7 Tips to Find a Pet Rescue That’s Perfect for You

If you are looking for a new pet, consider the adoptable animals waiting in rescue. Read our tips to find a pet rescue.

tips-pet-rescue
All rescues are not created equal. By: Ed Bierman

Choosing to adopt a pet from a rescue will change not only your life, but also the life of an animal.

There are many rescues varying in size, breeds that they have, and how they operate. Choosing the best rescue to adopt from is an important decision, and it requires that you take your time and do some research first.

Consider the following seven ways to find a pet rescue for your next pet.

1. Decide What Size Dog You Want

Even if you aren’t sure of the breed, you need to have a good idea of the size of dog that you wish to rescue. Do this before you visit the group because you don’t want to find the perfect pet only to find that your home or yard is too small to accommodate his needs.

Some rescues carry only a certain breed or a particular type of dog, such as toy breeds or large breeds. Knowing what you are looking for before you visit a rescue society will help you narrow your choices.

2. Use Petfinder

Petfinder is an online site that helps you find rescue societies in your area. From the links on the site, you can visit the various rescues to determine if they might have the pet you are looking for. You’ll find contact information as well as the address and directions.

Many rescues have a list of the animals that are currently available for adoption, and you can find information about fees and other important facts on their website.

3. Look For Realistic “Advertising”

Of course each rescue wants to find a great home for all of its animals, but this can cause people to be less than forthcoming about some of the less adoptable pets.

Be wary of a rescue that lists every single animal available as the perfect pet for families and similar praises. Not every animal does well with other critters or with children. Some can also become destructive if left alone for long periods of time.

Look for a rescue that appears to be honest in its assessments of the animals and its recommendations for placing for pets. This shows the rescue truly cares about placing an animal in a suitable home.

4. Ask About a Return Policy

Even if the rescue has done its best to match you with a pet that is perfect for your family, situations can arise that may make it necessary to return a pet. For example, you may discover that you or your child has an allergy to the pet.

An adoption agency that cares about placing animals with families will take back a pet if it does not work out for you for some reason. The return window may be several weeks up to three months. Just make sure there will be sufficient time to ensure that you and your pet are a good match.

5. Ask How the Animals Are Housed

It is common for some rescue societies to place an animal with a foster family until it can be permanently rescued. Animals in this type of foster setting are often less traumatized and more likely to assimilate into your family easier.

However, if the animals are kenneled while awaiting their new homes, ask to see the facilities so you can see how your potential pet has been living. A rescue that uses small, cramped kennels or that are without a clean, safe area for the animals to spend time outside their kennels is not your best option.

6. Ask About Visiting the Animal

The animal you are considering rescuing will likely not display its full personality while in a kennel. Ask the rescue if it allows a visit outside the kennel so you can interact with the animal and get a better sense of its personality. A society that has been honest about the personality of the animal will not have a problem with this.

If they won’t allow you to interact with the animal outside the kennel, you should be wary.

7. Ask About Home Visits

Some rescues will bring a dog that you are interested in rescuing to your home for a visit. In this way, the society can determine if your home is suitable for the animal, and you can see how the dog interacts with you and your family.

A cat that has been made wary of humans because of abuse in its former home may act aggressive toward you, and you should select another pet if this is the case. A good rescue will want the placement to work out and will do everything possible to make a good adoption happen.

I’ll leave you with this video showing a dog named Roscoe going to his new home — and here’s hoping your rescue has just as happy an ending as his:

Jet Perreault

View posts by Jet Perreault
Jet Perreault, a professional dog groomer of 18 years, graduated from Michigan State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She has spent time on the dog show circuit, working groomer trade shows, and managing grooming salons and pet shops.

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