Dog rescuers - How'd you get started?
Earlier this week, my husband found a stray Husky that had been neglected and abused.
We're currently in the process of getting her back to health and finding her a forever home.
Even after just a couple of days, this experience has shown me that I can't continue *not* helping.
I'd like to start a private dog rescue.
The plan is to start small - one dog at a time, nice & slow & careful so we get the maximum benefit for each dog.
The dogs will be strays or "free to good home" out of the newspaper or death-row dogs from the shelters around here.
They'll be vetted, fixed, & we'll work on some training too. If they're unhealthy, we'll get them in shape and then adopt them out to loving, forever homes.
My question is: How did you get started rescuing dogs? What resources can you suggest for things like adoption contracts? What's your budget like per dog?
Anything at all would be most appreciated.
It'll take me a while to really get this started because we'll have to save up the money for all of the supplies we'll need once we get this girl a home.
Believe me, this is not some whim of a decision. I'd been considering the idea for years and now that I'm experiencing rescuing a dog for the first time, I just know it's something I have to do.
- rescue memberLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
You might want to join a rescue that is already established - to make sure you are suited for this and to get some experience.
What is needed to start your own rescue, besides the obvious such as a foster home and money for vetting, is to incorporate as a 501C charity. It's not that difficult and will give you legal status so you can solicit adoption fees and donations, pull dogs from shelters, legally write contracts to adopt the dogs out.
You will never get enough adoption fees or donations to cover the vet costs, so you need to have some cash on hand and work with a vet, or a low cost spay/neuter clinic, that will discount vetting - it gets very expensive.
Ideally, you need at least 2 other people to put on the incorporation papers as your "Board of Directors" - a Treasurer to handle the money, write checks, accept donations (and acknowledge them with a thank you) and do the yearly tax report, which is required by law, even when you don't have a profit.
You need to have an adoption contract, an adoption application, a home visit form, a turn in form - and you need to have someone who will check references, personal and vet, and arrange for a home visit to make sure the adoptive homes are good, forever homes.
It gets involved, so I would again urge you to work with an existing rescue to get some experience and find contacts.
Good luck, it's a worthy cause for sure, and I started my own rescue, but I have foster homes that work with the dogs until they are ready for adoption - physically and emotionally - and 2 other Board Members.
Don't take shortcuts in adoptions, always spay/neuter before adoption, don't ever do onsite adoptions - and a website helps a lot, although Petfinder.com will let you list your dogs once you have 501C rescue incorporated status.
You will also have some access to rescue events at places like Petco, local adoption marathons, etc. if you are legit.
- Mama TexLv 61 decade ago
I started the same as you. Be ready its hard to do just one at a time. Once you start it is almost addicting. After 3 years my average number was 5 dogs (fosters) at a time. You should have a minimum of $500 per dog you plan to max at (ie: I had 2500 in savings at all times.) Then find a discount spay/neuter clinic along with shot clinic. You may think you can afford a regular vet but it adds up fast and the more you spend on one the less you have for the others and emergencies. You want an emergency pet kit set up. Bandages, wormer from a vet, flea application meds, shampoo etc...you need to have crates at least two the biggest you can get with dividers to make smaller. You can ask a local rescue for a copy of their adoption contracts or go online and find one you like. Make sure there is a spay and neuter clause for puppies and a legal fee clause for if you have to reclaim the dog. Also one stating they can not just give the dog away. I feel like Im forgetting stuff but this is a start.Source(s): 20+ yrs rescue
- .Lv 61 decade ago
I started out with stray and feral cats. I am required to contact Animal control to report the animal found but I never turn it over to them (They don't require me too).
From there I also volunteered at local shelters and made connections with both of the major ones in the area, the county and the no kill.
Honestly, it's cheaper to foster through the shelters. I dislike doing so because I have no say in what happens to the animal. I'm actually a lot stricter as to who I'll adopt to than the shelters I've volunteered with. For an example, my cats ONLY go to indoor homes that will NOT declaw. Unless it's a feral cat then those go to my parents farm.
Anyway...not sure if this was much help lol!
- 1 decade ago
Why not first work with an established rescue? They are always desperate for help and foster homes, and this way you can learn firsthand what is involved, what needs to be done, and sometimes what NOT to do. Serving on the executive is a great educational experience. If you work with a number of different rescues you can get a variety of ideas, and also hopefully see the difference between a great rescue and a "train wreck".
- How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
- 1 decade ago
Well first off depending on your local laws you will NOT be able to just pick random strays off the street and take them in. Many places actually require you to turn the animal over to animal control or at least make the effort to find the dog's legal owners.
Second my advice is before you strike out on your own find a local rescue in your area looking for volunteers/fosters and work with them.
- Anonymous4 years ago
Your vet is your new suited chum. Get a stable vet on board with you for this dogs. Get an entire examination carried out, heartworm attempt, deworm, vaccinations as your vet shows and weigh the dogs. Ask the vet what your dogs's aim weight would desire to be, what nutrition they advise, what proportion nutrition consistent with day and in what volume. Ask in case you will desire to offer any supplementations and which of them. Ask in case you may come back weekly to have the dogs weighed till you attain their aim weight. Have the dogs dewormed / checked for parasites, and the different reason in the back of being too skinny -- a wormy dogs won't be able to benefit weight and if there is the different underlying reason in the back of being too skinny that desires to be fixed or addressed in the previous this dogs can benefit weight. it might have been much less perplexing to reply to this in case you will given extra ideas which includes ways old is this dogs, what breed is this dogs, what top and gender is the dogs. As an exceedingly time-honored handbook, i'd furnish 3 to six small nutrition consistent with day (consistent with 24 hours) and many unpolluted water. seem for some Nutrical paste and supply as directed (determine to sparkling each thing you supply with your vet). i'd additionally supply a dogs each and every day multivitamin, and doubtless dogs crimson cellular to assist the dogs benefit subject; feed a high quality dry dogs nutrition as cautioned by way of your vet. i'd circumvent treats till the dogs became at a healthful weight or supply them sparingly.
- IngaLv 61 decade ago
Rescue Member covered everything I was going to say.
You can get way over your head really fast. So join up with a rescue group first and learn the ropes. Then if you still feel up to it you can branch off from them.
It takes a lot of work, time, energy, know how, connections and money to get a successful rescue off the ground. You don't want to go at it blind.