Animal Rescues in Canada
Animal rescues in Canada – and most probably, everywhere – are very different from animal shelters in the ways they operate. However, they should have the same standards in terms of animal care.
You would think that operators of rescue groups would want the same outcome for an animal in ways that licensed animal shelters would when finding a new owner for an animal in their care… but this is not always the case.
Unfortunately, many groups or individuals who portray themselves as ‘Animal Rescues In Canada’ are in it for the wrong reasons. Before diving into that, let’s take a look at animal shelters in Canada.
How Animal Rescues in Canada Should Be
According to the Canadian Standards of Care in Animal Shelters, an adequate shelter should follow specific guidelines. Grosso modo, these are the main features they should provide:
- Good expenses management.
- Functional facility design.
- Population management.
- Sanitization standards.
- Pet’s behavioral and physical health.
- Group housing.
- Animal handling.
- Euthanasia protocols.
- Spaying and neutering.
- Transportation standards, and public health.
For example, the SPCA follows strict guidelines that are the same in all of their locations. On the contrary, rescues, however, are what we like to describe as rogue.
Animal Rescues in Canada: The Real Portrayal
While rescues and shelters share common interests and face common challenges, rescues are usually private ventures. In other words, people running them don’t have to answer to anyone but themselves. Most rescue groups rely on volunteers and fostering methods because they don’t have dedicated facilities. This is okay, there is much to be said for the benefits of fostering animals in loving families – but it leaves open a large space for different methods of operation.
Animal Shelters are often government-run facilities that operate at certain hours and have flat adoption fees following government guidelines. Rescues can work without any guidelines. Alarming? Yes, of course.
As there are no consistent standards for animal rescues, people looking to adopt from a rescue must do their research to ensure their support is to a reputable organization.
Sadly, in many cases, people or groups disguise themselves as rescues when they are nothing but animal hoarders or individuals who mass transport animals strictly for profit.
When it comes to animal shelters, there is a lot of oversight and bureaucracy involved. In contrast, you do not find this aspect within rescues. So, if you have decided you’re going to adopt from a rescue, the best thing you can do is conduct your private research.
Now, how should you conduct it?
Research the Rescue Like the Rescue Researches You
There are visible signs when you bump into a good rescue. For example, a good rescue in Canada will at least:
- Require applicants to fill out adoption applications
- Walk applicants through interview processes.
- Ask for and cross-check references.
- Conduct home visits to meet everyone living in the home.
Also, good rescues care about the long-term outcomes of their animals. On the contrary, questionable rescues just want to make a sale. You can feel it.
If you find a rescue that doesn’t require you to fill out an application before taking your new fur baby home, you’ve got a problem. If a rescue doesn’t screen you, how do they know you can care for an animal?
In short, if you come across large adoption events that allow you to go home that same day with your pet, or you find a rescue online which requires you to commit adoption before meeting the pet, they do not care that much about it.
When researching rescues, reach out to friends who have adopted pets and ask them about their experiences.
Ask for references from the rescue.
Extensive Application Processes: What to Expect
Now, it’s time to watch the other face in the mirror: You.
Good rescues take into consideration if you are knowledgeable about the breed you are trying to adopt. Same, they will:
- Ask you about your past experiences with pets.
- If you don’t have the experience, they will clarify that they will help you after adoption.
- The rescue will want to get to know you on a somewhat personal level. If you want to pass the application process, just answer frankly. Questions to answer will be similar to:
- What is your lifestyle?
- How often do you leave on vacation?
- If you travel, who will be caring for your pet?
- Do you want a dog for companionship or strict protection?
- Do you want your dog to be an outdoor dog?
Tip: A good rescue will not approve your application if you want your dog to live outdoors. These are the things that a good rescue will inquire about.
Picky and Reliable Animal Rescues in Canada
Another factor which we’ve mentioned is home visits with everyone in the household. A good rescue will ensure everyone in the house wants a new furry member at home. Such information will tell the rescue that the entire family is a good fit for the animal.
For example, if you fall in love with a timid cat that doesn’t do well with noise and isn’t good with other animals, the rescue likely won’t consider a household with three toddlers and two dogs. The animal’s well being is of utmost priority.
Building on this, the rescue should do a trial adoption with you.
A good rescue in Canada will allow you to take your pet home and see if the cohabitation works. The rescue will follow up with you and ensure it is the right fit, and if it’s not, they will take the animal back into their care.
Now, imagine another scenario: What if you adopt your pet, but five years down the road, you injure yourself and can no longer care for your pet? A good rescue will always take the pet back. You will want to ask the rescue if it has a rehoming policy. That’s why reliable rescues in Canada should be picky.
Origin of the Animal and Vet expenses
Vet visits are another critical point to filter your research. Natural questions such as where your pet comes from are important, and if your rescue can’t answer correctly, you should move on.
For example, in Kelowna, many dogs come from Texas, and in Texas, there are lots of canine heartworm cases.
Is the pet you are adopting healthy? Has it been tested for this? A reputable rescue will prioritize their animals’ health, ensure they have their vaccinations, and keep them in their care until they are healthy and ready for adoption.
Rescue’s adoption fees rarely cover full vet expenses in Canada. In other words, the rescue will typically fundraise for their animals’ vet visits before putting them up for adoption.
A reputable rescue will ensure the pet is spayed or neutered before putting it up for adoption. To make sure you are working with a reputable rescue, ask for the veterinarian’s paperwork and where they got their vaccines.
Then, make sure to confirm the information they give you to ensure you didn’t receive fraudulent paperwork. And yes, these things happen when ‘rescues’ are just trying to make their next sale.
Wrapping up ideas
Reliable rescues put the wellbeing of the pet ahead of all else.
Do your research and take your time. A pet is a life-long commitment, and you want to set yourself up for success when finding a place to adopt from.