Samoyed Rescue Alliance Recommended Rescue Best Practices
Because of the nature of Rescue Efforts:
- people performing rescue are volunteers;
- some rescue volunteers have more limitations than others;
- unique situations arise;
- sometimes impressions and "gut feelings" are used;
there may be instances where not all of the "best practices" of rescue will be strictly followed. There has to be some trust and belief that rescue volunteers are using their best judgments concerning the evaluation and placing of a Rescue. However, unless there are some extenuating circumstances, rescue volunteers should make every reasonable effort to adhere to the following best practices:
- Rescue Volunteers should not purchase dogs (i.e., from individuals, pet stores, auctions, etc.) to be placed through rescue efforts. This is not to preclude the payment of a nominal $1.00 to help effectuate an agreement or the payment of a fee to a legitimate shelter.
- Rescue Volunteers should obtain as much information and records about the Rescue as possible when the Rescue is obtained. If the information is verbal, this should be documented.
- Rescue Volunteers should obtain a written agreement whereby the previous owner transfers and conveys the Rescue (and all rights and title to the Rescue) to the Rescue Volunteer.
- The general temperament of the Rescue should be evaluated/determined. Where a Rescue's temperament is not readily discernable, the Rescue should be maintained and monitored under close observation by the Rescue Volunteer until such time that the temperament can be better determined.
- The general health of the Rescue should be evaluated/determined either from an examination by a veterinarian or through appropriate verified records.
- Generally, a known aggressive Rescue that has bitten should not be placed. A Rescue determined not to have reasonably sound temperament and health should not be placed, rather humanely euthanized. Only after full disclosure to an adopter should a Rescue with significant age/health and/or behavioral problems be placed.
- While the Rescue is being evaluated and maintained prior to placement, Rescue Volunteers should ensure that the Rescue is being maintained in an adequate manner so as to maintain the good health, well-being, and appearance of the Rescue.
- A Rescue should never be allowed to breed.
- A Rescue should be spayed/neutered prior to being placed in an adoptive home. Only in extreme, unusual circumstances should a non-spayed/neutered Rescue be placed and this should only be done if the Rescue Volunteer can absolutely guarantee that he/she and the adopter will immediately be able to have the spaying/neutering performed.
- While Rescue Volunteers may have to moderately encourage potential adopters to consider maintaining a rescue on a trial basis (especially unhousebroken, more mature, or special needs Rescues), a Rescue Volunteer should not aggressively pressure a potential adopter to accept a rescue. Potential adopters should be allowed to feel comfortable about their decision of obtaining and maintaining a rescue.
- Rescue Volunteers should use a written adoption application to obtain information about potential permanent adoptive homes. If the information is verbal, this information should be documented.
- Whenever possible, potential adopters and their homes should be evaluated in person either by the Rescue Volunteer or through other known trusted volunteers.
- Generally, it is desirable to place rescues within reasonable distances from the Rescue Volunteer's residence. However, if a Rescue is to be placed in an adoptive home that is at a significant distance from the Rescue Volunteer's residence (i.e. Rescue is to be transported), then there should be another known trusted volunteer at the destination that has agreed to carry-out these Best Practices on behalf of the Rescue Volunteer (including adopter and home evaluations, follow-ups, and if necessary, reclaiming, maintaining, and rehoming the Rescue).
- Rescue Volunteers should use a written adoption agreement when placing a Rescue. The agreement should include the following provisions to which the adopter agrees: care and proof of compliance requirements, return of Rescue to Rescue Volunteer if the adopter cannot maintain the Rescue in accordance with the agreement, release of liability and indemnification.
- Generally, Rescue Volunteers should not reveal the previous owner of the Rescue to the adopter, nor the adopter to the previous owner.
- If available and desired by the adopter, Rescue Volunteers should freely provide the Rescue's anonymous health records and records concerning expenses incurred in rescuing and maintaining the Rescue.
- Rescue Volunteers should request a monetary donation (generally in the form of cash or money order) from the adopter for the Rescue being placed. Appropriate documentation of donations received should be maintained.
- Making a profit through rescue efforts should never be the primary objective of Rescue Volunteers. Monetary donations for placing rescues can be greater than actual expenses incurred for particular rescues so as to allow for funds for other rescues where the expenses will exceed the donations. However, monetary donations for rescues should not be significantly in excess of the costs incurred.
- Rescue Volunteers should follow-up after a Rescue is placed and generally maintain periodic contact with the adopter.
- Rescue Volunteers should be in a position to be able to reclaim a Rescue that has been placed if the adopter is no longer able to maintain the Rescue in accordance with the adoption agreement.
- Rescue Volunteers should freely provide documentation concerning the manner in which rescues are being maintained or placed to interested parties if there are concerns that have been raised concerning such maintenances and placements.
Special Thanks to Bichon ResQ for the backbone of these Best Practices