Home > Animal Rescue, Lady, Pet Adoption > Finding the right dog rescue…

Finding the right dog rescue…

This is Hakim. Hakim loves to be around people, play fetch, and be petted! He loves to go for (leashed), walks and plays chase with the other dog in his foster home. He is an absolute sweetheart!
Hakim is 8 years old and a larger Sheltie (like my Jasper). He is available through MNSheltieRescue.org

When our local shelter, Minnesota Valley Humane Society (MVHS), closed it’s doors a couple of years ago I felt such a great sense of loss. I had volunteered there for over 8 years and had made so many friends. My last  four dogs had come from MVHS – Indy, Aspen, Daisy and Jasper. And then suddenly, it was all gone.

I knew I wanted to continue to help animals in some way, but how? Several of my friends had gone to help at other shelters in Hastings or in Minneapolis because they were close to them, but many started to help out in local dog rescue groups. It was definitely a change for me and my friends. Where before we could spend time with a specific dog and maybe even work on their social skills and training, we now helped out with intake, transport, adoption events, fostering, and a variety of other things. It was a huge adjustment for me, and I suspect my other shelter friends. I liked that human to dog interaction. I liked making a difference in one dog’s life. It took me a while to understand that working in a rescue can make a difference too.

And, if you don’t know now, let me tell you – not all dog rescues are built the same. Every dog rescue has its own area of focus, its own priorities, its own way of doing things. I ended up with the right dog rescue group in the end (you will read more about them on July 23rd when Blogger’s Unite for Dog Rescue), but starting out I hadn’t a clue what to look for or what to ask and ended up with the absolutely wrong rescue (for me). Let’s just say that my experience with the first rescue group still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Knowing which rescue is right for you can be tough, but giving back and helping a dog rescue can be so rewarding when you do find the right one. That’s why I wanted to share this great post from Poochie Project’s blog called “QUESTIONS TO ASK A RESCUE BEFORE YOU FOSTER”. It is perhaps the most comprehensive list of questions to ask a rescue.

If I had known what questions to ask perhaps I would have found my awesome dog rescue group, Minnesota Sheltie Rescue, sooner.

Knowing what I know now about dog rescues has opened my mind, changed my perspectives and shown me a new way to help animals in need. But what about you? Thinking about volunteering for a dog rescue and not sure how to begin? I would read Poochie Projects post and then start researching local rescues in your area. There are so many ways to help. One person can make the difference for one dog. It’s worth your time, isn’t it?

  1. July 16, 2012 at 8:13 AM

    Great post Mel, I’ve been struggling to find the right organization myself. I’m taking the fact that I haven’t as a sign that I need to be focused in other areas of my life. But I will continue to be open to the possibilities.

    • Mel
      July 16, 2012 at 11:32 PM

      I totally understand Jodi. I think I struggled with that a lot at the beginning. I think when the time is right it will come. I hope the list of questions will help.

  2. Jan
    July 16, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Doing administrative work is not very satisfying for volunteers who want to spend time with dogs. I know all work is important.

    • Mel
      July 16, 2012 at 11:31 PM

      I think that’s why I prefer the interacting and fostering part Jan, but I also love helping new dog owners find the right dog for them too.

  3. July 16, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    All rescues definitely are not created equal. It’s too bad your first experience was such a negative one but I am so glad you trekked on until you found the right fit and experience you were looking for. From what I have seen you have made such a tremendous difference in your community.

    • Mel
      July 16, 2012 at 11:30 PM

      Thanks Kristine. I am learning a lot about rescues, but what I have learned most is that choosing the right one is key.

  4. July 16, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Loved the Poochie Project link. It would not have occurred to me to interview a rescue before volunteering for them. I guess I’d expect them to interview me.

    But it makes sense.

    • Mel
      July 16, 2012 at 11:29 PM

      Me too Pamela. It had not occurred to me either, but I loved the idea. I think it’s a two-way street. If you like the rescue you are more likely to stay and to be more dedicated than with one that is not a good match. The rescue wins if it is the right match too.

  5. July 16, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Its very hard to find the right group to work with

    Stop on by for a visit

  6. July 16, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    We’re so glad you joined us! Not the least of all because a very sweet Sheltie found her forever home with you, but also for your many talents, and for the many ways you help not only Shelties, but all pets in the community. Whenever you want to spend some time with foster Shelties, taking photos, or building confidence and trust, by all means! Thank you for your kind words about MNSR and we’re happy that you have found it to be a positive experience.

    • Mel
      July 16, 2012 at 11:28 PM

      Thank you! Yes. I think Lady was meant to be with us from the beginning. I cannot imagine not having her in my life. 🙂
      I would love to do more MNSR. I love working with dogs and making a difference. I don’t know how many rescues are as awesome but in my mind, they must be very few indeed.

  7. July 17, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Thanks for sharing that link. Not all shelters operate the same and it’s good to know certain details BEFORE investing time and money in helping them out.

  8. July 19, 2012 at 7:33 AM

    How amazing do I feel right now? Thank you so much for the shout out, and of course for all that you do. Glad my post resonated, and so glad that it was of actual help.

    Funny how parallel our stories are. I had a train wreck of an experience with my first rescue and then found a wonderful sheltie group here in Virginia. (Funnier side note, sheltie is my husband’s favorite breed… and he grew up in St Paul! we head to MN about once a year, and the place is beautiful I might add.)

    Be sure to check out the post on how to Review Your Rescues to find more information online about groups you intend to work for.

    • Mel
      July 19, 2012 at 10:25 PM

      I couldn’t believe it when I read your comment today! In fact, I read it several times! Sheltie Rescue, bad first experience with a rescue and your husband is from MN? Seriously, what are the odds?

      I was happy to share your post. I think it’s an excellent resource. You are amazing. 🙂

      • July 22, 2012 at 11:02 AM

        I thought it was so kooky, but life is like that. I of course bragged forever and a day to my husband, who loved your post as well.

      • Mel
        July 22, 2012 at 1:55 PM

        This last comment made me smile. You SHOULD brag about it! We all know that writing a great post isn’t an every day thing (well, at least in my case), but yours was one of those posts that was good AND makes a difference. Brag away!

        So glad your husband liked my post too. Tell him “Hi” from MN where it is hot and humid and I am dreaming of winter.

  9. July 23, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Mel :
    You SHOULD brag about it!

    I totally just did. Made reference to my new street cred on my latest post 😉

    • Mel
      July 23, 2012 at 11:03 PM

      I saw! So glad I could bring attention to you and your blog! You’re a great writer!

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