Rescue groups

lily316May 17, 2010

How do you feel about extremely picky rescue groups? Many of my friends want to come back in their second life as one of my cats. I have had around 15 in my life and most of the last ones have been rescues. All five indoor cats living with me now are rescues and in perfect health. They never leave the house, have never seen the outside..any of them. Two have been here since they were 3 weeks old, the others under a year. They are all neutered and have all initial and booster shots and rabies shots. Two years ago I rescued a Boston terrier mix and he is a healthy happy dog with a well visit a few weeks ago . He is current with all shots and is on year round Sentinel. Cats and dog eat IAMs and Proplan and are groomed and weighed regularly. Most of my cats have lived to mid teens..two to 20. One dog lived to 14 and the greyhound only to 10 because of bone cancer. Just giving some of my cats Frontline freaks them out for hours..I'm giving this info because one adoption group will not let me have a dog because my cats don't see a vet every year for a check up. Of course if they aren't eating or exhibiting any other behavior, I take them in that day. But they don't get a well exam, and I'm not starting now. I think this group is just a little extreme. Your thoughts?

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I agree some of these groups have such high standards that I question if they really want to rehome these animals or not. You can give the group the number to your vet or just go somewhere else. My dog goes into extreme anxiety when he has to see the vet, so my vet and I agreed unless he has pressing issues to not worry about coming in yearly. He does have an irregular heartbeat but to test if that if from the anxiety of going to the vet or something else would be cost prohibitive and since my dog is elderly, Im not going to put him through anything he is unsure of. Hell, the protective cone they put on him after his first TPLO resulted in him unwilling to move a muscle. So we took it off, he never bothered a stitch. I guarantee there are thousands upon thousands of dogs and cats needing a new home and hundreds of groups including local shelters. Good luck with your search. PS - let us know when you find a new furbaby to bring home!!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 8:12PM
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Some rescue groups can be extreme, but, when you consider that they give their time, energy, money, sanity, etc... to the cause of rescuing other people's cast offs their fanaticism is sort of understandable. They want the best for the animals they pour their efforts into, and they may think that includes yearly exams. Unfortunately there are plenty of homeless pets in shelters who need rescuing too and most shelters require nothing but a small fee to take home one of their animals so you still have options. I adopted my dog from an animal control facility. I didn't have the luxury of getting the info about my dog that a foster family could have told me but somehow it worked out and I got one of the best dogs I've ever known (even if he did just kill a baby rabbit in my yard tonight.. :( ).

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 10:56PM
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Being involved in Shiba Inu rescue for many years and having 3 rescues myself it can seem that rescue groups may be a little extreme. However, it is extremely disheartening and frustrating to have a dog come back or to have a person not follow the explicit instructions given. I was just recently involved with a come back dog that was returned but not by the original owner who against the contract never informed us she had given the dog away.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 11:32PM
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The thing I find odd is that the group through which you'd hoped to adopt a DOG was fussing about you not providing professional exams to your CATS. You have obviously met all criteria for excellent canine care. Is that what you found strange? I sort of did too, but then gave consideration to screening.

As far as rescue groups in general:
I'd adopt from a rescue group over a shelter any day, because the standards are higher. But I also believe in routine professional care. My fosters are placed only after a screening that goes beyond a little further than the rescue group's screening. Yes, I am a rescuer, and work alongside other rescue groups. However, I am a cat rescuer so the following is intended to enlighten you ONLY on what a rescue generally looks for when screening applicants. The points set forth are valid no matter what the animal is.

Why is minimal veterinary care considered 'extreme'? An annual checkup, during which *mandatory* immunisations are administered, is not done with your cats? That's a big fat red flag. We want to place the animals in a safe and permanent home. There are times that an annual exam turns up illnesses that would go unnoticed until the pet is extremely ill, or even dying. Skipping over this basic care shows a lack of responsibility. The lack of routine veterinary care tells me that there MAY be something that the applicant doesn't want me to know. An applicant who won't provide annual professional care is screened out from the start. We follow up on the veterinary reference that you provide on your application. If you find a requirement for routine professional care for your cats too strenuous, you can go to a shelter, where there is often terrible pressure to assembly-line the animals into homes, often making it much easier to get a pet on *your* terms. I certainly don't find routine professional care requirements 'extremely picky'. It's a BASIC requirement, it's not picky at all. You give that care to your dog but deny it to the cats. I wonder if one person in the group picked up on that and got nervous about you as a pet owner, period. I won't send a pet to a place where its professional medical needs MAY be neglected until the owner just happen to notice that it hasn't eaten for a while or can't seem to get up anymore. Go to the shelter and forget about the rescue group. You'll have better luck and you might have a larger variety of dogs from which to choose your next companion. And it will be far less annoying for you. I'd probably feel a bit miffed too, but having seen it from the other side helps. Good luck and don't let that group get you down. Your standards and theirs don't meet. Give the places whose standards are similar to yours a chance.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 12:13AM
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But I adopted my dog from a rescue group two years ago. I have always taken my dogs for yearly exams because they are out in the world every single day. The cats..never outside. If you see what I go thru applying Frontline to some of my cats, you'd know why I can't see cramming all five into carriers and taking them to the vets to have them weighed and prodded. I'll admit I've been very lucky with my pets. My present cats have never been sick a day in their lives except for the oldest one. She was adopted from a rescue group at Petsmart and was crammed into a cage with too many kittens. . The day after I brought her home ,she got an upper respiratory infection and I took her to the vets. We went back for a second visit and she's been fine since. It IS funny since my two referrals are long time volunteers with two separate rescue with greyhounds and the other with cats. In fact one referral actually works in my vets office. Both these women have known me and my cats for many years. I have the greatest little dog in the world. I just thought a small companion dog would be nice for him. He so loves to run with his friends.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 2:47AM
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I agree with mazer and harebell - just find a rescue group or shelter that has requirements that you can meet and policies that you can agree with. They are all kinds of groups out there. Even though I might decide to not deal with a particular group, I would not be too critical of their policies, since these folks are doing exhausting, heart-breaking, often thankless work. I won't second-guess any of them in the policies they set up in an effort to forever protect any dog that they take into their care. Can you imagine how wrenching it must be to regularly walk through an over-crowded kill shelter trying to decide which dogs you can take into rescue and successfully rehome, and which ones you must leave to their fate?

I spent well over a year lurking on various shelter/rescue web sites, since we had some specific requirements as far as size/weight, breed influence, and ability to blend successfully with our existing tribe. I found many shelters and groups that did not feel like a good match - too many dogs appearing and disappearing too quickly from a web site made me wonder if the placement criteria were too lax, while dogs lingering forever made me question how realistic the group's requirements were. (One group's application required that I agree to pre- and post-placement home visits, and that I call the group immediately if the animal ever got sick.)

I finally found a few rescue groups and shelters whose dog-owning and dog-raising philosophies matched my own, and who often had the kind of dogs we were looking for, so I concentrated on them and forgot about all of the other groups.

We just adopted a terrific little dog from a large shelter north of Boston that takes in a large number of Satos placed via She's a little gem, a 6-month-old sweetheart who looks to have some Chihuahua and Whippet and who knows what else in her background. She's such an affectionate, bright little thing, and she and my other dog are besotted with each other.

Personally, I don't understand your theory that indoor-only cats don't need an annual vet visit. There are many illnesses and conditions and things that can go wrong that have nothing to do with whether a cat goes outside or not. Also, at some point your cats will likely HAVE to go to the vet for some reason, and they may be slightly more amenable to the aggravation if they've had some modest level of vet visits in the past.

One other thought - if going to the vet is so stressful for ALL of your cats, maybe you should try a different vet. I have always taken my cats to a different vet than I do the dogs - he's a cat-only practice, so there are never any hulking Rottweilers in the lobby trying to peek into my cat carrier, or scary barking from the next exam room. Plus, the doctor himself is absolutely amazing with cats, and mine end every visit purring madly in his arms while he talks cat to them.

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 11:01AM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

Lily, I agree with you 100%. I had a cat for 19 years. He was strictly indoors - apartments mostly. Except for having him neutered, I never took him to the vet either. He was never sick. I felt that because he wasn't exposed to any disease, he didn't need rabies shots or anything else. I have had two dogs in the past dozen years and the one that passed away in December was really scared to go to the vet and hated it. My little guy that is left is quite happy to go to the vet for whatever reason.

I can't understand if your references include veterinary personnel and rescue personnel, why this rescue wouldn't place any animal with you. I would say keep looking too. I'm sure they have their reasons for their strict rules, but if they could decide on a case by case basis, I'm sure they could help lots more animals find forever homes. Don't feel guilty about the way you take care of your animals if they are all healthy and happy.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 11:14AM
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If you've read my recent posts, you'll see that I have been looking to adopt a dog ... and thought I did .. for a couple of months now.

I've been approved by a couple different groups, and am having a home visit tonite by the local Golden Retreiver group ... which I am interested to see what they are looking for/at.

I was quizzed by one group on Saturday over my lack of fencing .. 20 acre farm ... and the possessiveness/agressiveness of my female shepherd mix ... who is neither, she's just a big baby.

Anyone that speaks to my vet has gotten great information. SO far, I have not been denied by a resecue, though I have chosen not to go see a dog that a rescue had because the dogs are in kennels and they really don't know the dog. I've already been through that once recently ...

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 1:48PM
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I have an unneutered male dog. I have reasons for that. All my vets(I know and use several) have agreed I am one of the few nonbreeding owners who can responsibly have/control a male unneutered dog. So did the police department in the city in which I lived for over 22 years(and had other unneutered males). So did my neighbors.

Most rescue and even shelters will not even speak to me about adopting another dog. Simply because I have a working unneutered dog. Any other dog in my house(and I always have two) is neutered. My last two dogs were 15 and 20 when they died(male lab/chow unneutered male and a neutered male chihuahua mix, respectively)

I could get affidavits from vets/police/neighbors verifying my history of care and control. Anyone from a rescue/shelter can visit unannounced to see if I am taking care of my dogs.

My current dogs are rescues, the male from a family who could not control him, and the neutered female from a city pound in a neighboring city that would rather find good homes for their dogs than euthanize them.

I fully understand why rescue organizations have the rules they have, but for them to never make any allowances for good owners who can prove their ability and want to spend the money($120+) to rescue a dog is just plain stupid. Period.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 1:55PM
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Thanks for your input. I have nothing but the utmost respect for all the rescue groups. It's tiring, grinding and often very sad work. That said, I think more animals could be saved if they weren't so critical in their philosophy. My friend wanted to replace his old cat who died with another cat. This group made him neuter his 10 year old Weinmarner who then suffered health problems with the surgery. When I took the dog to the vets a few weeks ago, he needed no shots and the vet weighed him, listened to his heart, probed him for a minute, said he was a happy healthy boy, should lose a pound or two..=$154. There also was a fecal test and 9 Sentinel pills. The money is no's I'm going to spend the better part of the day rounding up these five cats who run at the sight of the carriers and cram them screaming and howling in their carriers for this? The group I adopted my dog from two years ago required me to get them rabies shots..PA law. This literally took hours to accomplish, and we only had to drive five miles. It takes two adults just to apply Frontline to 21 pound Henry. The yearly package came in the mail yesterday and Henry started giving me attitude with it just siting on the counter. I have never ever returned an animal in my life. I even put up with a foster cat who was sweet but hated all my cats and pooped and peed to mark her territory. I put up with her three years even tho she wasn't my cat. Finally she was adopted into an only pet home. One group here won't adopt animals to people who never had them or have children under 14!!! >>My little dog is so social, I'd just love to get him a pal but maybe it's not to be and I should just give thanks I got such a terrific dog.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 2:22PM
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There are good reasons for *most* of the practices that groups put into place. To make exceptions because YOU think exceptions are OWED to you is no reason for a group to do so. You have made it plain that you cannot handle your cats, that you would even defy the law (however stupid a rabies vac is for indoors cats, it's still the LAW in your state and in mine) rather than deal with the most basic veterinary care. Whyever would anyone want to send a creature on which they'd spent untolled hours and love and good care and money to YOU when there are so many competent pet owners who are willing to fulfill the responsibilities that come with pet ownership? These people take care of ALL of the pets in their homes, not just the easy ones. However, I too would have a problem with groups whose policies include a telephone call EVERY TIME the adopted pet becomes sick-we do get attached to our fosters, we know them thoroughly, so the first time a pet gets sick maybe we can talk you through the best way to help it. We're very good at worrying so let us worry with you the first time. But that should be a suggestion more than a requirement. I can understand refusing to send a pet to a home with small children, but *all* youngsters under 14? I figure that most kids are great with pets around 8 years age, some younger, many older, but there's something about that age that's kind of magic and I see fast friendships between these kids and their pets. I've seen kittens and puppies sent off to live with very elderly folk who may not be physically nor financially equipped to take care of pets, let alone with a life expectancy matching that of a young animal. Are you sure these are group policies, or are they tacked on by the foster? As group policy, I'd shop for another group. If the *foster* places such restrictions, I take them seriously -since it's the foster who best knows that particular animal. There are enough pets in shelters and in other groups that you don't have to have a pet not suited to you coming out of a group with policies that you don't like.

With my cats, I append a contract that binds the adopter to my terms in addition to the rescue's. Our group handles spay/neuter, that's what the adoption fee covers (that's ALL that the adoption fee covers), we are not compensated for the $$$ spent on the pets during their foster care. I also send a handbook along (written by me and published at my cost) of things to avoid in the pet home, signs of illness requiring attention, first aid, safe toys and unsafe toys, reading body language, valid references, and some pretty fun stuff. I also ask for occasional updates-it doesn't matter if you email a picture or two tomorrow or next week or next year, just let me know that this animal who has made a place in my heart has taken over your heart too. Strangely, I don't have trouble placing most fosters. Adopters are willing to undergo the application process (the group MAY require a home visit, typically in a home where no one has had pets before. This helps to identify possible dangers to address, after which the pet is released to the adopter's home. For these potential adopters the foster often brings the pet for a visit in order to get an idea how the people and pet react with each other.

Once again, it's kind of silly to waste your time on fussing about groups whose policies you dislike. Just locate a group that has policies coinciding with your own. Just because it's not the way YOU want it done doesn't mean it's wrong.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 8:03PM
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