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There is a lot of work involved in animal rescue and before someone decides that they want to do this, they need to consider the following:

What is going to be their level of involvement? They can do one or more of the following:

Be a foster home to homeless animals until an adopting family can be found. All rescue animals are neutered or spayed and do not rely on the people adopting them to do it. The animals get neutered or spayed because if the animal is coming from a breeder they will take the animal back.

Remember that rescue animals have been given up for various reasons: problems, starvation, abuse, congenital problems; temperament problems, age, family death and illness,

Be an adopting family to a rescue animal.

Work in a rescue animal transport relay. Helping with transportation of homeless animals to their new homes. Transport drivers like to stay within four hours of round trip driving and sometimes people end up driving farther. Sometimes the animals stay the night with the transporter. The transporting of animals can go from one side of the United States to the other. This is all volunteer and you pay your own expenses. Load up with water for the animals and you need to bring your own equipment like cages, horse trailers, etc. Check with the group before you sign up to see what you need.

There are rescue relay transports that do not alter the animals or provide medical records. You need to be careful about transporting dogs and cats that have not been neutered or spayed as most of the time they end up in breeding mills. Breeding mills have a vested interest in their animals – they bring them money. These breeders are not reputable and do not care about taking care of their animals nor providing healthy living quarters. Also, if the transport doesn’t provide medical records, you don’t know if the animal is sick – such as with Parvo.

If this is what you really want to do, check with an animal club or rescue to get on a rescue relay transport.

Educating others through the media whether it is writing letters, handing out flyers, making telephone calls or writing to your local newspapers.

Give monthly donations to an animal rescue organization.

Set up or assist in the construction of an animal shelter or work in their office as a volunteer to assist with daily office duties.

Recruit other individuals to work in animal rescue.

If a person decides to set up a rescue shelter or be a foster or adopting family, they will need to know the following:

1. The animal may not be trained or housebroken and maybe either a pedigree or a mixed breed.
2. They are mature dogs starting around age 4 – 10 years of age. If they are puppies, they have usually been rescued from a puppy mill or were a holiday gift.
3. You need to be a very patient person as the animal is going to need an adjustment period. With proper care and love, the chances are very good of the animal showing a lot of love in return for the wonderful home you have provided, even if the animals is only with you temporarily.
4. You will need to have the proper facilities and tools to care for the animal.
5. Be willing to interview the prospective owners and if you are not completely comfortable with them, not to let the animal go to their home to live.
6. Financial resources. You will be paying for the care of these animals and their transportation cost to their new destination unless you are affiliated with a rescue organization that pays these costs. Rescue organizations depend on donations by private individuals.
7. The length of time the animals stays in the rescues home – this depends on the animal’s health as well as transportation and travel arrangements it can be anywhere from several hours up to several months. Not everyone who does animal rescue is unable to give the rescue animals up and end up keeping them.
8. If the animal is new without medical records, keep them separate from the other animals until a vet examines them. Depending on the animal’s health they may require surgery or shots. Unless the animal is coming from a private home with current shots, it needs to go straight to the vet.
9. Know there is a lot that goes into rescue. It can be quite emotionally draining especially if the dog is not in good condition. It is difficult to take care of a new rescue over the holidays since vets are not available. Remember that you will pay all the veterinarian bills out of your own pocket or through a rescue fund through your local club, which is supported directly by donations. Sometimes an animal can cost the rescue person or the club over $700 in veterinarian bills to ensure that the animal is healthy as well as paying for long distance phone calls and travel expenses.
10. On rare occasions a rescue animal needs to be put down. Not all animals adapt to their new homes after they have been adopted out. The animal then goes back to the rescue home and if the animal still has a problem – biting, attacking – needs to be put down. This is not an easy decision to make on the part of the rescuer. Some of these animals go into rescue in ill health or broken bones. Unfortunately you can’t save everyone. Even a behaviorist may not help with animal behavior problems.
11. Be willing to ask for a donation from the adopting family. The adopting family pays for their adopted animal through a donation. If these people obtain an animal from a shelter, the people would have to pay the shelter for the cost of neutering or spaying plus shot if they are required.