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Discussion Starter #1
Far be it from me to try to make anyone do anything (well...sometimes
) but I notice that there are people willing to pull, temp. foster, and almost maybe even seems like they would foster in areas where reputable rescues like VAGSR, Noble, MAGSR serve. Oh-and like Echo-anywhere!

Saw the same in the north-a post here from Tina/Dave looking for fosters, dd also suggested GRST to someone in Canada looking to help.

And I think...huh...if they volunteered with those groups...maybe...

Unless of course those groups already have all the volunteers that they need.
<---silly me

This area is set up to help people learn more about doing that, maybe this thread can address questions specifically.

Am I making sense or creating confusion!
 

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I think it might be useful for rescues looking for fosters to "make a pitch" perhaps, giving key links to their documentation (foster contract, adoption contract and application) and outlining their fostering policies (i.e. Who's responsible for what? What are expectations from a foster home? Do fosters pay for the foster dog's food? Does the group work with a trainer?)

Some of these things are posted on rescue websites, but most sites I've seen are more geared to marketing dogs to adopters.

Just a thought.
 

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Honestly, and I am not trying to 'make a scene' or 'start anything'....but I think there are times that someone who comes onto this board and doesn't have a lot of rescue background would be put off from joining a rescue, given that a lot of dirty laundry has been aired.

Part of me wants to just let people know I am available...but not affiliate myself with one rescue, so that if that rescue gets political, I am not pulled into a situation I don't want to be involved with.

Does that make any sense?
 

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Yes!! That's how I work too.

But - if you are talking about doing long distance pulls and placing a dog yourself, that's a whole different scenario.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Individuals in Rescue-->Joining Reputable Resc

Maybe try Echo chasethedog? They seem responsive.

I think it would be great for rescues to try to make that pitch-like I said Tina/Dave did that post looking for fosters. Of course it is up to people to do due diligence, but if it makes it better for the dogs and is a group you can be comfortable with (and you can leave anytime you aren't) then you have all sorts of resources you don't on your own.

I understand what SueF is saying, but like dd said, there are degrees and when it gets complicated (who is going to take the dog back? for its lifetime?) it is great to have rescue backing. So thinking of it from the end of the process backwards, you can see that perhaps it might be beneficial for all.

Also understand not wanting to make a huge commitment but rescues vary-maybe commit to foster one dog and then go on until you are ready again. I figure if you are buying the milk already, why not do it with a farm co-op? (kind of a why buy the cow idea...)

But what I am definitely seeing are people in these "high traffic" areas trying to do things on their own and then asking for rescue help, when if they were with a rescue...kind of backwards...to me!

So here is an opportunity perhaps to make some matches! Maybe! Or not!
 

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I think that the perception is that once you affiliate yourself with a single rescue, then you cannot help other rescues too. I would much rather affiliate myself with several rescues, who know that I am available to pull and help transport from certain shelters in my local area...that way I am not, again, sucked into too much with one rescue.
 

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I think that works. However, I know there are strong relationships AMONG some rescues, especially those located in different areas of the country, that work beautifully. They ensure they have the same goals and philosophy and it all works to the benefit of the dogs.
 

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Perhaps that is what needs to be "advertised". I agree, there are some rescues that work fabulously together, I wasn't trying to say otherwise.
 

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I understand what you are saying Jean. I myself am just trying to generate interest in fostering for my group as it appears that fosters are few and far in between in this neck of the woods, but I would only pass on the co-ordinator's name, phone number/email address to any interested parties. And yes the website also but I too think that most of these are geared as dd says to 'marketing' the animals for adoption. I also feel that too much dirty laundry can and has been aired on the board and would prefer to to spark the interest and pass on the info. (and yes I do volunteer for this group)

I can also understand not having an affiliate with any one rescue, however someone just jumping in to help must be able to produce some creditentials or have had a home vist done previously by a reputable rescue. Most of us will not have just anyone pull and foster.

Tina
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah-I guess I am trying to advertise an idea here in an odd way-just to say hey, want to make this easier on you and dogs-maybe it might work not to for one person, but for others (and for the rescues) it might work better. So it's something for people to consider and think about.

And for dirty laundry-hey, if you hang stuff out on a line-expect it to be looked at! And that is a part of what every public group does-Red Cross! United Way, local charitable groups, and rescues. All the same and there is nothing wrong with looking at things with a close and critical eye.
 

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Quote:I think that the perception is that once you affiliate yourself with a single rescue, then you cannot help other rescues too.
Yeah, you could be right.

I think that varies a lot in reality though. My SIL's group is definitely that way. They won't even overnight a dog for another group they say it's a "conflict of interest".

My group is not. We're all about collaboration. We're all breed and our focus is work with rural shelters but several of our members (including me) are involved with certain breeds. In my case, I just foster my GSD through us, but in other cases our members are also members (and even officers) of other breed-specific groups. We also do a lot of stuff working together with different groups on pulls, transports, evals etc. IMO, that's the way to do it. We can help a lot more animals.

And like Jean, I'm not trying to push people to do something they don't want to do
but I do see people volunteering to do a pull or transport and if I don't know them and they're not with a group I know, I'm reluctant to accept their help. Which sucks! Because rescues always need help!
But then you hear all these horror stories about people pulling or transporting a dog in another group's name and then making off with it so it's scary.

Do some groups have, like, satallite members? People who they've screened and worked with but who also work with other groups, or live far away, or...
 

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I did volunteer and foster for one group of the size of those you mentioned (I won't name the group).

I (as well as other fosters) was treated like crap. Even though I am working full time, I was ordered to meet applicants at a kennel 2 hours from my workplace, middle of the day middle of the week at 12 hours advance notice. The president of the rescue also made appointments for fosters at this kennel (hours away for most of us) hours apart over the weekend. I spent the weekends sitting at the kennel waiting for applicants that canceled (the president did not bother to tell me that they canceled the appointment) or did not bother to show up. My employer does not treat me like this and if they did, I could sue them.

I had no input as to whom my dog gets adopted to.

Every morning would start with hateful e-mails on the group mailing list with members fighting with each other. The group went through 3 or 4 presidents during the 4 years and a mediator was brought in once.

Whenever I suggested a dog to be taken into the rescue (that I would have fostered), I got slammed on the head. I did more harm to the dog by suggesting it than good.

The Board discussed putting down my foster for behavioral problems. None of the Board members met the dog for two years and none of them bothered to talk to me. I have been working with the dog for 8 months. The dog cost the rescue nothing. She was in my home, I paid for food and preventive meds - she did not see a vet during this period. Eventually it turned out that the poor animal was in constant pain because of a fractured femur that healed incorrectly and fractured pelvis.

I got no support from the rescue in terms of training and working with behavioral issues (I volunteered to foster dogs that were a challenge because I felt sorry for them).

The leadership was knew less about dogs than I did and they treated me as if I were a total idiot.

Some of the large groups are not as heavenly from the inside as they appear from the outside.

I fostered for 4 rescues and it was not a good experience. I and the dog were let down by the rescue in terms of health care and support more times than I can count. One rescue refused to pay for the testing of a dog that had obvious signs of sarcoptic mange. All these count as "reputable", based on paperwork, contracts, etc, yes, I did check them out. The reality is very different, especially for fosters who have a huge emotional investment in the dog.

Brightstar was supposed to be that perfect rescue - until recently (and I still think they are good, considering rescue reality from the inside).

These days I prefer to rescue on my own. It is more costly in terms of money, but much less costly in terms of stress and this is well worth to me.
 

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Yes, I know several people who do that. Reliable help provided for pulls, temporary fostering until transport can be arranged, that kind of thing. This works well for people who cannot commit to a long-term fostering situation.
 

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Originally Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAANYeah-I guess I am trying to advertise an idea here in an odd way-just to say hey, want to make this easier on you and dogs-maybe it might work not to for one person, but for others (and for the rescues) it might work better. So it's something for people to consider and think about.

And for dirty laundry-hey, if you hang stuff out on a line-expect it to be looked at! And that is a part of what every public group does-Red Cross! United Way, local charitable groups, and rescues. All the same and there is nothing wrong with looking at things with a close and critical eye.

Can't say I disagree with any of that Jean.. I just don't want to be involved in that type of situation. Been there done that.. got duped by a rescue I worked with previously.. and there has been way too much dirty laundry flying about. I myself prefer to inquire in other ways, but this is my way and not always the way of others.

I feel for those that have had a tough time with a rescue, it is hard enough doing the job but when fighting and such goes on the job becomes harder and it is as we know it is only the dogs that suffer. I know that Precious Paws works with other rescues in Ohio and in Ontario. We use fosters from those groups and offer our assistance with transport, holding/fostering etc when we can. This type of networking can work great, so far with us it has.

Great thread anyway... we can all use the info/help....

T
 

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I think this is a great thread. I did want to say, that I have on a few different occasions fostered and rehomed dogs on my own in the past, but, it was done on a contract, they were all vetted and either spayed/neutered, and they always MUST come back to me should anything happen. I dont do it often, as it does and can cost alot of money- and, what would happen if all of a sudden, I had several dogs needing to come back at once. Lucky for me, all placements have worked out so far (I better go knock on wood)... but again, its not something I do often, as having rescue back up is better. But there are those special cases I cant ignore. I like the idea of being able to help out reputable rescues with pulling and transporting and I wish that all rescues/rescuers could work together in peace on these things.
 

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Yep, since we are small we often work with other larger groups to help get some of the overwhelming number of SC and NC GSD's in need to other reputable groups. I think that is extremely important!!

I understand not wanting to align with just one group it would be a pia for a group to tell a volunteer they can't work with someone else, hello they are a volunteer!! We have foster homes who foster for more than us, heck our Adoption Coordinator, Alex fosters for several when she has openings and temp holds and transports for a handful of rescues...

I think this is a good topic Jean, I love it when I see people jump in a help a dog but I worry that if one person is doing it without backup or help or lots of experience they can get in over their head...but I've seen successful one woman operations, so I know it can be done...I just think its easier when you have a group to work with, but some people don't play well with others
so I see the need for both.

What would be great is for there to be more communication with people so everyone can check each other out before hand to see who they want to work with and who approves who, etc so that at crunch time when a dog has to get pulled you don't have to wait to check refs, etc but can get to the business at hand and get that dog to safety because people have introduced themselves and established relationships.

I think we've seen that a lot more lately in working with several new people on this board and I think it has helped lots of dogs!
 

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Ok I have not read all of this thread yet, but just wanted to give an example of what I do and how I got started. This may be helpful for new members or others that want to get involved but don't know where to start.

I am located in Knoxville, TN where three major interstate cross (I-75, I-81 and I-40). Every transport that runs south to north hits one of these interstates. I started off helping with pulls and transports, because of the huge number of dogs that go through Knoxville and this is something I could do very easily without having to foster dogs.

At first I would help with any transport that came through town, but then I started to hear horror stories about dogs being transport up north only to be sold to research labs, used as bait dogs, used as breeding dogs if not altered prior to transport or sent to rescues that were more hoarders then rescues. After a while, I started to only work with certain transport coordinators that were more organized and screened the rescues that these dogs were going to. I just wanted to add this for those that might be new to transports. It is very important that you know where the dog is going and if you personally can not check out the receiving rescue then get to know transport coordinators that do this prior to setting up the transport.

After a while, I started pulling dogs and temp fostering them until transport could be arranged. I only did this if a rescue had already agreed to take a dog, but needed time to either set up transport or needed a foster home to open up. The two biggest rescues that I did this for where Echo and Brightstar. There were some other smaller ones, but all of them were done for rescues that had members on this board that I had built up trust with.

The first dog I actually fostered was in a shelter in my home town and none of the rescues I know had room for him. I decided that I could not sit back knowing this dog would be PTS, so I drove 3 hours back to my home town and pulled him site unseen. This was a huge risk at the time, because I had no idea if he would be ok with my female and I really knew nothing about him except what the shelter told me over the phone. Thankfully, everything worked out, but I do not recommend other people starting in rescue to do this. If I got back home with him and could not handle him or if he was aggressive with my female then what. You really need to have a back up plan or other contacts that can help and at this time I did not. I have seen this happen to other members that have good intentions, but then get a dog they can not handle for what ever reason and then don't know what to do. Sadly, many times these dogs end up being dumped right back into the shelters only to be PTS.

At one point I agreed to foster a dog for Echo and had someone locally do a home visit for Echo. Sadly the dog I fostered had PF and ended up having to be PTS due to the advance stage of the PF. I have not fostered anymore dogs for Echo since then (other than temp fosters for transport), but I continue to have a close relationship with Echo and have also built up relationships with other rescues that are more local to me. I work with Fables rescue in KY, Dumas also in KY, One Shep at a Time in NC and Nobles in SC. I try to touch base with all of these rescues from time to time, just to see if I can help in any way or if there are any DNAs (do not adopt) that I need to be aware of or share with them DNAs that I know about that may go out of state looking for a GSD.

I basically do my own thing and mostly foster dogs that I have pulled from local shelters or are owner surrenders from people that have contacted me by word or mouth. At times this is very difficult, because I have to return phone calls, send adoption applications, screen potential adopters, and do home visits all by myself while also working full time and caring for my two personal GSDs as well as the foster that I have at the time. It gets crazy at times, but it is also very rewarding when you drop off a foster at his new home and pull out of the drive way knowing you have saved another life.

My point to all of this is that you can foster dogs on your own, but it is best if you have a relationship with other rescues that can help you out if needed. I have done home visits for these other rescues and they have done some for me. Many of the rescues that I work with will do courtesy postings for me on their websites. In return, if I know someone that is looking for a dog and my foster does not work for them, then I will refer them to the other rescues that I work with to see if maybe they have a dog that will work for their family situation. I have found that this is what works best for me, because I have more flexiblity to decided when I can foster and which dogs I foster and who is approved to adopt one of my dogs. I am a little bit of a control freak so I think this is why this works out better.

This was longer than I had thought it would be, but I hope that it might be helpful for someone that wants to get involved but just doesn't know where to start.
 

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What a great topic.

I too have been doing rescue both ways. I'm an approved volunteer/foster for 2 rescues and will be applying to a third to foster. My first choice is always to work through a reputable rescue. I find however, that some rescues are not very active, responsive, creative, etc in pulling GSDs in need. Since I have the time and space, I try to make myself available across the board to other rescues.

That being said, there have been times when I just knew I had to step up and DO something. Hansel & Gretal from this board.....hubby and I took them since the chance of them surviving in a shelter as seniors was slim and their owner was out of options. There was no time and SOME ONE (us!) had to save them. Happy ending...they've gone to their forever home!
On Saturday I will be getting the 2 WGSDs from Georgia. They were in need for SO LONG and I just couldn't ignore them any longer. I knew I was some one who could help.

The risks are real and always in the back of my mind. Expenses are mine alone. Since my adopters sign contracts, there is always the possibility of them coming back to me.... I must follow up on them etc.

I've found that other members of this board have been very supportive and posted my fosters. Many have already volunteered to post the 2 WGSDs when they're ready. They have also asked for my references, background etc....and rightfully so.

So yes, rescue backing is definitely preferrable. But sometimes, if you're able, you just have to bite the bullet and act. IMHO
 
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