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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

I presently own a 1.5 year old male GSD who is intact. I plan on neutering him when he is 2.5-3 years old. I recently tried to volunteer with a non-profit rescue organization, as a foster. I was told that since I had an intact male, I couldn't help them. The person told me that in order to maintain the non-profit (501(C)(3)) status, due to a legal rule, they cannot have people with intact dogs to act as foster "parents".

I wanted to verify with forum members, if this is indeed true. Is there really a legal rule that people with intact dogs are ineligible to become fosters to a non-profit rescue organization?

I would appreciate your inputs.

Regards,
SPOR
 

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I know that some states require all animals adopted out into homes to be spayed/neutered. It is also very common that rescues require all animals in the foster homes and adoptive homes to be spayed/neutered. I am not aware that it is a legal requirement, I guess it is possible.
 

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As far as I know, this is left to a rescue's discretion-not a law. But perhaps different states are different? And I could be wrong.

There are definitely some states that require adopted pets to be altered before adopting, as Rebel mentioned. But as far as fosters having to have altered pets for legal reasons...that is news to me. If that were the case, do they not allow folks to foster who have puppies that are too young or can't be altered temporarily due to other health reasons? ..that seems silly..

I'd love to know if someone knows the answer to this definitively.

I suppose it makes sense if they consider a foster with an intact pet as a liability-in the sense that it could accidentally result in a breeding. I would still be surprised if it's a law, though..
 

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Well...if that is a rule it's a stupid one but I doubt there is any legality behind it or it would not be restricted to state since 501c3 is a Federal designation. And equally stupid is, even if it's a rule within your rescue, they didn't use you for something else. Phone calls, transport, reference checks, fundraisers...there is always something for someone to do.

Find another rescue to volunteer for.
 

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When I looked at fostering many websites had it written out online that one of the criteria for fostering was no intact dogs in your house. Those ones I didn't contact at all. Who knows maybe if they got to know you and you explained why you haven't neutered your dog it might not always be a hard fast rule.

In the end a friend put me touch with a friend associated with a rescue and she didn't care at all about my intact dog. Not sure if this rescue had a policy about that or not but I think my screening process was not as intense because of the connection I had.

So hopefully you can find a place that is not as strict about that.
 

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I'm pretty sure some states do require it. California for example has very strict rules on things.

Oh just did a quick google search and at least one state Kansas state law says no intact dogs in foster homes.

Kansas

. [a]ny adult animal that is a personal pet of the foster home.... A foster home shelter licensee shall not house intact dogs or cats six months of age or older unless spaying or neutering is contraindicated by a licensed veterinarian.... Each animal placed with a foster home shelter shall be evaluated every 180 days by the sponsoring shelter.... An animal shall not remain in the care of one or more foster home shelters for more than 12 months without written permission from the commissioner.

Source: Kansas Consolidated Dog Laws
 

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Here is the thinking on the issue, at least as I have experienced it. A foster with an intact dog would be limiting their usefulness as a foster home, since no intact dog of the opposite sex could ever be fostered. No matter how careful a potential foster says they are able and ready to be, it takes a lot of effort to keep intact animals separate when the female is in heat. Regardless of how ready someone might think they are, the reality is often much different ("But I only turned my head for a minute, I just didn't have time to potty them both separately before needing to leave for work and I thought she had stopped bleeding...").

The only way to be certain it won't happen is to require that the foster homes have "altered" pets. Many rescues will make exceptions when the potential foster parent has a reason for keeping the resident dog intact. Showing in conformation, for example. But keeping a dog intact to allow it to grow and mature past a certain age (usually 6 months, and then people are often told to check back in when the speuter has been done) isn't seen as a valid reason.

Different states have different regulations. And rescues themselves have insurance requirements to satisfy, mission statements to live up to (how well are they meeting the goals of their mission statement if dogs in their care and control are becoming pregnant?) and a generalized experience to acknowledge. OP, you could be the most responsible owner of intact dogs in the history of the world, but once exceptions are made to accommodate your personal decision to keep your dog intact, why shouldn't they make an exception for the next person who also says they can handle it? Or the person after that?

If you believe in rescue, and understand the overwhelming need, offer to do other things for the rescue that don't include you fostering at this point. There is always a huge need for transport help, or help with reference checks and/or home visits. Then, when your own dog has reached an age where you feel comfortable neutering him, start to foster.

Now, if this rescue inconsistently applies their rule against foster homes having intact dogs? Then count yourself lucky that you discovered a red flag that speaks to poor management before you became involved and move on to an organization that believes in the validity of their own rules enough to actually enforce them.

I know it is hard not to take this stuff personally. But it truly isn't meant to be a personal insult against you and your ability to be responsible. Good rescues need all the good volunteers they can get. I hope you can see past how this makes you feel in the moment and still involve yourself in the work that has such huge value to everyone involved.
Sheilah
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What didn't make sense to me was that all the dogs that they had were spayed or neutered. From what I have seen, all shelters neuter/spay dogs older than 6 months. So was the case with this shelter.

I know I can never guarantee to keep two dog separate (heat cycle or otherwise). I can perfectly understand why I am not a good candidate for fostering an intact female. But in this case, since the dogs from the shelter were already spayed/neutered, the possibility of accidental breeding is non-existent.

Please let me know if I am missing some other possibility/case here. Thank you for your inputs.
 

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What didn't make sense to me was that all the dogs that they had were spayed or neutered. From what I have seen, all shelters neuter/spay dogs older than 6 months. So was the case with this shelter.

I know I can never guarantee to keep two dog separate (heat cycle or otherwise). I can perfectly understand why I am not a good candidate for fostering an intact female. But in this case, since the dogs from the shelter were already spayed/neutered, the possibility of accidental breeding is non-existent.

Please let me know if I am missing some other possibility/case here. Thank you for your inputs.
No, on first glance from the outside looking in, it only seems as if all their dogs are already spayed or neutered. But in actuality (behind the scenes), many dogs come in with medical needs that preclude them from surgery right away. They might need to gain weight, get through a current heat first or receive some medical treatment prior to being spayed. That is when a foster home is really needed and it all happens well before the dog in question is available for adoption. Maybe all their available dogs are spayed and neutered, but what about the dogs that need some foster care prior to becoming available?

Personally, I think it is easier to foster for a shelter or rescue that has hard and fast rules that apply to everyone, as opposed to organizations that can be swayed to bend rules easily. Remember, this group doesn't know you. Your first step is to ask for an exemption to their rules. So, what other rule might you want an exception from in the future? They don't know. It is far easier to ask for exemptions once you have worked with a group for a while, when you have a track record to point to.

You have to look at their big picture, and not just at your corner that is at issue. Once you do that it is easier to not take it as a personal slight. And remember that there are other groups out there that might have more fluid rules.
Sheilah
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Good point! :p Thank you.

Did not realize that aspect, since this would be my first time trying to foster/volunteer with a rescue. I did not take their rejection personally, but was just wanted to check if there really was such a law.

If that had turned out to be true, I would have not applied for fostering at any other rescue till I neutered my dog. Since that is not a case :), I am going to apply to another rescue group in the area.
 

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I have an intact male and have fostered several dogs. The president is well aware. She did a home visit prior to my first foster and has met my dogs. The only dogs I can't foster are intact females over, say, 5 months to be safe, but rescues typically spay/neuter around 4 months anyway so it has never prevented me from accepting a foster they've asked me to take.

Law or not, groups can make their own rules. I can't adopt from a few of the local shelters because I have an intact dog. That's too bad because I adopt more dogs than I buy, but there are always other rescues and shelters. My latest rescue dog, Indy, I went to Indianapolis to get because I got rejected by a rescue I applied to (because I play flyball with my dogs...I don't follow) and the local humane society has the intact rule. I don't ask them to waive the rule, I just accept it and keep on looking.
 
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