The concept of Rescues in the animal world may not be familiar to you, so we wanted to answer a few basic questions to help you understand more about Rescues and why they are so important to us.
What is a Rescue?
One of our chosen rescue groups, Rogers’ Rescue may have described the concept best in their last newsletter.
“We remove adoptable canine companions from kill shelters, both locally and out of state. Many of these dogs are at high risk of being euthanized. We coordinate transportation to our area and arrange for foster homes. Once the dogs arrive they go immediately into the care of our foster homes where they evaluated and loved. They remain in our foster care until their “forever” homes are found for them. “
Rescues are normally non-profit organizations made up totally by volunteers and foster parents. They normally have no shelter or facility. Some are breed specific and some are species specific – cat only, dog only, pig only, etc. But there are Rescues that are simply looking for what they feel will be highly adoptable animals in their communities.
Because a Rescue can pick and choose the animals they take in, they normally have the time and resources to do very thorough adoption placements. With little overhead and ample volunteers to support their efforts, they normally have the financial flexibility that shelters like ours do not. For example, we once had a Boston terrier puppy named Tinkerbell that had very serious leg problems. While we could not afford the thousands of dollars of surgery that Tinkerbell required to be adoptable, one of our rescues did have the financial means to provide her the multiple surgeries she needed. After many surgeries to repair her fused legs and many months in foster care, she was finally adoptable.
How do we select the Rescues?
We have our own screening process for selecting what Rescues we will work with and are careful to only work with reputable, responsible groups. Sadly there are those that are not so responsible so screening is essential. We do background checks on each rescue group prior to approval including veterinary checks. We also look at their foster requirements and adoption process to ensure that they will be discriminating in the placement of our animals.
All animals sent to these selected Rescues are done so with the understanding that if at any time the Rescue is unable to place the animal, they will be returned to us. On the rare occasion where the animal is deemed unadoptable by the Rescue and we do not feel that we can safely put said animal up for adoption, we will approve euthanasia by the Rescue through their veterinarian.
How do Rescues choose who they work with?
The Rescues should choose carefully the shelters they will work with as they want to make certain the animals they receive are healthy, good natured and adoptable. They choose groups who are in need, usually from rural areas such as ours, that have over-population problems, and that have animals that they believe will be highly adoptable based on their community's demand.
You may be asking why a group in say New York would need to come all the way to West Virginia to help homeless animals. In some cases their states have strict spay and neuter laws that helps minimize overpopulation, strays and mixed breeds. Also, in well-to-do communities there are groups that seek to reach out to communities that are less well off. Lastly and maybe most importantly to us, we at the HSOP have a reputation for being honest and responsible in our dealings with them. We don’t send sick animals. We don’t send pitbull puppies when we’ve told the rescue we’re sending them beagles. We don’t send a 10 year old dog that we’ve told them is 2 years old. Again, sadly not all Shelters are so forthcoming.
Where are the Rescues we work with located?
Most of the rescue groups we work with are in the northeast (Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Maryland) and we normally meet halfway, often in Hagerstown Md, to deliver the animals.
How do they decide what animals they want?
Usually the Rescues will go to our website and look at our animals. They call us or e-mail us and tell us what animals they are interested in and try and learn more about them before making a final decision. As we have long standing relationships with most of our Rescues, we normally know what kinds of animals they will be interested in and often will contact them when we receive such animals. For instance, St. Huberts in New Jersey has a great deal of luck placing our working dog breeds and commonly requests hounds and larger adult dogs. We also have a cat rescue group that has a high placement rate for long haired cats so we will contact them when we receive them to see if they would be interested.
We rely heavily on these organizations as they help us find homes for homeless animals. Last year alone we rehomed more than 1700 animals through work with rescue organizations such as Rogers’ Rescue, Castaway Critter, St. Huberts, A Forever Home and Homeward Bound. They are obviously an invaluable resource to the Humane Society of Parkersburg and to all homeless animals in need.
If you are a Rescue organization and are interested in possibly working with us, please refer to Information for Rescues (in our About Us Section) for information about our requirements for Rescues.