have no idea what to do when she gets back from the weekend and plans to dump the dog again cause she's going away again in a weeks time. I am trying to help find him a home but, no good candidates as of yet. Any suggestions as to what I should do?

(I cannot keep him! He killed one of my chickens already and i'm not really a perfect owner for him either as he needs a fenced yard which I don't have).

July 1st, 2007, 11:18 AM
With my little wild cat Moxy I trapped here last year, he was returned, and I wasnt prepared for that. Regardless, I took him back in.
The thing some people need to think of is, sometimes they dont get adopted out for a LONG time, this could be a long term thing.
Or, the animal may be returned MANY times.
I see no problem taking in something in need, but as for being the primary rescue source for the animal, sometimes it may end up being a permanent member of your family. People need to realize that. There arent waiting lists for cats and dogs, there are far less Good homes then there are animals.
Its best to contact an established rescue and offer fostering for the animal you saved.
Its hard to be a good samaritan but it does pay off, just be prepared for MANY "what if's"