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I have decided to check into voluntering with a rescue and maybe do foster care.

Since I live in Georgia and like the GSD, I looked up GSDRGA. I filled out an application on line, and received an email that they would get back to me in a few days. I believe they want to check my references.

Ok, thats good. But after reading this thread, I apparently need to check their references also.

The rescue is "German Shepherd Dog Rescue Group of Georgia, Inc."
Does anyone on the site work with them? Or had any dealings with them? Any insight?

When someone does call me, are there the most important questions that I should ask of them? I know they will ask me things. Is there a checklist of sorts that I should ask them?

Thanks,
kathy
 

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My rescue group in the Midwest is small, but fairly well known.

My best suggestion is go with a group and then decide. There could be some disagreements, but if the group is well intended and willing to listen to your opinions about the rescue dog, as mine is, then you made the right choice.

Good luck
 

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Questions to ask -
Are you recognized as a NFP?
Where can I review your consititution and by laws?

How often does your board meet?
Do you have business meetings open to membership?

Are the board meeting minutes available to read?

May I have a copy of your IRS 990?

What opportunities to volunteer do you have?

What screening process to you use for these positions?

Do you have volunteer meetings where I can meet other volunteers?

Pick some of these. The 990 will be pretty interesting, so might the board minutes but what is going to be as interesting is their response when you ask about these things.
 

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Re: How to distinguish reputable rescue's from oth

Originally Posted By: Saphirenot-for-profit organisation.
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 prioritizes working with shelters and owner-surrenders from within its own area first
Excellent write up! I went down through the list, and GSRNE does all of your suggestions. Very well thought out list.

I do have to disagree though with your statements about geography having anything to do with ethics. Though my rescue does work exculsively with dogs in our area (New England), I don't think that just because you as a rescuer choose to form a connection with an out-of-state shelter/rescue to help that particular group of animals makes you an unethical rescue.

My own personal point of view is that saving/helping a dog is helping a dog, no matter where the dog comes from. That being said, I do think all the rest applies and within that framework of "ethics" there should be room for personal choice.

Chris
 

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I have now experienced a bad rescue first hand. They have PTS a dog with HW instead of treating him.

BIG TIP!!!!!

If the rescues website does not show hard cases that need medical treatment and only shows healthy dogs....RUN! DO NOT SEND THEM A DOG! If they haven't had a sick dog listed that they paid to treat, and kept for a long time...they do not treat them, they put them to sleep!
 

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This is not really true. For example Petfiner removed some of the dogs from our "adoptables" list because they were in treatment and were not available for adoption yet. Same thing with dogs that were on a behavior modification program and not yet ready for a home.
Petfinder rules state that only dogs ready for a home should be listed on Petfinder.
There are plenty of good rescues that list dogs when they are available for adoption as opposed to being in treatment for some condition.

Without knowing the exact circumstances of the dog's medical condition, it is hard to judge why he was put to sleep. Depending on the general condition of the dog, some may not survive heartworm treatment. Some treatments are so expensive that the rescue, sadly, may not be able to afford it.
 

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Originally Posted By: RebelGSDThis is not really true. For example Petfiner removed some of the dogs from our "adoptables" list because they were in treatment and were not available for adoption yet. Same thing with dogs that were on a behavior modification program and not yet ready for a home.
Petfinder rules state that only dogs ready for a home should be listed on Petfinder.
There are plenty of good rescues that list dogs when they are available for adoption as opposed to being in treatment for some condition.
Petfinder, yes only adoptable dogs can be listed, but an actual website that they set up that has all of there information, no. This is an actual website that lists available dogs and happy homes, but has no reference what so ever to any sick animals. Most websites for rescues will have on their main page a sick dog that they have taken in that they need donations for, or a sick dog with it's story from shelter through treatment, and into it's forever home. This site has none of that. Feel free to PM me for the specific one I am referring to. They do not even have medical treatment listed as what the adoption fee covers.
 

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All good information, but I fostered for 'reputable' rescue organizations and found that some are extremely rigid and controlled by a handful of people who 'knew it all' when it comes to rescue. I have also fostered for lesser known rescue organizations, but passionate in their endeaver to do the right thing for the animals. These less known rescue organizations competed for donations with the more established organizations, and a result, were not known as well. They may have not had the resources. So, my two cents for input can be summarized with this: trust your gut and it is all about the animals.
 

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Reputable and well known are too entirely different things though. A rescue can be well known and not reputable, or well known and reputable, or not well known and not reputable, or not well known and reputable.

Either way, they don't go beyond their resources-either in real money or human capital, which is in the best interests of the dogs.

Just wanted to make sure that people reading this didn't make any assumptions.
 

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Along with the list of questions to ask of a rescue group, is it appropriate to ask about compliance with state business requirements? How about insurance?
 

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lots of really valid points here and mostly very good advice. it is a minefield out there, on both sides of the street.
 

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Here's another:

Do not rely on the representations made by one group regarding the bona fides of another.

Ex: A potential adopter asks if someone knows or has heard of XYZ rescue group. Someone from Group A replies and claims the XYZ group is terrific. That is nothing but an anonymous individual making representations on an internet board. The representations may be true. But there's an equal possibility that they are false.

Adoptors should not rely on the statement as being true or valid or in any way, shape or form free from conflicts of interest. For all the adoptor knows, it's a claim based on third hand hearsay from someone else who isn't identified and not upon actual knowledge at all. It's just a representation by someone unknown about an unknown group and, however well meaning the intention may be in making the comment, the information could be 100% dead wrong.

Due diligence and a thorough investigation of whatever is said is the only way an adoptor can protect himself from conflicts of interest or lack of knowledge or cozy insider dealings going on within groups or between groups.

Adoptors are wise to trust no one's representations unless the individual and the group is able to prove that the claims made are true and, more importantly, can be verified via an independent and reputable source with no skin in the game.

Can't be stressed enough: It's a caveat emptor situation. So if a rescue group and the individual people involved with a group are not willing to tolerate and be treated to the same level of suspicion (guilty until proven innocent standard) and distrust, or they balk at being subjected to the very same tests of transparency and open disclosure about themselves and their operation as they expect of an applicant who wants to adopt a dog, the adoptor is best served by walking away. Fast.

If the rescue groups wish to place dogs into good homes, they must earn the respect and confidence and trust of the good people they hope will give a dog a good home for life. In my view, any deviation on the part of the rescue group or the individuals in it from full and unqualified transparency, disclosure and cooperation with the adoptor's investigation is grounds for the adoptor to look for a dog elsewhere.
 

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always good to have views from both sides of the fence here for everyone to learn from. rescue is fraught with difficulties and uncertainties, and even with full disclosure, due dilligence, and total transparency, stuff can happen that you wish didn't. thank goodness for the dogs that rescuers keep doing rescue, and adopters keep adopting, despite the pot-holes in so many roads along the way.

thank you for posting these well thought-out points from the adopter's point of view, honor.
 

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So you think each volunteer must have a background check done, but the rescue should not ask to see some form of identification from the prospective adopter? You think the volunteers should have to disclose their entire name to a potential adopter? Have you ever worked with a rescue? While I am the first person to side with the potential adopter, because I am a well known perpetual optimist, let me tell you, there are some whack jobs out there and I know that from personal experience. I don't want some of those folks knowing where I live. Also, if your name/address gets out there, you will end up with having abandoned dogs tied to your doorknob one morning.

Our rescue, which has been in business for ten years and has sucessfully placed over 3000 dogs, does charge a $10.00 adoption application fee. I was against it at first, but have since changed my mind.

We have fairly rigid conditions that we have to comply with via instruction from the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have to account for each and every dog that passes through our rescue on an annual basis. If we do not file the required state forms/paperwork, shelters will not release dogs to us. We have to keep records of where the dog came from, surrender information, shelter information, vet records, and adoption contract records. The amount of paperwork is hideous.

While some of the points you make are excellent, you have quite a few that I totally do not agree with.
 

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So you think each volunteer must have a background check done, but the rescue should not ask to see some form of identification from the prospective adopter? You think the volunteers should have to disclose their entire name to a potential adopter? Have you ever worked with a rescue? While I am the first person to side with the potential adopter, because I am a well known perpetual optimist, let me tell you, there are some whack jobs out there and I know that from personal experience. I don't want some of those folks knowing where I live. Also, if your name/address gets out there, you will end up with having abandoned dogs tied to your doorknob one morning.

Our rescue, which has been in business for ten years and has sucessfully placed over 3000 dogs, does charge a $10.00 adoption application fee. I was against it at first, but have since changed my mind.

We have fairly rigid conditions that we have to comply with via instruction from the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have to account for each and every dog that passes through our rescue on an annual basis. If we do not file the required state forms/paperwork, shelters will not release dogs to us. We have to keep records of where the dog came from, surrender information, shelter information, vet records, and adoption contract records. The amount of paperwork is hideous.


Background check for people involved in rescue groups? In the age of internet anonomity? Absolutely. Why not? What convinced me is an hour of just reading notes here about all of the "rescue" groups which turn out to be bogus or worse and all of the "insider" machinations which end up deceiving other rescue groups and adoptors. An adoptor is entitled to know that the people he is dealing with can prove that they have fully investigated the background of people in their own group.

I can't see where I said or even suggested that the adoptor should not be required to produce identification. If production of legitimate identification is a requirement imposed upon the adoptor by the rescue group or the volunteer working for it, then the adoptor should demand the same from the group and anyone claiming to represent the rescue group.

Yes, entire name and address and phone number. Why not? Same information which is demanded of the adoptor. Rescue group of total strangers has my full name, address and phone number. Can find me any day of the week. I don't know why the standard of transparency should be unequal and strangers who claim to be associated with a rescue group should have an advantage over the adoptor.

If the rescue group people are unwilling to be who they claim to be and have proof of it, an adoptor has no reason to trust them. Is a total stranger, who doesn't have or isn't willing to produce government issued picture identification, coming into my home to do a home visit? Absolutely not. An adopter should run away from any rescue group which will not deal with him on the very same basis as it expects him to deal with them. It's the only way the relationship is balanced.

As stated: there are strange people out in the world. Agree with that. As much as the rescue group thinks it is important to protect itself from them, the adopter has the very same problem: some of the strange and dangerous people inhabit or run rescue groups and that's a fact easily derived from doing nothing but reading notes here about all of the people who do terrible things to animals in the name of "rescuing" them.

If the rescue group is not willing to allow the adopter to see the dog in the home where it supposedly lives, the adoptor should walk away. A home visit to the adoptor's home is mandatory for the rescue group's purposes. A home visit to the foster home is mandatory for the adoptor's purposes too. No reason for the adoptor to trust a rescue group's claim that a dog is in foster care unless the group is willing to prove that. Meet the dog in a park while claiming that the dog is in foster care but refuse to allow the adoptor to see the dog in that setting? No way!

As for legally required paperwork, I don't know of any endeavor that doesn't have mandatory paperwork. Goes with the territory. Everybody has to do it.

I'm glad the point of compliance with state rules and regulations was brought up. It's a point not on my list specifically. A rescue group should be prepared to prove to any adoptor who asks for proof that it is in full compliance with all state and any federal laws for business registration, not-for-profit tax status, interstate animal transportation and the like.

If adoptors would impose, without exception, the very same stringent standards and requirements of bona fides and in depth of investigation upon the rescue groups as the rescue groups impose upon potential adoptors, perhaps a significant number of the bogus and illegal rescue group operations would be shut down.

If the rescue groups and the people in them are not willing to undergo and tolerate and agree to the very same scrutiny and level of personal disclosure as they impose upon the adoptor, the adoptor has no reason for trust or confidence. Best thing for the adoptor to do: run away.
 
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