Four ways you can identify a legit rescue:
Full disclosure: They should reveal vet information, especially when injuries or illness is involved and give people the option of paying the vet or boarding directly. When rescued they should reveal their identity so that people can not only donate to them to help, but that so people can follow-up via their website to see pictures of the dogs while in foster and then in their permanent home once they have one. Plus legit rescues like to take credit for the animals they rescue because they rely on donations in order to operate their rescue. Legit rescues should have a website other than just one Facebook and an application for you to fill out to apply to volunteer, foster, or adopt. Real rescues will answer normal rescue questions and not attack you, bash you, or block you for asking a question.
Qualifying: Legit rescues do not pull a dog for random people on Facebook threads. They should always make sure there is a back-up plan also and that back-up plan should not be boarding (no animal, esp a dog should have to live in boarding long-term). Rescues should make people fill out an application, verify the information, do a vet check, do a home check, and require a contract stating if they get rid of the animal for any reason they have to return it to them. Their application should ask a lot of questions. Some examples include: about all of their animals, who lives in the house, their ages, is their yard fenced, where will the animal sleep, where will the animal be when they are at work or gone, how many hours a day will the dog be alone and or in a crate, etc. and make sure that temperament, size, and health wise that adopter or foster is a good fit for the animal.
Money: Legit rescues do fundraisers, adoption events, and network. While rescues can always use money, they should never be continually begging for money by telling sob stories that include personal details of their lives or discussing their own bills. They should not only pull animals with high pledges. They should allow people to apply to adopt but make sure they qualify. If they have an application that looks great online, but they will actually “adopt” them to anyone with money: this is brokering. If they pull or rescue animals that already have a local adopter or rescue to send them to a rescue that is far away.
Ethics/Morals: When they send or receive large numbers of animals from out-of-the-area on a regular basis. Legit rescues know that finding qualified adopters can take time. For instance, if they are sending Pit Bull Terriers from California to New York then that’s a huge red flag. New York shelters are very crowded with Pit Bulls and they have to kill them all the time. Another example is a woman who would take about 30 Pit Bulls to New York each week from Florida shelters and claimed to adopt them all out in just 4 hours on a Saturday (or so she said). Statements like this should serve as a warning. Also if anyone is pulling or transporting large numbers of animals anywhere, that is another red flag.
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