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What questions should you ask before taking home a rescued dog?

Discussion in 'Rescue Chat' started by Phebe*DD, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. Phebe*DD

    Phebe*DD Forums Enthusiast

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    We've talked before about the kind of questions you might ask to determine if a specific breeder is reputable. In light of the Piper incident, what kind of questions should be asked to determine if a rescue is truly operating in the best interest of the dog(s) and the potential new owner?

    I'm thinking that at a minimum I would want to know exactly how the dog came to be in the possession of the rescue and how the rescue generally acquires dogs. Also, what kind of efforts are made made to reconnect dogs with owners. Additionally, I would want to see an audited financial statement indicating where they receive their funding and how the money is being used.

    I know there are many legitimate rescues doing great work, but I'm beginning to worry to there are also increasing numbers of scam artists trafficking in dogs under the guise of rescue.
     
  2. JLSOhio51

    JLSOhio51 Forums Enthusiast

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    Great topic. I look forward to what knowlegable posters share. HOWEVER, it occurs to me that ANY rescue's answers to the questions you posed offered in a vacuum, (ie without a counterpoint present) would SOUND reasonable. If Piper's owner would not have provided us with a different take on what happened, we would not know that the COSR was up to "questionable" tactics. The truth only comes out when both point and counterpoint are available.
     
  3. Tagg

    Tagg Forums Enthusiast

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    I too am interested in how a person would be able to ascertain whether a rescue is good or bad. Looking forward to responses.
     
  4. Greenepony

    Greenepony Forums Enthusiast

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    Guidestar and the IRS nonprofit verification sites are your best friend for this. We found out through those sites that a nonprofit that DH helped start but separated from because of relocation had their status revoked because they weren't submitting the right tax forms. I use Guidestar to vet charities and future employers (I'm in an almost exclusively nonprofit field.) Maybe it's a little twisted but I love digging into organization's 990s. They tell *so* much about the organization (should list volunteers, staff, salaries, funding, etc) Sad as it is, some "not for profit" organizations will lie about have nonprofit status or will imply by saying they are not for profit, not that they are nonprofit/501c3/other code as applicable.


    After a non-dog rescue I was involved with as a teenager closed what I would want to know if (and most breed rescues seem to) they have a right of first refusal/return clause in the adoption contact, what happens if the rescue does not have the resources to care for the animal if you pass/you have to give up the dog? Similarly, what happens to dogs that moved away from the rescue's area in the meantime?
     
  5. Phebe*DD

    Phebe*DD Forums Enthusiast

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    I agree about Guidestar. However, participation in Guidestar is voluntary, so not all will list there.
     
  6. ghggp

    ghggp Premium Member

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    Questions...

    So, does that mean we should take down the website from Sheltie Nation:
    http://www.centralohiosheltierescue.org/

    Since their is so much controversy regarding their practices?

    Is there a a process that a rescue must go through to have their website posted to Sheltie Nation?

    I have worked with another rescue in Ohio that is great and one in Michigan that is also outstanding.

    I also have noticed that some sites no longer work...
     
  7. Emmasmom

    Emmasmom Premium Member

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    Perhaps ask for references to homes where dogs have been placed.
     
  8. JLSOhio51

    JLSOhio51 Forums Enthusiast

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    Boy is that ever an OUTSTANDING question? MY short answer to that is - NO. It's obviously NOT because I condone the actions of the COSR - I DO NOT. But, LEGALLY, they have yet to have been PROVEN to have violated any laws. As such, booting them off of the site BEFORE some legal determination is made would be a bad move (as much as I would LOVE to watch their boney backsides bounce as they were kicked off of SN!).
     
  9. Tagg

    Tagg Forums Enthusiast

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    I guess I would ask what their policies are regarding how they deem a dog fit for adoption, how they handle a dog that might have aggression issues - either people or animal, after adoption assistance, further education for foster homes and overall, what they thought of the situation with Piper. I would also ask if they have ever used the services of a trainer for a dog with issues, and if so, who is that trainer and what is their background.
    Those are a few that I have thought of and I am sure there is more that will pop into my head as I wash out the cupboards :)
     
  10. trini

    trini Premium Member

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    Rescue dogs come in from a wide variety of circumstances.

    1. They can be owner turned in and if the rescue or shelter is doing it's job correctly they will require a signed legal contract from the owner saying that they release their dog to rescue to be adopted out and they permanently relinquish any and all rights to the dog...that makes it certain that later on they cannot decide they want the dog back. This situation guarantees an adopter that he/she will never be faced with losing the dog they adopted.

    2. The dog can come into rescue or shelter through the courts...having been removed from either an abusive or severely neglectful situation...and have a court order release signed by the owner. Again, if the rescue/shelter has handled this properly they will keep a valid legal release statement on file from the court that guarantees that the previous owner has no legal claim now or in the future on the dog. In both cases, 1 and 2, the adopter should be given a copy of the legal release for their own records.

    3. They can come in picked up as a stray...either through animal control or by a good Samaritan who found them wandering lost...or dumped. This is the situation that is less clear legally IF the owner later shows up and wants their dog back.

    So for anyone who is concerned about going through rescue or a shelter to acquire a dog...the first 2 situations give them excellent security...the 3rd situation does leave them open to possible trouble, although thankfully it is very rare that this happens...so rare that it makes news headlines when it does.

    Rescues do come and go...so the only guarantee of security for a little dog you love is to set up in your will what happens to your dog should you die and have no family to either take your dog or handle it's placement. If you have signed on adoption that the dog must be returned to the rescue (or breeder), then that agreement should be honored. However, if the breeder or that particular rescue is no longer there or is unable to take back your dog that is when you need to have made those alternate plans that are clearly stated in your will...just as you would make plans for any underage human child to be cared for until they reach maturity.

    Trini
     

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