This is the Cliff Notes version of the ultimate guide.
Here are some GUIDELINES and TIPS to help determine if you should donate to the rescue or not:
1. Donate locally.
Do you personally know these people?
Can you visit their facility if they have one?
Can you visit their foster homes or adoption events?
2. If you choose to donate to people with rescues you have only seen online and on Facebook proceed with great caution.
If you want to donate only to rescue that claims it is “no kill” you must examine that claim.
A Good and Worthy Rescue:
1. Has a mission statement. It is usually to save as many shelter pets as possible by pulling them from shelters and then adopting them out. That is usually their number one goal – to get them into forever homes. Or they also more rarely accept owner relinquished pets directly or are a sanctuary that does not adopt out. In any event their goals should be clearly stated and then clearly followed.
2. The worthy rescue is transparent and hows no problem listing and answering the following questions:
If possible use one year as the uniform specified period of time with most recent stats possible
*How many pets do you save/take in over a specified period of time?
*How many do you adopt out over a specified period of time?
*How many do you euthanize over a specified period of time?
*Under what conditions do you euthanize?
*Do you kill for space?
*How many are currently in your care?
*What are you hours I can visit?
*What is your address and phone number?
*Do you rescue pets from your local shelter?
*Where do the pets come from?
* Who is your vet?
* How much did you receive in contributions for said specified period of time?
* Exactly how were the goods and money used?
*Where may I get a copy of your 990? * see note on 501 c 3
*If not a 501 c 3 why not?
*How many employees do you have? Volunteers? Fosters?
*How do your market you pets?
*Do you have adoption events?
*Do you have a website?
*Are there current pics of the pets?
*Do you have an up to date Rescue Groups, Petfinder or AdoptaPet account and listings?
*Do you have applications to volunteer, foster and adopt?
3. If they have an Internet presence they liberally use photos of the pets in their care. Photos are the number one way to get a pet adopted as well as receive donations for that particular pet in need:
*They post photos of all those in their care. That includes those they take into their facility or foster homes
* They post photos of all those adopted
* They post photos of adoption events.
* They DON’T post endless photos of themselves with the pets.
* A 501 C 3 is not a guarantee of legitimacy but is one factor that should be considered.
AVOID rescues that do the following:
1. Sound like a country western song with their constant tales of woe – if they are using a constant string of personal tragedies to lure you in then whether they are for real or not, they are not in a great position to care for animals when they cannot even take care of themselves adequately
*Avoid those that use manipulation to tug on your heart and wallet strings
- Beg for money because they are themselves near starvation and can barely pay their bills
- Discuss their personal tragedies and how it is affecting their ability to care for animals
2. Avoid those that refuse to be transparent and answer questions about anything regarding their rescue
3. Avoid those that do not clearly report and identify how many they rescue and adopt out
4. Stay clear of rescues that on their Internet presence post few pics of those they claim to have up for adoption or is in foster.
* Avoid them if there are very few if any local people commenting on the pets in their care they have seen, adopted, or fostered.
5. Steer clear of those that do have an internet presence but mainly post pics of themselves with the pets
NOTE. Real rescues usually have pics only of the pets in their care and the only humans in their pics are usually happy adopters.
*A real rescue does not have time to for cutesy or heart wrenching blogs with many details that are irrelevant to specific pets they are trying to get adopted out. Avoid.
6. Steer clear of rescues that have blogs that focus on a myriad of tragedies specifically geared to get you to DONATE NOW, but not to necessarily get the pet in the story adopted. No pet in the story? Then doubly avoid.
7. Avoid them if they don’t have a clear focus on adopting their pets out. Everything they write and every action they take should have rehoming the pets in their care as a priority ( unless they are clearly a stated sanctuary) Always keep in mind the lifesaving worthiness of a rescue is may be evaluated by how many and how often they take in and then adopt out, as this continual, difficult and expensive process is the ONLY way more can be saved.