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Discussion Starter #1
How do you tell if a rescue is reputable? I thought I had found one but after time knew it was not so. If I donate money I need to know its going to the dogs in need. I need to know the dogs in their care are cared for properly with feeding, vetting, training etc.

I have even thought about opening a GSD rescue for there are soooooooooooo many GSD's showing up in shelters across Ontario.

I am interested in fostering but also know I have alot to learn about behaviour and training techniques.

Soooo for those involved in rescue, how do I differentiate between a poorly run GSD rescue and a good one.

Cathy
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What is "A Reputable Animal Rescue"?
A reputable rescue has a contract, screens every potential adopter with a MANDATORY home visit before a pet is placed there, incl. foster/temporary basis and requires references.
A reputable rescue follows through on contacts and references and investigates each thing completely.
A reputable rescue has references from shelters in their area and works with those shelters.
A reputable rescue checks on the care of the previous or current pets with the vet, to ensure future pets will have proper medical attention.
A reputable rescue spays/neuters all pets before placement.
A reputable rescue makes sure animals are up to date on all vaccines, and microchips where appropriate to ensure all pets are healthy, up to date on all shots, worm prevention, and received necessary vet care before placement .
A reputable rescue always takes its adopted animals back if the placement isn't successful.
A reputable rescue keeps animals in foster care, or in situations where the animal was at a shelter, works with shelter staff for a short period of time before placing them, to screen for health or behavior problems.
A reputable rescue helps educate new adopters, and may require adopters to participate in training courses to assist in a good adoption.
A reputable rescue always returns calls or emails in a timely fashion.
A reputable rescue works carefully to match up the right forever home with the right pet, based on the pet's needs/personality/etc.
A reputable rescue will help adopters make decisions about which animal is a good fit for their home, and will offer advice and assistance on meeting the correct animal for the adopter.
A reputable rescue may ask that all family members and resident pets meet the new animal before an adoption is finalized. Where breed appropriate, several meetings may be required.
A reputable rescue will never ask an adopter to take an animal "sight unseen" or take an animal arriving in on a transport right to a new home.
A reputable rescue makes an effort to work in harmony with the shelters, humane societies and animal control facilities in their own area.
A reputable rescue will have a cordial and informed relationship with other rescues.
A reputable rescue is not for profit, and works on adoptions, not with sales and fees.
A reputable rescue takes responsibility for the animals adopted through them for the span of each animal’s life, not "just” for the span of foster care or transport.
A reputable rescue carefully screens incoming animals for temperament and health, and has met and interacted with animals being offered for adoption.
A reputable rescue does not offer animals to be used for breeding, and should not promote animals with unstable or unknown temperaments.
A reputable rescue never places an animal as a surprise to the intended adopter.
A reputable rescue never places an animal as a gift to the intended adopter. The rescue will always involve the recipient in the decision to adopt as well as the application, home visit, and selection of the pet.
A reputable rescue places the welfare and happiness of the animal first, and screens the homes to ensure that the placement is a sound one for that animal.
A reputable rescue will never “hurry up” a process, or waive requirements simply for the convenience of the adopter.
A reputable rescue requires an application form and adoption contract.
A reputable rescue requires an adoption contract which includes a legal clause to have the pet returned to this rescue if the new adopter relinquishes it.
A reputable rescue prioritises working with shelters and owner-surrenders from within its own area first
A reputable rescue prioritises rescue animals from its own geographical area whenever possible (i.e. does NOT haul vanloads of puppies/dogs/pets from out-of-area shelters!)
A reputable rescue requires a legal release form for owner-surrenders.
A reputable rescue understands the limits of its resources; does not accept more animals than it has legal authority or space/time to care for.
A reputable rescue is recommended as a "good breed rescue group" by at least two established non-profit shelters in its own area.
A reputable rescue operates as an official public charity OR as a not-for-profit organisation.

Very helpful ty.
Cathy
 

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How about donating time rather than money? That way you know exactly what and who you're benefiting. More people are willing to donate supplies and money, then are willing to donate time. How about fostering? Or you could do transports. Or home visits for the rescue. All sorts of things. If you're really busy, then donate supplies rather than cash and see if you could do a transport here and there if they really need it. Most rescues will have a wish list of things they are in need of.
 

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You should be able to view all the info you are seeking by visiting guidestar.org where you can view the annual tax return of the rescue which includes how expenses are distributed and lots of useful info like the 990 form which rescues should be filing. They don't have to if they are getting under a certain amount of donations but most file anyway to be upfront and transparent.

You can also check with your state government to see if they are operating as a legal business entity in your state. Rescues should be incorporated businesses as well as a 501c3 nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. This means that they are exempt from paying tax on items they buy for resale, such as supplies which they may sell to raise revenue for their rescue. Our rescue sells supplies to our members at a great discount over the pet store price and yet the little amount we do markup benefits our foster and education programs. If they are not registered as a legal business entity, they are not legal and probably have other shortcomings in judgement.

We are also registered with the state's office of taxation and assessments just like any other business and registered as a charity within our state. Your state should have a section on the State Attorney General's page which tells you how to investigage charities in your state.

Another way to tell the caliber of a rescue is whether they are recommended by high caliber veterinarians. Ask which vet the rescue uses and see if that vet recommends them to clients. Just call the vet and ask for a rescue they recommend. Of course you should evaluate on your own whether you think that vet is one whose recommendation you would appreciate. Not that there are bad vets recommending rescues, but some rescues go to vets who not only don't care if they are a rescue but don't recommend any one rescue over another. This is a rescue that doesn't have a close working relationship with a vet.

But I believe the number one and best way to evaluate a rescue is if they will take responsibility for pre-existing medical conditions and state these upfront. So many rescues have medical records on their animals that are deep dark secrets and would never say, 'oh well he had a problem back when but it's cleared up and if it does, it's covered by us because it's a pre-existing condition.'

This is the kind of honesty that inspires loyalty and re-adoptions and enough donations to sustain this quality of rescue.
 

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A very good question in lieu of recent developments Cathy.. Thank you .

Tina
 

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Originally Posted By: SaphireHow do you tell if a rescue is reputable? I thought I had found one but after time knew it was not so. If I donate money I need to know its going to the dogs in need. I need to know the dogs in their care are cared for properly with feeding, vetting, training etc.

I have even thought about opening a GSD rescue for there are soooooooooooo many GSD's showing up in shelters across Ontario.

I am interested in fostering but also know I have alot to learn about behaviour and training techniques.

Soooo for those involved in rescue, how do I differentiate between a poorly run GSD rescue and a good one.

Cathy
Cathy,

I've been involved with a very reputable GSD rescue in Ontario for about four years. You're right - there are always GSDs in shelters waiting for rescue and foster homes are always needed.
I found that fostering was a great way to learn about behaviour and temperament. My first foster was a senior with a very nice temperament and he provided a wonderful introduction to fostering. As time went on and I gained more experience, I began to take in fosters that were a little more challenging but only if I felt that I could deal with their issues.
I think it's important to work with a rescue that matches the foster to your own level of experience and environment. Nobody wants to set up the foster home or the dog to fail. Ongoing support is also crucial. Fostering is a very rewarding experience!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Would it be fair to say that most rescue groups are dependent on good quality foster homes?
Or.......one person being the main source of rescue and fostering the dogs themselves?

Would breeding dogs within the rescue (not rescue dogs themselves but not dogs with any titles either) be a red flag or the norm for someone serious about rescue?

Thanks for all the input, it will help me to find a reputable rescue group to work with. I have done transport for 1 dog and did feel as though I helped to make a tiny difference.

I do look forward to fostering at some point but only should the match within my skill level and home atmosphere be a good one.

Cathy
 

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Originally Posted By: SaphireWould it be fair to say that most rescue groups are dependent on good quality foster homes?
Or.......one person being the main source of rescue and fostering the dogs themselves?

I think many rescues rely on good foster homes, simply because one person can only foster so many dogs at a time and give them the quality time and training that they might need. Many of the dogs that come into rescue have issues that need to be dealt with and that can be time-consuming. That's not to say one person can't foster and rescue but I think it's important that they understand their own limitations and only take on as many dogs (and issues) that they can handle.

Would breeding dogs within the rescue (not rescue dogs themselves but not dogs with any titles either) be a red flag or the norm for someone serious about rescue?

I think that's a personal choice but it would certainly be a major red flag for me.

Thanks for all the input, it will help me to find a reputable rescue group to work with. I have done transport for 1 dog and did feel as though I helped to make a tiny difference.

Every little bit makes a difference. Transporting is very important!

I do look forward to fostering at some point but only should the match within my skill level and home atmosphere be a good one.

That's the key.
Then you'll have a successful experience and soon becoming addicted to fostering.


Cheryl




Cathy
 

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For the ones that I don't personally know here in the states I would want to know that they are registered with the government as a tax exempt organization. This filing, combined with their state filing, will show that they have a board, a set of by-laws and probably a consitution. I'd also talk to my vet about how different organizations in my area were run, how they accomplished their mission. And they should have a mission statement to share with you.

You could also begin by giving a modest but not insignificant amount and see how they respond. Do you get a receipt? Do they offer a receipt? How do they acknowledge your contribution?
Down here, contributions are considered made when you mail them yet many charities do not acknowledge that in end of the year contributions. Even big ones that SHOULD know the regs. I feel the need to enlighten them with my next contribution -- and to some of them it will be a "why I am not renewing" letter.

One of my early contributions was to a very legit organization but when their subsequent mailings revealed they were holding a lottery with a cash prize as a fund-raiser they lost any future contributions from me. I don't give money to fund lotteries with cash prizes.

(I'm a government employee with a NFP background - btw govt is also NFP.)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
All of this information is very helpful for I am very hurt and was discouraged that I was misled when my only interest was to help GSD's in need.
This person used my login and pw of which I had stored in my personal message folder on her site to gain access to another GSD rescue/forum to cause havoc of which resulted in me being banned from that site. In the end a long time friend and supporter is suffering the effects. I am soooooo bitter.
I will indeed be very cautious when looking to invest my time, energy and money into another rescue.
I thank everyone for their input and feel a renewed interest in finding a GOOD reputable rescue to involve myself with.

Cathy
 

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I posed a similar question about the quality of rescue groups a month or so ago. The first group I contacted, although having a good reputation, was a disappointment.

The good I am now working with has been great, and the reason we got a hold of each other is some people on this board recommended them, along with other good rescue groups in my area (Wisconsin).

I realize Ontario is much bigger then Wisconsin, but am hoping someone will suggest a few rescue groups in Ontario.
 

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German Shephard Rescue of Toronto/GSRT. Email - [email protected]

I volunteer with an all breed rescue who do occassionally have room - Precious Paws Rescue. The email address is [email protected]. Contact would be Cassandra.

These are just 2 that I would recommend, there may be others.

Tina
 

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Cathy, when I first saw your post I decided to not even read, figuring if you wanted to rescue a dog you could decide whether or not the rescue was OK on your end after you had a rescue dog.

I did not give a thought to the $$$ end of supporting rescue groups, and that was my mistake. Doing transport, or contributing dollars toward supporting these groups in invaluable.

So, just a few suggestions. Some breeders also will take a few rescues, so if you can find a few in your area, go with them if they support a specific rescue group. I know little about Canada aside from the great fishing (Lac Suel), but if there is a good Humane Society in your area that places dogs with rescue groups, they will be helpful.

If you wish to help and expand beyond Canada send me a personal E Mail. There are some great rescue groups in the Midwestern part of the US.

Ironically, my current rescue, a female GSD might be placed with a person from Ontario. Sheba is my rescue, and it will be very difficult for me to let her go.

The following is from the lady that runs my rescue group:

I have a woman from Canada that is interested in either Louie, Maia, Sheba or Angel. She was originally interested in Lugar but now may want a female. She is especially interested in Sheba.
 

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I hope you will check out the adopter thoroughly and do a home visit. It seems unusual that an Ontario adopter would go all the way to Wisconsin for a dog. I have done long-distance adoption myself - because I fell in love with one specific dog. But the fact that your adopter has 4 possibles on her list seems odd. There are LOTS of Ontario sheps needing help.

dd
 

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Re: How to distinguish reputable rescue's from oth

Originally Posted By: SaphireWould it be fair to say that most rescue groups are dependent on good quality foster homes?

Would breeding dogs within the rescue (not rescue dogs themselves but not dogs with any titles either) be a red flag or the norm for someone serious about rescue?
Cathy
Most rescues have a number of foster homes....some with people running the rescue and in key situations, but some who only foster. If you have breeding dogs and would like to foster, I'd suggest that you contact your local group and volunteer in some other capacity. See if they do events you could attend. Or if you can find another way to give time to the rescue: write a newsletter, take photos, transport, do home visits, hold a bake sale...whatever your strength is.

Once the rescue gets to know you, then they would be more likely to place a foster dog with you. We don't necessarily rule out people with breeding dogs, though any foster placed there would be neutered / spayed.

Most rescues have certain rules, and they are there to protect the dogs, fosters, or adopters. But once they know a person, they can feel more comfortable about bending rules.

Chris
 
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