Dog Rescue Principles And Practices
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How would you feel if an outside group came in and audited your dog rescue, or cat rescue, work? Would you be embarrassed or would you be good with it? Do you realize that if your organization was better known for its excellence, you’d attract more donors and volunteers? What if your excellence resulted in an extra $20,000 a year in donations? What could you do with that money? Sloppy work is killing lots of dogs and cats. Are you part of the solution or part of the problem?
Good dog rescue volunteers and groups should be focused on measurably reduce the number of adoptable dogs and cats killed in shelters. Good groups are composed of people who are 1.) mature… doing things that they know they should be doing; 2.) self motivated… a group of dog rescue doers, not just talkers; 3.) Kind in manner and deed… we see all too much drama in dog rescue; 4.) Love dogs and cats…. obviously; 5.) They want positive change… if their mode is to always play “devils advocate”, and fight change instead of embracing it… then it’s time for them to please move along, they are part of the problem; 6.) good with people and animals… obviously; and 7.) full of energy to spare… dog and cat rescue is hard work.
Dog Rescue often times don’t follow the advice of their professional volunteers (dog trainers, dog behaviorists, groomers, veterinarians, etc.), so they bumble along as if it was never received. They are wasting precious resources and taking advantage, and they are not fully helping the dogs and cats involved.
Do you realize that things can change? Do you realize that we can save more dogs and cats if we better use our talents and resources? Thus, dog rescue, and cat rescue, needs to operate by a set of high standards, such as:
Principles Of Dog Rescue (and Cat Rescue):
1. Promotion of the No Kill / Low Kill model of animal rescue. It is too easy to accept that thousands of adoptable dogs and cats are put to death every month in most major cities. That’s not humane euthanasia. It is a horror. Nothing is going to change unless we set the bar higher, and expect more… more saved lives, more change, more professionalism. It time to build and implement a better rescue model. Are your practices in line with the No Kill / Low Kill model? Are the people you work with, and the organizations you affiliate with, also committed to this goal? If not, then you are contributing to the problem, not solving it. Do you want to work with our team to make a difference? Are you ready to cast away the current model and work on something new, something better, something more professional? I do. That’s what I’ve dedicated myself to. No animal lover can not burn out over time doing the same things that we’ve all been doing for years and years. Be a part of the change. It’s about the dogs and cats, not about us.
2. As we work to save more rescue dogs, it is important to set professional standards… such as Financial accountability. Many rescues aren’t operating ethically, legally, or with good financial sense. People are taking money for rescue dogs, but pocketing the money for themselves. People are taking in too many dogs and can’t handle the costs, putting every dog’s life at risk when it all comes crashing down. People aren’t complying with generally accepted accounting principles for running a non profit. People aren’t preparing financial statements that anyone can rely on, or are not operating legally. How can any of this lead to a good outcome? Many people entered rescue with good intentions. They started out right. But along the way, compromises were made. And now they have to hide or justify practices that wouldn’t be tolerated by any other type of business.
3. People need to be doing rescue honestly. Thus… 3. Fraud prevention… should be a major priority in rescue. Fraud is: “A. Wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain. B. A person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities.” (Google definition) Have you heard heard or seen fraud? Is that kind of behavior going to save more dogs or kill more dogs? We need to clean up rescue.
4. We have an educational message for the public… 4. Responsible domestic animal ownership, and wild animal conservation… If we had more responsible dog and cat ownership, we’d have a lot fewer dogs in shelters and foster homes. If we respected nature, we’d be kinder and more thoughtful of what we did with every animal. Are you interested in teaching this message? Interested in teaching kids? Interested in setting up an organized campaign of education?
5. Would you work for you? Over the years, I’ve seen way more failed or failing rescue efforts than successful ones. What is needed?… 5. Ethical and professional operation of animal rescue organizations. We need people who want to professionalize rescue. To raise the bar. To save more dogs, because you’ll have more success through excellence.
Let’s all be better. Do more. Be more effective. Save more dogs and cats from an unnecessary death. Unprofessional and unethical practices are why we have a such a high kill rate in our nation. If you have professional skills to offer, it is time to step up and help.
Sam Basso is a professional dog trainer and behaviorist, in the Phoenix/ Scottsdale metropolitan area. He’s known for being fun, kind, intelligent, and humane. Sam Basso has a unique personal touch. He has appeared on his own TV show, been a guest radio expert, gives seminars, publishes a dog related blog, does rescue volunteering, and is active in promoting animal welfare and fair dog laws.