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Week One
August 31, 1998 - September 4, 1998

Introduction to Rescue

Day Two

Subject: CLASS: Re: Planning & Medical Expenses
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 05:54:52 -0400
From: Vicki DeGruy - 72074.676@COMPUSERVE.COM

Hi everyone,

Planning for expenses is definitely a good idea! There are certain basic expenses you can expect with almost every rescued dog, even healthy ones:

  • general medical checkup
  • spay or neuter
  • routine vaccinations: DHLP, rabies, bordatella (some people also vaccinate against corona) worming (rounds, hooks, tapes, etc.)
  • heartworm testing and preventative
  • flea control
I have strong feelings about professionalism in rescue groups and I believe that we need to provide at least the above services for the dogs for their sake, the sake of their adopters and to gain the public's trust in adopting a rescued dog.

Our rescued Chows cost our group an average of $150 each for these services, not including HW preventative & flea products. (Vet expenses are going to vary, I know there are groups here on the list that get by cheaper and others whose dogs cost them more.) Adoption fees need to be set high enough to offset as much of this basic expense as possible yet still be reasonable for the adopters. Our fee is $100 and we're thinking of raising it to $125-150 as expenses continue to rise each year. The balance of the bills are paid by fundraisers, donations and the pockets of our volunteers.

What to do about dogs with health conditions that blow out the budget? That's going to be a personal decision from one rescuer to another but I think it helps to make some general policies. They don't have to be set in stone but they can be guidelines for yourself. When considering a medically-expensive dog, our group looks at several factors - the overall adoptability of the dog (age, temperament, range of home possibilities), whether the ailment is chronic or a one-time fix, the needs of the other dogs currently in the program, the amount of $$ in our treasury and what we anticipate we'll need for incoming dogs in the next months ahead. If your program only handles a few dogs a year, you may be able to spend more per dog than a group that has lots of dogs (Bearded Collie Rescue vs. Rottie Rescue, for example).

Take care,

Vicki DeGruy, Wisconsin Chow Chow Rescue

Subject: Re: CLASS: Introduction to Rescue
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 07:50:06 -0700
From: Karen Berggren - kbergg79@CYBERTRAILS.COM

Hi! I'm on the Board of the Winslow Humane Society. When starting out in rescue, I think it is helpful to assess your community concerning the types of dogs which are common in your area and possible sources of help, plus talk with veterinarians concerning common health problems. In Winslow (NE Arizona) we are surrounded by ranch and reservation lands. Therefore, we get a lot of heelers, Australian shepherds, etc. These are real working dogs. We have a local kennel which is a prominent breeder of huskies- but surprisingly few huskies show up at the shelter! There are 3 people who show dogs (we are a town of about 10,000) and in the next county there is a woman who is trying to be a puppy mill- with Pyranees, Portuguese Water Dogs (my breed!) and Bichons.(Hopefully we have discouraged her. The dogs she has are really poor examples of the breeds) Unfortunately, we also have a small group of dog fighters with pit bulls and Rottweilers. We do not have any know cases of Heartworm or Lyme Disease here, but Parvo is rampant. There are two Kennel Clubs fairly close, Flagstaff (60 miles) and Show Low (100 miles)

By having this assessment, it gives an idea of our most likely problem areas & where we can seek help.

Karen Berggren
Planalta Portuguese Water Dogs
Dory (CH Deerpark Marisodora)
Joy (Deerpark Alegria do Planalta)
Racer (Brigao Rage Racer)

Subject: CLASS: Quarantine
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 14:35:50 EDT
From: Marsha Ardoin - MArdoin@AOL.COM

I have yet more questions: I live in a house and I don't have any out buildings for quarantining dogs that I take in. I don't want to just keep them outside. I have an attached garage. Could I set up a pen in there? Could my dog and the rescue use the same backyard (NOT at the same time)? What other solutions do I have for housing the rescues?

A garage would probably work, check with your vet on this, but I would be careful on sterilization issues back and forth. The sharing of the yard won't work, even if they are not there at the same time....the germs will be there long after the dog is back in the garage.

Here, while in quarantine, the dogs are not allowed in the yard, but use papers in the area they are kept.


Subject: Re: CLASS: Quarantine
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 15:18:25 -0500
From: Dixie Davis - dixie@FLASH.NET

As long as we're talking about quarantine, I will admit that I don't quarantine. I try not to let my dogs mix with rescue dogs much, at least not at first, but I don't have the room/space to quarantine. I'm in Texas, and it's simply too hot to leave some dogs (thick coated breeds) outside all day, even in a run. I live in a house, with a moderate size yard, and I can't have a bunch of dogs outside barking their heads off. I take in a few rescues at a time (though the count is currently 5), crate them in the house, and take them out for walks.

It also depends a great deal on where the dog comes from. If it's an owner turn-in, my dogs aren't getting much more exposure than they do at the off-leash dog park. If it's a rescue from the pound, there is a greater risk of exposure. But the Austin pound keeps dogs 3 weeks before they adopt out to rescue groups, and they segregate sick dogs from healthy ones, so it cuts down on the transmission of germs.


Subject: Re: CLASS: Introduction to Rescue
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 15:38:15 -0500
From: Dixie Davis - dixie@FLASH.NET

Karen (in Winslow, AZ, where I have an outstanding speeding ticket) :( has an excellent point about assessing your areas needs and resources. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about a group in Magdalena, NM, which is trying to get people to spay and neuter their pets (the group is sponsoring a free clinic). In some areas, ther eis a lot of apathy towards spay/neuter, even when it's free. There's also a lot of apathy about unwanted litters. People prefer to let the pups die from exposure than to do anything about fixing the animals.

Also, in these areas, a number of the dogs are larged mixed breeds. They don't have much cuteness factor, they often come from a long line of dogs that have had to fend for themselves, and thus don't make great house pets. People in these areas have to face the fact that they will have to euthanize or place a number of dogs out of area. I think education is a major part of rescue, especially in areas such as these. Rescuers in these areas may not be able to have the stringent requirements others of us have (indoors, crates, etc). But at the same time, you can do a lot to educate people, and also to be a resource when people are having trouble with their pets.

All of us should let our adopters know that they can come to us with problems, and we will do our best to help them. We don't have to be professional dog trainers, but we should be willing to try to find out how to deal with food aggression, for example. Helping owners nip problems in the bud is an excellent way to insure that our placements are for life.

Along these lines, someone who doesn't have room for rescue dogs, but who can look up information off web sites (for shy dogs, aggressive dogs, etc) and act as a resource for adopters, is an invaluable asset to a rescue organization.

Thank doG for the internet!

Subject: Re: CLASS: Quarantine
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 16:41:14 -0400
From: Elizabeth Sommers - ESOMMERS@COURTS.STATE.NY.US

As long as we're talking about quarantine, i will admit that I don't quarantine.

Well, I'll join in the confessional --- we don't either, as a rule. We would if we had the facilities but we don't, so that's that and we go from there (dreaming, of course, of that all-rescue kennel in the back of everyone's mind around here).

Because we usually have some medical work to do on the dogs, many of them -- especially those that seem, for one reason or another to be a big risk -- will often go straight to the vets from a shelter. And we have arrangments with two shelters where - on the rare occasion we get a really hideous condition owner turn-in -- we can place them in runs there short term. (That may seem odd but believe me, for the few for which we have used that arrangement, the shelter -- *any* shelter -- was a big step up from the "home" environment they came from!)

Rescue is not without risk, no matter what aspect of it you consider: being sued, being bitten, having your dogs get sick, getting neighbors angry, burning out. I think we all agree that a 14 day quarantine would be optimal, but the fact is that many of us do not operate in optimal conditions. As with most of those other risks, the best and sometimes only protection comes from common sense, good "gut instincts" ... and a lot of luck!

Betsy Sommers
Golden Retriever Rescue, Albany, NY

Subject: CLASS: Quarantine
Date Tue, 1 Sep 1998 20:19:48 -0400
From: Bruce & Kitten Jones - kitten3912@bellsouth.net

I am very limited as far as "facilities" go. I have a small pen in the back yard, a large front deck, and my house. When new dogs come in they are quarantined in the back yard pen with dog houses for shelter. The back pen is floored with river stones. I go out twice a day and pick up all the waste and dispose of it. I then use a water hose with a bottle attached (fertilizer sprayer). I put chlorine bleach in the bottle and hose the yard down, paying careful attention to the spots where I picked up waste. I have been very successful (knock on wood) using this method.

My resident dogs stay on the deck (where I use the same "bleach" method) or in the house.

Once the 14 day waiting period is complete, the new dogs join the others and all are allowed to run in the pen, deck or house.

Kitten Jones
Lighthouse Animal Rescue

Subject: Re: CLASS: Quarantine
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 17:57:13 -0400
From: Debra Freund - u14001@SNET.NET

It seems to me that quarantine is essential. Besides the obvious possibility of getting healthy dogs ill due to exposure, it seems that it would also help save more dogs by keeping medical costs down.

Debbie Freund

Subject: Re: CLASS: Quarantine
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 16:22:11 -0700
From: sanya - sanya@LIPS.COM

I don't quarantine the pound dogs I bring home, either. I'm still new to rescue and have had about 50 dogs come through the house so far. Kennel cough is the only thing we've had to deal with and since we vaccinate for it, only one of our six permanent residents caught it. Rescue dogs have mostly been adults 1-2 yrs old since these aren't as readily adopted at the pound as puppies are.

For me, integrating the pound dogs at the start is a good thing. We have between 1-4 rescue dogs at a time in the house (kennel, really) with our own dogs. The pound dogs learn good "house" behavior from the others and potty training is a snap. I have neighbors and can't have a pack of dogs outside barking. Since I "operate" this way, I avoid dealing with dog-aggressive dogs, too.

And that's my two cents,

Rescue individual - mostly terriers, including Pits

Subject: CLASS: First Steps & Planning 1st Rescue (Long)
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 21:58:13 -0400
From: Corinne Amend - camend@BRIGHT.NET

What do you recommend that people starting out in rescue do first?

I think that there are a number of things people starting out should do, covering many aspects of their personal lives in preparation. When you start considering rescue, I think you need to contact others who are involved in rescue, in order to get the "big picture". I think often times, new rescuers have an "idea" in their mind of what doing rescue entails vs. what rescue really is. I think that once you have absorbed what food for thought others have given you, then you need to ask yourself some realistic questions such as: "Do I have the time to do this? If I get into this and it requires more time than I had originally thought, am I willing to make additional time? To let something else go in order to keep the commitment I've made to these animals? To what extent do I feel I can commit to this effort? Is this a passing fancy, or something I feel a need to do, deep within?

In a nutshell, I feel that alot of soul-searching, prioritizing and decision-making is the first step in starting out in rescue.

What kind of planning is important before taking on their first rescue dog?

Contact your vet. Make an appointment to present to your vet what you are doing, advise them that you will be bringing rescue dogs to them for physicals, check-ups, treatment for any health problems, etc... Ask them if they give any type of discount to rescue organizations. Decide where you are going to house the dog. Of course the ideal situation is to introduce them to your household eventually, to see how they react under various circumstances, however, this is not always realistic.

Do you have kennels at your house? Do you choose to quarantine? If so, do you have the facilities to do so, until you can evaluate and get to a vet for testing? How much in personal resources are you capable of laying out for each dog? What alternatives do you have available to you, should you reach your limits?

If this is an individual effort within your household, is your significant other totally aware of what you are undertaking and either supportive or at the least understanding of what all is involved? Will they help in the event that you are unable to do "chores" at some time? If not, you need to find an alternate.

Decide when you will take time for yourself and your family. You will need to do this, no matter what. If you don't take time for you and yours, you will eventually render yourself incapable of helping others.

Corinne Amend
Chesapeake Bay Retriever Relief & Rescue
Western Region Available Dogs Co-Coordinator

Subject: Re: CLASS: Quarantine
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 21:59:51 -0400
From: Pam Rudd - pamrudd@GATEWAY.NET

It seems to me that quarantine is essential. Besides the obvious possibility of getting healthy dogs ill due to exposure, it seems that it would also help save more dogs by keeping medical costs down.

Debbie Freund

However, not all of us have the resources to quarentine. I don't, and that doesn't stop me from taking in strays. It just makes me very careful about what strays I take. It doesn't mean I can't do rescue.

We all do the best we can with what we've got.

Pam Rudd
SC, Aussie Rescue and whoever else needs me.

End of Day Two

Day Three

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