How Rescue Works

The Basics

DOG RESCUE 101

Animal welfare groups are not new, and have been in existence in the US since the mid-1800’s. Adopting a pet has grown in popularity over the years as animal welfare issues have become part of our public consciousness, and we’ve become more aware of the millions of animals who need to be saved.

According to the ASPCA, approximately 3.9 million dogs enter American animal shelters every year. Of these, about 1.4 million are adopted, 1.2 million are euthanized, and most of the rest are reunited with their owners. While the outlook for dogs has improved since the 1970’s, when we used to put down 12-20 million animals each year, there are still millions of dogs who deserve to find loving homes and need our help.

Dogs Deserve Better is an all-volunteer, nonprofit dog rescue. We are run by volunteers who love animals and want to make a difference by helping these forgotten dogs find loving families. Our mission is to provide a better life for abused, neglected, and abandoned dogs, while working work to address the root problems of animal overpopulation, and educate our community about animal welfare and the virtue and need for dog rescue.

Below is a brief overview on how Dogs Deserve Better operates and the process for adopting one of our dogs.

WHERE OUR DOGS COME FROM

Dogs Deserve Better works in conjunction with owners, animal shelters, and good Samaritans to help save dogs who have run out of time or are living in cruel or unsafe conditions.

Dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds come into rescue, from lovable mutts to striking purebreds. They take different paths to get here, but most find themselves confused and abandoned through no fault of their own. An owner may move somewhere that doesn’t allow dogs, or someone adopts a cute puppy but is not ready for the amount of work and cost involved, or a new baby enters the family and the couple decides they no longer have the time for their four-legged companion.

Too often, owners surrender their dogs because it was just not convenient for them anymore, and don’t realize the consequences. It’s a sad and unfortunate predicament for these pups.

One of the biggest hurdles we have in convincing more people to adopt a rescue dog is the misconception that they are somehow damaged or broken. This is an unfair characterization of these dogs who in many cases are former family pets who were given up on by their owners. The reality is that these dogs are very resilient, quickly adapt to new environments, and respond well to a loving home.

Rescue dogs of all ages, from all sorts of circumstances, can transition into a well-adjusted member of your family.

VETTING PROCESS

New dogs coming into the rescue are taken immediately to one of our veterinary clinic partners to have a full health evaluation. They are spayed or neutered when necessary, brought up to date on vaccines, and given a microchip that will identify them in case they are ever lost or abandoned.

Dogs Deserve Better requires that ALL of our dogs be spayed or neutered to address the overpopulation issue we are trying to combat, and to ensure that none can be used for breeding. A spayed or neutered dog is often healthier and will usually live a longer life, so it’s a win-win. Our dogs are also evaluated for temperament and personality, which helps us to place them in homes that are better suited to their needs, and the needs of their future owners.

FOSTER HOMES

After receiving a health evaluation, the dog is placed into one of our volunteer foster homes, where they are given temporary shelter, and an enormous amount of TLC until we can find them a good home.

Fostering is the backbone of rescue. We can only save as many dogs as we have foster families – just regular people with a little extra time and space – to welcome them into their homes. Our foster homes serve as a transition from a bad situation to a new hopeful life. As the dog begins to realize they are safe and loved, they begin to trust and open up and we can get a better sense of their personality and social skills, and understand the type of family that will best suit them.

Everyone benefits from the foster process. The foster family enjoys a rewarding experience and is able to see real, tangible results from the time and love they invest. The foster dog gets a break from their stressful life circumstance and starts to learn how to be part of a family. The adopter gets a dog that’s better socialized and adapted to home life, and receives first-hand insight and guidance from the foster family who has lived with and often rehabilitated their dog.

ADOPTION PROCESS

The first step is to complete an Adoption Application online. You can apply for a specific dog on the site, or apply to be approved as a Dogs Deserve Better adopter and we will work with you to find the right pup match for your family.

Once your application is completed, your references are checked and a Dogs Deserve Better volunteer will schedule a phone interview to discuss your application. This process helps us get a better feel for the type of dog that will best fit your family and lifestyle.

The final step is a Home Visit. A Dogs Deserve Better volunteer will visit your home in person to meet you and get a sense of the living arrangements. This is to verify your home is a good, safe environment for one of our pups, and also gives us an opportunity to answer any final questions you may have in person.

Once the home visit is complete and you are approved, we connect you with the dog’s foster family to meet them and see if it’s a match.

HOW WE OPERATE

Operating a rescue can be a very expensive undertaking. Adoption fees help cover only a fraction of our costs, which include routine veterinary checkups, microchipping, shelter fees, fuel for transporting new rescues, food and supplies for dogs in foster care, temporary boarding facilities, behavioral training when needed, and supplemental or emergency medical treatment, which can sometimes run into the thousands.

As a non-profit and all-volunteer organization, Dogs Deserve Better relies on donations and support from our community to continue our work on behalf of the animals. Rescue is a team effort, and dedicated volunteers are the lifeblood of our rescue. Whether it’s helping with transports, doing phone screens or home visits, or fostering a dog, it all makes a difference in changing the lives of these dogs, and their new families too.

If you have interest in volunteering, please sign up here, and we will get right back to you. If you have questions, you can also email volunteer@ddbnova.org