Here a some important points to remember:
1. DOL rescue is not the be all and end all of rescue. A hell of alot goes on behind the scenes and not every pound is listed on DOL. There are many other dogs on death row in other shelters that need just as much help. There are also MANY rescuers who are not on DOL, and have not even heard of DOL.
2. Not everybody on DOL rescue is an educated, experienced rescuer or foster carer. If ANY group wishes to pursue a member on the forum offering foster care for a dog it is the RESCUE GROUPS responsibility to check out the foster carer, regardless of how well they paint themselves. This includes a house and yard check, background check with other groups (if possible) and for a member of the group, preferably from the committee, to meet the potential foster carer and mark them as sound to foster.
3. If you see a dog on DOL rescue and want to help, do the right thing. Research which group you want to join with, take the necessary steps to becoming a fully fledged carer. Being a foster care provider takes time, dedication, and genuine caring. Fostering a shelter pet is a full time job. Temperament assessments are always advised before taking on a rescue dog and it is strongly advised you do this YOURSELF to make sure YOU are satisfied with the dog and are 100% positive you can provide care for the term of fostering.
4. If you are unsure on the status on a dog you have seen on DOL. Call the pound directly. www.operationtoby.com is a good place to start looking if you need to view a pound webpage for details. Be patient, be courteous, be clear and be specific. The pound staff do not enjoy the worst part of their job and it is not their fault that not every animal can be saved. If you wish to comment on the procedures of a pound, its conditions or operations, take the appropriate action ie: contact the supervisior, manager or council via email, mail or phone. Unless you are speaking on behalf of a rescue group, do not say you are.
5. When offering or asking for transport, be clear about what is needed. Give as much information as possible. Dates, times, locations, phone numbers.... Everything that might be needed, just might be needed. For rescuers asking others on DOL to pick up and drop off, make sure that all paperwork is completed at each end to save time, confusion and dogs being incorrectly chipped.
6. If you are going to say yes you can take a dog, be sure that all communication between you, the rescue group and the pound is clear. If you are unsure of anything, do not hesitate to ask. This may end in the dog being PTS even if it had a place to go, simply because communication was puzzled.
7. Try to avoid asking others to post on your behalf. This only leads to confusion and inevitably dogs may suffer. While many of us know each other in real life, many don't. One person may not realise which people belong to same groups, or how close rescuers may live to each other etc.
Key points for preventing burn out.
- Recognise and accept that you cannot save every animal.
- Use common sense.
- Learn to say no.
- Ask for help.
- Be patient.
- Know your limits.
- Know when to quit.
For anybody interested in becoming a foster carer, please PM me and I will forward you the first part of my book - A Guide To Foster Caring.
Emotion plays a large part in rescue, but emotion as the driving force can have significant drawbacks. We all have to respect our own and each others abilities and limitations.
And remember: if you have no room for just one more dog, don’t take just one more dog.
This post has been edited by shmoo: 19 August 2007 - 12:43 AM